Cycling your tank SL-Aqua style

Cycling our tanks have always been the most important aspect of shrimp keeping. A good stabilised tank would give your shrimps a healthy and clean environment.

Imagine our tank water as the air we breathe. Fresh healthy air would definitely be beneficial for us humans just like healthy tank waters would be beneficial for our shrimps.

So today, we are going to share how we cycle our tanks using SL-Aqua Aqualex products.

Step 1:

We lay a thin layer of Aqualex Enzyme powder on the base of the tank. This is to ensure that there will be bacteria growing underneath our soil. Enzyme powder is powder form bacteria and can be use as supplement for your shrimps during tank maintenance as well.

Step 2: Lay your soil on top of the powder and add another layer of Aqualex Enzyme powder on the soil. This is to speed up the cycling process above the soil level.

Step 3: For cycling, I would usually use dechlorinated tap water. I would prepare the water in a pail and leave it overnight with an air stone in the pail. I would also add in some Aqualex water stabiliser to remove chlorine from the water.

Step 4: The next day, I would fill up the tank with a little water first, then add in Aqualex Nitrifying bacteria to start the entire cycling process. I would use about 250ml for a 1.5 feet cube tank. I usually add more than the recommended dosage just to be safe.

Step 5: Fill the tank up with water and connect all your filters. Throw in a bag of Aqualex Vitality and you are good to good. During this time, you may notice that your tank would turn cloudy, white mold would start growing all over your tank. This is perfectly normal and it is a good sign that the cycling process has started.

Step 6: After about 2 weeks of cycling, turn on your lights for about 8-12 hours a day to speed up the process of algae growing in your tank. Algae serves as good food for your shrimps and also will bring down NO3 quickly in your tank.

Once your tank is green like hulk, it is a good sign to start increasing the gH and TDS to your desired level with Aqualex gH conditioner. Do a quick parameter test on your tank, if all is good, you may test your tank with a berried shrimps. Berried shrimps are usually more sensitive, if the berried shrimp survived in your tanks for a couple of days without dropping her eggs, your tank would be ready to go!

It’s pretty simple and it has proven to work for all my tanks. Shrimps will eat up all the algae in the tanks, however if you find that it is very unsightly, you can tidy up the tank a little before putting in your shrimps.

The cycling process is the most important part of shrimp keeping, don’t be hasty and impatient and mess it up, you would have many unexplainable death in the future. So do it once and do it right!

Happy shrimping!

26 thoughts on “Cycling your tank SL-Aqua style

  1. Thankyou so much for this. It has been very informative for ME. My only regret is that I cannot get hold of your WONDERFUL products here in Perth, western Australia. My family & i are planning to visit Singapore in late April next year so I need to ask if there is s physical shop/store i can go to to purchase your goodies Please? Genuine thanks?

  2. Hi ERIC,


  3. So need to used 250 ml bacteria for 10 gallons tank and my correct

    1. Hi Jorge,

      Yes, the good thing is you can overdose the nitrifying bacteria with no worries. Cheers.

  4. I notice that during the part where u mention to turn on the light to grow algae.the soil was shifted to a corner?

    How or when do you spread out the soil again?

    Ps: no idea why all my word are in capital letter, I”m on mobile device.

    And another thing to check is that can the shop be visited? I notice it’s at a industrial park.


    1. Hi Zj, we spread out the soil before putting the water into the tank. This way it will be a lot neater in future. We have an office which you can visit at the our contact location. Drop us a message before heading over.

  5. hi, just to confirm that for the first 2 weeks, u did not on any light during the cycling process right?
    any temperature to maintain?

    1. Hi Alvin, we usually turn on the lights after 2 weeks of cycling. Temperature is not really an issue during the cycling process, however a cooler temperature would slow down the cycling speed, so perhaps if you are running on chiller, you might want to turn it off first.

  6. any soil to recommend to be used for this start up?

    1. Hello Ronnie! You can check our Aqualex soil from our webshop.

  7. HOw Long I need to put AQUALex vitality inside the tank?

    1. A good figure would be a month but it would vary for different tank sizes and the amount of shrimps in it

  8. Hi,
    Quick qn on the water stabilizer, does it increase GH and TDS when added?

    1. Hi Ryo, it will have a very minute increase in both of that in a short period of time.

  9. Hi, like to clarify on the steps above. After Step 4 where you mentioned to fill the tank with a little water first and add Purify, do you wait maybe 1-2 days before proceeding to Step 5 or can proceed to Step 5 immediately? One more qn, any water change needed before the cycling is completed? Thanks

    1. Hi Sam, you can soak it overnight before proceeding to add the bacteria. We perform water change only after the shrimps are in the tank for about a week 🙂

      1. So no water changes at all during the cycle?

        1. Hi Benny, yes! Water change is not necessary during the cycling period.

  10. Hi, just to check how many ml of nitrifying bacteria have to add every water change?
    My is 1.5ft cube tank arnd 75L,
    I change arnd 15L of water every 10days…

    1. Whenever you change water, just dose a cap full will do. That equates to about 5ml.

  11. Hello, would it be better to use RO water to start the cycle? Or use tap and then once cycled change all the water to RO with correct GH and TDS?

    1. Hi Barry. Using RO water would definitely be the best choice as you can control what is gonna be put into the water. However a more cost effective way is to use tap water first.

  12. Hi, how will I know when the cycling process will be completed?
    Right now, my tank is going through the cycling process for about 1 week & half, the tank water is still cloudy and I do see some brown algae starting to grow on the biofilm. The ph in my tank is between 6.2~6.3 and I’m using buffering soil. I have tested the ammonium and the level is about 1.0. Nitrite and nitrate are still at zero. The BB will usually start to grow in about ~3 days when I used the fishless cycle method for my other tank. It’s my first time trying out the SL-Aqua style cycling of the tank and the BB doesn’t seems to be multiplying despite putting a bag of ceramic rings from my mature tank’s filter into my this new tank’s filter.

    1. Hi, the fact that the water is still cloudy shows that the bacteria is growing in your tank. Once your tank have been cleared up, it should be ready for your shrimps but do test the parameters first.

  13. If one plans to keep neocaridina shrimps, what parameters should we testing for in the cycles tank before the shrimps can be introduced?
    Should snails also be introduced when cycling the tank to assist in the cycling process? If yes, what snails would be ideal?

    1. Personally, snails are not one of my favourite pet in my shrimp tank. They lay a lot of eggs and overpopulate the tank within a short period of time. During cycling, just leave your tank as it is. Once it’s fully cycled where you see algae growing out and your water turns clear, you can test your gH and TDS accordingly.

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