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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to quickly cycle my 20 gallon so I can move my betta in when he recovers from fin rot. I know how to cycle, but I want to speed up the process with some bottled bacteria. Which kind is the best to get? I've heard that Tetra Safestart and Seachem Stability are both good so I'm trying to decide between them. Have any of you used either one and if you did, how did it work for you?
 

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From what I've read they are both hit & miss. I did use Stability in my 46g tank with a fish IN cycle & it still took 5-6 weeks, I used in my 10g with its fish IN & it still took 8 wks to complete. From what I've seen a lot of people like the Tetra & claim it works great. Personally, if your water levels are currently good or you can get them good by doing a water change or two, I would move your Betta in the larger tank, it'll make a difference in his healing.
 

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I recently used the Tetra product and it worked well for me... just dont expect it to work overnight though... took my 8gallon tank about a week before it cycled.

Do you have live plants in your 20g? If it does, you should be okay with a fish in cycle since you have a bigger tank. Just do the needed water changes (OFL has an excellent sticky on this subject which I highly recommend you read if you haven't already).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got some stability today because it had easier dosing instructions and a more clear cycling plan. (1 capful for 20 gallons for 7 days.) About how long do you think it will take to cycle my tank with the extra bacteria? I have live plants in it, but they are dying due to ph problems so I'm not sure if they will help. I was hoping it would be cycled in 2-3 weeks.
 

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Stability is what Carl Strohmeyer recommends, and he's a professional aquarist with a lot on the line.

From the research I've done lately, it seems Safestart and other live (must refrigerate) products work better for a fishless cycle with it's high ammonia.

For help with a fish-n cycle, Stability, Cycle and others (room temperature) seem to be best.

Two or three weeks is a little optimistic but, if you're cycling fish-in, you'll be doing the required water changes anyway, and eventually your tank will be cycled.

Read this:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...ssories/nitrogen-cycle-betta-specific-107771/

and be sure you have a liquid teat kit and know how to use it.

What pH problems are you having?
 

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I got the microbe lift products from PetCo during the 50% off sale.

Special Blend
Nite Out
Thera P

And no ammonia issues with fish in cycling. Mind you I have a lot of floating plants and some stems plants.

I add nite out every other day per directions.
 

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The best bacteria to add for cycling is bacteria from an already cycled tank.

If your fish isn't in the tank anyway, I'd recommend just cycling with pure ammonia. I personally wouldn't waste my money on cycle starters.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From the research I've done lately, it seems Safestart and other live (must refrigerate) products work better for a fishless cycle with it's high ammonia.
For help with a fish-n cycle, Stability, Cycle and others (room temperature) seem to be best.
I got Stability, but since I'm doing a fish less cycle is this not the best choice? I haven't opened it, so I can exchange it for Safe Start if that is better for fish less cycles. (I'm now doing fishless because all my fish died due to ph problems :-()
 

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If it were up to me, and being determined to do a fishless cycle, I would go with Safestart. There are several members here who would second that opinion.

Check the "sell-by" date. If it's approaching six-months, try for a fresher batch.

Again, what pH problems are you having? It might effect your cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the advice, I think I'll get some Safe Start instead. Should I add the it only once or several times during the cycling process? Also, my ph problems came from my sand, but I'm getting rid of it, so they should be fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm not sure how well SafeStart would be when doing a fishless cycle... you would still need a constant source of food/ammonia to feed the bacteria. Anyways, I found this page really helpful with practically all my SafeStart questions:

http://answers.tetra-fish.com/answer.../questions.htm
Thanks, that website really helped. Now I'm wondering if I should do a fish in or fish less cycle. Fish in cycle sounded easy with the safestart. I used Safe Start before, but I waited 3-4 hours before adding fish so maybe that was why I had ammonia problems.
 

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Go to the Tetra site and read up on what Safestart is, what it does and the instructions. Dr Tim Hovanec has good advice on his site. His One-and-Only live bacteria is his version of Safestart. He invented it (actually BioSpira, which was the precursor to both products). They come with their own ammonia; it's one of the ways they keep it alive in the bottle. Cycle and Stability and the Microbe lift products have a different type of bacteria and are more suitable for a fish-in cycle...in my opinion.

There's a lot of info on the web. And the old threads that are listed at the bottom of this page are a treasure trove of information.

@DiiQue
A completed cycle in only a week is incredibly fast---as close to "instant" as a cycle gets.
 
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