Quickie cycling questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quickie cycling questions

Hey guys, just started my fishless cycle on my 20l, so I just got a few funny questions.

1. Does dosing Prime for WC's affect the cycling process? Will it stunt the beneficial bacteria? I got mixed answers on the Google and would like that clarified.

2. So I heard good things about the Tetra SafeStart product thingy, the beneficial bacteria. Decided to try it out. I now have nothing towards that investment but cloudy water. Is the cloudy water a result of this product or something else? If something else, what? And this leads into my next question,

3. Would Purigen affect the cycle? I'm pretty sure that would clear up the water fast, but would it inhibit readings and bacteria?

Thanks everyone

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 06:00 AM
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Prime is OK, I have used it while doing the fishless cycle.

Tetra Safe Start does contain the right species of bacteria. It did not cloud the one time I used it, so I do not know what is going on there. Is the cycle moving along faster? With TSS it should go a lot faster, depending on how much you added. Might cycle in 2-3 days, if you added a full dose.
This product is sensitive to temperature. If it has been overheated or frozen the bacteria may be dead.

I would not bother trying to clear up the water. Let happen whatever is happening. If it does not clear up soon, then think of doing something.

Causes of cloudy water:
Heterotrophic bacteria- common in a new set up. These are not nitrifying bacteria, but they are beneficial. Just let them do their thing.

Green water algae may start as white or off white water. If you have or can add some white floss to the filter, does it turn green? This is worth doing something about. Simplest is a black out. The black out will not affect the nitrogen cycle.

Ammonia in the tank can cause cloudy water. When I am doing the fishless cycle with bottled ammonia I do not notice this, though. A dead fish can cloud the tank pretty fast. If you are cycling with a dead prawn or similar source of ammonia, perhaps this is clouding your tank.

Substrate getting stirred up- Are you rearranging the plants, rocks or wood? This is not a problem, go ahead and work on the 'scape while you are doing the fishless cycle. Won't hurt anything.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 09:15 AM
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1. Prime doesn't affect the cycling process in anyway. It does turn ammonia into a safer form for fish, but the bacteria can still use up the ammonia so they are losing any "food" during the cycling so it doesn't stunt the beneficial bacteria.

2. Haven't used Tetra SafeStart, but people have said positive results about it. I personally don't use any products with beneficial bacteria in a bottle since there has been discussion on how the aerobic bacteria in the bottle can stay alive without any oxygen and no food source to stay alive. But if someone can explain that to me I am curious to hear.
I am not sure if it makes the water cloudy, but if it's not supposed to, I think the cloud is just what's known as a bacterial bloom. They grow super fast and will clear up on their own once the tank becomes better cycled. From what I have heard doing water changes on a cycling tank can actually prolong the cycling process because you are removing what the tank needs to go through the cycle.

3. Purigen won't affect the cycle, readings/test or bacteria either. No point in clearing up the water, it will do it on it's own.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 10:08 AM
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Dr. Timothy Hovanek identified the proper species of nitrifying bacteria when he worked for Marineland.
They do not enter a dormant phase, but somehow Marineland was able to package them. They package needed to be kept within certain temperature parameters, neither too hot, nor too cold.
They got a patent and started selling it as Bio Spira. One package for fresh water, one package (different species) for salt water.
The fresh water product became the property of Tetra, with the patent.

Espacenet - Bibliographic data

In the Description of the patent are some comments about including materials to keep the bacteria viable in storage.

It does work. If you are in need of these bacteria, this is a valid product.
The problem is that you do not know if the package has been handled correctly. This was one of the problems with the original Bio Spira. Somewhere during shipping and handling the package was over heated or frozen. The fish keeper would try to use it per label directions, and end up with a tank full of fish and no live bacteria. This is still possible, which is why I suggest buying it from a reputable store, and doing the fishless cycle with this material. If the product is good, your fishless cycle will be complete in 24-48 hours. If the product is bad (dead bacteria) then you are not stuck with a tank full of fish and no bio filter. Another way to use it is to get just a few fish, and dose a small amount of the product. If it works, then go get more fish and dose more product. It can be kept in the frige and dosed each time you add fish. If it does not work, then you have only a few fish in the tank, and can probably do a fish-in cycle, or add more plants, and the plants will be the biofilter.
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