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Old 03-29-2013, 09:23 PM   #1 
jasperandecho
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Can I use quick start instead of cycling a ten gallon tank?

Can I just use quick start and wait a week before adding a betta and neon tetras?
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:44 PM   #2 
shellieca
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That is cycling a tank & you still need an ammonia source to feed the BB & to test daily to make sure the tank has cycled.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:11 AM   #3 
jasperandecho
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That is cycling a tank & you still need an ammonia source to feed the BB & to test daily to make sure the tank has cycled.
So I would need to add fish immediately then? I can do that! Ill wait a week and let it filter and then ill ad quick start and fish. How long Fro you have to test the water daily. What's BB?
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:03 AM   #4 
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Okay, there is a debate on here about just this subject. Most people will tell you that the quick start-like products are bunk and won't work. Others say they're great. I believe it's either luck of the draw, or finding just the right product.

I have several tanks, and after doing one fish-in cycle (which was hard due to all the water testing and changes as I work crazy hours at a hospital), I hunted around the internet and found some people who rec'd API Quick Start as a good brand for "cycle in a bottle". I thought, what the heck, it's eight dollars, I'll give it a shot. I figured it couldn't hurt to try.

The API Quick Start has worked well for me in all my tanks, BUT, with a couple of guidelines.

One: the bottle, once opened, only seems to be good for about 48 hours. After that, the BB die off...or something, because it doesn't work anymore. I found that out the hard way. Bought a big bottle...did not make that mistake again. Buy what you need, and add it immediately, then toss the rest. Unless you have some seriously huge tanks, the small bottle will probably do you, I believe it does something like 110 gals.

Two: I used it **after** I'd had fish in the tank for a week and my ammonia reading as at 0.25. So, the BB *immediately* had something to eat and to start reproducing and colonizing with. I found that within a couple of days my ammonia was reading at zero, and my nitrites were going down, nitrates going up. It was not ideal for the fish as they ended up missing a water change, but it wasn't horrible for them either. Nobody got sick, and nobody seemed to be in distress.
But, I know that if you use Prime, then you could probably make it work with no ill-effects for the fish, as the Prime would neutralize the ammonia and the nitrites, but still have them in a form that can be utilized by the BB. So, best of both worlds there. :) Most likely by the time the Prime has stopped working, the BB's in the Quick Start will be ready to go. :)

I've tried some other stuff, one was a tetra product, didn't work AT ALL (it was cheap, I was curious)...so I can only vouch for the API brand. I've read on here that other members rec'd a Dr. Tim's Product (never seen it locally, so haven't tried it), and I've read on other boards that the Seachem Stability is good as well. That one is a bit different, you add it daily for a week from what I've read on the bottle. Again, never tried it, but another board recommended it, for what that's worth. :)

I hope that helps!! :D

Last edited by Blue Fish; 03-30-2013 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:28 AM   #5 
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So I would need to add fish immediately then? I can do that! Ill wait a week and let it filter and then ill ad quick start and fish. How long Fro you have to test the water daily. What's BB?
BB is beneficial bacteria. It's what you're adding when you put in the Quick Start. The BB's break down the ammonia (which your fish produce all the time) into nitrite, which is then further broken down by more BB's into nitrate. The ammonia is very bad for fish, the nitrite is bad, and the nitrate is neutral, not good or bad, so safe for fish.

You really need to have a Master liquid test kit before you do this. The strips are just NOT accurate. It's expensive, but it lasts a long time, and will really be worth it. :) I'm all for budgeting, but even I ended up with one of the liquid test kits. :)

It sounds like you have the same misconceptions I did when I first went to cycle a tank. Or maybe I've just misunderstood your question. So, here's a rundown of cycling and what the filter is actually doing. If I'm incorrect and you already know this stuff, then I apologize, and just skip to the end. :) No offense meant. :)

Running the filter in the empty tank won't do anything, it's just moving the water around. What the filter is doing when the tank is "cycled" is housing the BB that you need. The cycle is not a physical thing at all, it's the process of the fish producing ammonia, and then the BB's breaking down that ammonia into something that is no longer bad for the fish. :) Your filter will have a cartridge that contains carbon, and probably some black plastic meshy-looking stuff. Both the pad on the cartridge (that blue fuzzy stuff) and the black plastic mesh are both meant to provide places for the BB to live. Once you have cycled your tank, never, ever, ever wash the filter out with untreated tapwater, as you will kill your cycle. (The chlorine in your tapwater will kill your BB's) Your filter is also providing oxygen, which the BB's need to live as well. :) The BB's need ammonia (food) and oxygen to live. :) You can also take some aquarium sponges and shove them down into your filter behind the cartridge, this just gives the BB's more places to live.

Are you going to baffle your filter? If you use a sponge to baffle it, you'll get even *more* BB space. :) Plus it really makes the current still, which the fish enjoy. :) And if you haven't read already, make sure to baffle the intake tube as well, otherwise your fish could have some nasty injuries from the suction. :)

The filter will also help to suck up some larger physical debris, but mostly it just provides the oxygen and the space for the BB's. :) The BB's are doing the work that you need done. :)

This is why you need the liquid test kit, so that once you add your fish, you can test the water every couple of days until the ammonia reading gets to 0.25. Then you can add your Quick Start. After that, you'll need to test the water every day, or every other day for about a week. Then test it once a week or so for a few weeks to make sure that everything is stable.
Once you add the Quick Start, you *should* get these readings in this order if things are going correctly:
1. ammonia will go from 0.25 to 0
2. nitrite will go from 0 to a number (no telling what this will be, but some number more than 0)
3. nitrite will go from a number to 0
4. nitrATE will go from 0 to a number hopefully between 10 and 20.
5. when all your readings are like this:
ammonia: 0 nitrITE: 0 nitrATE: 10-20 and these numbers *stay the same* for a period of weeks, then your cycle is complete and you are stable. :) Yay, hard part is all over!! You can just do partial water changes once a week (or once every two weeks depending on who you ask).

It depends on a lot of different factors to know how long this will take, it can take days to weeks. With the Quick Start, mine always finished within a week, but it may be different with different tanks. :)

Does that make sense? I had this exact same question when I started here, and it took a few tries before I was able to put it all together. :)
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:12 AM   #6 
shellieca
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So I would need to add fish immediately then? I can do that! Ill wait a week and let it filter and then ill ad quick start and fish. How long Fro you have to test the water daily. What's BB?
You don't have to put fish in, you can use pure ammonia or a raw shrimp. Blue fish has gone into great detail so I'll leave it at that. Its really quite simple, regardless of whether or not you use a bacteria booster here needs to be an ammonia source to feed/produce the BB (beneficial bacteria).
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:44 AM   #7 
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Dr. Tims one and only is best. You order it off his website an it comes to you fresh. If memory serves me correct he sold the process to tetra an they made safestart. That's why safestart is usually suggested for Bob bought in a store. You just need to keep an eye on the expectation date. I used stress zyme an from what I was told is it helps prepare the filter for beneficial bacteria to grow.
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