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Hi All

 I am looking to setup my new tank ( 135L ) next week which will be eventually be a home for lots of crystal shrimps and very small fish properly 20 dwarf rasbs
The substrate I will be using will be fluval stratum plant and shrimp soil , and underneath the substrate I will be using old sea mud and bacter 100 bacteria.
I have bought dr tims nitrifying freshwater and also the ammonia solution to use for my cycle.

I just want to know exactly how much of each product to add and step by step over the 4 weeks to cycle my tank using dr tims, as it is a shrimp tank I wont be adding anything alive for 4-5 weeks so the biofilm gets built up.

hope you can help.


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2 hours ago, mathhewUK said:

underneath the substrate I will be using old sea mud and bacter 100 bacteria.

I know the product says to put Bacter100 under the substrate. But trust me, it's a better idea to place it on top of the substrate so it is not covered and has excess to oxygen.

Use as much as you need to cover the base of the tank. If you sprinkle it on the based, try to cover the bottom. It doesn't have to be accurate.


Dr Tims should have instructions on the bottle for how much to use.

The amount of Ammonia to be used needs an ammonia test kit. Use as much ammonia to get you at least 4ppm reading on the test kit. It's a good idea to have ammonia, nitrite, nitrate test kits for cycling a tank.

As for the cycling process, I explained it to @jojowhisky recently. Let me see if I can find the post again, so I don't need to re-type it again :)


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Hello and welcome matthewUK!
Hope you are enjoying the process of a new tank setup.
I think this thread would answer some of your questions as i had as well just started one not too long ago for my yellow neos.

Sorry if it is a long thread, it is mainly my fault i rattled on too much:)

Here is the link:

In it@jayc mentioned something like that:

"Best way to do this with a new tank ... 
a day or two after confirming that the tank is cycled (no ammonia and no nitrites), change 90-99% of the water. 
Refill with RO water (ideally), or distilled water in your case. Remineralise the water to the ideal parameters for your shrimp. Adjust pH, KH and GH. Wait for temps to stabilise and reach what you set, if you use a heater or chiller let it run until your temps get to your target.
Measure one last time to ensure you are not detecting ammonia or nitrites.
Now, pour out the water in your pail, leaving 2-3 litres (careful to not pour out your shrimp!). Drip the new tank water into the pail. The plan is to acclimatise the shrimp to the new tank water, which has hopefully been set to the ideal parameters. Drip in the same amount (2-3 litres) into the pail. The water in the pail will now be very close to the tank.
You can retest the water in the pail to check how far off it is compared to your tank water.
If you are happy, move the shrimp into the tank.
Otherwise drip more water for a bit longer."

For this setup with the yellow neos, i only used one powdered bacteria product that is sold cheaply locally. As i did not know if bacteria products can be mixed at all together.
So before i filled the tank with water and after i was happy with the hardscapes and soil layering, i sprinkled the bacteria powder on top of all the surfaces.
Than i filled the tank with water.
The next day, i than dosed a small amount of bacteria diluted with water into the tank.
@jayc also mentioned to use normal dechlorinated water when cycling the tank.
Distilled or rodi will come later when the tank is cycled. (Think it is mentioned in this same thread)

Hope everything works out good for you!

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

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Dear @matthewUK,

sorry i forgot to add(do excuse my rattling).
I setup a tank exclusively for the tetras i have more recently. Also adopted the fishless cycle.
After dosing that same cheap local bacteria powder on the soil surface.
I added dead shrimps*sad* 2 to be exact in to allow them to rot.
This was all within week one of setting up the tank.
I switched on the lights for the same 6 hours everyday and allowed the temp in this tank to go up to 28°c (room was air conditioned but this tank's lights were halogen, emits heat, i left the tank cover closed all the time to trap heat),@jayc mentioned higher temps and ph allows the bacteria to come alive.
Left this all alone for week one.
Than week two.
I added stuff like old almond leaves from my other shrimp tanks into this new tetra tank.
And squeezed all the sponges from the shrimp tanks into this new tetra tank as well.
(Porting over bacteria) and left it there.
At the end of week two, i tested the water and nitrites were 0 and ammonia was less than 0.05(the least on jbl ammonium liquid test kit)
I than assumed it is all cycled and did the first and only 90% water change since this tank was made.
Than i actually let it run another 3 to 4 days, tested with a jbl 6 in 1 test strip before adding the tetras in. The results of nitrites was 0.

Hope this answers your question on how much products to add during the cycling process??
Not an expert, so if any experts wish to correct and input please do.
It is appreciated.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

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That sounds like it will be a lovely tank. I have had the dwarf rasboras in the past, but not with shrimps, they didn't do too well but I only had too small a tank. They are very interesting fish.

Where are you based in UK?

You could start the tank off with what they call a 'sacrificial fish' which is what I did, my fish survived so it isn't as bad as it sounds, but just a cheap neon (or 2) would work and be safe with the shrimp and rasboras if they survive? I also put snails in the tank from the start which must have produced waste etc.

As already mentioned on this thread, you can just use dechlorinated tap water for the cycle (I did that) so that gives you plenty of time to decide on what 'proper' water you will then be using? I assume you don't have another tank running and this is therefore the first?

I assume you know about ProShrimp but if not here is the link, they sell everything you could need for shrimps over here:

I think it is widely accepted that you don't put the bacteria under the substrate now (put on top instead), although in the old days some people did that!

I am not really experienced with cycling so won't go into that. I never had any Ammonia, Nitrite or Nitrate readings and only saw a bacteria bloom (slightly milky water) to know that it was happening, but all went well, but I used some water and filter from another tank (I didn't use any ammonia or bacteria products). There are a number of threads I have done and you can view those by looking on my page I assume if you wish. I will keep an eye out for any more specific queries you may have that I may be able to assist with as a fellow UK shrimp keeper!


Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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