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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have read the Forum on the Q & A of tetra safestart but I have a few questions. So I used tetra safestart one week ago and put in two zebra danios to cycle the tank (10 gal). Once the tank is cycled I was be giving the danios to a friend at work, and putting my betta fish in (I used other fish in case the safestart didnt work...sorry for whoever it offends.)

My ammonia's highest level within this week was .25
My nitrite never went past .25

for the last 3 days my ammonia is 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate 40ppm. After the second day of 40ppm I started feeding once a day.

Its been one week since using TSS... should I do a 25% water change now for the nitrates? (And my tap water has 0 nitrates)

The Q&A I read said two weeks but only if its not done cycling. If my ammonia and nitrites already went to 0 doesn't that mean my tank is almost done cycling?

Also water changes with the safestart... I use API stress coat and Aquarium salt (betta came from Petsmart with fin rot...but has gotten significantly better), How do I add both of these with the water changes? (Hes not in the 10 gallon now but I am preparing the water for when he is)

Finally...when can I take out the danios and move my betta to its official home?
 

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The tank is cycled when ammonia=0.0ppm, nitrite=0.0ppm and nitrate increases between water changes. Your tank is cycled.

Change enough water to get the nitrate down >10ppm and introduce the Betta.

Stresscoat can be added to the refill water before refilling. Salt should be totally dissolved and added separately, slowly. Discontinue salt as soon as you can.

Safestart works fast, doesn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the tank is cycled when ammonia=0.0ppm, nitrite=0.0ppm and nitrate increases between water changes. Your tank is cycled.

Change enough water to get the nitrate down >10ppm and introduce the betta.

Stresscoat can be added to the refill water before refilling. Salt should be totally dissolved and added separately, slowly. Discontinue salt as soon as you can.

Safestart works fast, doesn't it?
thank you!
 

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Hey, I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I used SafeStart two weeks ago in a 10 gal with my one betta, and my ammonia is rising constantly without a clear nitrite or nitrate reading. Should I get another bottle? I feel like I did something wrong...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey, I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I used SafeStart two weeks ago in a 10 gal with my one betta, and my ammonia is rising constantly without a clear nitrite or nitrate reading. Should I get another bottle? I feel like I did something wrong...
It wasn't expired was it? Where did you purchase it from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey, I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I used SafeStart two weeks ago in a 10 gal with my one betta, and my ammonia is rising constantly without a clear nitrite or nitrate reading. Should I get another bottle? I feel like I did something wrong...
Also how much and often are you feeding your betta?
 

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No I made sure to check the bottle. I got it from Petsmart since Petco didn't have it.

I feed my betta about 2-3 pellets of Omega One twice a day.
 

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Three things can kill or weaken live bacteria. 1) Drying out, 2) Cold, near freezing, 3) heat, over 120* more or less. You can't know where that Safestart was during shipping to your LFS, so it may have been weakened by heat.

Double-check me, but I believe Tetra is guaranteeing Safestart. If it doesn't work, they'll replace the bottle. Contact them and then let me know what the deal is.

Timothy Hovanec, the inventor of Safestart, sells his own brand of live bacteria, Dr. Tim's One-and-Only. He ships it factory direct and fresh in an insulated envelope.

Nessa, it's OK to high-jack a thread if the question is on-topic and relates. But you might get a better response and a greater variety of comments and opinions if you start your own thread with this question.
 
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Hijacking the thread for a moment here...

I used a product called Colony when setting up my tank. The guy at the pet store told me it works more quickly than Tetra Safestart (which was what I intended to buy). YES I KNOW, I took a pet store guy's advice...I didn't know better then.

Despite this, it seems to have worked like a charm. I cycled my 5 gallon in about two days. Has anyone heard anything about this Colony stuff...negative or positive? I can't find much about it online. ??? :/
 

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ATM (the Tanked TV show people) have Colony manufactured to their spec. They say it contains Nitrosomonas bacteria (oxidizes ammonia) and Nitrobacter (Nitrite- Oxidizing Bacteria). Until Tim Hovanec correctly identified the NOB as Nitrospira, most aquarists thought Nitrobacter was the NOB. ATM's labeling might be a throwback to those days, a mistake on their part, or their idea of using familiar, accepted terminology.

Water flow, oxygenation, filter/media, substrate, plants, pH, hardness and other considerations determine how fast the cycle gets established -- more than the brand of product, I think -- assuming the live autotrophic bacteria products are similarly healthy.

And thanks for the data point on Colony. Other members agree that it works well.
 

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Three things can kill or weaken live bacteria. 1) Drying out, 2) Cold, near freezing, 3) heat, over 120* more or less. You can't know where that Safestart was during shipping to your LFS, so it may have been weakened by heat.

Double-check me, but I believe Tetra is guaranteeing Safestart. If it doesn't work, they'll replace the bottle. Contact them and then let me know what the deal is.

Timothy Hovanec, the inventor of Safestart, sells his own brand of live bacteria, Dr. Tim's One-and-Only. He ships it factory direct and fresh in an insulated envelope.

Nessa, it's OK to high-jack a thread if the question is on-topic and relates. But you might get a better response and a greater variety of comments and opinions if you start your own thread with this question.
I live in Florida, and the temperatures will be 100+ degrees for the rest of the summer guaranteed. Would the insulation of Dr. Tim's protect against heat? If not, I may have to wait until November to cycle my tank! :lol:

I'll contact Tetra to see, but since I threw away the bottle, it may be tough. It was just weird because I've been using aeration since I know that it boosts the cycling and I even had a bacterial bloom a few days after I put SafeStart in.

Thank you for being so helpful everyone!
 

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You know you don't need a bacterial supplement to cycle your tank. And with a Betta alone in a 10g it hardly matters. Just check his water every week and do a 2g or 3g water change and he'll be fine.

Someday your tank will be cycled, but you won't do anything differently.
 

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Thank you for your advice Hallyx! I just checked the water after leaving it alone for a few days (and dosing with Prime) and finally got a nitrite reading! Happy dances all around! Not at 0ppm yet, but definitely a start! I have a feeling my tank will be cycled in about another week or two. Since my nitrites are at 0.75-1.0ppm, I'll do a water change.

Just to double check: If I change my substrate, that will throw my cycle out of whack, right? Would you recommend I change the substrate now, or once my tank is fully cycled?
 

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The distribution of bacteria in a tanks is subject to a variety of factors: filter flow, media, substrate type, flow over substrate, decor and wall area.

In a newly-cycled tank, most of the bacteria is in the filter, the place with the most exposure of ammonia to the bacteria. As a tank matures, the bacteria settle into a more equal distribution based on flow, exposure and bioload.

I would change the substrate now so the new substrate is included in the re-distribution as the cycle matures and the tank becomes established.
 

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Well, since I have a hectic few days ahead of me, I'll go ahead and change my substrate to sand now so that I won't have to worry about it later on.

Thank you for your feedback through all of this!
 
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