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Hi all, this is my first post. I have a 10 gallon tank that is not cycled and I'd like to add a bunch of plants and a tiny fish to get the get the nitrogen cycle going.

The issue is I would like this lone fish to be shrimp friendly, but that means small schooling fish (eg small tetras) or social fish like corys. These fish are supposed to be kept in groups of 6 or more, but that's too many fish for a tank that is not cycled, right? And if I put just one fish in it will die of stress and loneliness, right?

Any advice on what to do would be much appreciated. Should I add, say, 2-3 fish and keep an eye on the ammonia and nitrites? Or add TSS+ and 6 fish? Or is there another type of fish that will be happy alone and will not eat the shrimp?
 

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Seconding this. In addition to being more humane, cycling with ammonia is a lot more precise and measurable. You know how much ammonia you’re adding and can measure the progress throughout the cycling process.

A tiny fish is more likely to be fragile and will also be stressed from being alone in the tank. Cycling with fish offers no advantages. Which makes it even more cruel.
 

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On top of being cruel to cycle a tank with fish, I just have to chime in to make the point that there really are no shrimp-safe fish. If it can fit in the mouth of a fish? It can be become a meal. And even if it can't fit in the mouth? A fish can harass and kill shrimp. So do keep that in mind.

Since you're new to the hobby, it's probably a good idea to do one or the other - not both. At least until you have more experience under your belt and you've done a lot more reading here on the forum.
 
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