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Old 01-18-2011, 01:38 AM   #1 
c4talys7
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Red face First time cycling, hope all goes well!

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.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:51 AM   #2 
jschristian44
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hey
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!



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Originally Posted by c4talys7 View Post
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.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:54 AM   #3 
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to add to my post, the more plants you put in, the faster the process, up to a point. im gonna try to add 5 amazon plants and a couple frogbit to my tank to speed it up. i don't think it matters whether you put them in or before, because all they do is suck up the ammonia and bring the levels down, so it should start working faster as soon as you put them in. but yeah im not getting my kit until a week from now as well, so as long as you can get it before or a little after 2 weeks after you put the shrimp should be fine. i was just gonna test it once a month was over, but someone said to test it every now and then just to make sure everything is right.

also i found this link helpful:
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread....t=shrimp+smell

Last edited by jschristian44; 01-18-2011 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:07 PM   #4 
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Awesome! Thanks so much! I found a local pet store near me actually so if they have plants I won't have to take an hour and a half bus ride. I have two bunches of Anacharis so I'm just starting out with that so I can make sure I'm able to keep plants alive at least. Thank you for answering my questions its really help full and so is the link. I'm really nervous about starting the cycling but can't wait till its done. :)
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:27 PM   #5 
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oh your the same guy who was asking about plants then for your frogs/fish? yeah, i was nervous about starting this as well. we are in exactly the same shoes almost. i just got amazon swords and frogbit. i got a really nice light for plants, and if i ever need a c02 diffuser i know how to make one reletively cheap. all i would need to buy is some baking yeast (alcohol kind burns longer) and another elite mini and i've got c02 in my tank. but i dont think i will need it with just these few low maintenence plants. but yeah, i started my shrimp method on the 14th and it already seems like a month has passed, but its only been 4 days. be prepared to be patient. im just happy the smell is gone. they said it will smell only the first few days or so because thats when the ammonia gets released. another thing i couldnt find for your benefit. leave the shells on. i didnt know whether to take it off or on, but i figured it will eventually disinegrate if its on so i just left it on.

oh man, i just looked at the shrimp and i can really tell its deterioating now. it looked fine for the first few days but you can tell now that is whispering away. also my water level dropped considerably because i guess all the water evaporates faster. just keep that in mind when your doing it, hopefully i wont have to move my filter lower than it already is.

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Awesome! Thanks so much! I found a local pet store near me actually so if they have plants I won't have to take an hour and a half bus ride. I have two bunches of Anacharis so I'm just starting out with that so I can make sure I'm able to keep plants alive at least. Thank you for answering my questions its really help full and so is the link. I'm really nervous about starting the cycling but can't wait till its done. :)
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:20 PM   #6 
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No I don't have frogs but I did see that post. I saw a thread about the water evaporationg and someone said you could top it off with the treated water you use. But yeah I still have the shells on and I kinda figured that it wouldnnt matter if they were on or off as well.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:35 PM   #7 
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oh man i thought you were the same guy. where in the world do you guys live that you both have to travel over an hour just to get to a local pet store. man.

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No I don't have frogs but I did see that post. I saw a thread about the water evaporationg and someone said you could top it off with the treated water you use. But yeah I still have the shells on and I kinda figured that it wouldnnt matter if they were on or off as well.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:00 PM   #8 
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I know right? In in Honolulu for school right now and have to take the bus everywhere. The nearest petco is Pearl City which with all the traffic takes an hour and a half car or bus. Back in Oregon the nearest pet store is less than 20 minutes away. I was surprised Honolulu, as populated as it is, doesn't have a petco.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:03 PM   #9 
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erm, i have no idea how to cycle a tank with shrimp hehe

I just wanted to say that splitting the tank is perfectly resonable. i've split my 5gal into 2 2.5gals, and my bettas like it just fine :) just stick some plants against the divider so they cant always see each other, and you should be fine. It looks nice with two bettas in a tank, i think :)
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:13 PM   #10 
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Yeah, I just don't know how to make a divider. I'm still split on the idea because I just have one Betta now, his tank mate died yesterday. I was thinking of splitting it with my roommate's Betta, poor thing is in hardly a half gal! I secretly try and clean it everyday when she's out. So I feel pretty bad for him. He is starting to get a little Fin Rot I think (he is pretty active still) and I was told by someone that it was contagious so I shouldn't house them together. I thought it wasn't but you need to treat and I don't want to treat the whole tank because my Betta is healthy. But if I can change the water more often or maybe just stick part of my Anachairs plant in there he should get a little better? Its not severe yet I just suspect it, a couple of his fins a curling up a bit.
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