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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many people complain they "just can't keep shrimp." Me, too, for a long time. I couldn't understand why. My parameters (GH, KH, pH) were within the acceptable range and yet my inverts died.

So I researched and researched and researched some more which led me to a TDS meter and there I found the answer: High TDS (Total Dissolved Solids or Total Dissolved Salts). Invert carapace were too hard for them to molt properly because of the high TDS. Where RCS can live happily in 100-300 TDS, mine was over 400! And you can have low GH and KH and still have high TDS.

Some of the reasons for high TDS are found in this article on the TFK site. It is a "must read" for everyone who has a fish and particularly those who have unexplained deaths in "good" parametrs.

Total Solids (TSS and TDS) in the Freshwater Aquarium

IMO, a TDS meter is essential for any aquarist but especially those wishing to keep inverts. I had to replace my old one and am quite happy with the one I found on eBay.

New HM Digital TDS EZ Testing Meter Hand Held TDS Monitor 2 Year Warranty | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're very welcome. I love all inverts and have Dwarf Orange Crayfish, Vampire, Bamboo/Flower, Sakura, Blue Velvet and Amano Shrimp. My success rate now that I watch the TDS is 100% with no molting-related deaths. High TDS really screws up molting to the point the invert can't shed its carapace and dies.
 

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Russell, what reading do you use as an absolute maximum for Bettas/Inverts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I try to keep my TDS under 200 and I have Vampire, Bamboo, Amano, Sakura (RCS) and Malawa Shrimp along with Dwarf Crayfish (CPO). Here's a great site for the TDS needs of dwarf shrimp:

Shrimp Water Parameters - Shrimp Keeping

My tap water fluctuates so I always test before I do water changes and use half distilled if needed. Using hot water to raise temperature will also raise TDS.

I'll repeat: A TDS meter was the best investment I've made; invert deaths due to molting problems have stopped. I hated seeing that jerky backwards motion because I knew it meant death but didn't know what I was doing so wrong. :-(
 

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So basically, any TDS under 80 and you should, in theory, be able to keep any type of shrimp (Not forgetting other parameters, of course)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
80 is the *lowest* acceptable TDS for only a few species. The rest need a minimum of 100. So I would think under 80 would not be a good thing.

All I can really tell you is that keeping mine around 200 has allowed me to successfully keep the above listed inverts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
My other meter went wonky and I was getting lower readings. Can you test distilled water to see if you get "0"? Or test someone else's? Are you feeding them anything with calcium?

Now you have my curiosity up. :) Maybe you could ask an invert/shrimp forum and let us (or me) know?

Thanks!

PS: If my other reply seemed rude it wasn't meant to be and I apologize.
 

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No, not rude at all. I'm not feeding them anything, it isn't even my tank. They eat whatever grows on the giant ball of moss that they spend most of their time in and maybe some leftover fish food. I'm sure they're not in optimal condition, they just look surprisingly healthy to me given the conditions. One of them even became berried shortly after being thrown in there (though the eggs disappeared and I've since removed the only male).

My main shrimp tank has a TDS of 107, but I guess it's not from calcium since I haven't been adding calcium supplements. Unless calcium from food goes into the water? They are doing okay but not breeding much.

I just tested distilled water and got TDS 1. My tap water is really soft.
 
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