When starting the cycling process on your new saltwater aquarium, you don’t have to add dead shrimp or anything else dead for that matter. Chances are the live rock you add to the setup has a lot of dead (or dying) stuff already on it. When live rock is shipped, it is usually only lightly covered with damp newspapers. This causes massive die off of anything living on the rock. Whatever survives the trip, usually dies shortly after arrival. The dead stuff will decay in your aquarium, providing plenty of fuel to jump start the cycle.