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Old 05-02-2006, 04:08 PM   #1
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cycling with dead shrimp?

Hi,

I have read the article commonly sited for fishless cycling and scanned many of the cycling posts- I am wondering why just using more shrimp, rather than switching to pure ammonia, isn't the solution when ammonia levels are not being met? Or why adding more shrimp wouldn't speed the process? I have a 20 Gallon tank- would using two instead of one shrimp help? Hurt?

My LFS wouldn't even entertain the notion of a fishless cycle. They basically told me I had to use fish and that I should get tetras. They seemed convinced that these fish would be fine, but most of what I have read suggests otherwise and I really don't want to put any fish under undue stress.


Thanks,

Elle
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:18 PM   #2
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The main reason to use ammonia instead of shrimp, is because shrimp smell and it is kind of ugly to watch. Ammonia also gives you control of how much you are adding and your cycle starts right away, you do not have to wait for the shrimp to start decomposing. If you add more than one shrimp you may get too much ammonia and the nitrite part of the cycle could take a very long time.
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:52 PM   #3
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My LFS wouldn't even entertain the notion of a fishless cycle.

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They seemed convinced that these fish would be fine, but most of what I have read suggests otherwise and I really don't want to put any fish under undue stress.
Certain tetras would go through a cycle just fine. The way I see it, is why put them through that. Furthermore, what if you don't want tetras as part of the tank stock, then you’re stuck with these very hardy tetras.

If you want to go with shrimp, you can start with two and remove one once ammonia levels get going. If you stick with two shrimp, then PWC may be in order to keep the ammonia from getting too high, which results in little to no bacterial growth.

The way I have cycled my tanks for years is to add established media to a new filter, a few fish and off they go. If you know someone with an established tank (6 months or more) that has been disease free, you can ask for some media to put in your tank. Since you’re probably in the real Vancouver, you’re a tad far for me to offer established media. On the off change you’re in Vancouver, WA, let me know.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:40 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies!

I am in Vancouver BC, I guess I should note that. But thanks for the offer. Unfortunately I don't know anyone here with an aquarium either. I don't mind so much waiting it out, but if I wait it out and it still doesn't work that will be dissappointing, as seems to be the case with many. But I don't want to torture fish so I will test my patience- it will be good for me!

When should I start testing the water?

Thanks again,

Elle
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Old 05-03-2006, 01:04 PM   #5
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I am in Vancouver BC, I guess I should note that.
Nah--you're in the real Vancouver. I never heard of Vancouver, WA until my husband got a job offer

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I don't mind so much waiting it out, but if I wait it out and it still doesn't work that will be dissappointing, as seems to be the case with many.
It will work, you will just need patience.

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When should I start testing the water?
I would guess in 4-7 days; if the ammonia gets over 4 ppm, then a PWC will be needed to get it back down to 4 ppm. I must admit that I have not done a fishless cycle ever, simply married someone with an established tank and went from there. There are plenty of members that have worked through the fishless cycle and will give some great advice.
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