10 Gallon Tank Nitro cycle questions...

cg49me
Member
Well, I lost one of my neon tetra "starters" this morning. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I am worried for his two remaining buddies and the pleco I've got... Yes, yes, I know that I'm WAY overstocked with a new tank (especially with the pleco in there), but I didn't manage to figure that out until the deed was done.

So, now I'm on a mission to save everyone else, and try to get my nitro cycle going. My LFS had API Stress Coat +, so I stocked up on that, and I'll be adding it every time I do a water change (every night). I also have API Stress Zyme, which the SC+ instructions say to add along with it. The SZ claims to help the "biological cycle", but some people have said that the bacteria in SZ is of the non-self-sustaining sort, and that I should go with Tetra SafeStart instead.

Okay, question time... First, will the use of SC+ (which neutralizes ammonia) impede the formation of nitrite forming bacteria? Second, can anybody comment on Stress Zyme or SafeStart - SafeStart is a little on the pricey side, and if I don't have to drop the cash for it, that would be great. Lastly, once my nitro cycle does get going, should I switch from SC+ to regular SC, since the bacteria should be taking care of the ammonia at that point?

Thanks guys - these forums are full of great info and people!
 
Shawnie
Member
I'm sorry for the loss of your fish ....the zyme helps but isn't strong enough to do as it says and the bacteria is more of a watered down version...safestart is the best...yes the sc+ will neutralize and is the best for it..as well as prime...how old is the tank? when cycleing with fish, it takes weeks...what are your water readings for ammonia nitrites and nitrates? knowing that will let you know where you are in the cycle process
 
  • Thread Starter
cg49me
Member
It's only a week old - my ammonia was usually around 0.25ppm. I grabbed these ammonia "tank buddies" from Wa-Wa while I waited to hit my LFS, and my ammonia tonight was pretty much zero. Neither of the nitro levels is registering at this point, but that's to be expected.

I'll order some SafeStart then. Once I get it, should I continue to use the SZ as well, or just use the SafeStart?

Thanks!
 
Shawnie
Member
do daily water changes with some prime or stress coat+ so you don't loose any more fish ...and then when you get the safestart, stop the water changes and add that only and give it a week before you test again...then go from there for water changes....id still put in a bit of streecoat+ or prime everyday just to keep the fish safe..
 
docjr03
Member
Shawnie said:
do daily water changes with some prime or stress coat+ so you don't loose any more fish ...and then when you get the safestart, stop the water changes and add that only and give it a week before you test again...then go from there for water changes....id still put in a bit of streecoat+ or prime everyday just to keep the fish safe..
Why do you stop water changes/testing with safe-start? (I'm just curious)
 
Shawnie
Member
safe start is like bio spira...you add it and wait 7-10 days to allow the cycle to start and finish..changing out the water takes out the bacteria needed and also the ammonia needed to feed the bacteria..you don't want to test because the high numbers of ammonia and nitrites will drive you over the edge as they really get high as the cycle process happens...
 
docjr03
Member
Shawnie said:
..you don't want to test because the high numbers of ammonia and nitrites will drive you over the edge as they really get high as the cycle process happens...
won't that harm the fish?
 
  • Thread Starter
cg49me
Member
docjr03 said:
won't that harm the fish?
That's what I was thinking...
 
Dozey
Member
docjr03 said:
won't that harm the fish?
Yes it will.

A controversy over Tetra Safe Start is that on the product label it claims “INSTANTLY” cycle your tank. But on the product data sheet Tetra states that SafeStart will effectively lower ammonia by 10 times and reduces nitrites by 14 times.

So the real truth is that TSS does not “instantly” cycle a tank. It does very effectively greatly reduce the amount of toxic exposure to your fish but does not eliminate it completely.

For 7-10 days your fish will be exposed to low level of fluctuating toxins.

Further, it isn’t know that controlling toxic levels at a low level (daily water changes) for an extended period of time is any more dangerous to fish then exposing them to wildly fluctuating levels for a 7 to 10 day period.
 
TennThunder
Member
Do most people here think SafeStart works to cycle the tank (in 2 weeks or so, not instant)?
 
Dozey
Member
TennThunder said:
Do most people here think SafeStart works to cycle the tank (in 2 weeks or so, not instant)?
I do believe it is becoming more common knowledge.

I’m certainly not suggesting TSS is a bad product. If I found myself in a situation that I had to add fish to an un-cycled tank I’m not really sure what I would do as I really don’t know which is more beneficial for my fish. Keeping ammonia (for example) at 0.25ppm for 30+ days with water changes or wildly fluctuating ammonia levels for 7-10 days. It’s a tough call.

I do know that sudden water temperatures and Ph levels are very hard on fish.
 
TennThunder
Member
Thanks Dozey, I'm getting it sent tomorrow and will start it and let everyone know if it worked for me. It will be a miracle if it does.
 
Dozey
Member
TennThunder said:
Thanks Dozey, I'm getting it sent tomorrow and will start it and let everyone know if it worked for me. It will be a miracle if it does.
I think you can expect good results. Certainly those who have used it and followed the instructions carefully have had very good success with a speedy cycle.

But do follow the instructions carefully. Those I’ve heard from that failed with TSS failed because they tested their water during the 7-10 day period and panicked and immediately did water changes.

The problem isn’t related to actually testing your water; the problems arise when people react to the test results.

So if you are tempted to do water tests during the cycle just avoid the temptation to react to them. You’ll just have to sit back and sweat it out.
 
docjr03
Member
1) I still don't understand why changing the water while cycling hurts the process.
2) I agree, my research has shown that nothing will instantly cycle a tank, but additives like tetra start and cycle will speed it up
 
Dozey
Member
docjr03 said:
1) I still don't understand why changing the water while cycling hurts the process.
2) I agree, my research has shown that nothing will instantly cycle a tank, but additives like tetra start and cycle will speed it up
My understanding is as follows…

TSS is the first product on the market that does not require refrigeration as well as offering a reasonable shelf life (1 year). Tetra apparently worked on this product for many years prior to releasing it. What they managed to accomplish was to suspend the bacteria in a dormant state.

It is the introduction of ammonia and nitrites that activate the “sleeping” bacteria. Until this point the dormant bacteria is free floating in the water (unlike naturally occurring bacteria). Once activated the bacteria seek out a home (gravel, décor, filter media). As more ammonia and nitrites are introduced more and more bacteria is activated. Which explains the wild water readings during the cycle.

By doing a water change you will be removing the dormant bacteria from the water. Therefore it will not be available when needed to handle increased toxins.
 
Shawnie
Member
docjr03 said:
won't that harm the fish?
it very well could if you don't add the prime or stress coat+ a lil bit each day..dont bother buying the product if you aren't going to do as its suppose to...
 
Red1313
Member
I've used it and love it. I think that it's a great product. However now that I have established tanks I also believe that using seeded media works even better.
 
docjr03
Member
Dozey said:
My understanding is as follows…



By doing a water change you will be removing the dormant bacteria from the water. Therefore it will not be available when needed to handle increased toxins.
Won't the dormant bacteria just get circulated into the filter media? I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just find this stuff pretty interesting and there is so much conflicting info out there.
 
Dozey
Member
Shawnie said:
it very well could if you don't add the prime or stress coat+ a lil bit each day..dont bother buying the product if you aren't going to do as its suppose to...
I respectfully question this advice. If choosing to cycle with TSS I suggest following the directions to the letter. Those I’ve spoken to that successfully cycled their tanks within the suggested 10 days followed the exact directions. Those I’ve spoken to that failed with TSS altered the directions.

My concern with adding Prime when cycling with TSS is; will “detoxified” ammonia activate the dormant bacteria. I don’t know the answer to this question.

So yes Prime would detoxify the ammonia and feed the established bacteria, but will it activate the needed dormant bacteria?
 
Shawnie
Member
it does not detox where the bacteria is not available....it acts just like it would with ammonia when doing a cycle with fish..it keeps the bacteria and ammonia to a stage where the process still proceeds but keeps the fish safe.......ammonia activates the dormant bacteria prime has nothing to do with stopping or harming that
 
TennThunder
Member
Great, guys. I called Tetra customer service up to make sure about it and a guy who really seemed to know what he was talking about said to just add the fish and TSS and nothing else or it might mess it up. I totally get what you're saying Shawnie, don't want the fish to die and hope they are ok during it. Thanks guys for the help.
 
Dozey
Member
docjr03 said:
Won't the dormant bacteria just get circulated into the filter media? I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just find this stuff pretty interesting and there is so much conflicting info out there.
I can certainly understand your confusion as there is a great deal of opinions on TSS.

I unfortunately do not know if the dormant bacteria would cling to filter media or not. I do know that active bacteria adheres to aquarium surfaces, I’m not sure is sleeping bacteria can accomplish this or not. My research has suggested that no it doesn’t.

So if you threw me onto a fire pole while I am awake could I grab the poll and land safely at the bottom? I hope so. If you threw me onto a fire pole while I was asleep would I grab onto the pole or drop like a rock? ...That’s just me thinking outside the box.
 
TennThunder
Member
I agree with Dozey on that one, not gonna do water changes or nothing during the 10 days. Sorry OP that the thread got off on TSS.
 
Shawnie
Member
once you get the safestart, you aren't suppose to do water changes that's where this all began LOL
 
Dozey
Member
Shawnie said:
it does not detox where the bacteria is not available....it acts just like it would with ammonia when doing a cycle with fish..it keeps the bacteria and ammonia to a stage where the process still proceeds but keeps the fish safe.......ammonia activates the dormant bacteria prime has nothing to do with stopping or harming that
I’m just wondering what your comment is based on. Tetra does not recommend the use of water treatments during the cycle with their product. Nor have I read any claI'm by Seachem that suggests their product will leave ammonia in a condition that would activate dormant bacteria.
 
docjr03
Member
How 'bout we make a new thread? This is the second time I have fostered a hi-jack, and I'm afraid Lucy will give me a whuppin' if I do it again!
 
Dozey
Member
docjr03 said:
How 'bout we make a new thread? This is the second time I have fostered a hi-jack, and I'm afraid Lucy will give me a whuppin' if I do it again!
Lucy hi-jacks my threads all the time. I'm kind of known for that around here. ;D
 
Shawnie
Member
Dozey said:
I’m just wondering what your comment is based on. Tetra does not recommend the use of water treatments during the cycle with their product. Nor have I read any claI'm by Seachem that suggests their product will leave ammonia in a condition that would activate dormant bacteria.
of course tetra wouldnt recommend it ..prime isn't one of their products..neither is stress coat+ ....once again..neither will activate the dormant bacteria..that's what the fish or ammonia source does not prime or stress coat+...but prime won't hurt the process tss is going through either because it only neutralizes ammonia and nitrites it doesn't remove or stop the process the tss is achieving by the bacteria eating up all the ammonia.... if you call prime, they tell you it won't affect the tss so I guess its a personal choice either way

I'm still for the add safestart and or fish/ammonia source..which ever you choose..and do not change the water for the 7-10 days...


Dozey said:
Lucy hi-jacks my threads all the time. I'm kind of known for that around here. ;D
I agree!! she taught us all we know ;D
 
Dozey
Member
Shawnie said:
of course tetra wouldnt recommend it ..prime isn't one of their products..neither is stress coat+ ....once again..neither will activate the dormant bacteria..that's what the fish or ammonia source does not prime or stress coat+...but prime won't hurt the process tss is going through either because it only neutralizes ammonia and nitrites it doesn't remove or stop the process the tss is achieving by the bacteria eating up all the ammonia.... if you call prime, they tell you it won't affect the tss so I guess its a personal choice either way

I'm still for the add safestart and or fish/ammonia source..which ever you choose..and do not change the water for the 7-10 days...



I agree!! she taught us all we know ;D
Firstly…

I totally respect your opinion and certainly understand that Prime (SC+) leaves ammonia in a state that bacteria can feed on.

But obviously there has to be a chemical difference between ammonia that is toxic to fish and ammonia that is not toxic to fish. Quite apparently Prime (SC+) alters the chemical components that make ammonia safe for fish.

That said I don’t know if this altered chemical state would activate TSS’s dormant state. Likely all that water conditioner is doing is removing or adding an atom to ammonia that alters its toxicity to fish. Is this lack of or addition of an atom the triggering device for TSS?
 
Shawnie
Member
No its not triggering or altering..its allowing the fish owner to feel better about the fish being in the ammonia knowing that its in a safer format with the prime...call seachem and they will tell you its fine to use it with tss...call tss and of course they will tell you its not...ive used prime with my 75 gal and tss because of overexposure to ammonia..it was recommended by seachem to use it and even tho the cycle finished in 6 days, I felt better ... but since, have so much extra media around I don't bother with the tss as its so expensive and just use my media ;D

and I totally respect your views as well
its america..and we just had an amazing even happen that gives us the right to be able to communicate like this ;D
 
Dozey
Member
Well I'm in Canada but I agree that we enjoy the same freedoms.

And I am thrilled that Americans are proving their commitment to treat all men and women equally.

I hope the very best for Barack Hussein Obama and the nation of the United States of America and its people.
 
Shawnie
Member
Dozey said:
Well I'm in Canada but I agree that we enjoy the same freedoms.

And I am thrilled that Americans are proving their commitment to treat all men and women equally.

I hope the very best for Barack Hussein Obama and the nation of the United States of America and its people.
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
docjr03 said:
I'm afraid Lucy will give me a whuppin' if I do it again!
Take that!

Dozey said:
Lucy hi-jacks my threads all the time. I'm kind of known for that around here. ;D
I have no idea what you mean.
Shawnie said:
I agree!! she taught us all we know ;D
I'm innocent!

I'm going to leave this thread in tact. I think the OP had concerns about TSS that have been addressed.
 
  • Thread Starter
cg49me
Member
Lucy said:
I think the OP had concerns about TSS that have been addressed.
She speaks the truth, though the Obama spin-off was a bit random...

Okay, so I've got SafeStart on the way, now it seems the debate is whether or not to use Stress Coat + in tandem. I'd like to keep hearing what people have to say on this issue...

Those who say yes are concerned about the ammonia levels harming the fish - I fall into this category. Those who say no aren't sure if the "de-toxified" ammonia will feed the nitrifying bacteria. I'm also curious about this, but my concern for the fish is greater than my curiosity.

For now, I'll continue to do daily water changes and add SC+. When my SafeStart gets here, I'll stop the water changes, but I'll keep up on the SC+. I'll also continue to monitor my levels - I suppose I can safely assume the cycle is complete once I have moderate nitrate levels and no ammonia or nitrite levels?

Thanks for ALL the input - this forum is a great source of help! Keep it coming!

P.S. - My two remaining neons are still doing okay (as of this morning), though I have noticed some reddening of their gills . My pleco is also back to his animated self since I started using SC+.
 
TennThunder
Member
I paid like $40 for my two bottles of the large TSS (8.5 ounce), I'm going to follow it exactly how it says, don't want another product messing it up.
 
Shawnie
Member
cg49me said:
She speaks the truth, though the Obama spin-off was a bit random...

Okay, so I've got SafeStart on the way, now it seems the debate is whether or not to use Stress Coat + in tandem. I'd like to keep hearing what people have to say on this issue...

Those who say yes are concerned about the ammonia levels harming the fish - I fall into this category. Those who say no aren't sure if the "de-toxified" ammonia will feed the nitrifying bacteria. I'm also curious about this, but my concern for the fish is greater than my curiosity.

For now, I'll continue to do daily water changes and add SC+. When my SafeStart gets here, I'll stop the water changes, but I'll keep up on the SC+. I'll also continue to monitor my levels - I suppose I can safely assume the cycle is complete once I have moderate nitrate levels and no ammonia or nitrite levels?

Thanks for ALL the input - this forum is a great source of help! Keep it coming!

P.S. - My two remaining neons are still doing okay (as of this morning), though I have noticed some reddening of their gills . My pleco is also back to his animated self since I started using SC+.
I'm glad things are doing ok ....alot of us have been down this road and its a rough one but not impossible...the redness could be just starting from the exposure so don't fret as you are doing everything right for now...I'm glad the sc+ is working fast enough to make mr plec feel better..keep us informed !
 
  • Thread Starter
cg49me
Member
Just did a water change - I think I noticed the tiniest amount of nitrite in the water (~0.5ppm). I'm using test strips, so I'm not positive...

On a side note, is it worth getting the API drop test kit?
 
Dozey
Member
cg49me said:
Just did a water change - I think I noticed the tiniest amount of nitrite in the water (~0.5ppm). I'm using test strips, so I'm not positive...

On a side note, is it worth getting the API drop test kit?
IMO having an accurate test kit is of utmost importance. Our water tests are one of the very few indicators we have to work with to determine our fish’s environment and health. I recommend an API chemical test kit.
 
Red1313
Member
definitely get a liquid test kit. You will save yourself a whole lot of heart and head aches down the road.
As to the Prime and Stress Coat debate plus Safe-Start.
Prime ect. only detox ammonia for 24 hours. You can't do any water changes with safe-start so I suppose I'm not seeing how Prime and friends would be helpful. Of course you could just re-dose every 24 hours but that is a lot of extra stuff that would start to build up. Just my two cents.
 
  • Thread Starter
cg49me
Member
Turns out my LFS had SafeStart all along, it was just hidden behind the counter... Tried to cancel my order, but it had already shipped... Oh well, I'll have something to start of my 20+ gallon tank that I plan on getting once this one is in the clear.

The instructions on the bottle say to add the entire bottle. I thought it would be a dose-a-day type thing, but since it's not, I may refrain from continually adding Stress Coat +... All my remaining fishies are still doing well; the redness in my neons' gills has gone down, and my pleco is as active as ever again - I even got him a small piece of driftwood this morning, though he hasn't found it yet.

*edit*

I also have the liquid API test kit on order...
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
Sounds good. I would follow the directions on TSS and take the advice of members who have used it with success.

Good luck
 
  • Thread Starter
cg49me
Member
Thanks...

I hit both my LFS and Pet Smart today (didn't know I had a Pet Smart nearby) - Pet Smart had a 29gal kit that I about bought... I think I will put down for it once my current tank is cycled - I can move my pleco into it, and get a couple snails for the 10gal. After doing a complete fishless cycle on the 29gal, that is.

My LFS has a bunch of "blue moon" platys that are gorgeous. They all look pregnant though...
 
TennThunder
Member
I put two bottles of the 8.5 ounce TSS in my tank today so hopefully the TSS works for us both. There really isn't that much directions to it-shake well, add, then add fish.
 

Latest threads

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Find a Guru

Top Bottom