Using Tetra Safestart With Prime?

jesse96

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Hello!

I'm almost 6 weeks in to my fish-in cycle with my first tank, a 5 gallon with two female guppies. I was doing 25% water changes every other day to keep ammonia down during the fish-in cycling process (my tap has 1ppm too so I wanted to make sure the fish are safe). I add a dose of Seachem Prime every 24 hrs.

I haven't done a water change in 4 days now, trying to see if that will help the ammonia levels. I've still been dosing with prime. The ammonia levels are still between 1-2 ppm and I'm not picking up any nitrites or nitrates, so I was debating picking up a bottle of Tetra Safe Start. However, I've read that you can't use it with any ammonia neutralizing products and shouldn't do a water change for a while after adding it, so I was wondering if it's safe to use TSS with Prime. Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you all!
 

nikm128

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Actually, when you use TSS you cannot use prime or anything like it, or do any water changes for a week
 

mattgirl

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Next time I would recommend fishless cycle, so you can completely avoid water changes.
More cycles have been stalled by following this statement than I can count. Folks have been told not to do water changes and they come to us wondering why their cycle won't finish up.
Hello!

I'm almost 6 weeks in to my fish-in cycle with my first tank, a 5 gallon with two female guppies. I was doing 25% water changes every other day to keep ammonia down during the fish-in cycling process (my tap has 1ppm too so I wanted to make sure the fish are safe). I add a dose of Seachem Prime every 24 hrs.

I haven't done a water change in 4 days now, trying to see if that will help the ammonia levels. I've still been dosing with prime. The ammonia levels are still between 1-2 ppm and I'm not picking up any nitrites or nitrates, so I was debating picking up a bottle of Tetra Safe Start. However, I've read that you can't use it with any ammonia neutralizing products and shouldn't do a water change for a while after adding it, so I was wondering if it's safe to use TSS with Prime. Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you all!
If you can't get a small piece of seeded media from a friends tank the second best option would be to add some TSS. I have personally never used any of the many brands of bottled bacteria but from all I've read TSS contains the same bacteria we are trying to grow in our tanks. It might give this tank the jump start it needs to finish up.

If you decide to add TSS don't get discouraged if you don't see nitrites but soon start seeing nitrates. Quite often the cycle skips the nitrite spike when using TSS.

To use it and still be able to do water changes with Prime just put enough water in a bucket to do your water change. Dose it with Prime and do your water change the following day.
 

nikm128

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Why? I have used it countless no of times. No issues.
It counts as an ammonia neutralizing/lowering product. I can't seem to find the thread at the moment, but I'm fairly certain even Tetra themselves say not to use it.
I think it was made by @Lucy or she can at least help me find it. I think a moderator emailed Tetra to answer a bunch of questions asked on the forum a lot
 

Sagar Joshi

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@mattgirl, May be you are right. It in my personal experience I have never had my cycle stall due to no water change. But again looks like you have more experience with helping people, so I might be one of few lucky ones.
 

JenC

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@mattgirl is correct. Water changes aren't always needed in fishless cycles but when they are needed they're critical. Ammonia at 5+ ppm, nitrite at 5+ ppm, or off the charts nitrate can slow or stall a cycle. In those situations, a water change is really important. Often, all a stalled cycle needs is fresh water.

"In regards to ammonia products, yes, they kill TSS. Any type, whether a chloramines remover or detoxifier, etc, anything that says it locks up ammonia or removes ammonia. Do not add TSS for 24 hours after using such a product, and do not add such a product for at least 7 days after using TSS. The bacteria is housed in a special stabilized solution of ammonia, so if you remove/lock up the ammonia, you remove all of the food the bacteria require to live."

This statement from the other thread raises questions for me because I know that TSS+ has cycled tanks with Prime in them.

Yes, a product like Ammo Lock will hinder TSS as it completely locks down ammonia, rendering it unavailable for conversion in the nitrogen cycle so the bacteria wouldn't be fed. But Prime isn't supposed to do that. Everything I've been told about Prime says it makes ammonia nontoxic but still leaves it available for bacterial consumption and conversion. If that's true then it wouldn't interfere with TSS in the way described above. Right?...
 

mattgirl

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Those are my thoughts as well @JenC Prime doesn't lock up the ammonia. It is supposed to turn ammonia into ammonium. Ammonium isn't supposed to be as good a food for bacteria as ammonia is but it can still be used as food.

The last tank I cycled from scratch and doing a fully stocked fish in cycle had Prime added at the very least every other day. This tank went from dry to fully cycled in 6 weeks. (no bottled bacteria added) That tells me that bacteria can grow with only ammonium for food.

I do realize that each tank is different though so what worked for me doesn't necessarily guarantee it will work for everyone but it does hint that Prime shouldn't starve off the bacteria in TSS.
 
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jesse96

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More cycles have been stalled by following this statement than I can count. Folks have been told not to do water changes and they come to us wondering why their cycle won't finish up.

If you can't get a small piece of seeded media from a friends tank the second best option would be to add some TSS. I have personally never used any of the many brands of bottled bacteria but from all I've read TSS contains the same bacteria we are trying to grow in our tanks. It might give this tank the jump start it needs to finish up.

If you decide to add TSS don't get discouraged if you don't see nitrites but soon start seeing nitrates. Quite often the cycle skips the nitrite spike when using TSS.

To use it and still be able to do water changes with Prime just put enough water in a bucket to do your water change. Dose it with Prime and do your water change the following day.
Unfortunately I'm unable to source any media (my only local fishkeeping friend has a filter that he's not able to pull media from). I'm about to go get some TSS. I'll follow that routine for the water changes. Hopefully this will help the cycle along!
Again, thank you for your advice! I seriously appreciate it. This process has been a journey; I'm learning a lot and very grateful for everyone's help.
 

JenC

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Unfortunately I'm unable to source any media (my only local fishkeeping friend has a filter that he's not able to pull media from). I'm about to go get some TSS. I'll follow that routine for the water changes. Hopefully this will help the cycle along!
Again, thank you for your advice! I seriously appreciate it. This process has been a journey; I'm learning a lot and very grateful for everyone's help.
I'd turn off the filter, dump the TSS directly into the filter media, and let it sit for a little while before restarting the filter. Shake the heck out of the TSS bottle first. I believe TSS+ is a more concentrated version of TSS but either should help.

Good luck!
 
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jesse96

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I'd turn off the filter, dump the TSS directly into the filter media, and let it sit for a little while before restarting the filter. Shake the heck out of the TSS bottle first. I believe TSS+ is a more concentrated version of TSS but either should help.

Good luck!
Sounds good! Roughly how long should I let it sit? 30 minutes or so? I'm not sure how long I can safely leave the filter turned off.

Thank you!
 

CandyCane701

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TSS says specifically to not use prime or any other dechlorinator for at least 24 hours before adding. I have wondered to myself though about how prime isn't supposed to lock up the ammonia, and just convert it, so the bacteria shouldn't starve theoretically. I've always just went ahead and followed the directions the way they say to though. I also thought the directions were to do a water change, wait 24 hours after dechlorinating to add TSS, and then no water change for 2 whole weeks. I saw someone say it's 1 week though?
 

JenC

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Sounds good! Roughly how long should I let it sit? 30 minutes or so? I'm not sure how long I can safely leave the filter turned off.

Thank you!
Maybe 30 minutes? You don't have to, and I'm not certain it makes a difference, but it can't hurt and it can only help.

Ultimately you want the bacteria to live in the filter so I figure give it a little chance to soak into the media before the filter blows it around the tank.

The filter bacteria will have no issue with the unit being off for such a short period of time. They're actually much hardier than people think.
 

Vancouver Mike

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Hello!

I'm almost 6 weeks in to my fish-in cycle with my first tank, a 5 gallon with two female guppies. I was doing 25% water changes every other day to keep ammonia down during the fish-in cycling process (my tap has 1ppm too so I wanted to make sure the fish are safe). I add a dose of Seachem Prime every 24 hrs.

I haven't done a water change in 4 days now, trying to see if that will help the ammonia levels. I've still been dosing with prime. The ammonia levels are still between 1-2 ppm and I'm not picking up any nitrites or nitrates, so I was debating picking up a bottle of Tetra Safe Start. However, I've read that you can't use it with any ammonia neutralizing products and shouldn't do a water change for a while after adding it, so I was wondering if it's safe to use TSS with Prime. Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you all!
I was cycling 2 tanks at once . One without TSS and one with. I used Prime in BOTH tanks. The tank I used TSS in cycled in half the time (3 weeks) and it skipped the nitrite phase. My other tank took 45-50 days with Seachem prime and stability (stability is seachems brand of BB)
 

yinoma2001

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I've used TSS/Prime to great success.

My rule of thumb is when I change water/Prime it, I wait minimum of 24 hours (usually 30-48 hours) before I add TSS. Has worked every time for me.
 

JenC

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I recently tested TSS+ with Prime on a 29g I'm setting up. It had been cycling about a week with just ammonia before I dumped a bottle of TSS+ (the 3.38 oz bottle for 40g) in the filter, and I dosed Prime and ammonia to 3 ppm at the same time. I let the TSS+ soak in the media for 30 mins before restarting the filter.

Positive results were evident the next day. The ammonia was gone, nitrites were high, and nitrates were present. Nitrites and nitrates were not there before.

Would I rely on TSS+ alone to instantly cycle a stocked tank? No, not if I had the option to fishless cycle unless I had a very light stocking. I consider my tanks cycled when they pass a stress test of clearing 4 ppm ammonia to 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite in <24 hours, preferably in <12. The TSS+ didn't achieve that but it did rapidly accelerate progress.
 
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