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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! Recently I've been thinking about buying a 10 gallon aquarium. I had to recently throw away my 5 1/2 gallon tank because of some nasty weird stuff in my water. In that tank, I had cycled it at first but I quickly realized that my betta did not like filters at all, so I just took it out completely. I personally hate cycling tanks because I just know it takes soooo long! I've always heard about these bacterial start up additives you can add to your new aquarium to start up the cycle but I've always kind of questioned it and never really trusted it. But I was wondering if any of you guys have ever used it to start up your cycling process. If you've tried to see if they've worked in general and what brands are best. I really appreciate it, thank you!
 

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There are two different types of start-up bacteria. Ones that actually contain bacteria and ones that just help the cycle alone. Seachem Stability does not actually contain any bacteria that is in suspended animation. If you read the instructions - it says that you have to dose the tank several times. If a bottle has that instructions that then there is not actual bacteria in it. Tetra SafeStart does have actual bacteria. If you read the instructions, you only add it once to the tank when you start cycling.

neither is really better than the other - and many people on here have used both and have had success with both. I personally like SafeStart better. I also double the dosage that is says on the bottle and it cycled my tanks within a week or so.

If you do go with an actual bacteria - check the dates. You don't want one that has been sitting on the shelves for a long time. If you can, ask the store when they are getting a new shipment in and pick up a new bottle that day.
 

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Just a quick tip where you said your beta doesn't like filters.. have you tried a sponge filter?they are super gentle and low current. Also cheap like 3$ on amazon. You simply attach it to an air pump (also cheap 8$).
you do have to have a filter of some kind for a cycle.

I'm a big believer in a filtered, cycled tanks.

Also tanks can be disinfected from any nasty so you don't have to throw them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm thrilled that the products work! So how would you introduce it to your new tank?
About how long do you wait until it'd be safe to add in your fish?
& should I go based off of the label or should I add in however much I want?
Do you do water changes while your tank is cycling?
And when I'm going to add my fish, do I just accumulate them and put them in or do I have to do a water change, acclimate them & then put them in?


Oh & yes I have considered a sponge filter but I've been told they don't work as well as a hang-on external filter because it's not as strong; and also because I've been told that they're noisy due to the air pump. Regardless, if/when I get my 10 gallon, Lotus will have to get used to filters again.
 

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Tetra Safestart is the most widely used live bacteria product around here. Good results have also been reported with Dr Tim's One-and-Only. Also used successfully are ATM Colony and MicrobeLift NiteOut II. Stability works in a different way. Many members swear by it; some are less successful. Its major advantage is it's not as sensitive to heat and cold as are the live bacteria products.

The recommended way to dose it is to pour it into the filter. Make sure you use it all and rinse out the bottle in the tank. Add it at the same time you acclimate your fish.

Sponge filters can be made to be quieter than most HOBs. There's an adjustment in the pump. And you can always wrap the pump in a towel. They're the best bet for a Betta that doesn't like filters, because they have a much gentler flow.

Keep us posted on your cycle. I'm interested.
 

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I don't use any of those beneficial bacteria in a bottle products so no input. I start from scratch with pure ammonia and now that I have several cycled task I scavenge small portions of filter media to cycle new filters/tanks.
 

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I love my sponge filters! I wound up putting the air pumps inside old socks to muffle them. There's still a quiet buzz but nothing super loud or anything. Bettas don't need a crazy strong filter like a goldfish would or anything, so they're perfect for them.
 

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AA brings up a good point. You only have to cycle a tank once from scratch. After the tank is cycled, you will always have "seed" bacteria to help start any other tank. Some conscientious keepers, who are nervous about toxins or pathogens, won't use any donor bacteria, not even from their own tanks. But most of us trust our clean tanks to provide seed bacteria. That's how it's most commonly done.
 
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