you are doing almost the EXACT same thing i started. of course i had a regular sized shrimp so i just have one piece of shrimp in there which is nice. as for the four smaller shrimp, it should work fine, just make sure their not super seasoned or anything on the inside and you should be fine. i myself have a 10 gallon tank. to answer your questions the best i can:
1. i read on almost all the sites i went to, to take the shrimp out when your done doing the tests, when ammonia/nitrite levels stay at zero and your nitrate flucuates from 3-2-1-0 or something like that. basically don't take it out til it's done. i find that to be very reasonable.
2. i never heard anything about fungus, that's probably because the person left it in there way long after the cycle was complete.
3. ammonia should be at zero when you will finally take it out
4. as for the smell, i had my shrimp in for like 3 days, the next night after that it smelled really really bad. smelled that way for another day, and this morning the smell is almost gone. so yeah for like one day it should be pretty bad, but if your near a window, like i'm not, you shouldn't even notice it.
5. add as much plants that you can before you throw the shrimp in. this will only speed up the process. you can probably get done in a little over 2 weeks if you do this.
as for the splitter, your betta will really like the 14 gallon tank, i wouldnt create a splitter just because you think its too much space for one betta. the more space = the better, up to a point.
but yeah, i am doing the exact same thing as you and i think i pretty much answered your questions well enough. im sure theres better experts who can correct a few things though. wish you luck!
Originally Posted by c4talys7
I am going to start cycling my 14gal tonight with 4 average sized shrimp (they wouldn't just let me buy two jumbo shrimp so I bought a pack of raw smaller shrimp for cheaper and I guessed about 4 to equal one jumbo).
From my research I gathered that this will take about a month. My test kit will get here this Friday by the earliest or next Friday the latest. But from what I've heard it will take at least two weeks to get ammonia into a 10gal and I have a 14gal. So I will start testing when I can.
Just a few things I wasn't clear on if anyone can help:
-->When do I take the shrimp out?
-->I heard (from only one site from my search engine) that there can be this fungus if the shrimp is left in too long
-->This goes off the first question, what should the ammonia be at when I take the shrimp out?
--> Will this smell really, really bad? I heard it only stunk the first couple days and I have the tank by an open window in my dorm room. It's the only place I could fit it.
-->I have Anachairs plant, I was told to add that in when I start the shrimp, I want to double check this.
I have one Betta for this tank because I want to concentrate on just keeping one alive. I might split it before I put him in. His tank buddy died earlier today unfortunately.