Step-by-Step guide to setting up a new shrimp tank “Instant Cycle” style!

  1. The best way to setup a new shrimp tank is to start with an old one.   Fill a clean and empty bucket with the existing tank water, add existing plants or ornaments to the bucket of tank water.   Add the old sponge filter to the bucket as well as a last but very important step.   Now move the bucket somewhere safe and plug in the sponge filter while it is in the bucket (power head or air pump), keeping the contents of the bucket well aerated while you reset the old tank.


  1. In a separate bowl add tank water and now that the aquarium is ornament/filter free it will be easier to catch the shrimp and move them into that bowl.   You can also (optional if you are resetting the tank within one day) aerate the bowl with a simple air stone and air pump to ensure the shrimp are well oxygenated while you work on resetting the original tank.


  1.  Empty the water and substrate from the original tank.   We use liquid dish soap like Palmolive that cuts grease, and a cleaning sponge that has a coarse scrubbing layer.   Fill the bottom of the tank with warm water and dishwashing liquid and scrub the sides and bottom of the tank completely, making sure you only use the course scrubbing sponge layer away from the seams to avoid damaging them.  Use the soft side of the sponge to clean the seams.   Once all the glass sides and bottom are scrubbed clean then empty the warm soapy water from the tank.


  1. Fill the bottom of the tank with cold tap water and then use the soft side of the sponge to rinse the sides of the tank, then empty the tank of water again.  Repeat this step 5-6 times to ensure there is no residual soap left behind.   Make sure you rinse the sponge with cold water each time you empty the tank.


  1. Dry the tank completely with paper towel and then wait one hour before adding the substrate, to ensure the seams are completely dry.


  1. Add 1/2 inch of SL Aqua soil directly into the clean and newly dried tank.  Add 5-10 large spoons of Mironekuton powder and 5-10 large spoons of SL Aqua Milione bacteria.   Then add another 1- 1/2 inch of substrate on top of that layer.    Ensure the substrate is higher in the back of the tank and slightly less filled in the front to create a natural slope.


  1. Fill the tank with pure RO water.  Make sure the RO water isn’t cold and it has been sitting at room temperature for at least one day.  Add the RO water to the tank by filling an empty bucket with the RO water and then use plastic tubing to gently drip the water into the tank (very fast drip instead of a slow drip), similar to the method you use to add treated water back to the tank during water changes.   This will ensure you don’t disturb the layer of bacteria/mironekuton you added in the middle of the substrate.


  1. Now add remineralizer (we recommend the Shrimptopia brand) to the desired GH/TDS in the new tank, we like to get the initial TDS to 110 for optimum Caridina conditions.


  1. Now go back to the original bucket where the old sponge and ornaments are and unplug the sponge filter.   Squeeze the sponge in the bucket many times to make sure all the excess bacteria are removed.   We also go the extra step to ensure all filter parts are taken out of the bucket and are cleaned separately to ensure optimum filter performance.    Re-assemble the filter and then squeeze the sponge one more time before adding it back to the newly filled tank.  The key here is to squeeze the sponge in the original tank water only, this will preserve as much good bacteria as possible while making sure it is clean and ready for good water flow in the new tank.  Add back the lighting, ornaments, and plants to the tank.


  1. Once everything has been running for about an hour add a few scoops of Mironekuton powder and SL Aqua Magic powder.   We also highly recommend adding top water plants at this point like Amazon Frogbit, but less than a quarter of the tank surface.


  1. That’s it!   Your tank is instantly cycled and ready to go.   Now slow drip acclimate the shrimp using the new tank water and add them back the same day.


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