The beauty of Sulawesi shrimps always brings the thrill to start a small Sulawesi tank in our room. But before we dive into setting your tank up, here is three important things to know before you start a Sulawesi tank.
1) pH is not a major concern in Singapore
As stated in PUB’s website, the average pH of Singapore tap water is at a level of 8.1. This may vary with different areas, but it hoovers at a tolerance level of 0.3. In a nutshell, the pH level of Singapore water is absolutely perfect for Sulawesi shrimps.
Since we have been importing large amount of Sulawesi shrimps into Singapore, we use only RODI water that comes out to about pH 7.8 in our area. We remineralise the tank to a TDS of about 100 with MADFU Mineral Conditioner and it works perfectly well for these shrimps.
Since we are using inert substrate in our tanks, adding solutions that helps buffer pH is really unnecessary as it may cause pH swing when water evaporates or even during water change. Aside from a little coral chip, I wouldn’t recommend dosing any pH buffering solution.
Can we use soil for Sulawesi shrimps?
Most aquatic soil has the ability to buffer our tank water down to pH levels of less than 6.8. They create a more acidic environment with the elements that are baked into the soil. Sulawesi shrimps require a higher pH level and will die in acidic water. We strongly recommend using inert substrate like sand and volcanic rocks.
Ammonia, nitrate and nitrite
As we use inert substrate in our tank, one thing that most hobbyist always forget is to add food into our tank to rot and create ammonia for the live bacteria to grow and reproduce. Unlike aquatic soil that leeches out ammonia when it comes into contact with water, inert substrate does not leech out ammonia.
Nitrifying bacteria requires ammonia to react and reproduce breaking down ammonia into nitrate and then nitrite. Without any ammonia source, the bacteria grow slowly, and it may take a long time to actually cycle your tank. Powder food is a great source of ammonia as they float around the tank and rots when uneaten. Avoid adding in dead live stocks like market prawn or even a dead fish as they may contain bacteria that are harmful.
So there you go, here is some important facts to know before you start your tank. If you like to find out more on shrimp keeping, like our facebook page here or like our Instagram page @madshrimpsg.