How Long To Build Up Biofilm In New Tank

jennalynnj

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I am currently cycling a 5 gallon aquarium, that i plan to add live plants to once cycling is complete. I would like to add cherry shrimp (especially if my shrimp in my 10 gallon breed successfully) I will have to keep the cycle going in the meantime with small doses of ammonia or fish food. I know a tank should be well established before adding shrimp. How long does it take to build up a good amount of biofilm, with no fish present? Is there a way to hurry it along? Leave the light on and let algae grow? I want the plants to grow out some first anyways, I just worry that the shrimp fry won't be safe in the 10 gallon with my gold skirt tetras. I should have never put them in there... Once this is cycled, I would like to move them over so they can build a good sized population. I think i may need to put the tetras in a time out, and then maybe lure the shrimp onto a dish of blanched veggies. Otherwise I don't see how i can lure them out without the tetras eating any babies (if i even get any) they have a nice big peice of driftwood propped up slightly so they mostly hang out under it and in the java fern roots on top of it. Ther eis also dwarf sag and java moss, but they don't venture out much and I feel bad. The tetras don't really bother the adults but.. i dont trust my amount of ground cover for the babies.. do they know to hide or do they just wander around and get eaten? Sorry I started with one question and rambled on to a bit more lol

I figure i should leave them alone for a bit because if she does get berried i dont want to try to move her then... but then i risk babies being eaten...i just saw a molted exoskeleton this morning so definetely not moving them right now even if 5 gallon was ready.
 

Galathiel

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I would buy indian almond leaves and other botanicals and add to the tank. They add a lot of natural grazing and also help with the biofilm in the tank.

ETA: I upgraded my cherries to a new tank because they had outgrown their 5.5. I keep BacterAE on hand and added it under the gravel and then to the water column to help jumpstart the biofilm in the tank. I then fed them some BacterAE as usual, 2-3 times a week (just a small amount) to make sure they had things to eat while algae grew.
 

kallililly1973

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You can add your plants while cycling your tank. Also as the above mentioned Indian Almond Leaves are a great way to get biofilm established.
Edit: I think another good thing to have in there is driftwood and cholla wood the shrimplets will have places to hide and that will also build the biofilm your looking for.
 

richie.p

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What I normally do is once the tank is cycled put your fish in until you have about 3month total run time, now in your case ide get a 1/4" pipe and siphon all the small shrimp up into the bucket holding the pipe close to the bottom of the bucket. Any big ones can be netted, then take most of the water out and drip for an hour or so, while that's happening catch you fish in put them back into the other tank
 
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jennalynnj

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Plants are on their way, so once they get here, I will be putting them in. I should find more driftwood, although I plan to move their java fern/ driftwood situation with them, so they still need it where they are at now. It will have biofilm on it already when I do put it in though!

Putting the tetras in the 5 gallon would definitely help the shrimp, AND the biofilm in the new tank, but I worry that 5 gold skirt tetras won't like being in 5 gallons for 3q months either... i am pretty well planted in the 10, and if she is comfortable enough to keep the eggs until the hatch, maybe I can move the tetras when it gets closer? Try to build up the tank with other things mentioned?

I will look up the Bacter AE, that is good to know! And the almond leaves too. I knew about the tannins, but I didn't think of it for munching on and biofilm.
 

richie.p

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She will go to cover to have her goung and they shouldn't appear with a predator in the tank, its natural to loose a few to fish

Do you have alder cone trees near you
 
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jennalynnj

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I don't know.. I looked it up quickly and got some articles about a big spread of disease Alder trees in wetlands near Lake Superior so maybe... but maybe they are all infested lol
 
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