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Old 12-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #1 
Super Sly
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Bacteria in a bottle?

Hi all I was wondering what your veiws were on the bottled bacteria said to help cycling. I was wondering if this stuff actually works or if its not really the best.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:57 PM   #2 
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IMO-most of those products are a waste of time and money...however, if you do want to try using one of the products I would recommend the Dr Tim's brand...he has done a lot of research and developed several good products...

What size tank are you wanting to cycle, type of filtration, finial stocking plan and any plans for live plants......

Do you have liquid test kit on hand for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH or will you use a pet shop for your water test.....
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:06 PM   #3 
RoyalBlueDarling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Sly View Post
Hi all I was wondering what your veiws were on the bottled bacteria said to help cycling. I was wondering if this stuff actually works or if its not really the best.
I feel it's not the best. When I first got my betta, the pet store person sold me some of that stuff--API's Stress Zyme--and I don't what's in it, but my betta hates it. It didn't matter whether I put just one or three drops in after a water change, he would dash around the tank, jerk his head weirdly, and then just sit at the bottom in a corner under the filter. Luckily I picked up on it pretty fast.

No Stress Zyme = happy fish. In my experience.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:37 AM   #4 
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Pretty pointless, if you have a friend with an established tank just get a bottle full of water from them to jump start your tank. I use goldfish to start my cycles. Durable as heck just plan on having one around for a while, I have a 5 gallon bucket I keep mine in when he's not helping cycle a tank
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:46 AM   #5 
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My tank is ten g with an aqua tech 20-40 filter The final stocking plan is just my betta and some cories, and i have some java ferns on the way that i was going to put in there. The petshop would be the one to test the water all i have is an ammonia kit. Thanks for your opinions.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:02 AM   #6 
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Don't use water, use rocks or filter media from an established tank. Water holds little to no bacteria :)
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:09 AM   #7 
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I used the Shrimp method to cycle my tanks without the use of any fish. It takes a bit of time (1st tank 4 1/2 weeks, 2nd tank 6 weeks) but it worked. A lot of bacteria in a bottle products are duds, so I picked a method that would work without hurting any living fish. But when I cycle my third tank I may get for christmas, I'm borrowing some sand from my two cycled tanks and letting the filter float in the tank with the highest nitrATE levels. I love when weeks of work allow me to take short cuts later down the road. :3

You may want to get a testing kit of your own. You have to do a lot of testing to check water levels through out the cycle. Unless you are very close to your pet store, the test may pay for themselves in the amount of gas you save. I know that's how I rationalized getting the kits in my cause. The master kit cast $35 but it cost $40 to fill half a tank. I definately would have used half a tank of gas for pet store trips by now, so I saved money with my own kits. v ^_^ v
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:34 AM   #8 
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To establish the nitrogen cycle you need to understand it and the bacteria...the bacteria need-surface area, oxygen and food source to colonize....the beneficial bacteria are sticking and adhere to all the surface area-like-walls, decorations, plants both fake and real, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media...very little are in the water column....so water only changes will not hurt the process-but over cleaning can....like-vacuuming more than every 7 days, cleaning non-viewing walls weekly, removing decorations to clean, changing the filter media or cleaning it in chlorinated water....

You can safely establish the nitrogen cycle with the fish-provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes.......without a test kit on hand some will be a guess, but it can still be done....since you have ammonia test kit on hand-I would setup the tank-get the filter running-add the fish-then monitor the ammonia daily....make a water only 50% on ammonia 0.25ppm or greater......take a sample to the pet shop weekly for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH...be sure to write all the numbers down and find out what type of product that are using to test with...
You may or may not need to make the 50% water only-but you will always need to make the 50% with vacuum weekly....
Once you have nitrate 5-10ppm without ammonia, nitrite spikes you are most likely cycled-this can take 4-8 weeks.....some things can change this-like water temp, pH, number and species of live plants to name a few.

To maintain the tank-50% weekly with vacuum in all area that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots-cleaning all the viewing walls, wiping off decorations if needed...this water change is the one you need to do for the life of the tank...

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month-but I would not start this until you have nitrate reading of at least 5ppm or greater and that can take 4-8 weeks....if you ever change the filter media be sure and monitor water pram for a week or two for mini-cycle....
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:44 PM   #9 
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My tank has already been setup for about a month and the ammonia part of the cycle is over(I Believe). doing a 50% wc today because i had the water tested and they said my nitrites were outrageous. I guess ill just have to go to the petstore quite a bit to get my water tested i was just looking for something to help the cycle along a little bit but since the ammonia part is done Ill just keep up with the water changes. OFL thanks for the gravel vaccum advice I was going to do it today but its only been a couple days since the last one. How many water changes would you suggest weekly to keep these nitrites down? Your a really big help at this point thanks for all the advice everyone.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:59 PM   #10 
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You actually want the nitrites, that's what the nitrates will feed off. Once there is enough nitrates, you're nitrites will go down on their own :)
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