Cycling a shrimp tank

In the next month I will be setting up a new shrimp tank for my Neocaridina. I wanted to look for more information about cycling a shrimp tank and decided to put my notes into a blog which might be useful for other new shrimp keepers.

I will be using my previous filter and about 25% of my current tank water (but new substrate and soil).

As always, the information is conflicting with so many different views on how long to do it for and methods – so I’m trying to make the best of it as a newbie who only got a C in GCSE Chemistry.


 

So what is cycling?

It’s all about getting rid of toxins and keeping the water in a natural balance that won’t harm the shrimp. The key thing with shrimp is that they don’t like change and very small amounts of ammonia seems to kill them. It’s also a process which must continue – so it’s not something you do once and forget about (although if your tank habitat is well balanced it looks after itself eventually).

The Nitrogen Cycle is all about how nitrogen moves between plants, animals, bacteria, the air, soil and water.  We are concerned with how this occurs within our aquarium habitat.

The 4 main states include Nitrogen (N2), Nitrates (N03),  Nitrites  (NO2) and Ammonium (NH4).  It is bacteria which help it change states. The part we are interested in is ‘Nitrification’ where harmful ammonia is converted to less harmful Nitrate.

Ammonia –> Nitrite –> Nitrate

Every body of water has a nitrogen cycle – even micro habitats in containers left out in the rain. Oxygen is also an essential ingredient.

Utilising bacteria, an aquarium will go through a state of being able to convert toxic ammonia (from animal waste, uneaten food, decaying plants, tap water) into nitrate which is not toxic (and excess is removed with water changes).

The slightest hint of Ammonia and shrimp will die –  even before your test strips say it is present.

* Ammonia can also come from the soil you use in a planted tank


Nitrogen

What is happening when the waste is converted?

The waste breaks down into either ionised ammonium (NH4) or un-ionised ammonia (NH3) [also called ‘free’ ammonia].

NH4 isn’t toxic to shrimp and is present if the pH is acidic i.e. below 7. However, in alkali water (above pH7) un-ionised ammonia forms (NH3) which will kill aquarium fish and shrimp – and keep rising if nothing breaks it down.

NH4 can be removed by the filter media. NH3 in high concentrations needs to be changed to a less toxic form.

The first change occurs where bacteria oxidise ammonia (NH3) – a by-product being nitrite.

The second change is where other types of bacteria convert the nitrite to nitrate.

  • A note on Bacteria

Why is it important to understand the latest findings in bacteria that work in this cycle – because you might be considering an over the counter start up culture that you pop into your tank and it needs to be the right sort and not a type of bacteria based on old research.

Bacteria (Nitrosomonas europaea) are some of the nitrifiers that will oxidise ammonia. Other bacteria can convert the nitrite to nitrate.

It was thought that Nitrobacter winogradskyi was largely responsible for converting nitrite to nitrate, however, some research has found that in freshwater it appears to be Nitrospira. You can read more about these findings in this link.

What happens to the Nitrate?

Nitrates must then be removed with water changes – as they can harm aquatic life if left to reach high levels. However, in a planted tank, with shrimp, the plants will take up nitrates and help with removal. Some people prefer to do very few water changes in a planted tank.

Nitrates also can cause algae blooms – another reason to do water changes (especially in a tank with no plants). The cycle continues so that ammonia is constantly being converted – as long as you have enough bacteria to keep up, ammonia should be zero.

Can the Nitrate change back into ammonia?

The other half of the ‘cycle’ is called de-nitrification. This is where nitrate is converted to nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous oxide  (N2O). Some may also turn back in ammonium which is eaten by algae and plants. Eventually the oxygen part is used up and the nitrogen goes into the air as nitrogen gas. Incidentally, blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) can use this nitrogen gas as ‘food’.

Getting the cycle going in a tank – growing ever larger numbers of bacteria.

The key is maintaining a cycle of stability. Cycling to a point of balance for the animals and plants you want to eventually have can take weeks or months.  There is much debate about whether to go fast or slow – and even around exactly how you do it!

You want to only add animals a little at a time once it has settled down and the bacteria colony can cope with the first animal(s) – so that the cycle can keep up with the new amount of waste.  A week or so later, more are added, and so so until you gradually build up both your bacteria and tank to the level you choose.  Snails poo a lot – so add carefully! I have just one in my nano shrimp tank. Your bacteria will love oxygen, heat and a dark place to thrive where there is no turbulent water movement.

  • Shrimpless cycling – non planted tank

A new tank may not have enough bacteria to cope with the quick conversion – in a cycled tank you aim for no ammonia and some Nitrate to show all is well. Until the bacteria multiply to trillions, some ammonia may not be converted and stay in the tank – and kill the shrimp. If you have no plants and inert gravel, these levels of ammonia may not be detectable by a test strip etc. but still be enough to kill livestock.

I use test strips when things go wrong mostly – so see if the deaths were an ammonia spike or something else.

This is one reason why you might cycle a tank with no animals in it.  Most people use the natural ammonia in a tank – but if you have a tank of just water and inert gravel, you might need to kick start it and get an ammonia source – which is where some people choose to add ammonia or a some fish food in to decay. It’s controversial though and not relevant to a planted shrimp tank. Ammonia may be in tap water .

  • Dry start cycling – where water is added just to beneath the top of the substrate in a planted tank which then has to be kept moist.
  • Silent cycling – No ammonia spike to notice because the tank is full of stem plants which use ammonia as a food source from the start (see below).
  • Cycling in a planted tank

A planted tank it is different because plants make good use of ammonia to keep it under control.

If you use soil in a planted tank – that can be the ammonia injection needed to start it going. Otherwise, choices can be natural decaying plant matter. If your soil doesn’t leach ammonia then most people cover the soil with some substrate, plant heavily and pop in some shrimp straight away. The bacteria can come from using some gravel or filter media from a previous cycled tank (that has not been washed) or ‘start up colony’ from an over the counter product of the right bacteria.  The shrimp bio-load should be minimal so the bacteria will probably keep up ok all being well.  Keep well oxygenated and the soil/plants/bacteria combo should be fine.

Basically you let nature do its thing and test for when ammonia is zero and nitrate is being read.

I started my first planted tank with no animals, soil that didn’t leach, filter up and running and an over the counter starter bacteria. I waited about 8 weeks before I added shrimp. I had no deaths from ammonia, healthy plant growth and good stable parameters.

I used test kits for ammonia (never saw a spike) and nitrates and nitrites.

If you have no shrimp – increase the temperature to 27-35 degrees C for maximum bacteria growth but not over 40.

  • Using over the counter products to remove ammonia – and a little about tap water.

Products exists such as AmQuel which reacts with free ammonia changing it to a non-toxic form (if you have no carbon in the filter). The higher your tank pH the quicker it acts. This original formula also removes chlorine an chloramine from tap water.  Some water dechlorinator products just break down chloramine into an ammonia bi-product which has to be removed by your bacteria. AmQuel does not leave ammonia in the water according to it’s website. AmQuel Plus is a new chemical formula that says it ‘Detoxifies all kinds of toxic nitrogen compounds’ amongst other things.

API produce Ammo Lock – and Nitra-Zorb  that ‘instantly detoxifies ammonia’. They have a number of ‘science’ articles and lab results which claims the product works.

Seachem Prime is another product that removes chlorine, chloramine, ammonia (binding nitrite and nitrate) and heavy metals. I have used Prime before as my dechlorinator before I switched to rain water. It is also one of those products, like AmQuel that renders ammonia harmless. Prime works by a process called reduction that all de-chlorinators use (chlorine gas is converted to chloride ions – a process that also breaks the bonds between chlorine and nitrogen within the chloramine molecule – producing ammonia). A second process then occurs to bind the ammonia to render it harmless. AmGuard is an emergency ammonia removal agent by Seachem. You can read more about how they work in their factsheet.

 


 

Keeping the cycle going

Some things might cause an ammonia spike which should be avoided such as:

  • Over feeding – feed only enough that the shrimp will eat over 1-2 hours.
  • Lack of oxygen – nitrate can transform back into toxic nitrite and cultures may reduce.
  • Do not clean out all the filter medium – leave 25-50% which have the bacteria on them.
  • An ammonia spike might happen if the bacteria die e.g. medications or extreme heat or being washed out by tap water during a filter change.
  • Limit snails so as to not overload the tank.
  • Dead animals – if you have a massive disaster with many deaths this can cause a deadly spike and kill what it is left.

Controversial …

Here are some of the things people get their knickers in a knot over – so it comes down to personal information seeking and deciding on one method.

  • Do use fish food v. never use fish food as it causes algae blooms.
  • Add snails first – they poo a lot v. don’t add snails they poo too much.
  • Never do a quick cycle v. quick cycles are ok.
  • Speed up the cycle with product such as Sachem Stability or introduce beneficial bacteria v. go oh natural
  • Putting fish or shrimp in with ammonia present is inhumane v. no harm will come to them.
  • Test kits work well v. test kits for ammonia are useless.
  • Messing around with the gravel and over cleaning in the first months disturbs bacteria v. go ahead and clean.

ShrimpFever.com describes a complex system lasting up to 3 months involving differing layers of substrate and bacteria cultures. It also talks about feeding the bacteria, adding additives and enzymes. Personally I find this over the top.

Some likely truths…

  • Cleaning your filter media or sponge in tap water will kill the bacteria and cause ammonia to rise.
  • Leaving 25-50% of old filter material allows the cycle to continue.
  • Soils can leak ammonia
  • Nitrate can kill if it builds up – so water changes are good (levels less than 15ppm / 15mg
  • If you use an inert substrate, shrimp alone won’t produce enough ammonia to start the cycle (at levels good enough to start a cycle they will die) –  the bacteria will then die too (see fish food controversy above).
  • Snail poo is good for ammonia.
  • Air is good – get the surface water moving to help.
  • A proficient cycle is achieved around 3-5 weeks.

Wildlife web cams now up for Spring/Summer

 

 

This is my new page where I will be putting photos and web cam footage of wildlife in our garden. So far we have hedgehog cam and Boris Box (Blue tits). I record footage and post it that day or as soon as I can. I hope blog followers might like to join me!

Our garden has been home to many birds, sparrow hawk, slow worm, foxes, hedgehogs and a range of bugs and insects!

https://www.facebook.com/BorisBirdCam
Boris_Page

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Dogs, Dystrophy and Charity

Harrison_s_Fund_AdvertisingYou might have seen this advert recently – and fallen victim to what many have felt is false advertising. The advert was not to save a dog as it first appears – reading on you discover it is the latest controversial advert from the charity Harrison’s Fund.

Harrison is an 8 year old boy who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and his father is CEO of the charity.

 

 

His father says on their website:

“I’m sorry if some people find our tactics upsetting, but the awful truth is that my son is dying and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to save him.”

 

This particular campaign involved two digital adverts – one featuring the dog and another a picture of Harrison. The idea being to show that people are more willing to support animal charities than those for children. Not surprisingly the one with the request to save the sad looking dog received twice as many clicks.

A debate then followed after his father followed up the publicity with further articles about the reasons behind the advert like this one in the Telegraph and also in the Huffington Post (and possibly elsewhere) – generating huge publicity for the charity.

It follows a word wide debate on their previous campaign “I Wish My Son had Cancer”.

Harrison_s_Fund_2Outrage

The first campaign was a shocker – and many of my friends who have Duchenne and similar types of dystrophy were as outraged and disgusted as me.

  • Disability Hierarchy

This is basically the damaging notion that one impairment/disability is more deserving in need or ‘worse’ than another (or gains more attention or legitimacy than another).  A social pecking order developed of ‘worthiness’.  It is one of the many disability research areas which looks at the effect this has on disabled people and society as a whole. A hierarchy can be influenced by how visible the impairment is, life span expectations, ‘curability’, pain levels involved or things like culture, religion, ethnicity and even politically.

e.g. it impacts priorities and moral issues e.g. if it is worse to live paralysed than it is with depression (according to our personal hierarchy of ‘what is worse’), we should allow paralysed people to die in euthanasia legislation, but not people who can’t stand life with depression – because its ‘not as bad’ or they are mentally impaired (lower down in the order).

A pair of Deaf twins, who were going blind, were permitted to be euthanised in Belgium because the government understood ‘how unbearable’ life would be – despite many Deaf Blind people living fulfilled lived. People often make choices like agreeing to vote for assisted dying laws, because they are ignorant of the truth and have internalised a hierarchy.   All people who feel they are in an unbearable situation should have support – but sometimes a person with a mental health condition gets prioritised for therapy and medication over someone with the same feelings that are put down to inability to cope with physical problems (and often not offered mental health support).  One is offered support to prevent them from killing themselves – the other is encouraged to pursue their request to die.

Dangers

Hierarchies allow human judgement of others, and judgement of our self worth to influence our decisions and life choices – often based on inaccurate information.  This is really dangerous. E.g parents are more likely to choose abortion of a child with Downs Syndrome when given negative impressions of what their life could be like as opposed to those who have had balanced information or met someone living with that condition.

As such, comparing illness or disability, and promoting one as being worse than another can be very damaging – especially when the effects of most conditions vary considerably from individual to individual.

No comparison

Comparing one illness to another and creating a hierarchy of impairments with the ‘worst’ at the top is never helpful.  How can any parent wish their child had  cancer? Cancer might take a child’s life yet some people with Duchenne live into their 40’s with improved health and social care.   A number of people have had both cancer and dystrophy…. and that’s pretty rough too.

You can not define what is ‘worse’ unless you are perhaps comparing only life span where ultimately there might be a chance of cancer treatment to be free of that illness compared to a genetic condition with no cure.

Long life shouldn’t be the ‘goal’ – quality must count for something – yet so many charities focus purely on finding the golden ‘cure’.  I wonder, if in 10-15 years time, when Harrison might be thinking of perhaps going to University, living in his own home, dating, getting his first job … will they regret campaigning so hard for a cure that still hasn’t been found and not looking to support him in his adult life choices as well?

  • Misleading?

The charity was saying things like “no treatment, no cure, 100% fatal … certainty of a very short life, no drugs help”.

Life is 100% fatal so there is no meaning in the word other than to draw the reader to register ‘fatal’ as ‘really deadly, act now’.

Let’s look at the statement that says there is no treatment. There are physical therapies, surgeries and some medications like steroids that are beneficial and prolong life. Yes there is no ‘cure’ but there is no certainty of  short life … like I said, I know many people who are 40 + years old and still alive.

If life was so bad, how is it that people I know with Duchenne are Drs, artists, musicians, photographers, authors, web designers, managers …. not bad for a 100% fatal disease? Yes, I have friends who have died in their 20’s and 30’s but not before they gave life a great shot, some were married, a few had children, just average everyday people living life. Let their lives be the hope we look towards.

  • Hope in adults living with Duchenne

I feel charities like this can be misleading in the picture they paint of living with the condition. I also feel for Harrison, growing up in a world of ‘doom’ being at the centre of a charity which speaks little of the positive life you might have with a rare disease.  I hope as he grows older he can meet with young men and women who will inspire him to look beyond these strong words and live in the hope of the great things that are possible. I hope other children with Dystrophy don’t see these campaigns and live in fear of death before their parents have had the opportunity to talk with them about their future in a balanced way.

  • Campaign success

However, the campaign did what was intended and donations went up 300%. Effective yes, but it came with a price – the cost of disregarding the social consequences concerning how reactions to the advert might affect children and adults with dystrophy and other impairments.

And the campaign about animal charities getting more money than a ‘dying child’? 

Did they really need the excuse of ‘let’s see if animal charities would get more funding’ to run this shocking campaign? Surely, it’s common knowledge that charities representing specific types of rare diseases are not going to get nearly as much funding as those for animals (or even human charities for say cancer research)?

  • Charity giving has a hierarchy too – and animals generally trump humans with rare conditions.

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Yes, people care about animals, chances are, most homes have a cat, dog  … large numbers of people can relate perhaps to a distressed animal because they have them themselves.

People who don’t have children with dystrophy or a disabled child, can not relate as easily if at all.

People donate to charities which personally touch them or they feel drawn to …. whether it’s saving children, donkeys, rain forests, snow leopards … that is just the way human beings are.  You can imagine your £5 buying a pet toy or dog food …. but sending £5 to a charity that funds research is hard to visualise exactly what you are paying for. E.g it feels psychologically better to know you have paid for one meal for a dog or even one vaccination for a child in Africa  … compared to contributing to a small part of the hourly wage of a research scientist.  Many people give to feel better and giving to research looking at a single medical condition like Duchenne (or even a single genetic type of Duchenne) is simply not as gratifying as ‘buying a vaccine’ that will definitely save an African child’s life.

  • The dangers of focusing only on research

It’s also a sad fact that people will choose to ‘save a child’ over ‘save an adult’ with the same condition. Only one charity I am aware of supports adults specifically with Duchenne (and is run by people with Duchenne) – a forgotten generation because people were so sure they would die before adulthood or a cure would have been found by now.

Does that mean that charities should pull out the pity slogans, be dishonest or use shock tactics to get your money? Do we like to feel duped? No we don’t.  I think charities should be responsible in how they portray dystrophy or any other condition they are using money for – and engage with the public in a decent and honest way.

I would not like to ‘take a cure’ if it was funded through lies, manipulation and campaigns which were socially and morally questionable – but maybe others are ok with it?

 

 

 

 

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A rare find

When naturalists discover a new species, in remote corners of the world, they leap with excitement. Naming it, classifying it, protecting it, saving it for humankind. They share it with the world, write scientific papers on it, take photos and samples to understand it’s cell structure or physiology. How does it live, how did it evolve, what are the conditions it needs to thrive, how does it fit in with the ecosystem… so many questions bringing a flury of research to learn more.

This is what happens with the discovery or a rare animal and this is what happens when science discovers a unique human – like me.

 We tend to get classified, photographed, probed and questioned to see what makes us tick – then people write papers on us and try to figure out how we work to share that information to help others or for scientific documentation. The race begins to find a way to fix what went wrong before we expire – funding permitted. Like a rare animal, sometimes our bodies, or parts of us end up in laboratories and museums …. I think part of my leg is still frozen in a test tube somewhere in Newcastle.
 

A unique person not a lab rat.

LGMD

I have unique DNA – a unique genetic default.  My mutations don’t do anything exciting like give me super strength – in fact it’s just the opposite, they take away my strength, more and more each day.

In the UK there are around 70,000 people effected by Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and similar muscle wasting conditions. I am one of them.

Out of the many types of MD in the world – I have Limb Girdle. The prevalence of these types of dystrophy can only be estimated – anywhere from  1 in 14,500 to 1 in 123,000 [van der Kooi et al 1996].

Specifically, the type I have is Limb Girdle 2C.  In the body there are 4 sarcoglycan genes – I was born with a mutation and I can’t make a protein called gamma sarcoglycan.    Around 1 person in 178,000 have a type of sarcoglycanopathy.

  

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A world apart – brought together via the Net. 

 In some parts of the world more people have this mutation and in other places nobody knows how many people are affected.

Studies found that in New Delhi, India 11.8% of people with LGMD had sarcoglycanopathy. In Japan it was 8.8%, Netherlands 25% and 55% in Brazil. [SourceLink] 

 So – in some places it is easier to find someone with the same condition – for support and understanding – and now with the internet, people with rare conditions can easily find each other and create their own support groups and sources of information.  All the most useful information that helps out on a day to day basis has come from other people with the same or similar condition.

 

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Living with a rare disease 

 Statistics like these makes me a rare individual and today, 28th February is Rare Disease Day 2015 – which is all about what it is like to live with a rare condition, and how it effects families and communities.

Sometimes things so rare don’t attract research funding, so it can feel there is no hope. LGMD2C certainly doesn’t attract the research funding like Duchenne MD does – chances are you’ve never heard of my type yet it is pretty much the same as Duchenne in how it affects me.

If you know me then you will have a glimpse at what life is like – at least the physical practicalities – and maybe that’s the best type of understanding – just knowing and interacting with me is possibly insightful?



 Don’t just be aware – do something! 

 Being aware of the name of my condition, clicking ‘like’ on Facebook or similar won’t make treatment any more likely – the whole world could be ‘aware’ and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference.  The awareness day for Limb Girdle is actually my birthday, but I’m not taking part in it.  Coloured ribbons don’t generate action to help make life better.

 Some campaigns focus around the ‘help dying children’ concept.  Well how about helping living adults like me – we need help too.  Don’t believe the ‘most people with LGMD2C die in their teens or 20’s’ slogans like this one.  Some do but many don’t.  I’m nearly 40, as are a lot of my friends – and we need support to live without treatment until cell research provides a therapy or ‘cure’. 

 Let’s face it, it’s actions we need …. either hard cash (and lots of it) going into specific research or in supporting people to live with the condition.  In the absence of cash, friendship and voluntary work can go a long way in making life good.  Friendships is free, a signature on a campaign for equality is free, speaking out with disabled people to improve quality of life is free,  caring about how the NHS secures funding for medications, treatments and services for people with a rare disease is free. 

 For information on Sarcoglycanopathies and research visit Muscular Dystrophy UK 

 To see what life is like living in the UK with LGMD2C – read my blog :-)

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 van der Kooi AJ, Barth PG, Busch HF, de Haan R, Ginjaar HB, van Essen AJ, van Hooff LJ, Howeler CJ, Jennekens FG, Jongen P, Oosterhuis HJ, Padberg GW, Spaans F, Wintzen AR, Wokke JH, Bakker E, van Ommen GJ, Bolhuis PA, de Visser M. The clinical spectrum of limb girdle muscular dystrophy. A survey in The Netherlands. Brain. 1996;119:1471–80. [PubMed]   

Evening out to see Ennio Morricone

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On Thursday we had our first trip to the O2 arena to see My Life in Music.  Ennio Morricone took the orchestra through some of his famous movie scores. Many were done well before our time in the 1960’s but I was pleasantly surprised that I recognised about half of them. You might have heard of the most recent films to use his music  – Chi Mai, Casualties of War and The Mission. If you haven’t heard of them – then you will almost certainly know then amazing theme tune of The Good The Bad and The Ugly.  He writes very emotional scores on themes of war and slavery for example – we had to cover his work when I did GCSE music. However, I obviously paid little attention as I didn’t realise that Chi Mai which I’d been studying for 2 years was composed by him. Hmm Fail.

We had seats very close to the orchestra and didn’t really know what to expect. Morricone never spoke once – just came on and got on with it. We had no clue who the orchestra were or the soprano singing (which was apparently Susanna Rigacci – and she was amazing). The Guardian described the sound she made as a human theremin … which is rather good. I’d describe it as akin to the vocal range and sounds from Star Trek the original series theme tune.

We also had a bit of a back stage tour in the quest for the loo and to get to our accessible seating area.  The accessible seating was good – one of the few times we could actually sit next to each other to see a concert which was nice.

 

 

 

Snowing in my shrimp tank!

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I had a free sample of Snowflake food from Pro Shrimp UK. I put 2 pellets in which exploded into snow! This aqua snow is made from soybean hulls – a fungus grows and the vegetative part contains proteins and other nutrients that the shrimp eat. My shrimp took several minutes before approaching it. I guess it will stay in the tank and grow the fungus …. not sure really on this one!

 

 

 

 

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Minerals and the loss of Mrs Blueberry

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Mrs Blueberry died on Sunday. I couldn’t see any obvious cause but when I checked my TDS –  the amount of dissolved solids in the water, it was low at 150. Ideally it should be 270-300 so I’m betting it was lack of calcium and other trace elements. My blue shrimp have always been the first to die when there has been a problem – maybe they are very fragile when it comes to water parameters.

So, I’ve started remineralising with Salty Shrimp 7.5.

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It said an evenly full measuring spoon (about 3.5 g) to 15 litres of water is sufficient.  I added it bit by bit, dissolving it in a beaker of tank water before I tipped it in. I used half of the enclosed spoon and took it from 170 this morning to 250. Tomorrow I will take it to about 270 and see how it goes.

The pot is full to overflowing  and gets everywhere! Whatever you do, don’t sneeze.

It is designed to raise the hardness in a ratio of KH/°dH = 0.42/1.0 (TDS approx 270-300) and adds all the minerals and trace elements that shrimps need (if you use rainwater or RO water which has had it taken out).

It is supposed to make the water identical to the lakes of Sulawesi where many shrimp come from (mine aren’t from that area but it does say it is ok for Neocaridina.

It is likely to raise the dH to 6 and buffers pH to 7.5 – not sure how far I will take mine as views are mixed. Trial and error.

A step backwards in wheelchair transportation?

When I saw this I cringed: Drive away car invented

It’s basically a single person electric bubble car where wheelchair users can enter in their wheelchairs through the automatic ramp at the back, and then just drive away. How amazing is that – the inventor gave up her job to set up a company to make these cars which are steered by a motorbike-style handlebar and costing only $25.000.

WHOAAA ….. hang on a moment, I can do better than that!

I have a car, where I also stay in my wheelchair!

I also wheel straight in the back up a ramp (which could automatically fold up and the doors close if I needed it to)!

If I were medically able, I could also drive off. (I can’t drive so others drive for me).

Not only does my car pootle around the town locally – I can drive on main roads and motorways! It doesn’t end there – even more amazing is that rather than drive round as a lonely single wheelchair user – I can be in the car with friends, family – and even carry luggage to go on holiday or put my shopping in the back. All for around £7-8 thousand pounds. Match that then bubble car.

Thinking about it – handlebar steering, electric vehicle….. isn’t that called a mobility scooter?

I think I have the better deal, socially and financially with my car and power wheelchair combo. Good luck America with your new invalid carriage for single people with no friends!