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Old 09-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #1 
Gale
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Tank Cycling - Bacteria additives - Good or bad?

Hey everyone. I did some research before setting up my new tank recently, and discovered bacteria additives like Microbe-Lift & Tetra Safestart. The general concept sounded good, and many people seemed to stand behind these products.

I have been using Microbe-Lift special blend as a booster to the cycling process so far, but today I've come across a few negative views on these products. They seem to believe that these bottles of bacteria prolong the cycling process and potentially put your fish in greater danger.

I just wanted to gather some opinions on them here, as there seems to be a great wealth of first hand knowledge on these forums.

I check the tank water daily, and do changes when necessary (About 20% every other day so far) Should I keep using the additives, or just let the cycle run it's course without "assistance"?

There is one Betta in the tank. And yes, I wish I had waited until this had run it's course before getting him for his sake, but he's doing great so far.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:25 PM   #2 
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From what I read the bacteria are for the most part dead so it helps in fish less cycling because of Ammonia using decorations from old tanks have the bacteria growing on it so with that stuff like three weeks of cycling.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:40 PM   #3 
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I don't think many here have had much experience with it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:48 PM   #4 
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My opinion (and experience) is that using additives to force / jumpstart / whatever your cycle is a bit of a bad idea. I might have been unlucky but i dropped the issue after constantly failing at it. The process seems too hit or miss for my taste.

My thoughts are best not to force things and be a bit patient. I have yet to fail a normal cycle in 20 years (well technically 15 for cycles) and i never cycle with fish.

Just my 2c.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #5 
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You say you are testing the water do you mean you are checking the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate ? What size is your tank ? I do not know anything about that product but maybe someone who does will come along. I just did a fish in cycle on my 5 gallon and if done properly you betta should be fine, how long has the tank been running ?

You have to keep up with water changes and check the levels every day and you need a good test kit like the API Master Freshwater Kit to do a fish in cycle.

Last edited by Perseusmom; 09-06-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:57 PM   #6 
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

It's a 10 gallon tank, up and running for about a week and a half now. I check daily for ammonia (API liquid test), ph (API liquid test), Nitrite, Nitrate, Chlorine, GH & KH (Test Strips, which I will not purchase again when I'm through with them).

I'm thinking at this point I'll just stop using the additives. The dead bacteria idea really makes sense, considering they need oxygen, and yet they come in air tight containers off of a shelf.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:04 PM   #7 
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Adding ammonia is the best way it starts the protest no one get mad I have only quarantined sick fish and never cycled just stick the sand then the plants and the fish in one day rarely lose fish and just this month started doing water changes and did 24 hour light now I do in the 20 gallon 25 to 50 percent water changes twelve hour light same with ten gallon.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:04 PM   #8 
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Good idea and also I would get some Prime water conditioner cause it will detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for 48 hours and its only 2 drops per gallon.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:14 PM   #9 
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Choclate, the process has begun already. I had a full blown bacteria bloom the day after getting my betta, and ammonia levels have been steadily climbing since. I try to keep it down to .25 ppm as I want the cycle to move on, yet I want to keep my little buddy safe. Is that a good level considering? It has spiked up to .5, after which I promptly did a 20% water change.

Also, I'm wondering if I should get an air pump for the tank to help stimulate BB growth. It's currently oxygenated by the filter only.

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Originally Posted by Perseusmom View Post
Good idea and also I would get some Prime water conditioner cause it will detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for 48 hours and its only 2 drops per gallon.
I plan on getting that by the weekend, after discovering that the tetra aquasafe I currently use stimulates the slime coat by mildly burning them, essentially.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:59 AM   #10 
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Safestart and Dr Tim's One-and-Only contain the right nitrifying bacteria. How they keep it alive in the absence of oxygen is their trade secret.

Some members have found it effective. I used live bacteria for my cycle.

Adding an airstone will help your cycle. Bacteria really like oxygen.
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