A fishless cycle is a bit faster as you do not need to do water changes. If you used fish to cycle, then water changes would be in order to keep the toxic levels a bit lower so (hopefully) you fish would survive the cycle. Doing water changes will slow things down. Wait a few days after the addition of the shrimp. You will see a very high spike in NH3
. As it declines you will see a spike in NO2
. As that falls NO3
will become detectable. This means your cycle is about over. Wait until both NH# and NO2
have climbed and reduced to zero. At this point you can expect a very high NO3
(40-80). Do a 50% water change and wait another few days. If you still have no detectable NH3
with a lower level of NO3
you tank has cycled and you can start adding fish. This is wehre a lot of new hobbiests make mistakes. Once your tank has cycled, livestock still needs to be added very slowly to let the tank's biological filter catch up to the increase in bioload. Once fish every few weeks is good.