Tips For Cycling A 3 Gallon Neocaridina Tank

Kyle Holmes

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I got my 3.7 gallon cube all set up, filter running, temperature perfect, added six ghost shrimp and fed them.

In the meantime, I went back to the fish store for a net and found out that it’s very likely ghost shrimp will attack neocaridina shrimp. The advice I kept getting was, “get a few ghost shrimp to start out, if they survive for a while then move on to more expensive shrimp.” But I don’t want to start on more expensive shrimp if the 30 cent shrimp are going to attack them.

So I’ve removed the ghost shrimp now and am planning on taking them to the fish store. After removing the shrimp I tested to water and ammonia is 0.5ppm, nitrate and nitrite are both 0ppm.

Is 0.5ppm enough to start the cycle? If I keep up with water changes to keep ammonia levels down, can I keep it cycling with shrimp in it (I have my eye on the blue ones, they’re on sale right now), or is it better to wait till AFTER the cycle is completed?

If I keep the tank empty, should I leave the 0.5ppm ammonia water, or should I do a water change? Will the water change stop it from cycling?

Sorry for all the questions, I’ve never cycled without fish before and I’m not sure if it’s even possible to cycle with inverts if keeping up with water changes.
 

Culprit

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I'd leave the tank empty with the 0.5 ppm of ammonia. I'd also just let the tank sit for about a month to let it mature and develop the biofilm and algae that is essential to the shrimp. When paying that much for shrimp, its worth it. I'd go ahead and just drop in a few flakes of food or a very small pinch of pellets and just leave it alone. Do a wc when nitrates get over 20, or if ammonia exceeds 2 ppm. Other then that, just let it do its thing. Shrimp are one thing you never want to rush.
 
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Kyle Holmes

Kyle Holmes

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Thanks for your reply!

Once the tank is finished cycling and is mature and ready for shrimp, is it okay to add only a few shrimp at a time, or should I try to purchase all the shrimp I want at once, so I don’t get spikes adding additional shrimp later? Or are the bioloads small enough that adding more later won’t cause a spike?
 

Culprit

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Kyle Holmes said:
Thanks for your reply!

Once the tank is finished cycling and is mature and ready for shrimp, is it okay to add only a few shrimp at a time, or should I try to purchase all the shrimp I want at once, so I don’t get spikes adding additional shrimp later? Or are the bioloads small enough that adding more later won’t cause a spike?
Once it's mature and ready to go, there shouldn't be any ammonia spikes adding a few shrimp at a time. I would just put in 5-6 to start, and then go from there. Adding more shrimp will not cause an ammonia spike unless you put in like 20
 

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