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Author Topic: Bacteria in a Bottle?  (Read 8575 times)
FishyFace
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« on: August 02, 2011, 11:50:16 AM »

Lately, I've been hearing and reading a lot about bacteria in a bottle. Supposedly, it's the bacteria that is needed in your tank held in a dormant stage. Supposedly, when you add them to the tank, they will rapidly eat ammonia and nitrites, so that your tank is cycled. Is this miracle product actually a miracle? Does it even work? Thoughts?
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Netti
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 01:01:52 PM »

Hi FishyFace! I have used that bacteria starter for my 10 gallon. It's called "cycle" from Nutrafin. I did not add fish but little bits of fish food flakes. After a week of nothing happening I was told here on this forum that I need to add ammonia.....  Smiley

I don't know if the bottle actually did anything to add bacteria, or if that occurred naturally. A lot of people believe it is just another product to pull money out of the consumer's wallet, lol!  goldfish
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sherriB
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 02:12:51 PM »

I believe there was only one product that actually helped speed up the cycle it was Dr.Tim's or something but I dont think it is available anymore. The best method is the tried and true of cycling with fish or without fish using pure ammonia. Fishless cycling with ammonia is the easiest as you do not have to do massive water changes throughout the cycling to keep your fish alive, you can jlet the ammonia levels and nitrite levels rise as high as needed to cycle the tank.  Or to avoid all of this, get filter media from an established tank to put in your filter.
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russ
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2011, 07:01:06 PM »

Many of these 'bacteria-in-a-bottle' formulations do not contain the bacteria that are specifically targeted to oxidize ammonia or nitrite. They simply 'assist' by helping to 'establish' ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria in a shorter time.

Although this subject has been covered many times throughout the site, I'll try to break this down in a easy to understand explanation as possible.........

These are bacteria that essentially break down proteins (which comprise the make up of plants and animals). Proteins get broken down into amino acids. Each amino acid is split into ammonium molecule and an organic acid molecule. Noticed I referenced 'ammonium'? When your pH in the tank is above 7, then the ammonium now becomes ammonia. The cycle then continues from there.

We can get into a lot of details in separate threads, but I think at this point, for this purpose, keeping it simple is, well, the simplest thing to do.

So, in a manner of fashion, those bacteria-in-a-bottle solutions help a bit. There is a much easier way to get a tank broken in. That is a fishless cycle where you supply ammonia and thus allow development of bacteria that specifically target that ammonia as a food source and convert to nitrite.  happy


* BCA02.jpg (2.99 KB, 76x70 - viewed 1030 times.)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 07:14:00 PM by russ » Logged

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FishyFace
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 08:29:42 PM »

Russ: If your tank's water is below 7.0, do you even have to worry about ammonia any more?

SherriB: That's a shame that they don't sell it anymore.

Netti: Thanks for your reply! I'm guessing that the bacteria didn't do anything. Or atleast, if it did, you can only use it with added ammonia.
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russ
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2011, 09:48:58 PM »

"Russ: If your tank's water is below 7.0, do you even have to worry about ammonia any more?"

You bet!

Both chemicals are lethally toxic when ingested. The difference to the fish is that the fish has a physiological option to control ammonium. No option to control intake of ammonia.


* BCA02.jpg (2.99 KB, 76x70 - viewed 1036 times.)
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Netti
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 05:19:33 AM »

Ah, Russ, I did not know that! (Now where is that other thread, lol!  happy)
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Karen
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2011, 08:38:32 AM »

Dr. Tim created a product called BioSPira.  It worked, it worked well and almost as advertised.  He claimed an instantly cycled tank.  i will claim 1 week from adding fish to cycled.  One week is WAY better than 8!

Biospira had to be kept refigerated and had a shelf life of about 6 weeks. The result was a high price tag and an inability to display the product on store shelves to encourage sales.  (Not to mention problems with shipping it and an inability to put overstock in warehouses.)

Dr. Tim parted ways with his employer and independently reformulated his product.  The new one is called "Dr. Tim's One and Only."  I have never used it, but have heard a lot of good things about it.  He solved the need for refrigeration and was able to extend the shelf life by quite a bit which clearly makes marketing, transport etc.. easier.

His former employer also tried to reformulate the product and made _______(I can't think of the name) and that also has a pretty good reputation for being functional. 

I am not aware of any other brands that have a reputation for anything other than a way to swindle a few dollars out of your pocket.  I have personally tested several brands that are useless.  Can anyone name the one I can't think of.... This is killing me!


All I can think of is Tetra Safe Start, but I really don't think Tim worked for Tetra, did he?
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CrazyCatPeekin
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2011, 08:52:45 AM »

I have used Tetra Safe Start with some success. I cycled pretty quickly, but had a small ammonia spike shortly after adding some new fish. I cannot be certain whether the tank never really cycled initially and this was a true cycle or if I just added too many fish at once and overwhelmed the initial bacteria colony. I suppose it could be either.

I have also been reading a thread on another site about Seachem's Stability which indicates that it works also. Since I have a new tank coming, I was considering doing a Seachem test with ammonia to see how it goes. I'll post results if I decide to do that.
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2011, 02:15:45 PM »

IMHO Tetra Safe Start (previosuly Bio Spira) works!!!

Ive cycled various tanks with it....Each tank took about approximately ten to fourteen days to cycle...

You "will" see a very small Ammonia Spike but this is never more than 0.5ppm max...AND! you NEVER! see Nitrites....

So when Tetra say the immediate addition of fish to a new tank they really mean less sensitive fish and probably no more than 6...The reason being
is the fish are exposed to a slight rise in Ammonia (never more than 0.5ppm though) for several days...

I emailed tetra about this before and what they told me was "The patented bacteria in Safe Start need a constant LOW source of Ammonia to establish a proper colony so DONT carry out any water changes until the tank cycles"

Whatever is in Safe Start it works by keeping Ammonia below 0.5ppm and  eliminating the Nitrite stage of a cycle......

What I have seen happen in the tanks I have cycled with Safe Start is Ammonia will rise to 0.5ppm after about 3 days and then very slowly over the next week or so fall slowly back to zero...Dont ask me how but there was no NitrIte Stage....The tanks went straight from Ammonia rising and falling to readable NitrAtes without ever having readable NitrItes

This chart from tetra will make it clearer and this is exactly what Ive witnessed happening in my tanks.............







http://www.tetra-fish.com/images/TetraFish/flash/watercare/watercare.html
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Karen
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2011, 06:27:41 AM »


I have also been reading a thread on another site about Seachem's Stability which indicates that it works also. Since I have a new tank coming, I was considering doing a Seachem test with ammonia to see how it goes. I'll post results if I decide to do that.

I have tested Stability.  Its useless.
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