The first thing you should do is clean the tank to remove all oil and grease from the manufacturing process, you can use a small amount of dish detergent on a sponge to clean the tank and use lots of clean water to rinse and then let it dry.
Add the substrate of your choice and add your filter I recommend a small sponge filter with a small powerhead for small tanks but you can also use other filtration methods like hang on back filters and canister filters.
In an ideal world, I would use 2-3 canister filters in a chain with a double sponge filter on the intakes of all my tanks. When your tank is ready to start fill it with water and prepare it like I showed you in the first section of this guide.
Add a pinch of bacterial powder if you have it, I like to use Borneo wild enlive. Next, sit on your hand for a week and then do a 25% water change again remember to age that water. repeat these steps for two months. After 2 months your tank should be cycled.
Now is a good time for you to break out that ammonia test kit and see what you have, I personally don’t do this anymore because the tanks are always ready but it is good practice for you to see it for yourself.
Let me touch briefly on why the cycle process is important. A shrimp tank needs a stable nitrogen cycle to function properly and in the early stages it is anything but stable, bacterial colony’s will thrive and die of as they compete with each other for the resources your tanks hold.
This is why I recommend starting with a bacterial powder so that you choose the type of bacteria.Bacterial colonies can also take a little while to get going and some anaerobic bacteria can take a longer time than normal.
Water changes can be a complex issue because so many people have different opinions about it and also my advise will not always be the same to different people, normally this is done on an individual basis depending on what I think the individuals shrimp keeping ability is, smaller water changes are easier and less can go wrong.