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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe this has been done before, but I need a project and have enough spare stuff laying around to do this. Would anyone be interested in a journal of cycling with different "bacteria in a bottle" products? I would use a control tank without any additives, one with Dr. Tim's, one with SafeStart, one with Stability. I only have four empty tanks, but I could do a same-sized rubbermaid container and use a 3rd product - maybe Nutrafin cycle? I'd then do daily testing and document how well they all work. Or does anyone even care? I'd have to buy a couple more sponge filters so that I'm using the same filter in each tank, but I am willing to do this for science!!
 

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Well, I know they work I have used them all but dr tims, lol but these days unless a cycle gets messed up. When doing a new tank I buy substrate that does the insta-cycle, it would be interesting to see how fast they cycle compared to eachother but I bet it is all about the same, I have heard you can even use the stuff for septic tanks to cycle a tank with....
 

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I'd be very interested in your experiment. I've been actively trying to cycle since Feb. I tried TSS from PetCo. I bought the bottles with the last expiration dates, but there was no way to tell if they were kept at the proper temperature during shipping and before I bought them. Even if you cannot control that variable, I'd still be interested in your investigation. I'm trying Dr. Tim's tonight, but I've made other changes as well, so not really a fair comparison of just the bacteria products.
 

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So far I've been trying to cycle a 5g with Tetra Safe Start for like...4 weeks? No real significant change when using it though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I might do it just do have a project to do. I'll just line the tanks up in the basement, make sure the water amount, filters, temperatures, ph, etc. are all matched, and see what happens. It would probably be more exciting to add in another set of tanks with different water types (hard, soft, R/O, etc.), but that seems a little too elaborate right now.
 

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VERY INTERESTING, to be sure! You have to have a fish in each tank also, interested to know about the fish part too! Seems very generous of you, for science! I love it!
 

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I would be very interested in following your experiment! I have never used a cycling product before and it will be nice to follow along. Let us knew when you begin. :)
 

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I'd be interested in following it too! My only experience with bottled bacteria is in my saltwater tank. It seemed to work, since the tank was cycled in 1 1/2 weeks. I started with VERY high ammonia, too. Then again, I used live (bacteria-covered) rock too, so I don't really know how much the bottled bacteria helped. It would be interesting to see which brand works best (or if any of them work at all, for that matter). :)
 

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I think it would be a great journal.

Perhaps you could dose each tank with ammonia rather than use a fish. That way, you can follow the directions on the bottle and document what happens to the water throughout the process without having to be concerned about the health of the fish.
 

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Some information for you, I've used:
Tetra Safe Start, API Quick Start, and a Fluval product...can't remember the name, and all worked without issue in a tank with 0.25 ammonia, the nitrites and ammonia were at 0 within two days, and the nitrates beginning to come up within that 48 hour period as well.

The only one I've used that was a failure was Safe Start by Jungle. That did not work at all.

Also, I've found that once the bottles have been opened, the bacteria is only good for a short time, like 24 to 48 hours (and the 48 is pushing it).

All of these tried on 20g longs with two bettas, sponge filters and with regular HOB filters (cartridges replaced with sponging).
 

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that would be really interesting. I will deffinatly be checking back in to see how things are going.
 

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I'd be interested in your results. As you know I've had an awful time trying to cycle my tanks and I've tried API Quickstart, Tetra Safestart, and Seachem's Stability. But then I was using RO water and because of some recent research and help from people on the forum I think that may be a big part of my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I will definitely do fishless cycles. I don't even have room for any more fish. All these tanks are just spares for quarantining or hospital tanks, etc. I'm going to do this the week after next because next week I'm on vacation for 5 days. VEGAS here I come!
 

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May I request that you condition all the water with Prime for your experiment? You may know there is conficting info out there. Tetra says not to use Prime with TSS, while Seachem says it can be used together because its ammonia molecule, while safe for fish, is still available to BB. I don't dare try to cycle without Prime, so it would be interesting to see how well the products work with it.

Vegas, baby! Color me jealous. Have fun!
 

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Sounds interesting. I'd be interested in seeing the results.

There is a product off of your list. Microbe Lift Nite Out II. Recently switched to it after TSS with a brand new cycle, and that, plus a couple of other things, cycled my tank in 7 days using pure ammonia as my ammonia source.

Also, I am not sure what results you will get if you can't be certain that all the products have live bacteria in them. May throw off your results.
 

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I'd be fascinated with this. I'd also love to see one done with high PH vs low PH. I've been told my low PH is what is likely slowing down my cycling process with my 29 gallon.
 

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Prime, yes, I did use Prime with the Tetra Safe Start, because I was so nervous about harming fish with ammonia, in new tank- my tap water has .50 PPM Ammonia. Prime didn't mess up the Safe Start, I was so amazed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah I'll use Prime. I've used it with TSS before with no obvious problems. Plus, I already have it. If I'm buying sponge filters and bacteria, I don't want to buy more water conditioner too. I use Prime on most of my tanks and Premier on my heavily planted tank, but I think most people use Prime so I'll do that. That reminds me I also have to order more ammonia drops! This will be fun!
 

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That was my problem!!! I got TSS when I first first got my tanks before I knew about cycling and opened it. My bacteria was just old :p Thanks for doing this test givemethatfish. Kinda reassured me that the bacteria in a bottle may work yet for me. Gonna go grab some from the store now~
 
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