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Cycl 10 gallons shrimp tank with dr tims one and only, ammonia . Need some advice please.


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Chloramine, not ammonia.  Chloramine is a molecule of chlorine attached to ammonia (Condensed description).  But in short, it is frequently present in city drinking water in place of chlorine to kill bacteria in the water.  And it can react with the API ammonia test kit producing false positives.  Don't panic.  :(   

However, it may interfere with you're ability test you're tap water.  I think you have a couple of choices here:

 

1)  Buy an RO treatment system for your water to remove the chloramine.  (~$75 and up)

 

2)  Fill the tank with RO/DI water (you can purchase bottles of distilled water at the grocery store for about $1 a piece)  and proceed from here.  How large is your tank?  If it's a small shrimp tank (10 gallons or less) this will work.  It's what I'm doing.  I only have 1 tank going of Caridinia shrimp, and I use distilled water for that.  I buy it at the grocery store, because once a tank is cycled, shrimp have a very low bioload, and water changes are needed much less frequently than a fish tank.  Like...  20-30% twice a month *max* unless you overfeed.  So we're talking probably $3-$6 bucks a month for water changes.  Doable.

 

3)  Find a test kit that won't cross react with chloramines.....  Call API and I'm sure they can recommend something.

 

I only use distilled water for my caridinias because they prefer a lower KH value than my well water can deliver.  They like a KH of ~0-3 or so.  Mine has a KH of 5.  So I just use distilled because I only have that tank.  Eventually I might get an RO system... but not right now...

 

 

 

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Done cycle! Thanks everyone for the great advice![emoji6] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I used Dr. Tim's for all my tanks, and for me, it took ~2 months to cycle my 12" cubes and 20 gallon longs when I added 2ppm ammonia. Give it a few more weeks and you'll start seeing nitrite/nitrate

If it took 2 months for you, Dr Tims bacteria did little to nothing for you. It takes 1-3 months to cycle without adding bacteria additives. 

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Chloramine, not ammonia.  Chloramine is a molecule of chlorine attached to ammonia (Condensed description).  But in short, it is frequently present in city drinking water in place of chlorine to kill bacteria in the water.  And it can react with the API ammonia test kit producing false positives.  Don't panic.  [emoji20]   
However, it may interfere with you're ability test you're tap water.  I think you have a couple of choices here:
 
1)  Buy an RO treatment system for your water to remove the chloramine.  (~$75 and up)
 
2)  Fill the tank with RO/DI water (you can purchase bottles of distilled water at the grocery store for about $1 a piece)  and proceed from here.  How large is your tank?  If it's a small shrimp tank (10 gallons or less) this will work.  It's what I'm doing.  I only have 1 tank going of Caridinia shrimp, and I use distilled water for that.  I buy it at the grocery store, because once a tank is cycled, shrimp have a very low bioload, and water changes are needed much less frequently than a fish tank.  Like...  20-30% twice a month *max* unless you overfeed.  So we're talking probably $3-$6 bucks a month for water changes.  Doable.
 
 

Do you mean I should change the water from tap to distilled now ? 100% change? Do I add salty shrimp gh kh + in the distilled water now too ?
Thanks


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That's what I do.  Only for another reason than yours.  With me it's an unacceptable KH.  With you, it's chloramines...

 

Yeah.  I'd do as close to a 100% water change as you can with distilled water from the grocery store and reconstitute it with Salty Shrimp.  It's tough to get *all* the water out, but if you can hit 70-80% that ought to do.  Then add enough ammonia to hit 1ppm.  And proceed from there.  If it's cycled, it should still work.  Worst case scenario is it puts you back a few days. 

 

May I ask what size tank you have and what kind of shrimp you intend to put in it? Neos like a higher GH than caridinas....  And Salty Shrimp has 2 products.  One will add both GH and KH and it's better for Neos.  The other will only add GH and a lot of people like it for caridinias.  So how big is your tank and what kind of shrimp do you want to put in it?

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That's what I do.  Only for another reason than yours.  With me it's an unacceptable KH.  With you, it's chloramines...
 
Yeah.  I'd do as close to a 100% water change as you can with distilled water from the grocery store and reconstitute it with Salty Shrimp.  It's tough to get *all* the water out, but if you can hit 70-80% that ought to do.  Then add enough ammonia to hit 1ppm.  And proceed from there.  If it's cycled, it should still work.  Worst case scenario is it puts you back a few days. 
 
May I ask what size tank you have and what kind of shrimp you intend to put in it? Neos like a higher GH than caridinas....  And Salty Shrimp has 2 products.  One will add both GH and KH and it's better for Neos.  The other will only add GH and a lot of people like it for caridinias.  So how big is your tank and what kind of shrimp do you want to put in it?

Is a Tank 10 gallons, I'm planning to have crystal red and yellow shrimp, I've salty shrimp gh and kh +.
So do you mean I should change tap to distilled and add salty shrimp ,ammonia to 1ppm and carry on cycle ?


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Yes.  Exactly.  Then you'll be able to get a true zero reading on your tank....  It's probably cycled already and if you bring it back up to 1ppm, you'll see it reading a sunshine yellow (true zero reading) within a couple of days.  :)

 

Wow.  If that is a high chloramine reading on your water, no wonder you were so puzzled!!

 

That being said, you should really retest your tap.  And if it comes up *that* high a positive again on the API test, call your water department.  They should be responsible for testing it for free.  A reading that high might not be good for drinking....   Better to be safe than sorry...

 

I've heard people complaining about the chloramine issue with the API test on other boards....  but I've never seen a reading that high...  Usually it's just a slight green tinge that is below 0.25ppm.  That was really high....  Retest!

 

:)

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Yes.  Exactly.  Then you'll be able to get a true zero reading on your tank....  It's probably cycled already and if you bring it back up to 1ppm, you'll see it reading a sunshine yellow (true zero reading) within a couple of days.  [emoji4]
 
Wow.  If that is a high chloramine reading on your water, no wonder you were so puzzled!!
 
That being said, you should really retest your tap.  And if it comes up *that* high a positive again on the API test, call your water department.  They should be responsible for testing it for free.  A reading that high might not be good for drinking....   Better to be safe than sorry...
 
I've heard people complaining about the chloramine issue with the API test on other boards....  but I've never seen a reading that high...  Usually it's just a slight green tinge that is below 0.25ppm.  That was really high....  Retest!
 
[emoji4]

Ok if after I change distilled water and got 0 ammonia couples days later, do I still need to change water? If yes, How much water do I need to change? Thanks


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As much as necessary to get your nitrate levels as low as possible.  As the ammonia is 'eaten' by the bacteria, the nitrate will build up.

 

Crystal Red Shrimp are very picky on their water parameters.  A nitrate reading of zero would be perfect.  It might take 2 large water changes to hit that.  Maybe  (2) 75% changes a day or two apart.  But that ought to do it and then it'll only be a couple of gallons a month for regular water changes thereafter. 

 

Just don't over feed.  You probably have a good amount of biofilm built up on your tank by now.  if you find that they aren't' eating the food your feeding them, then it's because they have enough biofilm to eat.  And a lot of times they prefer that to the $$$$ shrimp foods sold on the internet that are supposed to be good for them.   :)

 

Toss in a leaf as soon as you can.  They love to eat the biofilm that builds up on leaves.  And Mulberry leaves are like candy to them.....  But I always boil my leaves for 15 minutes first.  Gets rid of any unwanted hitchikers....

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As much as necessary to get your nitrate levels as low as possible.  As the ammonia is 'eaten' by the bacteria, the nitrate will build up.
 
Crystal Red Shrimp are very picky on their water parameters.  A nitrate reading of zero would be perfect.  It might take 2 large water changes to hit that.  Maybe  (2) 75% changes a day or two apart.  But that ought to do it and then it'll only be a couple of gallons a month for regular water changes thereafter. 
 
Just don't over feed.  You probably have a good amount of biofilm built up on your tank by now.  if you find that they aren't' eating the food your feeding them, then it's because they have enough biofilm to eat.  And a lot of times they prefer that to the $$$$ shrimp foods sold on the internet that are supposed to be good for them.   [emoji4]
 
Toss in a leaf as soon as you can.  They love to eat the biofilm that builds up on leaves.  And Mulberry leaves are like candy to them.....  But I always boil my leaves for 15 minutes first.  Gets rid of any unwanted hitchikers....

9f3c6ac5d90960032f02e0384a7c37b0.jpg
After 75% water change (distilled water) add ammonia?



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Yup.  The ammonia calculator says to add 0.4 ml of ammonia to 10 gallons of water to hit 1 ppm.  So that's about 8 drops. 
 
Did you add any salty shrimp?
 

Yes I did add salty shrimp tds 120
Kh 3 gh 7 . If 24 hours later ammonia 0 . Is this mean cycle done?


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It depends on how high the nitrates go up.  You don't have any in there right now, because you just changed out all the water.  But it will go up again after you add the ammonia.  As the ammonia goes back down to zero, the nitrates will go up.   I'd do one more big water change like you just did to get rid of it.  With 1pp ammonia it might go up to maybe 20.  One big change ought to do it. 

 

After you do that last water change test all the parameters again.  You should be at zero for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.  If not, change a little more water until you're there.

 

Then you can add the shrimp!

 

:)

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It depends on how high the nitrates go up.  You don't have any in there right now, because you just changed out all the water.  But it will go up again after you add the ammonia.  As the ammonia goes back down to zero, the nitrates will go up.   I'd do one more big water change like you just did to get rid of it.  With 1pp ammonia it might go up to maybe 20.  One big change ought to do it. 
 
After you do that last water change test all the parameters again.  You should be at zero for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.  If not, change a little more water until you're there.
 
Then you can add the shrimp!
 
[emoji4]

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Today results.



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Looks like 0.25ppm on the ammonia and 5 ppm on the nitrate...  If that's right according to my monitor your almost there!! I'll bet it'll be ready for the water change tomorrow or even later on this afternoon...  If it can process 0.75 ppm of ammonia in a day that's close enough for me! 

 

I'd test it later on today, late afternoon or around supper time, or tomorrow morning if you're busy.  Then, when it's zero, do a water change and go ahead and order some shrimp!

 

Yeah!  Woo hoo!

 

:D

 

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If you want crystal reds, it's a little high.  I hate to say it, but they're fussy.  I'd try one more big 75% water change and that should bring it down to close to zero.
 
Sorry.
 
[emoji20]

b5e1cc91b731468796179b7eca537fa2.jpg
Done cycle!
Thanks everyone for the great advice![emoji6]



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OMG are those yellow shrimp in there?  What kind?  Neocaridina or Caridina?  They look beautiful against the dark background.

 

Congratulations!

 

[emoji3]

Thank you so much!

Those are neocaridina yellow. Bought from eBay ( kenkay2009) price list $45, but he accepted my offer for $35 got 10+2

Some crystal shrimp is on the way next week.

 

 

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Well I'm glad you *finally* got to this point!  It was a bumpy ride...   But don't forget to follow up on your tap water.  We want you healthy!
 
[emoji4]

Thanks again! I already told my family do not drink the tap water, and will find out with the water department.


Thanks


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it is normal to get ammonia readings with city water that has chloramine in it.  For those that use the tap water, they use a dechlorinator that will neutralize the chloramines and the bacteria will use up the ammonia after it breaks down.  As for drinking the water, I dont know many people that drink their tap water in the city.  We always have bottled water on hand.

 

Make sure if you are cycling with ro water that you add some kind of kh to the water to help control the ph.  I tried cycling with ro water without any kh and my ph bottomed out which stalled my cycle.

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Yeah, but that high?  No chart in the picture, but it looked like it was pushing maybe 0.75 or maybe close to 1 ppm.  

 

Hey, I'm a country bumpkin on a well..... do you get chloramine readings on your city water?  Is getting readings that high normal?  What do you think?

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yes I get readings that high for ammonia from my tap water and it is due to the chloramines.  On my shrimp tanks I use RODI water.  On my fish tanks I use tap water dechlorinated with prime.  For drinking water myself and my dog, I use bottled water or water run through a brita pitcher.

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