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How to keep Cherry Shrimps in an uncycled tank

If you have a brand-new fish tank, then it most likely hasn’t been cycled. So, you are still able to keep Cherry Shrimps in an uncycled tank?

You can find out in this article at Aquarium Blueprints.

What is an un-cycled aquarium?

Cherry Shrimps will produce wastes in your tank. The wastes will eventually decompose into ammonia, which is toxic to your pet inverts.

Thankfully, there is a beneficial bacteria species that will naturally grow in your tank that will convert ammonia into nitrites. The bad news is that nitrite is also very toxic.

Fortunately, there is another beneficial bacteria colony that will convert nitrites into nitrates. Unlike ammonia and nitrites, nitrates are less toxic. With that said, a large amount could end up causing health issues for your Cherry Shrimps.

There is actually another beneficial bacteria species that will consume nitrate. To grow it in a tank, you will either need a substrate that is deeper than 2 inches or a specialized biological filter media such as Seachem Matrix.

For a tank to be considered fully cycled, the beneficial bacteria colonies will need to populate enough surface area where your tank water contains 0 ppm of ammonia and 0 ppm of nitrites. For nitrates, you should aim for 20 ppm.

Unfortunately, it can take weeks, or even a few months, for a new tank to be fully cycled.

How to keep Cherry Shrimps in an un-cycled tank

While we don’t recommend keeping Cherry Shrimps in an uncycled tank, you should be able to do so by taking several precautions.

In order to do so, we recommend that you get the Seachem Aquavitro Seed Aquarium Treatment, Seachem Matrix Bio Media, Seachem Prime Water Conditioner and API Master Test Kit.

Seachem Aquavitro Seed Aquarium Treatment will add live beneficial bacteria to your uncycled tank, which will speed up the cycling process significantly.

Seachem Matrix Bio Media will provide surface area for the beneficial bacteria colonies that will help reduce the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates levels.

By using Seachem Prime Water Conditioner, you are able to detoxify ammonia, nitrites and nitrates for a short amount of time.

Finally, you need API Master Test Kit in order to test your tank water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

You can purchase any of these recommended products on Amazon with the following links:

Once you have all the necessary tools, we recommend that you take the following steps in order to safely keep your Cherry Shrimps in an uncycled tank:

1. If you haven’t done so already, set up your tank.

2. Make sure you add Seachem Matrix Bio Media to either your filter or directly in the aquarium.

3. Next, you can fill your aquarium with water.

4. Turn on your heater, filter and any other aquarium equipment once the tank has been filled with water.

5. Afterwards, you need to add Seachem Prime to your tank water.

When it comes to dosing Prime, you should add 5 mL, which is the equivalent to a capful, for every 50 gallons or 200 liters of tank water.

6. Next, you need to dose Seachem Aquavitro Seed.

For the first dose of Seed, you need to add 5 mL, which is a capful, for every 10 gallons or 40 liters of tank water.

7. You can now add your Cherry Shrimps to the tank.

Don’t just put them directly in the tank, however, as they will need to go through the acclimation period. For shrimps, we recommend that you do a drip acclimation. Otherwise, they may end up getting easily stressed and sick.

8. In the next 6 days, we recommend that you add 5 mL of Prime for every 50 gallons or 200 liters of tank water daily. Afterwards, you should also add 5 mL of Seed for every 20 gallons or 80 liters of tank water.

9. After a week has passed since you started adding Prime and Seed to your uncycled tank, you need to use a test kit to check the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels of your tank water.

If the testing shows that you have more than 0 ppm of ammonia and/or 0 ppm of nitrites, then you need to continue dosing Prime and Seed daily.

If the test kit shows that you have more than 20 ppm of nitrates, then you need to do a water change.

10. If the test kit shows that you have 0 ppm of ammonia, 0 ppm of nitrites and less than 20 ppm of nitrates, then your tank should be fully cycled at this point.

With that said, we recommend that you test your tank waters occasionally just to make sure that the aquarium is in optimal condition for your Cherry Shrimps.