Will stress zyme help me cycle my tank? I read on the bottle it is a bacteria booster with live bacteria. That is believed to help in boosting the cycling process. Has anyone in this forum had any luck with it?
The less powder,potions,and or chemicals added to the tank the better off you will be in the long run. A full function water conditioner such as PRIME, or AMQUEL+ that detoxify ammonia,chlorine,and chloramines is all you should use in my opinion. Some of the products out there can cause more harm than good in the way of skewed test results,and or producing unwanted ammonia or organics.
Considering that nitrifying bacteria need oxygen, and that many of these products are stored on shelves at room temp and perhaps for months,, It is unclear to me how this so called live bacteria can survive. It could very well be some type of live bacteria but perhaps not the bacteria (nitrifying), that they hope you think it is.
Other products claim to use oil such as aloe vera to coat the fishes skin but these same oils,if they are capable of adhering to anything in water,, must then also coat the fishes gills and nostrils, thus instead of soothing the fish, They make it more difficult for fish to breath. Personally,, I would save my money and use it to purchase more fish.
I use it everytime i set up a new tank, but i also seed good bacteria from my other tanks when i do so........Also when i do filter cleanings i use it at half dose and have never had any issues........i believe it to be a good product, but some other members here also use "Stability", which is also another cycle boost product....Dont have any experience with it, but it has had favorable comments ..........
This is another of those areas in the hobby over which aquarists have differing opinions. I fully concur with 1077's general statement that the less stuff added to an aquarium, the better. However, there have been some scientific strides made in the last decade, and there is no reason why aquarists should not benefit. One does still have to be careful, because some products that claim this or that may be more harm than good. I won't get into that, but will make some observations on what Gouramikeeper83 has specifically asked about, namely biological supplements to cycle a new tank.
Several years ago, Dr. Timothy Hovanek developed a process for bottling live bacteria, including nitrosomonas and nitrospira, the two bacteria responsible for the nitrification cycle. Here's a link to his organization: http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/One_Only/OneOnly.html
Dr. Hovanec received his PhD in the field of phylogenetics and detection of nitrifying bacteria. He led the team of scientists that discovered that the second phase of the nitrification cycle, converting nitrite to nitrate in the aquarium, occurs through nitrospira, not nitrobacter, bacteria. I only toss this in to illustrate that Dr. Hovanec is a scientist with considerable knowledge in this area. If you're particularly scientifically-minded, here is a link to the abstracts of his work: Scientific Papers
The shelf lfe of Dr. Hovanec's product is six months, or 1 year at 50F, longer if refrigerated; it contains live nitrifying bacteria.
Seachem have developed what appears to be a very similar product, also containing live bacteria, and called "Stability." Here is a lnk to their scientific information: Seachem. Stability
I recall a thread containing an email from someone at Seachem clearly stating the bacteria properties of Stability; I can't find it now, I think it was another forum. But no matter.
I'm not saying Stress Zyme is or isn't similar, but I would point out that it is a water conditioner (according to the API site) and this puts me on my guard. It also claims to "break down organic compounds" and some products that do this raise ammonia levels. Just a caution, I offer no opinions.
Tetra's "Safe Start" is said to be the same as Marineland's Freshwater Bio-Spira, based on Dr. Hovanec's formula as I understand it. I've not used it.
Whichever product, introduce only a few fish into the tank. The bacteria, however they are introduced, must be sufficient to handle the ammonia and nitrite resulting from the fish. Of course, plants do all this naturally and that is still the best and safest route. Nothing "foreign" need be added.
I appreciate the tips guys on the subject. I believe I will try it while I'm preforming my fishless cycle and see where it takes me. It might help me and it might not but we will see.
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