Cycling tank problem

Adam510

Hey so I have a 3.5 gallon tank that I have had platy fry in for about 5 weeks. I had these fry in the tank by themselves for about 4 weeks which I were feeding 2-3 times a day and have been doing amazing. At the 4 week mark I got some cherry shrimp (looking back terrible idea I’m a nooby and didn’t know my tank had to cycle longer), a Java fern and some subwassertang and attached it to a big piece of driftwood. So my cherry shrimp died the next day and I had a bacteria bloom in my tank where the water went all cloudy and my drift wood got covered in white sludge.

i have tested my water 3 times since last week, all reading 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrates.
The filter media looks like it’s in a tank that’s been running well for months and my fish are happy and now there are Atleast 10 baby rams horn snails that have hitch hiked there way in to my tank.

is my tank cycled? I’m so confused. Could my plants be absorbing all my nitrates?

I feed the fish 2-3 times a day everyday I don’t understand how there is 0 reading in the tank and the filter media looks pretty gnarly.
Please help!!
 

mattgirl

Are you 100% positive you are running the nitrate test correctly? there are a couple of extra steps that have to be followed to get a correct reading.
 

Adam510

Are you 100% positive you are running the nitrate test correctly? there are a couple of extra steps that have to be followed to get a correct reading.
I’m pretty sure, only thing is I could really slam the bottle of it on a desk or something repeatedly to really make sure everything in the bottle is broken into the liquid, I’ll do that and I’ll update this thread with the results
 

Adam510

Are you 100% positive you are running the nitrate test correctly? there are a couple of extra steps that have to be followed to get a correct reading.
Well I beat the bottle 2 for testing nitrate against my desk hard for a solid minute, did the test and it still came back 0…
Should I get a different test? Or is my tank actually cycled with 0 nitrates?
 

mattgirl

Well I beat the bottle 2 for testing nitrate against my desk hard for a solid minute, did the test and it still came back 0…
Should I get a different test? Or is my tank actually cycled with 0 nitrates?
It is possible for plants to remove the nitrates. I really wouldn't be overly concerned about seeing none though. As long as you are seeing 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites your fish are safe. That is the main concern.
 

Adam510

It is possible for plants to remove the nitrates. I really wouldn't be overly concerned about seeing none though. As long as you are seeing 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites your fish are safe. That is the main concern.
Okay, I’m just wondering because I do want to try and get cherry shrimp back into my tank and I’m worried if it isn’t cycled they will die again and I don’t want to go through that experience again
 

mattgirl

Unlike fish, shrimp do much better is a well seasoned tank. I normally recommend waiting for at least 3 months before adding them. They don't do well in a newly cycled tank. We want to give it time to grow a good coating of bio-film first. We want to be sure there is no possibility of either an ammonia or nitrite spike once they are added. They don't handle either very well.

How did you acclimate your shrimp? They need to be acclimated very slowly. The very slow drip method is best for them.
 

Adam510

Unlike fish, shrimp do much better is a well seasoned tank. I normally recommend waiting for at least 3 months before adding them. They don't do well in a newly cycled tank. We want to give it time to grow a good coating of bio-film first. We want to be sure there is no possibility of either an ammonia or nitrite spike once they are added. They don't handle either very well.

How did you acclimate your shrimp? They need to be acclimated very slowly. The very slow drip method is best for them.
Okay so with shrimp it’s just a waiting game? Is there no tell tale sign that will mean your tank is ready for them?
And I didn’t drip acclimate them I didn’t know that was a thing when I got them and I did the float them in there bag method like I’ve done with all the fish I’ve got before.
 

FishDin

How old is the nitrate test. They expire. I know from experience.

Once I set up a new tank and put a lot of plants in. Nitrates were reading zero. I was pretty proud of myself until my fish started dying. A new test kit revealed that the nitrates were off the chart. I wasn't so proud anymore :(
 

mattgirl

Okay so with shrimp it’s just a waiting game? Is there no tell tale sign that will mean your tank is ready for them?
And I didn’t drip acclimate them I didn’t know that was a thing when I got them and I did the float them in there bag method like I’ve done with all the fish I’ve got before.
I am not sure you can tell by just looking at a tank. Just give it another month or so to let everything in the tank time to get a good coating of bio-film. The bio-film is food for the shrimp. You can also help them out by getting some Bacter AE. It is a fine powder you mix with water and pour in the tank. It is basically food invisible to us but good for the shrimp.

To drip acclimate shrimp I use a length of airline tubing with a control valve on one end. It isn't unusual to take an hour of more to acclimate them. Lots of times temp matching is all that is needed for fish but shrimp need to be very slowly acclimated to the parameters of our water. We need to be absolutely sure there is no ammonia or nitrites and the nitrates are very low in the tank we are acclimating them to.

When doing a water change on a tank with both shrimp and fish we have to be more careful refilling the tank. Refill it slowly with temp matched water. I actually drip the water back in my shrimp bowl. It is only 2.5 gallons. I do change out almost half of the water weekly but I make sure the water I am replacing is as close as I can get it to the water I took out. The only difference is the TDS is lower and there are no nitrates in the water I am replacing.

BTW: I started with 10 cherry shrimp a couple of years ago. I actually ran this bowl for about a year before I got brave enough to get and put shrimp in it. You shouldn't have to wait that long. I was nervous about getting them. I feared I would get them and they wouldn't survive. They not only survived but also thrived. I have way too many in the bowl now but even at that they seem to be thriving. I am constantly seeing tiny shrimplets in there so they are constantly breeding.
 

Adam510

How old is the nitrate test. They expire. I know from experience.

Once I set up a new tank and put a lot of plants in. Nitrates were reading zero. I was pretty proud of myself until my fish started dying. A new test kit revealed that the nitrates were off the chart. I wasn't so proud anymore :(
It’s not old, I just got it last month so it’s not expired. I really hope my tank is cycled though. My platy fry seem to be doing amazing though they are growing very fast
I am not sure you can tell by just looking at a tank. Just give it another month or so to let everything in the tank time to get a good coating of bio-film. The bio-film is food for the shrimp. You can also help them out by getting some Bacter AE. It is a fine powder you mix with water and pour in the tank. It is basically food invisible to us but good for the shrimp.

To drip acclimate shrimp I use a length of airline tubing with a control valve on one end. It isn't unusual to take an hour of more to acclimate them. Lots of times temp matching is all that is needed for fish but shrimp need to be very slowly acclimated to the parameters of our water. We need to be absolutely sure there is no ammonia or nitrites and the nitrates are very low in the tank we are acclimating them to.

When doing a water change on a tank with both shrimp and fish we have to be more careful refilling the tank. Refill it slowly with temp matched water. I actually drip the water back in my shrimp bowl. It is only 2.5 gallons. I do change out almost half of the water weekly but I make sure the water I am replacing is as close as I can get it to the water I took out. The only difference is the TDS is lower and there are no nitrates in the water I am replacing.

BTW: I started with 10 cherry shrimp a couple of years ago. I actually ran this bowl for about a year before I got brave enough to get and put shrimp in it. You shouldn't have to wait that long. I was nervous about getting them. I feared I would get them and they wouldn't survive. They not only survived but also thrived. I have way too many in the bowl now but even at that they seem to be thriving. I am constantly seeing tiny shrimplets in there so they are constantly breeding.
Okay ya I’ll give it another month, and I’m going to start off with like 5 or 6 instead of 10 like last time and see what happens. And okay I’ll make sure I have the supplies to drip acclimate and I’ll watch a YouTube video on it to so I can see how it’s done and follow it.
Okay I’ll try my best to temp match it and put it back in slowly.
And wow that sounds like a lot of fun to have a whole little colony like that. I really hope that I can have that much success with my future shrimps :) thank you!
 

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