Tetra Safe Start used in fishless cycling

blazebo

Member
Editing to add that there are two responses to this question of TSS and fishless cycling from Tetra in post #10 and #11 both affirming that TSS can be used for fishless cycling. (end of edit)

I started having a discussion on this in another thread and I believe it is more appropriate here. The reason I think this is an important topic is because Dr. Tim's One and Only is not so easily available outside the USA, while Tetra Safe Start is more readily available outside the USA. I will repost the discussion so far:

junebug said:
TSS doesn't work without fish....

If you want to fishless cycle with a bacterial additive, you need Dr. Tim's One and Only.
blazebo said:
TSS DOES work without fish as long as you add ammonia to the tank. I have done fishless cycling with TSS WITHOUT fish. It took 2 weeks for the tank to cycle. Over the next week I fully loaded the tank and had no ammonia or nitrite readings, which I continued to test daily for the following 2 weeks and then regularly after that.
junebug said:
That may be, but it is not approved for use without fish. The product is designed to work with fish in the tank, not ammonia drops. Dr. Tim's One and Only is designed (with a different formula) to work with either fish or ammonia drops.
blazebo said:
There is no government agency that approves these products like the drug industry. True Tetra does not advertise fishless cycling with their product (although I just wrote them to let them know they are losing business by not making it clear that the product will work with fishless cycling). Dr. Tim's One and Only has smartly advertised their product to be used with fishless cycling. Of course there has to be some difference in the two products otherwise Dr. Tim's would just be a copy of Tetra Safe Start. There is nothing in the "design" of Tetra Safe Start that would make it unsuitable for fishless cycling. In many places it is much easier to get Tetra Safe Start than Dr. Tim's One and Only and having used it myself and having read of others using it I have no problem recommending it to be used for fishless cycling.

The main concern the OP should have now is that the Tetra Safe Start was added on Tuesday (is that 3 days ago or 10 days ago) and has not had any ammonia source for that period of time. This would be a problem with either product.
Mamajin said:
Bottled ammonia will kill the bacteria in Tetra Safe Start, as stated many times in the Tetra Q & A threads on their site.



Dr TI'm created Tetra Safe Start. One & Only and Tetra Safe Start are different products.

TSS - Requires fish and the water cannot be changed for 14 days.

One & Only - Fish in or fishless. You can do both. The major difference with One & Only is you *can* do water changes without harming the cycle.
blazebo said:
Maybe this isn't the right thread to have this discussion, however Tetra says too high of a concentration of ammonia will kill the bacteria and that is the same for both products. I have done fishless cycling with TSS with bottled ammonia in less than 2 weeks and when I've done fishless cycling without TSS but with bottled ammonia it has taken more than 5 weeks. So obviously the bottled ammonia did not kill the bacteria (I only dosed to 2 ppm). Hopefully Tetra will respond to the email I sent them, if so I will report their response (in a different thread). I do not live in the USA and Dr TI'm does not ship to places outside the USA if you look at their website ... so it's not as easy for everyone to just get Dr Tim's product and that is why I am continuing to respond to this. (And I am aware of Dr Tim's role in the developement of these products.)
For people who cannot get Dr. Tim's One and Only I think there is very much reason to explore whether Tetra Safe Start can be used in Fishless Cycling. As I have said I have done it with success. I would be interested to hear if others have attempted it and also had any success.

A few other things I would like to touch on:

Both companies say that there is no reason to do fishless cycling with their products, that you should just use them and put in fish.

One & Only Nitrifying Bacteria FAQ's - DrTim's Aquatics

"Can One & Only be used for fishless cycling?
Yes, but there is no real reason to do fishless cycling with One & Only."

Dr. Tim's One and Only does not state (advertise) that they are the only bottled bacteria that can be used for fishless cycling.

Tetra (as far as I've seen) has not stated it cannot be used for fishless cycling OR that the bacteria will be killed by bottled ammonia.


I have to wonder if there is "no real reason" according to the One and Only website to do fishless cycling why it bothers to even give instructions on it. I would say Tetra is at least more consistent in their message.

I however do believe there is a "real reason" to do fishless cycling with these products and I do believe that both of them are adequate for the job.
 
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ryanr

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Member
Hi,
Threads of interest:
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/q-a-with-tetra-about-tetra-safestart.58116/
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...art-in-australia-bacterial-supplements.74090/

I haven't used either product, but I BELIEVE that Dr Tim's One and Only can be used for Fishless cycling. They'll even provide a bottle of ammonia.
per previous statements
Dr TI'm developed the original formula for Marineland (IIRC), then Tetra bought it and re-branded it as TSS. I know Instant Ocean now own/sell/make Bio-Spira for marine.

And, as stated, for best results, the products should be used per manufacturers directions. Most members, no matter the supplement, experience greater successes when using the product as directed.
 
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blazebo

Member
I have not been posting on this board that people should do fishless cycling with TSS, my posts all except this have spoken about doing fish in cycles with TSS ... except where I have mentioned today that I did do a fishless cycle with TSS sucessfully.

I would assume that you also can not get Dr. Tim's One and Only in Australia for the reason you can't get TSS in Australia (live bacteria). Here in Europe it is also very hard to get Dr. Tim's One and Only if you even can. I live in Belgium where more than half the country speaks Dutch and the other half speaks French. When I go to the Dr. Tim's One and Only web site they do not ship overseas and give websites to contact. For Belgium they give 4 websites, 2 don't exist anymore, 1 my virus scanner warned me about and the other was in French ... I'm Dutch speaking not French speaking. And this is why I have posted this because in Europe TSS is easy to get a hold of and Dr. Tim's OaO is not readily available.

Regular bottles of pure ammonia don't have on them that they can be used for fishless cycling ... however there are enough hobbyists that know that this works. Neither Dr. Tim's or Tetra find any reason to do fishless cycling using their product and many fish stores will just laugh at you when you tell them you are going to cycle your tank with bottled ammonia. I'm putting forth that I have successfully done fishless cycling with Tetra Safe Start and I also know that there are others who have. Maybe even some on this site, we will have to see.
 

sheilashoelady

Member
I have successfully cycled 6+ tanks with TSS and bottled ammonia, fishless. Just started my first tank using O&O.
 
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ryanr

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Member
I think sometimes we lose sight of the purpose of these products.

One of the reasons products like Bio-Spira, DTOO and TSS were developed is to help aquarists get fish into their tanks faster. Or to use another (old school) term, to avoid "New Tank Syndrome".

Back in the day, and somewhat still today, the instructions for setting up a new tank were to add water, wait a few days then add some cheap fish. Wait and see if they live a few weeks, then add more.

Bacterial supplements allow the aquarist to 'dive straight in' so to speak.

In my opinion, using bacterial supplements then fishless cycling is a bit like using instant tan, refusing to go out in public until you've laid in the sun enough to get a natural tan. The point of the product is to get you going straight away, and over time, sure the tan will improve naturally and get stronger if you lay in the sun.

I'm not saying it can't be done (fishless with supplement), but to me, seems a bit of a waste of money if you're going to do it the old-fashioned (natural) way anyway.
 
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blazebo

Member
sheilashoelady said:
I have successfully cycled 6+ tanks with TSS and bottled ammonia, fishless. Just started my first tank using O&O.
Thanks for replying and sharing your success, glad to see I'm not alone on here.

ryanr said:
I think sometimes we lose sight of the purpose of these products.

One of the reasons products like Bio-Spira, DTOO and TSS were developed is to help aquarists get fish into their tanks faster. Or to use another (old school) term, to avoid "New Tank Syndrome".
And both these companies have said this that there is no reason to do fishless cycling when using their products.

ryanr said:
In my opinion, using bacterial supplements then fishless cycling is a bit like using instant tan, refusing to go out in public until you've laid in the sun enough to get a natural tan. The point of the product is to get you going straight away, and over time, sure the tan will improve naturally and get stronger if you lay in the sun.
I don't think it's really like getting a fake tan because we aren't getting a fake cycle it is a real cycle we are getting. And I still see plenty of reason to do a fishless cycle using these products. The bottles have not proven to be extremely reliable as far as their ability to work because mainly they can't insure how the bottles have been handled between the time they leave the manufacturer and arrive in our homes. You can't fully stock your aquarium without watching very carefully the water parameters because they aren't really made for fully stocking the aquarium. You may be stocking with fish that need to be in a fully cycled aquarium.
 
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Coradee

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Member
Sorry to drag this thread back up but I read it with interest as I'd never used Safe start, & it kept occurring to me that ammonia is ammonia whether produced by fish or out of a bottle.
In my mind if TSS has the good bacteria in it that speeds up the cycle then you could use bottled ammonia & save putting the fish through the stress of a cycle, always good in my book.
Anyway having read the Q&A & not finding the answer to the nagging question in my mind about it I mailed Tetra & have just received this reply.



My question:
Can Tetra safe start be used with ammonia instead of fish as surely ammonia is ammonia no matter where it comes from & if so what would the ppm dosage be so as not to kill the good bacteria. Thank you


Tetras answer:
Hello,
Thank you for taking the time to email us and we apologize for the delay in our response. We wouldn’t suggest any level of ammonia above 4ppm b/c it can start becoming harmful to the strains of nitrifying bacteria. If you can keep the level around 2ppm and no higher, that would be ideal.

Best of luck!
 
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blazebo

Member
I checked my email and I also got a response, it must of been their day for doing responses ... lol. I'm not going to post all my letter because it all isn't necessary to post and is a little long, but here it is and their response:

My letter:

"Please pass this information on to the appropriate people in your company. I have used Tetra Safe Start to do fishless cycling, I never allowed the ammonia to get above 2 ppm. I know that Tetra does not advertise this product to be used for fishless cycling of aquariums, because of that you are losing business. Dr. Tim's One and Only does advertise that their product can be used for fishless cycling. Fishless cycling is used and preferred by many hobbyists. Tetra Safe Start is easier to get then Dr. Tim's ... Tetra has not addressed that it is completely compatible with fishless cycling."


Tetra's response:

"HI Pat,
Thank you so much for your feedback – we greatly appreciate what you have to say and for taking the time to let us know. As I’m sure you are aware, any live strain(s) of nitrifying bacteria are [or at least should be] capable of completing a fishless cycle. Ammonia is ammonia is ammonia. We do of course love getting feedback though and we have passed this on to our product team.

Thanks for being such a loyal customer!

Ann Major
Consumer Relations Specialist
United Pet Group"

So it appears now it's "official" Tetra Safe Start can be used for fishless cycling. Really it only made sense that it could be and that is why others and myself have used it that way.

Just bumping this up because I checked and also got a response from Tetra and changed my last post to reflect that.
 
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Lucy

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Member
Great info everyone!

I was under the wrong impression household ammonia shouldn't be used with Tetra SafeStart.

It's awesome to have not only first hand experience but also a response from Tetra.

(adding a link to this thread to the TSS article)
 
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blazebo

Member
Yes I'm very glad Tetra responded not only to me but glad that Coradee also wrote to them and they responded to her. Two responses are better than one. Again the main reason I wanted this addressed is because many of us around the world can get Tetra Safe Start but not very easily or cost efficiently get Dr. Tim's.

Bumping this up because some are still under the impression that TSS cannot be used in fish-less cycling.
 
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