Safe Start for cycling tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Safe Start for cycling tank?

I'm upgrading from a 20g to a 75g tank. Everything going into the 75g tank is new (heaters, filter, substrate, driftwood, etc). I bought a fluval 405 canister filter and my substrate is pool filter sand, which I'm having second thoughts on anyway. I would like to grow some low maintenance plants and I'm not sure how well they'll do in sand. Then again, the plants in my 20g never grew either and I had eco complete in that one.

Anyway, has anyone had any experience using Tetra's Safe Start for cycling a tank? I don't want to use fish to cycle my tank. I was reading about fishless cycling but if I could speed it up a bit by using Safe Start that would be great.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 04:54 PM
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Dr. Tim's Aquatics-One And Only Live Nitrifying bacteria. One bottle is good for 60 gallons but it is a bit pricey, like $20. Best/easiest/fastest cycling I've ever done by far!!!
drtimsaquatics.com
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 04:55 PM
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I haven't used it, but I did some searching a while back and it looks like SafeStart is supposed to be re-branded biospira with longer shelf life. It seems like with all cycling additives there's some mixed opinions about it. I didn't find it locally so I never did try it.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 09:01 PM
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Ammonia (fishless cycle) and allot of fast growing plants is your best bet that should cut it down to two weeks easy. I've used hagen's "Cycle" product before it's ok but doesn't beat pure ammonia/plants speed wise.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. If I go fishless cycle, how many plants would be considered alot for a 75g and will the plants "survive" the cycle process?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 12:50 AM
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Unless you are using ADA amazonia or amazonia2 for a substrate you need not worry about cycling your tank in my opinion.

ADA's substrate will produce a large ammonia spike. Therefore you should wait to put any critters in for a month or so. But if you are using most any other substrate you can add fish within a couple of days from setup.

This of course is with the understanding that you plant your tank moderate to heavy from the start. The plants will soak up the Nh4 produced. That coupled with some weekly water changes are all that is needed. Your tank will cycle in time.

Now I am not saying that you can add 100 fish to your 75 gallon tank in the first week. Everything in moderation.

I think you have to list some goals before anyone can help answer questions for you.

What kind of lighting do you have?
Are you going to use pressurized co2?
Fertilizer?
ect.... ect....

A planted tank should be thought out.
Take your time. Read Read Read....!
If you start in a hurry you will have problems in a hurry.

Good Luck,
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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River, thank you for your comments.

I've had my 20 gallon tank for 3 years so I know the importance of water changes and keeping an eye on the water parameters. I've read so much that my head hurts. It seems like there are several different opinions as to how to cycle a tank. I was just wondering if anyone had success w/ Safe Start. Here is the check list for my new tank:

75g tank, 2 - 200w heaters (new), Fluval 405 canister filter (new). I will probably put my old filter into the new tank for the time being (Emperor 280 filter). 40 lbs of new Eco Complete plus 40 lbs of old Eco Complete from my old tank. I have 2 pieces of new driftwood and rocks plus a piece of driftwood from my old tank. I just ordered $60 worth of plants (swords, crypts, etc), 3 Catalina Fluorescent light fixtures (3 x 40w @ 6,700k). I only have 1 live sword plant in my current tank and fake plants which I will transfer until the new tank is cycled. No CO2.

The guy at the fish store told me I should cycle the new tank before I put the fish from my old tank in. He said I should make sure the water parameters are exactly the same in the new tank as they are in my old tank, then and only then I can transfer my fish. I currently have 3 angelfish and 2 plecos. I have no intentions of adding new fish any time soon.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2009, 03:39 PM
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If your going to use an old filter thats already "seasoned" that should cut the cycle time down significantly. Also if you plan on using your old substrate you really shouldnt have any cycling issues. You can add some of the SafeStart too, I cant imagine it would hurt anything, but using the old filter & substrate should really keep the tank from going though a cycle since your moving the bacteria into the new tank.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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So I started my new tank yesterday (finally!). After everything was up and running I poured the Safe Start into the new tank. I ended up not using anything from my old tank because I have a ton of snails and I don't want to bring them into the new tank if possible. Today I tested the ammonia, nitrite and ph levels in both my old tank and my new tank. The levels in the new tank were exactly the same as my old tank. I'm going to continue monitoring everything (I'm not putting fish in yet) but there was no ammonia spike or anything. The water is a bit cloudly from the Eco Complete but other than that it's going good so far.
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