I just set up a small 23 liter aquarium for red fire shrimps. There are no shrimps in there.

I filled up the tank with water from a rain collector and mixed it with some mineralised water. This was three days ago.

The guy in the shop told me to wait at least two weeks before I can put any shrimps in there. He also sold me a probing set to evaluate the water quality. Just three days in now and the water quality is now perfect according to the test.

Is there any reason to wait longer to buy shrimps?

Is there anything happening in the next 10 days from a chemical process?

1 Answer 1


You definitely need to wait until you have cycled the tank properly, this means waiting until you have first measured non-zero amount of ammonia present in the tank.

When ammonia is present you need to wait until you can measure non-zero amount of nitrite in your tank.

When both ammonia and nitrite have dropped to zero and you are able to measure non-zero amount of nitrate in your tank, you can start to think about adding shrimp to your tank.

When testing your water please use a liquid test kit and not the 5 in 1 test strips as they are not very sensitive for ammonia and nitrite (as I just found out AGAIN).

I want you to read and understand what you read here https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm before you even start thinking about adding shrimp to your tank.

I have just got myself about 20 red crystal shrimp and added them to a well cycled tank. No ammonia or nitrite is present in my tank and still I have found two dead so far, so you need to be patient before you add any type of life to your tank.

I have had aquariums since 1974 and until now and have gained some fundamental experience during the years. There are no shortcuts when you cycle a tank, it takes the time it takes depending on your setup.

Shrimp are very sensitive to the water quality, so if it is possible try to buy them from a shop that has the same water supply as you have at home.

  • 2
    It's worth noting that shrimp are even more sensitive to ammonia than fish so it's doubly important to make sure the tank is properly cycled before even considering adding them. Personally, I don't like adding shrimp to tanks that are under 6 months or so because there's way more biological processes that add to stability beyond just the initial cycle.
    – Jestep
    Commented May 4, 2019 at 17:03

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