Fill the tank and get the filter, lighting and heater running. Add the shrimp to the tank either by simply placing it on the bottom or putting it in a fine mesh bag on the bottom. Test until you see ammonia, then nitirites and keep testing until both of them go to 0 and you have only nitrAtes. Do partial water changes to keep the nitrAtes below 30ppm. When ammonia and nitrItes are 0 for 3-4 days the cycles is done. I wish there was a more definate answer to amount of time but even the best layed plans can result in taking 6-8 weeks to finish the cycle. Leave the top off the aquarium or leave it open can help to introduce the bacteria if you don't have a source for seasoned gravel, filter material or decoration.
Remember, circulation is key here and the more air you have in the tank the better. The bacteria need oxygen and the more they have the faster they will multiply.
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