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· Betta Bomb
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If you're concerned about adding Esteban to the tank right away you can cycle it before adding him. To cycle it you will need a source of ammonia. Some people dump their fish in for the ammonia (though this can be dangerous in a new tank and ammonia spikes can kill everything in the tank). Other people use an ammonia source from the pet store, and others still use fish they don't care about or intend to keep (goldfish tend to fall victim to this).
Running the tank for a few days without a source of ammonia will do nothing. You can add live plants to start or add the gravel out of Esteban's tank and all his decorations WITHOUT CLEANING THEM. The bacteria you want to become established lives ON things, not in the water.

How I established my 5g tank was set it up, ran the filter and added the gravel and dec from the 2 betta tanks. Then added live plants and was doing a daily 35% change on the water. Then I added my fish and snails. Never had a spike. This might not the case for you. Here:

Definitely add the shrimp later. Shrimp are delicate. I bought 3 and they died right away, thereby causing a spike in my tank overnight which shocked my old betta whod died a week later of osmosis shock.
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