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Old 03-01-2004, 12:02 PM   #1
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Cycling with Raw Shrimp

Well, since Sati's suggestion and links to the articles on cycling a tank with raw unseasoned shrimp, I decided to give this a whirl. No one near me sells Bio-Spira, and I really don't want to take the chance of the product being ordered from the internet getting to me without having turned hot and lost its important properties.

I put the shrimp (which the grocery store gave me for free when I told them how little I needed and what it was for) into the 75 gal on Saturday morning. By Saturday night (around midnight) I was already registering .25 of ammonia. Yesterday it was up to .50. I haven't tested it yet today though. I will post updates on here as to the progress and how long it takes.

The water turned cloudy within 24 hours, and dear god don't open the lid and stick your nose down in there. :P Yuck. I hold my breath before dipping the test tube in for water samples for testing. LOL Thankfully, the smell seems to stay confined in the tank rather than my living room thus far. I read a few different articles on this process - and the temp ranged anywhere from 80-88 degrees. I have both my heaters set at 88.

Let's keep fingers crossed!
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:13 PM   #2
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Ok...I tested again tonight. Things seem to be moving in the right direction. I'll post all my results from all three days here so I can keep track.

2-28-04
Ammonia .25 ppm
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
PH 7.4
GH 90

2-29-04
Ammonia .5
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
PH 7.2 (something caused a dip here yesterday)
GH 85

3-1-04
Ammonia 1.5
Nitrite .25
Nitrate 0
PH 7.4 (returned to normal here..anyone know why this would dip and return?)
GH 90

The shrimp look really nasty in there thought. 8O
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:19 PM   #3
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I don't envy you when you pull that nasty shrimp out of there
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:31 PM   #4
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Kerrinne, it lseems like your tank is gointg to cycle really fast - must be the high temp.
Just curious - did you 'seed' the tank with gravel or filter drippings from an established tank?

I liked keeping a journal of my test results during cycling. Calculating the standard error of the mean really boosted my confidence in the test results. So far, your pH and GH tests have varied by only 3-6%. That's pretty good since most of the variation is probably due to sampling volume error.



Here's an amusing shrimp-related story that I read somewhere - no doubt written by a woman scorned...

A woman realized that her boyfriend was cheating on her. They eventually broke up and she moved out of his apartment. Before she did, however, she took the time to sew several tiny raw shrimp into the hem of the curtains that she had made. Shortly thereafter, her competitor moved in.
A few weeks later, the woman heard from a mutual aquaintance that her former boyfriend and his new girlfriend had moved away because of a terrible stench in the apartment. They had tried everything they could think of to get rid of it and even enlisted professional help, but the smell would not go away and its source remained a mystery.
And...when they moved, they took the curtains with them!
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:39 PM   #5
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QTOFFER, for my HOB filter that I have on the 75 gal, I did float one of the bio wheels in my cycled 10 gal for a couple weeks. It turned a light brown, but I don't know how much good stuff got on there - or even if it was enough to do any good. Other than that, I did not do anything other than add the shrimp and some of my aquarium salt to start conditioning it in the direction of my existing 10 gal (so the fish have an easier transition when they move).

BTW - LOL Your story was funny. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 03-02-2004, 09:52 AM   #6
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Any seeding from another tank will speed up the process. When the bacteria starts to reproduce, the more you have reproducing, the faster the tank cycles.

Somebody emailed me that story too, except they were married in the one I read...
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:26 PM   #7
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Eeeww..
When I saw the title I thought live shrimp..like I keep in my hospital tanks.....

I think I'll use straight clean ammonia and bio spira to do a plain fishless cycle..
I usually just borrow media and water from a healthy tank and add the 2-3 non-community fish I got that needeed yet another tank... :P

I have seen that urban legend story too...
It originated with a married couple like way back in the ainchent tyme of the ye ol 80's...
And it is now a revenge recipe in sevral "get even" books.
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Old 03-02-2004, 02:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christmasfish
I think I'll use straight clean ammonia and bio spira to do a plain fishless cycle.
If I could have, I would have. I couldn't find either locally, and I don't have the time with my schedule to run around the state of Georgia looking for those products. I heard too many bad things about buying Bio-Spira online and breaking down due to heat to want to waste my tax return money on it. This is free and provided I keep the lid closed - fairly painless.
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Old 03-02-2004, 03:22 PM   #9
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That's a shame about unavailability.

Ah yes ...tax return..I need to enter final info and send it away..
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:14 PM   #10
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Hey cool, Kerrinne! It sounds like it's going great. Did any of the articles you read say that you need to take the shrimp out eventually or do you let them completely break down?

You know the only thing that grosses me out is thinking about shrimps and other things that have sat in my fridge for only a day or 2, lol. What am I eating?
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:45 PM   #11
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Well, one of them said once you have ammonia and nitrites going down to use your net (and have something close by to put the remains in) to fish out any remnants of the shrimp. However, another site said not to as it would make a huge mess trying to get all of that up while it was so decomposed. So that part, I have not yet figured out yet. LOL I guess I'll fish them out and see what happens! (pardon the pun)

And Sati..thanks for the two links you gave me and the suggestion.
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Old 03-02-2004, 09:04 PM   #12
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I don't know... I'm thinking it might need to stay in there in order to keep producing ammonia for the bacteria to chow down on. Especially if you're only a couple days in.
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:11 PM   #13
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Yeah, I'd leave the decomposing shrimp in there until the tank is cycled and you are ready to add fish. At least, that's the way I thought it's supposed to be done.

You could use the gravel vac or python to suck out the shrimp remains - probably less messy than using the net, which you would then have to clean. That's gonna smell god-awful.
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:24 PM   #14
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Hey Kerrinne,
do you think it would be ok to use frozen shrimp?
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:35 PM   #15
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Beacious, I can't see why fresh or frozen would make a difference. In fact, if you go to your local fish store and tell them what you want it for, they will probably give you one of their week-old shrimp for free.

However, read through this thread and do a search for fishless cycling - there's lots of articles.
I would suggest using pure hardware store ammonia since it would be easier to control the dose. Better yet, just add BioSpira and a small bioload.
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