Fishless Cycling with Bio-Spira?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Crabbyj, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Crabbyj

    CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    I've been reading up on ****. Apparently you can and should have very low levels of ammonia and nitrites after adding it. This can last for a couple days and is normal. Some people add fish at the same time because the levels will go low and remain low. But, I've found a couple forums and sites where people have used it and ammonia to fishlessly cycle a tank until the nitrites and ammonia levels are 0.

    I added it to my tank and that's exactly what happened - very low levels of nitrites and ammonia. I'm going to keep adding the recommended amount of ammonia until my levels 0 out.

    For those who have use it, how did you do it?
  2. beckers4oranges

    beckers4orangesValued MemberMember

    i used something very similar to was called cycle... its nice because you can not over doce it...i heard thats the same for bio-spira... i added about 4 bottles...10 cap fulls per night... untill the tank was cycled... it took about a week n a half... and its completely natural
  3. dahly

    dahlyValued MemberMember

    Bio Spira is a great product, and works well, if it was transported, stored and used properly. I added it and my multis at the same time. Next day readings were 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and <10 nitrates. Bio Spira has live microorganisms in it that WILL cycle your tank immediately, when used properly. Read all about it at:

    Cycle is not the same thing at all. Good luck!
  4. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Bio spira is meant to be added to a tank free of ammonia and nitrites from the beginning. You add a full bio load fish and the bio spira at the same time. That is how it is recommended to be used. Many folks will feed the bio spira with ammonia instead of fish at the beginning, because unless the bio spira was handled properly before you bought it, you might end up with a pouch of dead bacteria, so feeding with the ammonia will show you if the bio spira is working before you put your fish in a tank that may or may not be cycled. I have used it 3 times with perfect results, but then I knew it was handled properly. Since you have already been feeding your tank with ammonia, I say continue until you have zero ammonia and nitrites. I am not sure because I've never done it that way, but you may have to do a massive water change just before adding your fish because your nitrates will probably be high. If your nitrates are over 20, do the water change, then add the fish. And since you don't have an emergency situation, if you can, don't add the fish until the bio spira has been in that tank for 2 weeks. This will give the bacteria time to attach itself to the filter, decorations and walls of your tank. It's free floating for a few days, and needs some time to settle in. ;)
  5. OP

    CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    Good suggestions. I will wait until the nitrites and ammonia are 0 just in case the Bio-Spira didn't work properly.
  6. beckers4oranges

    beckers4orangesValued MemberMember

    how is cycle not similar to bio-spira?
  7. 0morrokh

    0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    I don't know, but I've heard a lot of reports of it not working. I'm kind of surprised it shortened your cycle by so much. I tried it and it didn't do anything. ???
  8. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Cycle and bio spira are not the same thing. Bio spira is the actual bacteria found in a cycled tank, and cycle is at best an accelerator for bacteria growth. If you go onther forums, you will see most hobbyists refering to cycle as snake oil. My experience is that it doesn't work, and was a waste of my money. Bio spira is the only product that has the correct bacteria to cycle a tank right away. All the other products at best just help move the cycle along faster. I'm glad it worked for you though. From time to time someone will post that it helped them cycle their tank just as it helped yours. I just didn't have that experience, and most other hobbyists that post didn't either.
  9. ebbandflow

    ebbandflowValued MemberMember


    How do you know whether the bio spira was handled properly? And what exactly is the proper way of handling it? How did you make sure that the one you got was handled properly? I can't wait any longer. Im gonna get this and try and use it so any info on how I could use it to its full potential would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    You don't know, that's why you have to get it from a reputable dealer that you can trust. It comes refrigerated from Marineland, and if the dealer doesn't put it in the fridge when their shipment arrives, there's a good chance the bacteria won't survive. I got mine from a reputable dealer that I trusted completely, and even received it in the mail! I couldn't get it locally at the time, and got it mail order. It must stay cool and stable in the same temperature range to stay alive. You may have to just chance it the first time.
  11. 0morrokh

    0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    Hey, wait a sec...I think it says on the bottle that Cycle contains the bacteria for cycling. But you (Gunnie) said it's just an accelerator... ???
    Well, who cares anyway, I'm done with that stuff.
  12. beckers4oranges

    beckers4orangesValued MemberMember

    i heard it had the actually bacteria in it... and yes it worked for me... quite well actually... how does the costs compare? cycle was 17.99 at petco... i couldnt find bio spira anywhere... how much does it cost?
  13. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Cycle and bio spira contain different types of bacteria. Bio spira has the actual bacteria found in a cycled tank. Cycle carries a different bacteria that could help accelerate the cycle, but it never worked for me. Go to some other forums like or and use cycle as the keyword in your search to see what I'm talking about. There is also a huge thread on bio spira on FishGeeks that will tell you all you want to know about bio spira and how it compares to the other products claiming to cycle your tank:
  14. smillermom

    smillermomValued MemberMember

    I used Bio-Spira to cycle my tank. Put it in double the recommended doseage, added 3 Panda Cories, 6 Zebra Danios and a Dwarf Gourami. No problems with any poor readings! It is actually a very healthy tank! The Bio=Spira came to me packed in ice and was quite cold when I received it.
  15. ebbandflow

    ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    Gunnie and smillermom,

    What place(s) did you mail order from? What is a good price? Thanks.
  16. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    You can also get it mail order here:

    I have never ordered from them, but I have heard good things about this site, at least about their plants.
  17. Bean Counter

    Bean CounterNew MemberMember

    What does full bio load fish mean? Is that a product, or does it mean you actually have a fish in the tank while you're cycling? I recently got a 55 gallon tank, and I am in the process of cycling it. I do not have fish in it, and I'm putting fish food in it twice a day. I have been doing this for about nine days and still no ammonia.

    I also have a 29 gallon tank with fish in it. I unfortunately did not know about the cycling process until I had already bought fish. Pet Smart just said to let the tank run for a week and gradually add fish. The 29 gallon tank now has zero ammonia, but it has some nitrite and nitrate. I'm doing daily water changes right now in an effort to keep the nitite down.

    Anyway, when I began cycling the 55 gallon tank, I took some gravel and a used filter cartridge from the 29 gallon tank, which was part cycled. Could that be the reason I am having difficulty getting ammonia to show (because I am using some gravel and a cartridge from a tank that already cycled through the ammonia?

    I am interested in purchasing Bio Spira, but I am not sure where to get ammonia to add to the tank. Do you put the ammonia and the Bio Spira in at the same time? Where can I get ammonia to add to the tank?

    Thanks for the help.
  18. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    To use bio spira as recommended is to add fish to the tank to supply the ammonia to the bio spira, which is added at the same time as the fish. A full bio load is all the fish that are going into the tank. Instead of adding a few fish at a time, you add all the fish at the time you add the bio spira.
  19. OP

    CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    I agree with Gunnie. :)

    I'm new and making start-up mistakes with bio-spira. I started cycling with ammonia then switched to bio-spira which I really believe did cycle my tank by the next day since my nitrites were were at .2 and my ammonia dropped from 5ppm to .2ppm. I didn't realize that's what was happening and I thought I had to add enough ammonia to keep it at 3ppm and I didn't realize it was already cycled, so I overdid the ammonia. Now I believe I'm re-cycling since my numbers are back up, using the ammonia method and hoping I'll get it right this time. I probably killed off any good bacteria that was starting to flourish. ???

    One suggestion I have is to chose a method and understand it, then follow the directions for it.Try not to switch around and change things mid-stream, it will mess up what your accomplishing now.

    But hopefully I can get some more advice about this. To sum it up I started on 4/10, added bio-spira on 4/14 and as of yesterday 4/24 my levels are:

    PH 7.8
    Ammonia 2.0
    Nitrites .50
    Nitrates 10
    GH 17.9
    KH 107.4

    My plans are to keep ammonia at 3 ppm until the cycle has completed. Oh and my tap water does contain some nitrates which confused the process even more until I tested that. I think anyone starting out also needs to know the levels of their water source. It will help them keep the ph balanced and give them a heads up on how their tank will look during cycling.

    Lots of learning going on...
  20. smillermom

    smillermomValued MemberMember

    Sorry about replying so late! I also ordered the Bio-Spira from The FIsh Store and was very pleased with the packaging. I am starting a 37 gallon and am just waiting for it to come! I'll put it in the fridge, get my fish, add the Bio-Spira, then the fish and Yes!!!