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Hi, I am currently cycling my first shrimp tank, finding it tricky, as I have no real experience, apart from keeping sticklebacks in an outdoor tank as a child. Finding it a bit tricky to negotiate your forum, but I'm sure it will get easier.
Hi Glokta, welcome to the forum. I'm sure you'll soon get the hang of the forum.

I've found the easiest way to cycle is using Biomature, and ammonia test kit and a nitrite test kit. Don't let the ammonia go above about 3ppm max (shrimp don't even get half way to that, so lower is even better), if it starts getting a bit high do a 50% water change. If you want to try to speed it up, I've found both prodibio biodigest and evolution aqua pure aquarium balls help (probably the only 2 products I've tried that did... lol). Time is your ally though, the longer you can leave the tank empty and maturing, the healthier it will be for your shrimp. Smile

Hi Ade,

thanks for your reply. Just got back from a week away and my parameters are now: pH- 7.5,
NH3 - 0, NO2 - 1.0, NO3 -80, KH - 5, GH - 13.

The normal GH for my tap water is 14, so it's creeping back to this. Before I went on holiday I did a big water change, before which the NH3 was 2.0, no nitrates to speak of. Whilst I've been away my MTS's have grown, and the plants too, a bit. The tank looks more mature, it smells like the pit ponds water.

I set it up on the 18th September, so I am trying to be patient, people tell me my nitrates will spike before the end of the cycle. Maybe this is it! The spike, I mean. The snails don't look at all perturbed by these levels, or the high GH, but I'm anxious not to kill any shrimps, I have also bought a bigger tank, if I transfer everything over will I have to start the cycle again. The new one is 10 gallons.
Kind regards

As long as the filter is big enough for the bigger tank, swapping everything over shouldn't set you right back again, so long as you don't have the filter turned off too long/dry or kill the bacteria on the media some other way.

Regarding completion, once it's cycled you won't have nitrites in the tank at all, just nitrates. Does indeed look like you are getting close now though, you need that NO2 at 0 though before you add shrimp. Snails are super tough in my experience and can survive pretty harsh conditions, in fact I put a nerite snail into a tank I am cycling for Opae'Ula shrimp to help it along. Shrimp are a lot less tolerant though. Wink

Regarding the GH, what sort of shrimp are you planning to keep? Some will be fine with that GH, but the bee types need it a fair bit lower than that. I personally use RO water, and re-mineralise it with Shrimp Labs salts (either the Caridina or the Neocaridina, depending on if I want soft or harder water), in my bee tank I also have Glas-Garten Environment active soil, which actively keeps GH and pH down. For neos, an inert substrate is fine, so long as it is genuinely inert.

Hope this helps.

Thanks Ade,

My desire is to keep yellow cherry shrimp, so they don't need a low GH. I am building a trickle filter for the 10 gallon, intending to seed it with the sponge filter, and maybe put the sponge filter in too, while it cycles.ive got extra substrate tans mix wit her the current stuff too.

Kind regards,


Ps, anyone else on here?
Not that many folks yet Deanne. I only re-launched the site quite recently though, so time for it to slowly build up once again. Wink I've not really been promoting the forum overly either if I'm honest. To that end, if there is anything I can do to simplify things (eg. merging the various categories to begin with) do let me know and I will see what I can do. Better to have a few merged boards with posts in, than lots of empty ones eh? lol I'm currently the entirety of the site team, so able to make changes quite quickly to make things better for members to use it.

Last time I was in the hobby I used to use HMA filtered water to keep red cherry shrimp, snowball shrimp and blue pearl shrimp, never had any trouble at all. This time around though the colour morphs seem to be far more sensitive to water, so I have found myself having to use re-mineralised RO water even for traditionally hardy cherry types. The blues seem especially touchy. You may have more luck with yellows though, they're much closer to the reds of old and were even starting to appear in the hobby back then.

Good luck, and let me know how you get on.

Hi again, all is well here, the tank is a week away from cycled and I'm going to put all that back by moving into the new tank in the next week or so. The new tank is ready, I've built a trickle filter into it, I'll try to post a picture when I get some water in it. I hope that moving things won't affect the balance too much, my NO2 was 0.25 and my NO3 still at 80 on Monday, so I hope it will just be like doing a big water change. No ammonia, so that's good. The MTS's have produced a snailette, so that's a positive too! How many shrimp would you suggest for an initial purchase in 10 gallons?

I've been reading about Opae-Ula, have you got a source for them? I wonder how many you would need for a reasonable genetic pool. People seem to buy 5 then breed hundreds from them. It seems less than healthy but I'm no expert in genetics.

I quite agree, I tend to buy shrimp in groups of 10. If you want a larger starter colony, buy 10, let the filter catch up, then buy another 10. For a 10 gallon you'd be fine with a starter colony of up to about 20, they will (all been well) soon multiply, so going with more means you have to reduce your colony sooner (read sell baby shrimp on..).

Not yet got a source of Opae no, but know a guy who is growing some larvae on who will be selling in time. They come up on eBay fairly often, but I'd rather know the source. Bit of a different beast to freshwater shrimp though, no traditional filter for one thing, just lava rock, coral sand and brackish water (not even an air stone!! :O), oh and a nice bunch of macro algae. Then you just leave the tank shrimp free, with perhaps a tiny bit of fish food (I added a nerite snail too) until the tank has green algae growing. They are TINY shrimp (smaller even than dwarf shrimp) but live quite long lives. Smile If you are interested, have a look at the brackish shrimp link, it's a really good forum dedicated to keeping Opae'Ula and similar species. Smile
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