While you can just use tap water for aquariums, some aquarists prefer to use RO water to ensure safety from toxins like chlorine, etc. Reverse Osmosis (RO) is the process of getting rid of minerals and toxins by applying pressure to the water through a semipermeable membrane.
You can get Pure water from Reverse Osmosis technology, but as you may know, aquatic life like shrimps needs some minerals to thrive. Therefore, you need to remineralize RO water for shrimp and other aquatic life forms.
How to remineralize RO water for shrimp
Shrimps and other crustaceans require minerals in their surroundings to thrive well. For example, calcium in water promotes healthy shell formation of shrimps during molting.
As RO water doesn’t contain any minerals, using RO water may lead to health issues in Shrimps over time. In order to prevent that, you need to remineralize the water.
Although it may sound complicated, remineralizing RO water is not a complex process. There are several methods to remineralize RO water for shrimp, which we will discuss below.
1.A mixture of water conditioner, baking soda, and acid buffer
A simple mix of water conditioner, baking soda, and acid buffer can remineralize RO water within minutes. You have to dissolve these ingredients one by one into the RO water to be safe as these ingredients may react if mixed before dissolving into the water. Follow the measurements stated below for 5 gallons of 100% RO water.
- 5 mL of water conditioner
- One teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon acid buffer
2.A mixture of Epsom salt, calcium chloride, and baking soda
If you can’t find the ingredients mentioned above, you can use this mixture to remineralize RO water. However, we don’t recommend this process as the ingredients mentioned in this mixture may release other unwanted compounds into the water.
This is the best approach to remineralizing RO water. Seachem Equilibrium is a specifically designed mineral mixture to use in freshwater aquariums. It raises the important mineral/electrolyte content (General Hardness) of the water and promotes the stability of the carbonate hardness.
By following the instructions of this product, you can ensure that your RO water gets the exact amount of minerals needed for your shrimp. Although you can use the ingredients provided above to increase the mineral levels of aquarium water, they can not assure you the exact conditions shrimps need.
But, with this product, you don’t have to worry about the ideal water condition levels because this product is specifically made for this job. And also, using this product is easier as you just have to mix it with water.
Is RO water good for shrimp?
Yes. RO water is actually one of the best water you can get for your shrimp aquarium. It is bacteria-free and has basically zero TDS (Totally dissolved Solids).
TDS is a measurement to check the quantity of dissolved solids in the water. We perform TDS tests to ensure ideal mineral levels for aquatic life. Testing TDS in the water is essential for shrimp because each shrimp type has an optimum TDS limit.
As reverse osmosis water has zero TDS reading, we can add remineralizers accordingly for the shrimp species we have in our aquarium.
We can test the TDS level with a TDS meter and add or remove minerals accordingly to meet our criteria.
As RO water is also free of toxic compounds such as bacteria, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite, RO water becomes safe and ideal for shrimps and other fish with remineralization.
With remineralization, you will never have things that can wipe out your shrimp colony. So, RO water is good for shrimp.
What is the best water for a shrimp aquarium
Shrimps are susceptible species that can not tolerate high copper levels and high nutrient levels. These nutrients and unwanted minerals can be present in tap water. That is why you should not use tap water for the shrimp tank.
The best water for a shrimp aquarium is RO/DI water. RO/DI water goes through 2 different water purification processes to remove all the minerals, pests, and toxins.
Reverse Osmosis and deionization make the water 99% pure H2O, making the water ideal for sensitive shrimp species like Cardina shrimp.
By using RO/DI water, you just have to remineralize it with remineralizers. By using remineralized RO/DI water, you don’t have to worry about the sudden death of your shrimp because of water condition changes.
Do Crystal Shrimp need RO water?
That depends on the crystal shrimp species you have. For example, Crystal Red Shrimp (Cardina) must live in RO/DI water as this species is highly sensitive to copper, chlorine, ammonia, and nitrite levels in the water.
A tiny increase of these minerals and nutrients can kill this species immediately, so almost all aquarists use RO/DI water with a remineralization additive mixed in for Crystal Red Shrimp.
On the other hand, Red Cherries (Neo- Cardina) are a pretty hardy species that could probably tolerate tap water. If your tap water is moderately soft (≤10°dGH, ≤5°dKH) and a pH ≤ of 8.0, you may use it after dechlorinating the water if you prefer.
However, it is recommended to use RO/DI water for all types of Crystal Shrimp because they all are more sensitive than other shrimp species like Amano shrimp, Blue Tigar Shrimp, and Snowball Shrimp.
Remineralize RO water for ghost shrimp
Like all other shrimp species, ghost shrimp is also very sensitive to water parameters. They can not tolerate high amounts of copper, nitrogen, minerals, salt, ammonia, and chlorine in the water.
TDS meter tests for these nutrients and toxic levels. The optimum TDS range for Ghost Shrimp is 150-200 ppm. If this level goes beyond the ideal range, like other shrimps, ghost shrimps also die suddenly.
So, if you experience any mysterious deaths of your ghost shrimps in your aquarium, poor water condition is most likely the primary cause.
To ensure that your ghost shrimp lives in healthy water conditions, you can use remineralized RO water in your aquarium. Remineralized RO water technically has no toxic nutrients for shrimps. So, you can be sure that your shrimp will thrive well in your aquarium.
As shrimps are highly sensitive species that can die immediately if kept in poor water conditions, using remineralized RO water is the best approach you can take if you want healthy and happy shrimps in your aquarium.
You should use a Reverse Osmosis filter to filter your water and remineralize it to make that water suitable for aquariums. Remineralization is not a complicated process.
You can remineralize your water simply by dissolving some ingredients into the water which we have discussed above. By using remineralized RO water for shrimp, you can ensure that your shrimp will thrive in your aquarium.