shrimp not eating in new tank

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Jan 3, 2024
have a tank that is about 16 to 17 gallons, although the back half is blocked as it is a paludarium and will have a false bottom, so no animals are living back there. I have 10 shrimp in there although abt half of them are juvenile. They wont eat anything that I put in. I have only tried algae wafers before. they seem to be happily grazing on the lava rock and/or filtering through the sand. this could indicate that there is plentiful biofilm, algae, and othr things for them to feed on. However, this is strange as the tank has only been filled for 6 or 7 days which i believe is insufficient time for algae and biofilm to be present. I dont know what else they could be grazing on. Water parameters are :
nitrite and nitrate:0
ph:about 7.5
gh: 150 or higher
kh 60 to 80
ammonia is very high right now as the lfs guy gave me some bad advice. He gave me some water from an established tank and said it would cycle the tank, and i am brand new to the fish hobby so figured what he said was true. they are a bit below 0.5 ppm. This is the only thing that I could think of other than other algae or biofilm that is feeding them but I dont understand how those could be present in the tank.
Shrimp should only go into well established aquariums. They should be cycled for a couple of months at least before adding shrimp.

Shrimp arent tolerant of poor water quality and there will be no biofilm for them to feed on.

Unless you can return them to the store you will just have to see how things go.
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