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Special Blend

This is a discussion on Special Blend within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Greetings, I just set up a 29 Gallon. I left it run for 24hrs with the filter and heater on. I added Special Blend ...

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Old 02-09-2014, 07:25 AM   #1
 
Special Blend

Greetings, I just set up a 29 Gallon. I left it run for 24hrs with the filter and heater on. I added Special Blend bacteria starter. My question is, how long should I wait till I begin to add some plants and a few starter fish? Also, what starter fish would you suggest? Thanks, Kevin
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:38 AM   #2
 
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Greetings, I just set up a 29 Gallon. I left it run for 24hrs with the filter and heater on. I added Special Blend bacteria starter. My question is, how long should I wait till I begin to add some plants and a few starter fish? Also, what starter fish would you suggest? Thanks, Kevin
I've never used that brand, nor have I ever heard of it, but tanks need an ammonia source in order to cycle, whether it be fish or pure ammonia. If it has been in more than 4 hours without fish, your bacteria has likely died off and I suggest you plant what you want, go get your fish, and get a large bottle of Tetra SafeStart if you want to go that route. You need to dump the entire bottle in the tank, rinse it out with tank water, and dump it again a few more times.

If you want to go the more preferred route for hobbyists, plant the tank and start dosing 4ppm of ammonia every time it drops. You can cycle the tank without fish this way and it is much easier on the stock when you do add them, to come into a cycled tank. It's a long process but worth it in the long run.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:29 AM   #3
 
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Special Blend is Microbe-Lift's version of Seachem Stability. It helps control ammonia, breaks up sludge, unclogs filters and sets up a decent biofilm for the nitrifying bacteria to colonize. But, like Stability, it does not contain the actual nitrifying bacteria that performs the nitrogen cycle. It just prepares the way.

Microbe-Lift's Nite-Out II contains those nitrifying bacteria. So does Tetra Safestart, and API Quickstart, ATM Colony, Dr Tim's One-and-Only and others (nitrosomonas and nitrospira are the magic ingredients). These live-bacteria products work fine as long as they haven't been frozen, over-heated or left on the shelf more than 6-months.

You don't need starter fish. Just stock about half what you're planning. Then shake the shake out of it and pour in the whole bottle the next day. Monitor daily and be prepared to do a large water change (just in case).

To play off of Flint's suggestion, you can use it for a fast fishless cycle by using "pure" ammonium hydroxide as your ammonia source. Keepers I know have successfully cycled their tanks in 5 to 10 days with TSS, Quickstart, and NO II. As long as two weeks with Dr. Tim's.

If you go this route, please log your progress and tell me all about it. I track this stuff. Thanks
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Last edited by Hallyx; 02-10-2014 at 06:33 AM..
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:28 AM   #4
 
I'll add that the benefit to going to liquid ammonia route is you can add all of you stock once your tank is cycled.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:43 AM   #5
 
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Right. Any combination of livestock that produces more than 4ppm ammonia in a day is definitely overstocked.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:34 PM   #6
 
Starter fish

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Originally Posted by Kevin Beard View Post
Greetings, I just set up a 29 Gallon. I left it run for 24hrs with the filter and heater on. I added Special Blend bacteria starter. My question is, how long should I wait till I begin to add some plants and a few starter fish? Also, what starter fish would you suggest? Thanks, Kevin
What starter fish for freshwater 29G would you recommend? I want to do a community tank. Thanks
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:58 PM   #7
 
What bottom feeders would be ok with gravel substrate? Thanks
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:25 PM   #8
 
You may want to consider your water parameters - pH and GH - and select fish whose natural habitats have similar attributes. That way, way you avoid the complexity of recreating that environment and the pitfalls of managing it. The good news is that many freshwater tropical species can adapt to a relatively wide range of pH and hardness. There are resources on this website and elsewhere where you can learn the profiles of the fish you are considering.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:43 PM   #9
 
Question Cycling Help Please!

Greetings once again,
My tank has been up for a week. The temp is 76-77f, I put 2 types of plants in a few days ago and 2 platys. This was after 1/2 of a week w/ the special blend. Petco told me they use it to cycle their tanks. Today it has been a week. My readings are : PH 7.6 Ammonia .25ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm.
my question is Where should these readings be at? What else can I do at this point. ? Thanks
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:53 PM   #10
 
Did you have an ammonia source to feed the special blend? Fish in the tank or pure ammonia?
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