SL Aqua shrimp tank cycle - easy, fast and proven to be effective!
Before beginning, shrimp require patience, including the cycle process. At least 30 to days cycle. Once you start the cycle, stick to the motto, set and forget it, don't touch it, don't test, don't rush, enjoy.
We are starting a Caridina shrimp tank and we use SL Aqua Soil that will buffer the water. All of these steps are the same with a Neocaridina tank except for the soil used, just switch out SL Aqua Soil for sand or something similar and use SL Aqua KH Builder + SL Aqua Blue Wizard.
Started with a 15g tank(your tank size will vary, but we recommend at starting with 10g or greater).
1. SL Aqua Soil added. We recommend to use at least 1" of soil. If you can use 2" even better.
2. Large double sponge filter
3. Heater - this will be on 24/7 for at least 1 month
4. Lights - these will be on 24/7 for at least 1 month(you can also run these for only 2 weeks straight instead of a month)
Now we get ready to add SL Aqua cycling products. These will help start the cycling process and help create a biofilm layer on every part of the tank. Our goal is to get Ammonia (toxic) converted to nitrite (toxic) is then converted to nitrate (non-toxic in low levels for shrimp).
Now that we have our tank filled with SL Aqua soil we're going to lightly sprinkle SL Aqua Magic Powder over the substrate. Don't add too much, but enough to cover most areas.
Fill the tank with just enough remineralized RO water to cover the substrate only.
Add SL Aqua Purify over the Magic Powder and SL Aqua Soil. ~20ml per gallon of water added in step 3.
Wait 24-48hrs for Purify and Magic Powder to seed the substrate with healthy bacteria.
After 24-48 hours then fill the rest of the tank with remineralized RO water using SL Aqua Blue Wizard and turn on the sponge filters. Set your heater to 80F - 86F(don't plug it in until the tank is full of water). Adding the heater during the cycling process will help the bacteria grow faster. Add lights on a standard 8hr schedule. We recommend 24x7, but it's not necessary.
The tank is filled with pure RO, great! One more thing, remineralize your tank as if you had shrimp in it already.
We do this for two main reasons:
1. Pure RO water does not contain anything and can wipe bacteria instead of promoting growth of beneficial bacteria.
2. Remineralizing water is good practice for when you keep shrimp. In our case we want to target caridina parameters 130-150 TDS, gh 4-6, kh 0 (kh should already be 0 if you're using RO water).
Checkout our shrimp parameter guide page to learn more about parameters.
In about a week or so you will start to see a nice layer of bacteria everywhere, especially on the substrate.
Some things to remember, don't check parameters right now while cycling. The cycling process can give you numbers that aren't accurate. It's best to sit back and check after 30 days.
After 10-15 days add an additional dosing of Purify, 10ml per total gallons of water in the tank.
After approximately day 30 or so, the bacteria layer may start to clear up and the water will begin to become clear. It's ok for some of the bacteria to remain present, the shrimp will love it!
Acclimatize and add your beautiful shrimp.
Dose with SL-Aqua TM-1 to ensure trace elements, shrimp immunity, increases spawning, greater growth, stronger color, and also increases the ability of plants to absorb nutrients.
Get your ultimate SL Aqua cycling bundle.