What kind of shrimp? I've done planted shrimp tanks without cycling before, and they worked out. However, I wasn't putting $25 shrimp in there, they were $0.50 RCS
You just need to make sure that there is sufficient plant load to 1) filter out some of the toxins; and 2) carry bacteria into the tank. Then, to be safe, you would need to do significant water changes regularly until you were sure that the tank was established (2 or 3 weeks)
Also, it shouldn't be a lot of shrimp. You don't want to overload the bacteria that you're bringing into the tank.
The "safe" way is to fishless cycle. However, I've never lost shrimp in a shrimp-only tank due to a cycle... between the plants and the filter media from another tank, the shrimp-only tanks never really cycled that much. However, I wasn't putting in 50 per gallon or anything like that.
Need to understand the nitrogen cycle before you think of adding any inhabitants. Ammonia is present in an aquarium and bacteria needs to establish itself and then "eat" that ammonia which produces nitrite as a byproduct. Second round of bacteria need to establish themselves and then begin consuming that nitrite which results in a byproduct of nitrate. until you see nitrate readings chances are the tank/filter is not yet cycled.
The ammonia needs to be present to get this all going.
This is also a good quick tutorial. You're getting all 0's with your test kit for the same reason that you will if you're testing tap water. There's no fish/shrimp adding ammonia to the water.
If I were you, I'd do a fishless cycle, if only to understand how it works for future reference. Then you can add shrimp with the added satisfaction of knowing that you've done everything you can to provide them with a great habitat.