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I will be doing a heavily planted tank (rest of the plants arrive Friday), 65 Gallon, with co2, dosed sachem complete, and medium to medium high lighting (still waiting on one light though so will be low to medium in the interim).

Had colonized driftwood and plants from an established tank and plan on doing a fish less cycle. What time frame should I be thinking about before I can add shrimp (plan is for amano and cherry). Concern is too long and algae will take over - too soon and shrimp will die.

Also, only have a cheap chain store test kit to measure ammonia and nitrates which I hear is not reliable. Suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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My suggestion is when your tank is cycled and stable (especially with co2 and if you add ferts) you can add shrimp. This might take shorter than usual since you have some things from an established tank, it would be the best to use old filter media as well to transfer some bacteria over. Cherries are relatively hardy but still sensitive to ammonia and nitrite. Make sure to watch your kH and gH because that is often a cause of death. I don't believe there is such thing as waiting too long and algae taking over, if your tank is balanced in terms of lighting, co2, and ferts that should not be a huge problem. Of course everyone gets some algae and there is an adjustment period to figure out that balance but it shouldn't be a concern of yours :)
 
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