Tetra safe start for my 10 Gallon tank. What fisH? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 Old 07-29-2010, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
mjbn's Avatar
Thumbs down Tetra safe start for my 10 Gallon tank. What fisH?

Hey, i got a 10G tank, and i set it up and everything, as well as put some gravel from my currently cycling tank in it. I have a reading of ammonia at .5 ppm, nitrite at .25 ppm. I have not tested nitrates yet, and probably wont for a week or so. Is it safe to use tetra safestart rightnow? And use it with 3 male guppies? How exactly do i keep everything in check? do i just put the safe start in, then add fish and leave it until its done? do i need to do water changes? And how much if i have to?
mjbn is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 Old 07-29-2010, 10:44 PM
Byron's Avatar
I'm going to answer by explaining this and that, as I don't know your particular level of understanding of the nitrification cycle, so pardon me if some of this is old news.

Fish produce a fair bit of ammonia and nitrosomonas bacteria need to be there to use it fast. [Live plants will also use it, even faster. But for the purpose of this answer, we'll assume no plants.] The bacteria take time to appear once ammonia is present, and they take time to multiply; they will multiply so long as there is ammonia for them to use. "Seeding" the tank with bacteria in existing filter media, substrate, wood, rock, decor from an existing tank, or with biological supplements like SafeStart (which is 100% live bacteria) sort of jump-starts the process, so there are bacteria there to handle the ammonia produced by the fish right from the first, and if the fish are few in number and the bacteria sufficient in number, all will be well. These bacteria produce nitrite. Same thing for the second phase, when nitrospira bacteria appear to use the nitrite and change it to nitrate.

If there is insufficient ammonia and/or nitrite for the number of bacterium present, the bacteria will die off as it has no "food". The point here is that with no fish in the tank to produce ammonia, the bacteria added from the "seeding" will die off; this only takes a few hours.

I would suggest you add your 3 guppies and use SafeStart the same time, according to directions on the label. Do not add any more fish until the tank is cycled for the three guppies. Monitor ammonia and nitrite daily, if either goes above .25 ppm do a partial water change of 50% using a good conditioner. When ammonia falls to zero, and then nitrite at zero, for consecutive days, the tank is "cycled" for the 3 guppies. After that point, you can add another fish or two, etc. But a 10g is not large, so be careful on the number of fish.

If ammonia and nitrite remain below .25 ppm, the partial water change can be done once a week, normally.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
Byron is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 07-29-2010, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
mjbn's Avatar
yup i know the whole cycle, but this is the first time i've tried doing it. and so i put in the safestart and 2 guppies AND my betta. do not worry, the betta is completely seperated from the guppies as he is in a bottle with slits on the sides so the ammonia he produces will circulate in the water as well as the guppies roaming freely.
mjbn is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The start of my 50 gallon tank. Vikki81207 Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 5 03-23-2010 11:47 PM
Start stocking, how many are safe? Angel079 Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 15 11-25-2009 04:00 PM
New 55 gallon tank...where to start? Mahunky06 Saltwater Fish 3 04-17-2008 12:24 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome