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Old 09-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #1 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Shout out for an online vendor

Hello all - I didn't see a "vendor experiences" forum to discuss shopping experiences so figured I'd put this here.

Ordered some Dr Tom's bacteria starter along with other things for our new Betta tank from Foster & Smith.
I've been ordering all kinds of pet and horse stuff from them for years now.

I checked the weather along the shipping route and took a calculated risk by ordering the Dr Tom's from them since high/low temps can kill the good bacteria.

Got the package today (had free shipping) and lo and behold - they'd put it in a special container with cold packs all around it - no extra charge.

It was decently cool when I got it out - certainly cooler than the surrounding air temp. Might not be AS good as the stuff Dr Tom's ships it in (for an extra cost) if you order there directly - but I thought that deserved a shout out for good customer service.

We'll be setting the tank up in a day or two and selecting a Betta soon after - guess I'll know if the bacteria survived as I test my water once we put a fish in there!
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:10 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Oklahoma
When you add a fish to a fishless system, even if the cycle has completed, there will be a slight spike in the reasings as the bacteria "catches up" with the increase in ammonia. So you may test the water before you put the fish in. The bacteria will grow best at warmer water temps, so get that heater running when you add the bottle to help it out. 82 or more is a good target temp.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:55 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Wisconsin USA
I definitely like Drs Foster and Smith as well!

I have ordered a lot of cat stuff from them before. But just recently I ordered a Hydor Theo heater from them for my tank. Unfortunately the first one didnt work. But I talked to customer service and they sent me another one right away no charge and with free shipping, even though the sale wasnt going on anymore. And I didnt have to pay to return the non working one either.

Shipping said 5-9 says. First one I got in 5 because of the holiday weekend. The replacement came in 4.

They treat their customers well and I dont hesitate to order from them.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:16 AM   #4 
Blue Fish
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Tennessee
Make sure there is some ammonia in the tank before adding in the Dr. Tom's. About 0.25 has been the magic number for me. :) This gives the bacteria something to eat immediately, and keeps any of it from dying off. :) I cycled a tank with some API Quick Start a year ago, and it's held a great cycle ever since, even with some 90% water changes (various reasons, from meds to pollutants...) but I kept the sponge filter wet in the old tank water and the gravel didn't dry out.

Good luck to you!!
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:29 AM   #5 
Join Date: Aug 2013
I plan to add the Dr Toms when we put the Betta in there. I think the article on Dr Toms website recommended doing it at the same time.
Thanks for all the good tips.

If anyone has thoughts on adding the Dr Toms at a different time besides when the fish is added let me know and I'll consider it.
I was thinking of adding it right before we selected a fish - but realized we could go to a store or two and wind up I'll add the Toms when the fish comes home.
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