10 Litre Cycle For Shrimp Tank

PrincessLobster

Hi,

I set up a shrimp tank yesterday, it is 10 litres and I added SafeStart plus squeezed in some water from my filter sponge on my bigger tank. I have checked the chemical levels and it sits at: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate is around 25-50. I know it's a very small tank but it can't have cycled that quickly can it?
 

Cherryshrimp420

Nah the nitrate probably came from the water from your filter sponge...
 

mattgirl

Have you run the nitrate test on your source water? If you have no nitrates in your source water then I have to think you are getting this reading from the bottled bacteria you added and possibly even from what you squeezed out of the sponge.


I agree with Cherryshrimp420. High nitrates don't happen this quickly. A tank can be instantly cycled by moving bacteria from a fully cycled tank to another tank but it still takes a while for the cycle to start producing nitrates.

You need an ammonia source in this tank to grow and feed the bacteria. A small pinch of fish food added daily or a piece of raw shrimp will supply the necessary ammonia. Bottled ammonia will also work but in my humble opinion you will get a more natural cycle by adding a more natural ammonia source.
 

PrincessLobster

Thanks! I did think that was mega quick. I let everything settle for 24 hours and then started adding a tiny bit of flake food today
Will check my levels in tomorrow or in a couple days?
 

mattgirl

Thanks! I did think that was mega quick. I let everything settle for 24 hours and then started adding a tiny bit of flake food today
Will check my levels in tomorrow or in a couple days?
Sounds like you have a solid plan. Every couple of days should be enough. It is possible that this tank will cycle quicker than it would normally cycle simply because you added some bacteria by squeezing the sponge in here. There would have been some bacteria on the sponge. You could help even more if you have some extra media, gravel, piece of decor you can take from your cycled tank and put it in this one. Any of those things will have bacteria on them if your bigger tank is well established.
 

PrincessLobster

I hope it does cycle quick as I'm keen to get some shrimp soon! Maybe I'll add a little more from the sponge as I didn't squeeze in a lot. I also put in a moss ball from my main tank so hopefully that has some stuff on. The main tank is well cycled. I don't put decor in, only plants as I like the natural look
 

mattgirl

I hope it does cycle quick as I'm keen to get some shrimp soon! Maybe I'll add a little more from the sponge as I didn't squeeze in a lot. I also put in a moss ball from my main tank so hopefully that has some stuff on. The main tank is well cycled. I don't put decor in, only plants as I like the natural look
I spent a very long time reading up on how to take care of shrimp before I got them. One thing I noticed being stressed the most is shrimp need a well established tank. I actually ran my planted bowl for about a year before I got brave and confident enough to get my first shrimp.

Of course you won't have to wait that long but they do need a well established home. In your case, since you have plants in your original tank you could move some of them over to this tank once the cycle is complete. A well established tank will have a lot of bio-film in it for the shrimp to graze on. I have to think plants from an established tank would provide that bio-film.
 

ProudPapa

I hope it does cycle quick as I'm keen to get some shrimp soon! Maybe I'll add a little more from the sponge as I didn't squeeze in a lot. I also put in a moss ball from my main tank so hopefully that has some stuff on. The main tank is well cycled. I don't put decor in, only plants as I like the natural look

I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but many (maybe most) experienced shrimp keepers recommend letting a tank run for a minimum of 60 - 90 days before adding shrimp. This is to let it build up biofilm, which the shrimp graze on.

Now that I have that out of the way, I've successfully added shrimp to new tanks by adding a significant amount of live plants from established tanks, and then feeding the shrimp every day. These shrimp have also always been taken from my established tanks, so they didn't have to acclimate to different water at the same time they were being introduced to a new tank. I don't know if that was a factor that contributed to my success, but I suspect it was.
 

PrincessLobster

Even if it's only 10 litres?
 

richiep

Even when I take water,seeded media,plants, I still put a few fish in for a month before swapping the fish out for shrimp, this i find helps greatly for the survival of my shrimp, dont rush this process, its the most important part of starting a shrimp colony

Even if it's only 10 litres?
Even more so with smaller tanks, its a well known fact that small tanks under 18ltr take far longer to stabilise than bigger tanks
 

PrincessLobster

Ok, like I said, very new to the hobby. Cheers for the advice folks.
 

mattgirl

Ok, like I said, very new to the hobby. Cheers for the advice folks.
Stick around. Every day here is a day to learn something new about this addicting hobby.
 

PrincessLobster

Stick around. Every day here is a day to learn something new about this addicting hobby.
Thank you! Very kind of you to say, I'm most certainly getting addicted!
 

PrincessLobster

Hello everyone, hope you don't mind me asking another question regarding this thread. Added some flakes and squeezed in some more filter sponge. Checked the readings every other day and today it's: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 1, Nitrate is nearing on the 250 end. Should I do a water change with the nitrates being so high?
 

mattgirl

Hello everyone, hope you don't mind me asking another question regarding this thread. Added some flakes and squeezed in some more filter sponge. Checked the readings every other day and today it's: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 1, Nitrate is nearing on the 250 end. Should I do a water change with the nitrates being so high?
This is your thread so ask away It is good that you continue asking your questions on this thread. It helps all of us if it is kept on the same thread.

Yes, I would do a water change or two to get those nitrates down. Just be sure your add your water conditioner and temp match the fresh water before pouring it in the tank. Since this is a fishless/shrimpless cycle you don't have to get them as low as you would if there were fish in there but I would try to get them down to no more than 50 or so.

Once the cycle is complete and before you add your shrimp you want to get it as low as possible. I would want to get it down to no more than 10 before adding shrimp.
 

PrincessLobster

Thank you I guess my burning question is, when will my cycle be complete? I know I will have to wait a while for it to be perfect for shrimp.
 

mattgirl

Thank you I guess my burning question is, when will my cycle be complete? I know I will have to wait a while for it to be perfect for shrimp.
And it is an impossible question to get an answer to..

I will do the happy dance with you when you see that beautiful sky blue in the nitrite test tube. It is at that point you will know your cycle is done.
 

mattgirl

Yay!
I have got the API Freshwater Master Test Kit on it's way!
This leads me to have to ask. How are you testing right now?
 

PrincessLobster

I had some leftover API test strips that I thought I may as well use up at the beginning of the cycle to get a quick snapshot every other day, with the idea to get the chemicals after from here on out
 

mattgirl

I had some leftover API test strips that I thought I may as well use up at the beginning of the cycle to get a quick snapshot every other day, with the idea to get the chemicals after from here on out
You may very well find that this cycle is farther along than you think once you get more reliable testing equipment. The problem I see with test strips is they start degrading as soon as the package is opened. They work by dipping them in water. I have to think the moisture in the air that gets to them each time the container is opened degrades them to the point to no longer being reliable.

I am anxious to see the numbers you get once you get the liquid tests. Be sure to read and double read the instructions. In particular the nitrate test. Shake bottle number 2 like your life depends on it. You need to be sure the stuff that settles to the bottom is broken loose and mixed well. I actually bang it against the palm of my hand while shaking for at least a minute immediately before dripping the drops.
 

PrincessLobster

Thanks! I've actually used the chemical ones before on my parent's tank and remember shaking them for a very long time
 

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