Lex, I doubt a bottle of bacteria would last that long.
Under the correct conditions, bacteria can live for as long as 25 million years...
Bacteria are amazingly resilient creatures. In fact bacteria survived after one of the Apollo missions for THREE YEARS in space!
So 12 months in a bottle is nothing when the conditions are right. There were some cultures of nitrifying bacteria in the past that needed to be refrigerated, and these particular strains were not as reliable. That is not the case any more.
I think the arguing and snide attitude people are taking is unnecessary.
I agree. I was told that I was giving "poor advice." And "setting the OP up for failure," when in fact I was sharing my extensive experience with this product.
The big ticket issue with the bacterial in the bottle is it is basically seeding the aquarium. Something one can do with a filter sponge from a filter from another tank and actually get an instant cycle.
I've done that many times too, but it doesn't work as well as the concentrated bacteria in Safe Start.
Everybody knows that even after a Few days, if you have nothing giving off ammonia, your nitrates begin to die off, and with it, your cycle.
The thought of nitrates in a bottle is silly to some because it is true, the expire date isn't always when it expires.
(I'm assuming that you mean nitrifying bacteria, not nitrates.) That could be true. But again, I've only had one bad bottle out of 30 with this stuff (even then, I didn't have any losses). It is certainly not common for this to happen, in my experience.
Moreover, you take a risk whenever you use a product that it might not be as advertised. Every time I re-mineralize my water with Salty Shrimp, I run the risk that I have a bad batch. The same is true for when I use dechlorinator. We all live with some risk in our invert-keeping routines.
Lets all respect each other's opinions and remember that there is controversy around these things because they may work for some but don't for others. There is no proper way to cycle. There are humane, inhumane, fast and slow ways.
What you do is your choice, though I might not agree with it, I'll fight to the death for your right to talk about it
I don't disagree with that. Let's just all speak from experience, and be open to new information that is outside of our own experience.