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I know there's a recent perspective that a tank can be too clean. I'm leaning in that direction, myself. But I draw the line at ammonia. NO ammonia is the right amount -- 0.0ppm. Same for nitrite. You want to let your dissolved waste (DOC) build-up, fine. You want to let nitrate increase >40ppm, no harm. Algae, great. But ammonia is the big stressor -- more than water changes, more than pH drift, more than high TDS. I accept NO ammonia in my tanks.

Safestart has cycled many tanks of members with whom I correspond. The occasional time it does not work leads me to conclude one of two things.

Because it's live bacteria, it can be killed by overheating >95*, or freezing during shipping. Petstores do not treat these living organisms any different than a Sponge Bob ornament, so sometimes you can get a bad batch.

The bacteria have a long but finite shelf-life. Tetra says a year. From the feedback I get, six months is still good.

Always use Prime during a fish-in cycle <period>
Hey,

Of the people you know who have used safestart successfully, do you know how long it takes on average to start seeing nitrites?

Have you heard any good/bad about Topfin Bacteria Supplement?

Thanks!

Gage
 

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I don’t get it. My tank has been set up for 8 weeks now. I have seeded with old filter media, gravel from a cycled tank and have used several ‘quick start’ solutions from major manufacturers. I still have 0.5ppm ammonia. 0 nitrites and some nitrates. My already cycled tank (given to me, 8 year old goldfish in it!) show 0ppm ammonia on the same test kit, so it’s not that. This is the first tank I have tried to cycle from scratch. Filtration = ‘2000 lph’ on a 200l tank. Tried running it on 200, 500, 750 lph to see if flow rate was a problem, but no. Any advice?
 
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