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Old 01-01-2011, 09:22 PM   #1 
turtle10
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Question First Cycling w/ Shrimp

I have a ten gallon that I am cycling for future panda corys and a betta. Today I put in the conditioned water, under gravel filter, heater, gravel, battleship, 3 silk plants, 2 amazon swords, and one anubia attached to a rock. I set the heater to about 80 degrees and put in the shrimp in a small cloth bag. I also put in some betta food and some sinking panda cory food. Is this right? Should I change anything? Also, I decided to test for ammonia just out of curiosity. I used one of the liquid dropper test and it said the ammonia was at .5, even though the tank had only been set up for about ten minutes. Is this normal?

And will the shrimp end up smelling? lol
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:59 PM   #2 
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I would also check your source water levels: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH-draw a clean glass of water don't add any declorinator and do all 4 test-write down the numbers and re-test this same glass of water in 24h-(it need 24h to gas out to get an accurate pH).
Then add dechlorinator and test again and then test the tank water- compare all these numbers-this will tell you if you have ammonia, nitrate in the source water, CO2 content in the water, if the dechlorinater changes the water and if anything in the tank is changing the water.

With the fishless cycle you want to keep the ammonia at at least 4ppm with your stocking plan

It sometimes can be harder to do the fishless cycle with live plants especially if this is your first time to cycle a tank....sometimes live plants can cause skewed readings due to them using the ammonia for plant food before it converts...
I would pot your sword plants anyway since you have a undergravel filter system...the plant roots will cause the UGF to not work/function properly or change the filter system to a HOB, canister or sponge-the anubias will be fine with the UGF system but will need to watch the roots so they don't go into the UGF plates

Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:15 PM   #3 
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^ +1

And just thought I'd add, when you wake up in the morning tomorrow it's going to smell TERRIBLE.

To help with this just leave the shrimp in until the ammonia reaches round 4 - 8 ppm ammonia, then you can take it out. Once the bacteria starts forming you'll need to put an ammonia source back in though...
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:22 PM   #4 
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Hmm we are leasing a house and not moving in permanently until the 8th. I set the tank up there so luckily i mostly won't smell it.

Once bacteria forms what should i put back in? another shrimp?
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:16 PM   #5 
HarleyRigid
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I am leaving my shrimp in the whole time. Once the tank has finished cycling I will take it out for good, do my water change, then fish go in. I figure there is no point fluctuating my ammonia levels up and down... just let nature take its course lol
My tank is a bit smelly but nothing too dramatic. If you put your nose over the tank and sniff you get an unpleasant odour but other than that it is not noticable. Good luck guys
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:27 PM   #6 
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Okay, so I will take out the amazon swords, wait for the ammonia and nitrite to be at zero, then take out shrimp. Do a water change, then add fish.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:06 AM   #7 
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Also, your nitrate needs to read at least 5ppm
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:22 AM   #8 
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Okay right. I think I bought a liquid dropper ammonia kit and a nitrite kit, I'll need to get a nitrate one.

I just bid on a betta on Aquabid which ends in eight days.I him and instantly I knew he was the one for me. Now I know there is no way my tank will be cycled by the time he arrives, so do you think the seller would wait a bit to send him if I asked?
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:28 AM   #9 
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Oops I meant four days***
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:43 PM   #10 
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Day 0- Put shrimp plus food in tank, ammonia at .5 ppm
Day 1- Tank running smooth so far, ammonia at 1 ppm

Is it normal for it to go up this fast?

Just ordered 3 clumps of java moss.
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