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Old 09-24-2012, 05:14 PM   #1 
kevinbacon
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Starting Over - Tetra SafeStart Questions

So my betta Kevin died this weekend after our building evacuation :( My next door neighbor's bettas died too, so it looks like we're starting from scratch. I'm determined to do things right this time, to give my new fish a better start when I do get him.

So I bought a five gallon tank, filter, heater, and lots of plants and hiding places since Kevin didn't seem to like the openness of the tank while he was alive. I also made a betta hammock out of a silk plant and some suction cups I bought :) I'm thinking about making a few, so the new fishy will have a choice of where he is most comfortable settling in for the evening.

My main question is - I'm a very impatient person, and I've read wonderous reviews of bottled bacteria - "Tetra SafeStart". Can I use this to cycle my five gallon? How long will it take? And these bacteria require an fish-in cycle don't they?
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:01 PM   #2 
Rainbows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinbacon View Post
So my betta Kevin died this weekend after our building evacuation :( My next door neighbor's bettas died too, so it looks like we're starting from scratch. I'm determined to do things right this time, to give my new fish a better start when I do get him.

So I bought a five gallon tank, filter, heater, and lots of plants and hiding places since Kevin didn't seem to like the openness of the tank while he was alive. I also made a betta hammock out of a silk plant and some suction cups I bought :) I'm thinking about making a few, so the new fishy will have a choice of where he is most comfortable settling in for the evening.

My main question is - I'm a very impatient person, and I've read wonderous reviews of bottled bacteria - "Tetra SafeStart". Can I use this to cycle my five gallon? How long will it take? And these bacteria require an fish-in cycle don't they?
You can use it!! Its actually pretty good for the fishes! I use it and my fishes are more than healthy! It will probably take an hour and a half to about an hour. Use 4 drops since its a bigger tank!
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:29 PM   #3 
sarahspins
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I'm doing a fishless cycle with SafeStart in a bucket in advance of setting up my 55 gallon tank.... I'm only 4 days in and my ammonia is at .25 from 4ppm and my nitrites are already down to somewhere between .24 and .50 (they already spiked off the chart with my test kit) and my nitrates are high enough that I am having a hard time deciding what color they match. I'm going to do a water change tonight and re-dose with ammonia and see how things look tomorrow night... I kind of expect that it will have cycled by the time I get the substrate for that tank in (end of the week).

That said, I've also been trying to do a fish-in cycle with 4 guppies and two ADF's in a 6.6 gallon tank and I added safe start to that one at the same time 4 days ago (the tank has been set up for almost 3 weeks now, and it was seeded with media from my one cycled tank when I set it up) and so far nothing has changed.. I'm still testing 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates, and my ammonia keeps creeping up and up (I'm staying on top of that with water changes though).

It's a similar story in my fishless plant-only QT tank, I also added safe start to that and dosed with ammonia and as of this morning I still just have ammonia in that one. The plants are all doing great though :)

Why is the bucket working while the others aren't doing much? I don't know, but I have a heater in there cranked up to 86 and it has a lid on it, so obviously it's dark, and it's dark inside the canister filter... so that may be speeding things up. The guppy/frog tank is at 78 and the plant tank currently has neither a heater or a thermometer (really I'm just using it to keep and eye on whether those plants brought in snails) but I imagine it's probably 76 or so.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:33 PM   #4 
LadyVictorian
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I'm sorry to hear about your fish, that's very sad. Also it does help to start kick the cycling process but you still have to wait. I havn't tried it before but if my plans on getting a second fish happens I might use it then.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:29 AM   #5 
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I'm sorry for your loss, and your neighbor's. It's never easy to lose a beloved animal.

Like the others here I have also had positive experiences with Tetra SafeStart. My number one tip for you would be to ensure that you have ammonia readings before you add the SafeStart as the bacteria need food. Keep adding your ammonia source (whether it's pure household ammonia, crushed fish flakes or whatever) until the cycle is completed as usual. I also recommend StressZhyme+ (used here in conjunction with StressCoat+) if you want a little extra help as it also contains some form of beneficial bacteria.

Good luck!
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