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Old 06-06-2007, 04:56 AM   #1
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Cycling With Shrimp

I just added 3 medium sized shrimp to my 55 gallon tank tonight. When should I start using my ammonium test kit?
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:51 AM   #2
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About the 3rd-5th day you should be getting a slight reading on nh3. Around the second/third week you should show a reading on no2.

Personally I wouldn't let your nh3 get above 4-5 ppm and remove one of the shrimp if it does to avoid a huge pwc when your nh3/no2 reach 0 ppm.

Keeping lights out during the cycle will help reduce your algae bloom from the excess nutrients as well.
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:22 PM   #3
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I agree with Micah that lighting is not needed for cycling and will help keep the nuisance algea down.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:30 PM   #4
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Ok it's been about 1.5 days so far and my ammonia reading is 1 ppm. I think it's right on? The water is starting to cloud up. My wife is complaining about the bad smell.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:07 PM   #5
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I`m thinking if it`s smelling bad that it`s alot higher than 1. Check it again and if it`s over 3 then maybe a PWC might be in order.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:46 AM   #6
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IME it's unusual to get an nh3 reading so soon but it's possible. I agree if it's smelling already then it could be higher. nh3 test kits go bad also (typically after a year) so if you bought it at your lfs then it could have been on the shelf for a while.

Do you have good circulation in the tank during your cycle? How many raw shrimp did you use and what size are they? 2 large cocktail shrimp or 3 medium sized shrimp is more then enough to cycle a 55 gal and even then you may have to remove 1 once your nh3 spikes above 3 ppm.
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:13 PM   #7
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I bought the test kit from Petsmart. The smell isn't as noticeable today. I put three small to medium shrimp in there. As far as circulation, I have a Odyssea CFS4 cannister filter. I read a couple of reviews of the filter and it seems to pump 160 gallons per hour. Without buying an additional ammonia test kit there is no way to know for sure if these readings are reliable?
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:25 PM   #8
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Petsmart more then likely changes over stock fast enough so it should be an issue. IME when the nh3 test kit starts to go bad it will cloud up slightly instead of providing the correct color.

You need a lot more circulation then 160 gph in a 55 gal tank, closer to 800-1000 total gph is optimal. Is that your sole source for bio-filtration? Planning on getting lr?
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:38 PM   #9
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Michah, blackhorse has another thread about it Here .
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:34 PM   #10
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My temperature is reading 82.3. Too high? I have my heater set at 75. Should I just turn it down a bit?
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