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Old 01-12-2011, 01:22 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Michigan
best bottled bacteria

OK, cycling my 2.5 gal, fish-in unfortunately

I'm trying to make it go faster by using the "bottled bacteria." I have a REALLY hard time believing that any of them work seeing as they are non-refrigerated and don't have an ammonia source to keep the bacteria alive, but a lot of people swear by them so I thought I'd bring it up here.

I've been trying Nutrafin Cycle with few results. Of course, I've also done a 100% water change, so I'm sure that wrecked it. I also could have gotten a bad batch. Or maybe it's all a load of crap.

The other one I've heard great things about is Tetra Safe Start - supposedly it's the freshwater version non-refrigerated version of Biospira. Has anyone tried this?

Does anyone know of any brands that worked well for them? Or is it all really just a marketing scam?
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:37 AM   #2 
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Location: Ontario
Those generally don't work.

If you want to help speed up the cycle, live plants and some sort of material from a cycled tank really help.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:50 AM   #3 
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These 'bottled bacteria' are usually either terrestrial forms of nitrogen fixing bacteria or the completely wrong bacteria altogether. Add to the fact that unless kept refrigerated from production to shelf, the bacteria are next to useless once they've been introduced to the tank, these products are basically a waste of money and time. There's no way for bacteria to survive without a constant supply of ammonia and I don't see how that's possible in a bottle that could have been sitting on the shelf for months.

In short, there's no real way to speed up your cycle. You just have to ensure the conditions are right for bacteria growth (temperature etc.), and that your pH doesn't dip below 7, which can tend to stall any bacteria development.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:54 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO
Hi first time Betta owner, first time tank cycler...

I just did a water test (With the API Master Kit) and it shows everything to be clean.

Except for a high PH of 8.0.

Since you say if your PH dips below 7.0 it can stall growth of bacteria... does that mean my fickle tank cycled faster being at PH 8.0?

Also how long till I know if the tank IS cycled and isn't just a coincidence of the chemicals being balanced... few days? A week?
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:36 AM   #5 
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Personally I've been doing the shrimp cycle along with Stress Coat for bacteria. I've had plenty of betta owners tell me it cut 3 weeks off their wait time, so I went along with it. It's only been one week so I'm not sure yet, but I figure it wouldn't hurt
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