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Old 10-14-2012, 09:23 PM   #1 
fishyMcDoodle
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Raw Shrimp Cycling, one question

Hey everyone, first post here!

I'm currently waiting through a fishless cycle using a piece of raw shrimp, I've recently taken it out because it started to smell funky; I've also taken some measurements:

The ammonia is at 4 ppm, the nitrites are around 1-2 ppm and the nitrate is at 40 ppm.

Should I have taken out the shrimp at all or should I have waited for ammonia to drop with the shrimp in the tank?

Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:17 AM   #2 
shellieca
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I would've taken it out. See if the ammonia drops in 24hrs, when it drops down to 1 add shrimp again, you can put it in a mesh bag which makes it easier to remove if you didn't do that the 1st time. Then you can put it in a Baggie & freeze it so you can use it again, unless of course you don't want to. since you have nitrItes you should be close to the end. The nitrIte phase can last a while, 2-3 wks.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:59 PM   #3 
fishyMcDoodle
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Thank you very much! This was very helpful :D
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:12 PM   #4 
fishyMcDoodle
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The nitrites are refusing to drop from the highest reading (5.0 ppm) according to my API freshwater test kit and I'm assuming it's because the new piece of shrimp is still in the tank? Also, my ammonia reading is at a consistent 0.25 ppm. The first day that I removed the shrimp, the ammonia went from 4.0 ppm to 0 within 24 hours. And then I rationalized that the bacteria need an ammonia source to stay alive (thus I added a new piece of shrimp) while I waited for nitrites to drop but unfortunately they're not dropping. I've also had high nitrate readings for some time now (since I first made this post).

I've seen some other sites that recommend removing the shrimp once a sufficient amount of ammonia is detected so now I'm just plain confused.

With the new piece of shrimp in the tank, ammonia doesn't reduce to less than 0.25 and the nitrite level hasn't changed from 5.0+ ppm for at least a week.

Any suggestions? The water is getting cloudier and I'm lost as to what my next steps should be.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:14 PM   #5 
ChoclateBetta
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Live plants will help.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:30 PM   #6 
craftyjag
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I've cycled two tanks (a 29 and a 5 gallon) with the raw shrimp. If you are cycling a betta tank, depending on the size, you won't need too much shrimp. I used about a half inch worth of a medium sized shrimp. Leave it in until the cycle is complete--it will continue to provide ammonia, which will continue the cycle (bacteria eat the ammonia, create the nitrites, providing the food for the second type of bacteria). The cycle can take up to 6 weeks so have patience. Eventually the ammonia will drop to zero and the nitrites (which can take the longest) will drop to zero almost overnight. That's when the cycle is complete. You can then do the water change (just the water) and add your fish.

I kept my piece of shrimp in a bit of pantyhose and if it becomes "furry" on the outside I just did a small water change, enough to use the siphon to get the furry stuff off the outside. It never came back. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:44 PM   #7 
ChoclateBetta
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Is there anything else you can use besides shrimp I am scared of dead shrimp?
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:08 PM   #8 
craftyjag
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This sticky on the main Tropical Fish Keeping Forum (as we are linked there I'm assuming this is OK, mods, I apologize if this is bad form) has a great deal of info and talks about different ways of cycling.

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

On the other hand, since I've cycled that first tank I've added two more (I've got the Betta disease!) and I'm not bothering to cycle them first, I'm doing 70% changes every other day and they both are healthy looking and very active and gorgeous. I think it's your choice depending on how much maintenance you can tolerate. All my tanks are near the kitchen so it hasn't been that big of a deal.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:19 PM   #9 
fishyMcDoodle
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Thanks guys :) I'm going to keep the shrimp in the tank and leave it be til the readings are where they should be. It's a 5.5 gallon and I'm going to practice patience for the next few weeks. For some reason, the Nitrates are currently at 5 ppm where they were at 40 ppm previously, this may be due to the fact that I've recently changed the activated carbon and perhaps dried out/ dislodged BB from the filter media (definitely a rookie mistake on my part).

And I've been keeping the shrimp in a mesh bag I bought from my local aquarium store; I would have preferred to use the pure ammonia method but it's not available in my country according to several fish and hardware stores I've visited.

I hope I can get my betta buddy into his tank soon!
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #10 
ChoclateBetta
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Thank you.
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