Hi, sorry if this has been discussed already, but I have been searching and have thus far not found a clear answer.
Basically, in a nutshell my question is: Does 5ppm of NitrAtes present in the water and zero ammonia mean that the tank is cycled, and safe for highly sensitive shrimp?
Below is a more detailed description of what's going on.. Thank you for your time and help.
I just set up a new CRS and Taiwan Bee tank, these are sensitive to water conditions, and expensive so I want to make sure I get it right!
I used a mixture of inert Tahitian Moonsand, and ADA Aquasoil (I only had a small amount of aqua soil, so it's about 15% aquasoil and 85% moonsand)
Tank is a 20gallon long tank
I started it with regular tap water, and right when I first set it up, I used a canister filter which was running and mature from another of my tanks. It's a big filter with lots of bio media, so I'm pretty sure it should have had plenty of good bacteria in it..
After 2 days I emptied out 100% of the water, and filled the tank with RO water, and put in some of the shrimp mineral rock, and some driftwood as well as a fighter fish.
It's now been running for about 2 weeks like this.. (maybe a bit less.. 10 days - 13 days)
I checked for nitrates and ammonia about 4 days ago, there was very little, if any, of either. So I added some fish food to boost the ammonia.
I should have checked in the ensuing days for ammonia spikes, but didn't..
Anyway, I checked it today, and there's 5ppm nitrates, and zero ammonia.
Does this mean the tank is cycled, and perhaps I just missed the ammonia spike? Think it's safe to add shrimp now?
I realize there may not be enough biofilm in there for them, but I will be feeding them.