14 November 2007

Setting up a CRS tank - Step 3

The Mineral Rock Controversy

Step# 3
- There has been a lot of controversy regarding the use of mineral rock powder or mineral rock. One common misconception is that the mineral rock will increase Crystal Red Shrimp grading, for example from Grade A to Grade SS. Increase in grades is only possible through several generations of selective breeding.

Mineral rock contains some level of calcium, too much calcium will increase water hardness which may cause molting or hardening problems. However having said that, mineral rock is not all calcium only, it contains other natural minerals that shrimps need in the water to aid in growth and breeding. Always use a GH/KH test kit to test carbonate hardness when using mineral rock or mineral rock powder, it should not exceed GH 3. Some mineral rock dissolves very quickly in water and cannot be used as a decoration in the tank. Choose the type of mineral rock or mineral rock powder properly.

Personally I like to add mineral rock or mineral rock powder in the tank. Besides containing essential minerals, mineral rock is also a natural deodorizer and water purifier. I have tested several brands and found that Hayashi Mineral Rock Powder is the most effective and safe for shrimps and fishes.

Tip# Evenly spread a thin layer of Mineral Rock Powder on the first layer of gravel, then cover with remaining gravel. If your tank is already setup, you can choose to place a mineral rock in the tank or add mineral rock powder at regular basis.

I like to create a slope from the back to the front of the tank, this gives a 3D effect when view from the front. Notice that the gravel used is at least 4cm (1.5 in) thick?

Tip# Pro hobbyists like thick gravel, this is to provide enough space for beneficial bacteria to grow.

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