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sdlTBfanUK

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I have now pretty much set up the shrimp tank afresh. The layout isn't 100% yet as I am testing a piece of rock for the week which I will test if it has any affect on Ph at the weekend when it has been in its tub of water for a wee? I set the heater going yesterday and as per JayC have turned it up for the cycle, and the 2 filters are running with sponges from other tanks. Most of the plants/wood are from before in the same tank. I put a small amount of Bacter AE and fish food into the tank as well today.

Parameters today, TDS 213, ammonia 1, nitrite 0, nitrate 25 (these are the only tests I have done as it is just day 1 of running. As I am using RO water remineralised I don't expect I will test GH, KH, Ph at this early point but I can adjust those easy enough later down the line once cycled should they be out of sync, though they shouldn't (in theory), and adjusting the TDS is easy.

I am planning to rinse the betta fish sponges in 4L of used betta water and dumping that in the shrimp tank on friday, tanks are next to each other so that will be soooo easy! That actually shouldn't affect the parameters much anyway? I will then run it as a set up tank and do 2L water change/maintenance each thursday (back to my old shedule) - tank will have about 26L of water in it (more substrate this time so 2 litres less water).

If I am doing anything wrong or have missed/forgotten something I will be pleased to hear from anyone? 

Oh! and I will be getting at least a fixed thermometer this time, and will look into the device that JayC and KMS have recommended at some later stage when it is all up and running, though I did take a quick look and haven't seen any in the UK yet. I plan to get a strip thermometer that you stick on and it changes colour to show what the temperature is, as these are inoffensive to look at and I should be able to view them easily/often from where I normally sit and they can be stuck on the side instead of the front (which I see from my normal seat). I don't know how good/accurate they are though but it is only to indicate a problem so I don't have to go through this devastation, mine and the shrimps, again?

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/aquarium-thermometers/1072-jbl-digital-aquarium-thermometer-4014162614063.html?search_query=thermometer&results=44

Simon

Day 2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 25

Day 3, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 50    tds 221

 

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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11 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

As I am using RO water remineralised I don't expect I will test GH, KH, Ph

pH needs to be tested, not everytime, but occasionally to ensure that your pH does not crash below 6.

Try to keep it above 7.0 for the duration of the cycle. You can lower it after the cycle is done, and you have a healthy colony of BB.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update!

I did a bit of maintenance this week, removed a bit of dying Java fern and a few dying floating plants. I left the water alone as it is newly set up. There has been no Ammonia or nitrate all week and nitrates are about 25, again all week?

I tested the parameters and TDS 230, Gh 9, Kh 1. The TDS and GH I can get down by replacing with RO water later.

I got the strip thermometers and those are stuck on the sides and seem to be 'quite' accurate, enough for what I want them for anyway.

It is pretty much doing what the previous tanks have done before so I will just have to 'suck it and see' at this stage? The main thing that confuses me is that I have no (neither did the other times either) nitrites or ammonia readings so I really have no idea what is going on and will have to assume, it has worked every time before so it will work this time also. The only 'fly in the ointment' would be that the Ph has now increased to (look away JayC) 6 and yes that is an increase from 5 last week (again as previously) and I don't expect it will go any higher now so I guess there is a possibility the tank just doesn't cycle at all (and again it is as previous)? Would that be why there is no nitrite or ammonia readings? Still, as I say it is doing what it has before and it worked then so I am not overly concerned and this time there is not the rush there was last time as I haven't got the shrimps to go in it yet or even found any at this stage?

Anyway, as I am keen to learn if anyone can help explain what is happening I would appreciate any help as I have seen lots of youtube videos and read lots of people saying how to do a 'cycle' and they all come in very similar to what 'JayC' recommends, just bare in mind I CANNOT DO IT THAT WAY, it took me 5 days to fill the 30L tank and that caused me health problems so lots of/or large water changes just aren't happening so don't even go there! As I say, it has worked before so I'm not overly concerned but I would like to know what is happening the way I do it, and so I can understand why it seems to work when everyone seems to think it won't? The only conclusion I have come to so far seems to be that maybe the tank never cycles...........but can that be and work?????

Simon

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I have been preparing some water ready to do a one third water change tomorrow, that in THEORY will get the water TDS 160 and GH 6 by using pure RO water and at least the water can just carefully be poured into the tank as there are only 3 snails in there. The nitrates seem to be sitting at 25 so this is hopefully something that this may also help with reducing? I still haven't had any ammonia or nitrate readings. I will probably squeeze the betta sponge in the tank on friday when I do that tank as it is next to it. Then I will do all the tests at the weekend!

Hopefully it is nearly there but I am not in any rush as I haven't got any shrimps yet anyway!

Simon

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On 6/8/2019 at 8:58 PM, sdlTBfanUK said:

Ph has now increased to (look away JayC) 6 and yes that is an increase from 5 last week (again as previously) and I don't expect it will go any higher now so I guess there is a possibility the tank just doesn't cycle at all (and again it is as previous)? Would that be why there is no nitrite or ammonia readings?

Have you added any thing that will produce ammonia, like fish food? My tap water has some ammonia in it. That's why I recommend using tap water (treated) for cycling. If you KNOW you are adding ammonia, and it tests result in zero, that means the tank is processing ammonia into nitrites and nitrates. 

If you don't add ammonia, of course it's going to read zero. 

If you add bacteria from a sponge from another tank, into a tank that has no ammonia, the bacteria will starve and the tank still won;t be cycled.

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Thanks for that JayC, I have added a bit of fish food a few times (crustagran), maybe not enough so I may do a bit more, or actually I did have a prawn in the freezer (which I forgot to add) so I will see if I can find that and put that in, thanks for the reminder.

I definitely think your cycling regime is the way to go and would always recommend that, but it involves too much work and lugging water for me unfortunately and although friends say they will come and give a hand I don't like to bother them with anything unless I really have too and this sort of thing isn't one of those to me. I will carry on as is for now, it has worked this way every other tank  and as you say maybe it doesn't cycle this way and as the PH is always low (new added water is also low of 5.5) maybe that is why it works (or did last time)?

I have a really old neon (last one of the original group) which has started twitching and losing colour in the red tail area over the last week and I would usually euthenize it but if I can catch it I may put that in the tank as it hasn't got long left anyway. Trouble is he/she isn't daft and as soon as the net goes in he/she scarpers, so I guess he can't be too bad yet. I will look for that frozen shrimp first I think?

I appreciate the help and advice.

Simon 

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Maybe if you use an old filter media, like sponge or floss in the new tank's filter ... you can add one fish or shrimp into the tank and slowly build up the population over a couple of weeks. That might work. 

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I found the frozen prawns so have added them. I added the sponge from the main old tank when I set it up a couple of weeks ago! I have 2 in each tank so I could swap one between tanks in case, as you say, all the good bacteria have just died as there was no ammonia source to keep them alive? There are 3 snails and plants dying in the tank as well so I don't know whether they would produce enough ammonia to have kept the bacteria going.

How long should I leave the cooked prawns in the tank, is it just until I get an ammonia reading?

I won't be rushing out and buying lots of expensive shrimps until I have tested it for a month with maybe about 6 cheapies. I did use a fish before so I don't know whether that makes a difference, and he was fine afterwards and went back in the fish tank but I have NEVER had an ammonia or nitrate reading from any of my tanks. Maybe they don't cycle with the constant low PH?

Anyway, I appreciate your help.

Simon

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When I cycle a tank, I find a more controlled way to add ammonia on purpose.  For example, Dr Tim's ammonium chloride, or ammonia household cleaner with no added surfactants.

What could be significantly slowing down the cycle is the low pH.

To check that you have bacterial cycling, u need to add a purposeful amount of ammonia and watch it get converted over into nitrates.

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Thanks for the thoughts. I don't think I have any just ammonia products but will take a look next time I am in the kitchen. I am not really a fan of using chemicals as a rule but I will take a look and go from there.

I suspect that you and JayC are correct with the low PH slowing down the cycle. I have even read a couple of times over the many years that it is possible the tank won't cycle if the Ph is too low but I don't know about that?

Hopefully the cooked shrimps will cause some ammonia and if they do I will swap a sponge with one from the old tank and I may then get a 'cycle' as well documented everywhere, though as yet it is a mythical beast to me, with all 9-10 tanks I have set up over the years not once seen? 

I'm not over worried at this point as whatever the tanks do has never yet caused a problem as the photos in the gallery show but I will only buy a few cheapish shrimps to start off, when the time comes. I have changed a third of the water this morning with pure water and that has got the TDS to 160 (exactly where I kept it before but may reduce it a bit further this time). The full set of tests I will do tomorrow/weekend! The ammonia/nitrite/nitrate tests I will do daily, as up to this point to see if anything changes. I plan to clean the betta sponge in the new setup tomorrow when I do that one.

Do you know how long I should leave the cooked prawns in the tank for the cycle process as I have never done this method before?

Any and All advice is greatly appreciated.

Simon

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1 hour ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Do you know how long I should leave the cooked prawns in the tank for the cycle process

Until you start getting Ammonia readings.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update

Not much to report really. I have added some new plants today. I still have no ammonia or nitrite but 25 nitrate. I will probably see if that continues until thursday (that tanks usual maintenance day) and if it does I have bought some Tetra nitrateminus so may try a bit of that but not totally committed to that idea yet??? All the parameters are in the ideal range otherwise.

IF (note the capitals and bold) I can get 8L of new water ready for then I will do that (one third) water change - it is supposed to be hot here this week so I may not be up to that though?

As I said, not much to report otherwise, it is that really annoying period maintaining and looking at an empty tank, but I am not rushing in this time - still grieving from the last lot of stunners I killed accidentally so having a problem getting enthused!

Simon

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been a couple of weeks!

I have done the shrimp tank and am just zerowater filtering ready to add the new water once remineralised (at least I don't need to even bother dripping as there aren't any occupants). Parameters are good, not 100% sure about nitrates, it came out as between 10 and 25 (??) which I think is better than before but a close call. I have done a dose of nitrateminus and will check again on monday! The plants aren't looking all that good but that is normal when I set up a new tank, they need time to settle down. I thought one of the new ones was completely dead as the leaves were brown, then suddenly remembered I bought one that has brown leaves (who feels stupid now............that would be ME big time)?? The 3 assassin snails are still alive and mobile. 

I will retest on monday and if the nitrates are below the 25 I will probably invest in 3 blue bolts and 3  blue steel and see how that goes?

Hopefully nearly there????

Simon

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I have ordered 5 red taiwan bee and 3 Black taiwan bee and they should arrive tomorrow, unfortunately they didn't have any blues but I can get some of those later when I see how these  ones do!

Simon

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2nd photo, bottom right. That Red wine is a nice one.

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I have had the new shrimps a week and have ordered some new ones(10) for delivery friday. There are probably at least 6 of the 8 alive (they may even all be alive still) but as the tank is so densely planted it is difficult to tell, but I saw 2 black and 2 red this morning, as yesterday, but I'm sure 1 red and  1 black weren't the same as the ones I saw yesterday so there are probably at least 6, if that makes any sense??? Anyway that will be it for now and I will just let the tank and shrimps do there thing once this batch are in there in a couple of days, and I can get back to the usual routine as was, before this unfortunate event wiped out the last lot.

All parameters are good, including the nitrates now, but there are a lot of brown patches on the plants and moss balls still......... It all looks a bit drab and uninspiring and brown!!! I probably just need to be a bit more patient? I will do some maintenance tomorrow and a small 2L water change, then the new shrimps will go in on friday after acclimatising.

The shrimps were totally uninterested in the spinach or shrimp lolly I put in at the weekend but I am assuming they have so much biofilm at this stage that that is keeping them busy and well fed and they are staying under cover until they get used to their new environment and this strange ugly monster that keeps peering in at them through the glass from time to time? I guess if some 100ft tall bloke kept peering through my window a few times a day I would be a bit nervous/reserved shall we say? I removed the spinach and the shrimp lolly and put the shrimp lolly in the betta tank and within minutes there were 10 shrimp on it so there was definitely nothing wrong with that shrimp lolly!

Simon

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7 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

this strange ugly monster that keeps peering in at them through the glass from time to time

:happy: LMAO !

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thought it about time I did an update just in case anyone be interested?

I had the second delivery of shrimps where 1 was DOA so put the other 9 in the tank. That is 17 that went in in total and I am sure I have 10 still even after the hot day and the fact that the tank isn't going as well as before. I have stopped using the nitrateminus now as last time I checked all the parameters were perfect and nitrates were lowest on the test kit but I will keep an eye on that for a while longer. I still have a lot of stringy algae but I don't think it is growing as quickly as before. I found that it was quite easy to get majority of it out just using an old shrimp lolly stick and swirling that through the algae and it seems to stick to the stick. Hopefully given a bit more time the agae will sudside so the tank will be as green and lush as the others? I am sure there is at least 10 shrimps in the tank but there could be more as it has lots of hiding places but the surviving shrimps are settling in and getting braver and coming out more even when I go to the tank.

I put spinach in today and they are still not interested in that? It will probably get transferred to the betta tank later if they don't show any interest in the next few hours.

I think it will all be ok but just take longer than it did last time. I won't buy anything else at this stage until it definitely picks up but then may get another batch of about 10 different shrimps (that will be all the shrimps then) and a cooler fan (just as a precaution for exceptionally hot days of 30 plus, very rare here) so it will be in a cupboard 99% of the time I expect but will give me peace of mind that I am prepared should I need it!

Simon

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  • 1 month later...

I added some blue bolt shrimps about 2-3 weeks ago and they seem to be doing well! The stringy algae seems to have cleared, the tank is still a bit drab but I think it is going greener as well.

Yesterday I ordered the red shrimps and am just awaiting them to be delivered later today:

1593933353_Redshrimp.thumb.jpg.52d12656a411a163da185b618dd36094.jpg1141988120_Redbolt.thumb.jpg.5466799603f71cf4df9729c449cf2ca9.jpg1078915686_Redsteel.thumb.jpg.e33d1eccea1970c02b07f6a0afdc2eec.jpg1996681358_RedwineSS.thumb.jpg.dd0aeddb1f4beb4d054e200f194d32de.jpg

All going well (fingers crossed) that should be it all done now! I don't see many of the first couple of batches in the tank but I am not convinced the tank was really ready enough which would be my misjudgement, I used a different substrate, and I bought the shrimps from a shop, but I am not sure what the reason was so not prepared to 'blame' anyone else! I MAY consider getting some more from the shop but I have enough really but would like a few red wine (normal grade) or black bee mixed grades so we will see on that?

These shrimp (and the blue bolts previously) came/are coming from Shrimp Corner in the UK (they sent me these pictures) which seem to be an enthusiast/business so they come directly from them (breeder) and the previous delivery was well packaged (too bloody well resulting in many swears at the time) and lovely colours and patterns. They seem to be specialising in the higher grades and especially galaxy etc. 2 days ago they won at the European shrimp cup for their red steel so they are definitely enthusiasts and I have received top quality service thus far - probably tempting fate to say this whilst awaiting a delivery, d'oh!  Anyway, big day for me today, woohoo!

Simon

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