Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Elk Grove, California
I dont typically stock my tanks gradually because the risk of introducing pathogens to the aquarium goes up exponentially each time you introduce new fish. And, preferably, if possible, I get all my fish from one vendor which lowers the risk of multiple issues. You can, of course, set up a quarantine tank and add each group of fish after 6 weeks of quarantine. Thats an option as well.
If I am adding fish all at once I do water changes of 25-50% daily ( depending on amount of fish adding to system) for the next four days to make sure that fish are not exposed to rising ammonia and/or nitrates as the bio-filter works to catch up with new bioload. It usually takes about 96 hours max for a biofilter to build to match bioload at temperatures above 70 degrees. Its pretty quick. Well established aquariums will do this even faster- but, you want to be very conservative in the time given for this process to happen. I would test on day 5, regardless, to see where you are. You cannot be too cautious here.
PS Shrimp should be added to a new system 2-3 months after starting tank. It takes that long for necessary biofilm and microrganisms to develop in a tank to be safe for shrimp.
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