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Old 07-10-2010, 12:08 AM   #1 
mjbn
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Cycling with Raw Shrimp

Okay, so i tried cycling with normal fish food and got impatient and stopped after 2 weeks of no ammonia reading. Gonna try the shrimp technique. Any advice please? Smells? How long it may take? Any help is very useful. Thanks!
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:10 AM   #2 
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Keep it in a piece of pantyhose or you'll have a mess.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:14 AM   #3 
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how often do i check ammonia readings? and when do i start testing for nitrites? nitrates?
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:21 PM   #4 
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*bump*

do i ever have to do water changes during cycling with raw shrimp?
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:35 PM   #5 
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I cycled my three tanks with raw shrimp. I put the shrimp in knee-high pantyhose and let it hang in the tank a few days until the ammonia level reached between 4 and 8ppm. I tested ammonia daily. Then I removed the shrimp. After that I tested for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates every other day watching for the ammonia and nitrites to drop to zero and the nitrates to register 10 or less. This took about 2 weeks. During that time I didn't do water changes. When the levels reached ammonia 0, nitrites 0, and nitrates 10 or less I did a 50% water change and added fish and plants. I found this the easiest way to cycle my tanks since I didn't have access to filter material from a cycled tank to begin the cycle.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:39 PM   #6 
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So the ammonia level reached 4-8 then you removed it? Can you please specify because this is my first time cycling and i wanna do this right the first time. If you can, please explain step by step.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:55 PM   #7 
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1) Place raw shrimp in a knee-high pantyhose or cheesecloth. Hang in tank.

2) Test for ammonia daily until ammonia level registers close to 8ppm. It doesn't have to be exact but it does need to be high. This took several days.

3) Remove shrimp.

4) Test ammonia, nitrites and nitrates every other day until the levels read ammonia 0, nitrites 0 and nitrates less then 10. While the ammonia levels are high you will see the nitrites levels rise to a high level before the nitrates rise and the ammonia and nitrite levels come down.

5) When the levels reach ammonia 0, nitrites 0 and nitrates 10 or less you can do a 50% water change and add fish. If you nitrate levels are higher then 10 but your ammonia and nitrites are zero you can do a larger water change (80%) and add your fish. The signal the cycle has been completed is when your ammonia and nitrites have returned to zero and you register nitrates in the water.

Do not do water changes until the cycle have been completed.

The process took approximately two weeks in my tanks.

Let me know if I need to clarify any steps of the process.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:02 PM   #8 
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I just recently finished a raw shrimp cycle.

It took about a month for my 10 gallon to cycle. The first day or two, it stank a lot. Then, the smell more or less disappeared. I kept the shrimp in there whole process, checking the water parameters once a week. When the ammonia was 0, nitrites 0 and the nitrates about 80, I did a massive (70%) water change, and I was done.

Towards the end, I got really impatient, because to me it seemd like nothing was happening to the nitrates, so i ended up sprinkling fish food in once daily for three days, then stopped when the ammonia spiked, followed by a nitrite spike, then finally the nitrate.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:03 AM   #9 
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glassmouse, so once my readings are around 8ppm, i take the shrimp out immediately?
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:51 AM   #10 
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That's how I did my cycle.
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