12-14-2013, 10:37 AM
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Good catch, Ogre. Most tropicals prefer a pH <7.4, although many will tolerate >8.0pH. Most tropical keepers wish they had lower pH. Your pH is perfect, Jimmy. Don't mess with it.
Nutrafin cycle is an older product meant to keep ammonia down when (over)-stocking a new tank like they used to do, and battling "new tank syndrome." Nobody does it that way anymore, so it's mostly useless for modern cycling techniques. Microbe-Lift Special Blend is the same type of product, meant to break up sludge, chelate and sink particulates (for clarifying water) and to keep ammonia down.
The product you want is Microbe-Lift Nite Out II. It contains the actual live nitrifying bacteria (nitrosomonas and nitrospira) that oxidizes ammonia (which produces nitrite), then oxidizes nitrite (which produces nitrate). These bacteria need to be fed ammonia, either by adding pure ammonia (fishless cycle) or by using livestock to provide the ammonia.
Tetra Safestart, API Quickstart, ATM Colony, Dr Tim's One-and-Only all contain the same batceria. All live bacteria products, including Nite Out II, need to be used fresh (check the sell-by date) and never have been frozen or overheated.