20 Gallon Tank My Recent Bacteria Starter Experience

cosermann

One thing that didn't exist in this hobby the last time I was active are nitrifying bacteria products like those currently offered that claim to "instantly" cycle one's tank by introducing the appropriate bacteria at startup.

My youngest two kids wanted to start an aquarium this month, and knowing the impatience that often goes along with being a kid, I thought - why not? If they didn't work, it would be a good lesson for the kids on sifting through advertising hype, and if they did, it would speed things up so they could get to the "fun" parts of the hobby with less discouragement.

We setup a new 20 gal tank, with new equipment (a kit the kids picked out), let it run a couple of days to make sure everything worked (no leaks) and the temp was stable (76 F), then introduced 2 small fish on 9/2/21.

We also started using the prescribed amount of Top Fin's Aquarium Readistart Nitrifying Bacteria Starter the day after the fish were introduced and each day for 5 days as directed (the remainder was dumped in at the end).

At no time did we have any measurable amount of ammonia in the water. On day 8 nitrites spiked to around 3 ppm, at which point we added the prescribed amount of Tetra SafeStart, and kept the nitrites managed with 20% water changes for the next 3 days after which nitrites dropped to zero. Continued to monitor and it looks like the tank cycled in 12 days (9/14/21).

Filtration during this time was provided by a TopFin PF20 HOB (part of the kit the kids picked out) and a TopFin sponge filter.

Since I'd seen positive and negative reviews of such products online, I set the kids expectations at the beginning by telling them it would be 4-6 weeks before we could start adding fish.

So I was pretty pleased the tank cycled in 12 days.
 

BigManAquatics

I like fritzyme myself, but i tend to only use it in conjunction with already cycled filters in new tanks to help bolster bacteria and prevent spikes. Glad it has been a good experience so far!
 

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