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Old 09-06-2012, 09:21 PM   #1 
LadyVictorian
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Safe Start

Tetra has something called safe start that basically says it puts the useful bacteria into the tank without needing to cycle and cuts back on the dangerous ammonia and nitrogen. That way you can add fish imediatly. Sounds a little fishy to me (no pun intended). So does anyone know what this stuff is about? Is it an actual good product or a sure way to kill fish?
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:42 PM   #2 
DiiQue
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From what I read about it on several sites, it's pretty good at jump starting a fish in cycle... Though if you are just going to have one betta, you will be fine without using this product. I bought it, thinking it was something I really needed but I then read OFL's Nitrogen cycle post and realized I didnt need it for my one Betta... So the SafeStart is somewhere in the house, still unopened, while I've had a fully cycled tank for a couple of months now.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:15 PM   #3 
LadyVictorian
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I may keep this into future consideration of I ever try for the dread goldfish tank again. I have never had luck with goldfish I do better with tropical breeds. Or if I ever get a tank of girls. :P Help the cycle along a little. Was almost half tempted to get some after I WASH MY FILTER IN TAP WATER...and have to start the cycle ALL OVER. -faceplants- I feel like such a n00b this week. Forgot two important things, never wash the filter in the tap water and you can't get shrimp and put them in a tank that isn't fully cycled (didn't do it or I would have cried killing my shrimpy)
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:42 AM   #4 
teeneythebetta
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Safe start does NOT instantly cycle a tank. It supposedly helps jump start cycling, but there are conflicting opinions on its effectiveness.
I used it to cycle my tank and it cycled the normal time.

So if you want, you can use it but you still have to go through the cycling process and test your parameters the way you do without using safe start.

Here's a printable coupon for tetra safe start: http://www.tetra-fish.com/coupons/Te...tartCoupon.pdf

Last edited by teeneythebetta; 09-08-2012 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:55 PM   #5 
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You can't rely on Tetra products mostly because the places that sell them store them in hot enclosed spaces or in cold storage in the winter.

Generally the bacterial culture products you get from the actual pet stores are in much better shape and usually they have much higher quality and more reliable products.

NEVER trust a dechlorinator/bacteria mix bottle, by the time the dechlorinator has worked the bacteria are dead.

Mardel's little cup almost always works.
Hagen's Cycle works.
Jungle's bacteria culture often works.
Tetra's safe-start never works like it says.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:52 AM   #6 
Hallyx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderloon View Post
Generally the bacterial culture products you get from the actual pet stores are in much better shape and usually they have much higher quality and more reliable products.
Do you mean the live nitrifying bacteria inhabiting the gravel and media of petstore tanks? In my experience, and from reading this forum, it is the rare petstore which will even condescend to help you out with handful of gravel.

Then there's the matter of trusting the petstore tanks not to harbor pathogens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderloon View Post
Mardel's little cup almost always works.
Hagen's Cycle works.
Jungle's bacteria culture often works.
Tetra's safe-start never works like it says.
Safestart and Dr Tim's One-and-Only claim to have autotrophic bacteria (nitrisomonas and nitrospira). I don't know how they keep them alive absent oxygen. Reports of their efficacy vary.

According to Carl Strohmeyer, most of the other "cycle helper" products contain heterotrophic bactera, easy to keep in a bottle but orders of magnitude less effective. Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle and cycling. Methods for ammonia, nitrite removal.

I, along with many others I'm sure, would like to know more about the method you use to cycle your filters that you mentioned in the "Nitrites same day" thread:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...me-day-103318/

Near as I can tell, timely success in cycling still comes down to having live (or nearly) nitrifying bacteria. Otherwise you're committed to waiting for it to fall out of the sky.

Last edited by Hallyx; 09-10-2012 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:27 PM   #7 
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Marineland used to distribute cold-packs of bacteria that contained the appropriate forms.

Most bacteria stay alive for YEARS as long as they don't get cooked, they aren't kittens and puppies that die from missing a couple meals. (we recently saw a kitten survive several weeks in a shipping container, bacteria are orders of magnitude stronger and even if only 5% survive the duration, that's 5%)

When I use the bacteria culture bottles I use the WHOLE BOTTLE because once it does become exposed to air they often wake up and die.


If you read a bit further into the technology you'll learn that they actually put the bacteria to sleep for the duration of shipping.

The primary form of starter culture I use now is TLC's "Optimizer". I get it from my LFS for three bucks a 2oz bottle and I have NEVER had one fail to work. The Optimizer contains not only the nitrogen cycle bacteria but also most the other bacteria that are naturally in a tank.

I literally shake the bottle up and dump it into a stocked tank with some plants, good substrate and a running filter and then feed lightly for a week.

Last edited by Thunderloon; 09-10-2012 at 01:32 PM. Reason: If you don't understand what you've learned, you cannot be an authority on it.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:22 AM   #8 
Hallyx
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Thank you for your explanation and recommendations, Thunderloon. I can't seem to find much info on TLC Optimixer, but TLC Start-Smart seems to be the equivalent of Safestart, One-and-Only and others that claim to instantly cycle a tank. TLC does not list the bacteria as does Tetra and Dr Tim's.

I have enough live bacteria that I'll never have to cycle another tank. So I'm no longer motivated to try new things...especially ones that cost money.

It looks you might recommend certain products as being better than just waiting for nitrifying bacteria to naturally fall into the tank.

Would I be out of line in recommending either of these TLC products (or others you’ve mentioned), should anyone ask?
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:50 AM   #9 
BettaQi
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I have been using Microbe Lift products

Special Blend
Nite Out II
Thera-P

And I like them. I also used Stability at the beginning, bc I like to cover my bases.

If I could get Dr. Tim's locally I probably would've gone with it.

I have 2 betta girls in separate tanks, a shrimp/snail tank, a dedicated snail tank and have joint custody of a 29 g with 3 goldfish in it.

Everyine's doing fine except I tend to overfeed the shrimp bc I worry that I'm under feeding the apple snail. He's gigantic.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:00 AM   #10 
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To be dead honest the biggest trouble most people have with starting their cycle is that the water they use it too clean to sustain it. I've the suspicion that getting it going simply takes actual lake dirt. Most of the bacteria we need in our tanks exists in established lakes, we just don't want to risk bacteria or parasites from such a source and few of us have UV filtration equipment.

If central Florida dirt wasn't 'lethally' high in phosphates I'd take all of OFL's advice and only do NPT but run-off water in Florida has some of the highest phosphate concentrations you will ever see even though we never use phosphate fertilizers. Blown dust will quickly fill an open water source with tons of algae down here, its ridiculous how quickly it happens even with RO water.
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