Start Smart is very similar to Safe Start and the old Bio-Spira products.Lucy said:I'm not familiar with Start Smart.
If you meant Tetra Safe Start, then we'll take this discussion in a different direction.
I'd hazard a guess that the nitrite reading was wrong. Either skewed from a bacterial additive or maybe you just read it incorrectly.
It takes a couple of weeks for the bacteria that develop ammonia into nitrites.
Otherwise, things look good.
It came very well recommended from someone I trust.Lucy said:I'm pretty leery when it comes to bacterial additives. Most contain the wrong kind of bacteria. Many have to be added with every water change.
Can't really comment further on your readings since I'm not familiar with the additive you're using.
Thanks, I'll keep checking! Hopefully I'm there because there is a Polypterus with my name on it at the LFSJSK said:I am betting the media is what helped the most. I say this because although we say a "tank" is cycling, it really the filter media that is building up bacteria and cycling. You can move that media to another tank and have basically an instant cycle.
It sounds like things are going well and you might be close. Are you continuing to drop in flakes? You want to get to a point where even as you add ammonia, it is gone very fast. So, if you keep adding flakes, your ammonia and nitrites remain at 0, and nitrates climb. If that is what you are seeing for the next few days, you are probably in good shape.