Maintaining Nitrifying Bacteria in a planted shrimp tank
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:16 AM   #1
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Maintaining Nitrifying Bacteria in a planted shrimp tank

I'm planning on doing a small 10g planted shrimp tank with RCS. I've been doing fishless cycling method to prepare the tank, and it can now easily remove 4ppm ammonia in 24hrs. The plan is to raise some shrimp for a couple months until the population increases to a small colony ~50+, then I wanted to add in a small school of 7-10 neon tetras.

My concern is that because the bioload of RCS is so small that all the nitrifying bacteria will die off in the time that it takes for the shrimp population to multiply. And when I finally do decide to add the small fish, there will not be enough bacteria present to support them.

So my questions to the community are:

1. How do you maintain a decent amount of nitrifying bacteria if the shrimp bioload is so small?

2. Is there anything that I can do to prevent a possible minicycle when I add in some fish (after ~2 months)?

3. The tank currently only has plants as I continue to dose 2ppm ammonia and do PWC. Should I continue to add a drop or 2 of ammonia after adding shrimp, in order to keep the bacteria alive?
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:21 AM   #2
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Some bacteria will die off but they will multiple quickly once established. I wouldn't worry about. If that was case, adding new fish to your tank anytime would freak the cycle out.

The shrimp do have a small bioload, so the bacteria will die off and shrink, and when you add the fish, they will multiple quickly enough you should avoid a cycle.

7-10 tetras aren't a huge bioload anyways, and when you add them, don't feed them right away, let your cycle get used to their fish store waste first, then feed the next day and everything should be fine.

I add new fish to my tanks lots of time and never have an issue. Having it planted, the plants are probably sucking up lots of your ammonia anyways.
20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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Old 01-12-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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thanks for the advice
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