Safestart: Just Want To Do It Right

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Barry Wilson, May 30, 2018.

  1. Barry Wilson

    Barry WilsonNew MemberMember

    This week I'm setting up my new 65g tank. I'm going to use Tetra SafeStart Plus to start the cycle (a whole 8.45 oz bottle). I just tested my TAP water with my API kit. These results are right out of the tap. I've already run a lot of water this morning so I doubt the water has been sitting in the pipes. Oh, and this is not chlorinated water. I live at the intersection of two dirt roads so far out in the country even the mail carrier doesn't come all the way to the house.

    Also, sometimes I can't tell the difference between two adjacent colors but these are the results I got.

    Ph = 6.6 or 6.8
    Ammonia = Could be up to .25
    Nitrite = Zero
    Nitrate = Between zero and 5.

    According to another post in this forum, my Ph needs to be at least 7. What should I do?

    Do I need to fix the ammonia? I'm going to install an AquaClear 110, so should I run it a day or so to let the carbon do it's thing?

    What else should I do before filling my tank with water, starting the filter, and adding SafeStart?
  2. danhutchins

    danhutchinsWell Known MemberMember

    You are going to need an ammonia source. If the BB doesn't have ammonia to eat it will just die off. I would feed the tank fish flakes a pinch every couple days until ammonia test is at 2ppm then when it drops to
    .5ppm add more flakes till you have 2ppm again. Continue this until ammonia goes away after 24 hrs. then do a large water change, 50-70%, then add fish.
  3. OP
    Barry Wilson

    Barry WilsonNew MemberMember

    Let me see if I have this straight. Is this correct:
    1. Fill tank with water
    2. Install filter
    3. Add SafeStart
    4. Add small amounts of food each day until ammonia goes away

    Would it be better or worse to go ahead and add up to 6 inches of fish rather than the flake food regimen? The instructions I saw in another couple of posts said that it was important to add fish within two hours of adding SafeStart. I'm confused.

  4. Dch48

    Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    Make sure you shake up the Safe Start very vigorously before adding it.

  5. OP
    Barry Wilson

    Barry WilsonNew MemberMember

    I'll shake it like Jerry Lee Lewis performing :)
  6. OP
    Barry Wilson

    Barry WilsonNew MemberMember

    I has now been 48 hours since I filled the tank with fresh water, added the 8 ounce bottle of SafeStart, and added 4 nickle to quarter sized angel fish. According to information provided elsewhere in one of these forums by the Tetra rep, there should be an ammonia level of 1.0 - 1.5. According to my API test kit I have no ammonia yet. I have fed the angels flakes 3 times during this period and I'm sure some of the flakes were not eaten.

    I have another, 15 gallon, tank that is overstocked with small fish so I took 4 male guppies and 2 neons out of it and added them to this tank. I'm hoping these new fish will provide the needed ammonia....or has the SafeStart process already failed???
  7. Dch48

    Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    If it had failed, you see ammonia. it's more likely that the safe start is working and bacteria are already converting the ammonia. Did you test for nitrites and nitrates?
  8. OP
    Barry Wilson

    Barry WilsonNew MemberMember

    Sure did.
    PH = 7.6
    AM = O
    Nitrites = O
    Nitrates = 10 (I think. The colors are not always clear to me.)
    Temp. = 80.2
  9. Dch48

    Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    Wow, those numbers would suggest the cycle is already completed.
  10. OP
    Barry Wilson

    Barry WilsonNew MemberMember

    In only 48 hours?
  11. Dch48

    Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    That's why I said WOW. It doesn't seem possible to have those numbers unless the nitrates came from your tapwater, which is possible.

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