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Product Review of Turbostart700 (and Turbostart900 for Saltwater)
Due in part to the difficulty In finding the product Bio-spira as an agent to assist in helping to cycle tanks in a timely and painless manner, I began to look around for other alternatives. In the process, one of our members, Nicole, posted about a product that she had purchased and used called Turbostart700 that worked for her. This piqued my curiosity and I contacted the company that produces it (Fritz Industries) and they forwarded me to their pet supplies area for more information.
Let me start by saying that it is not a cheap product. It is available in 1 ounce bottles with actual screw on type tops to close them (a real plus to me) that treat 37.5 gallons in either the freshwater formula or the saltwater formula. Here is a listing of the prices for the products and the sizes available and while some of them are ridiculously too much for any casual hobbyist, it is to note that this product is used by major aquariums worldwide and has been for more than 20 years. It is only recently become available in the local markets in some areas though.
- 1 ounce $9.99 Treats 37.5 gallons
- 4 ounces $19.99 Treats 150 gallons
- 8 ounces $37.99 Treats 300 gallons
- 16 ounces $69.99 Treats 600 gallons
- 32 ounces $119.99 Treats 1200 gallons
- 128 ounces (1 gallon) $299.99 Treats 4800 gallons
The one problem I did see with the experience as far as the reception and ordering process was that they do not give you a flat shipping cost at the time you order. You have to fill out a form with the information about where you live and they let you know by e-mail a day later what the cost will be, unless you are one of the people lucky enough to find it locally and then the above prices will probably be different to reflect some of the shipping costs that the merchant selling it had to pay. I paid $45.00 in shipping costs alone and due to the fact that I live in Nebraska and it was shipped from the factory in Texas, I did consider that high as the distance was not that great. But this is set by UPS not the factory.
Now for the actual performance of the product. One of the tanks was a nearly 10 gallon tank and the other a nearly 5 gallon tank and I will say that everything I used in the tanks was new. I did not want to take the chance of a previous cycle dinging up the results of the product so the large tank was even new and the other well scrubbed, all the gravel, decor, plants and heaters and tubing were new. I waited for the fish to arrive as they suggested acclimating the fish immediately and releasing them into the tanks as soon as possible when the Turbostart is added to the tank.
The tank water was mixed with NovAqua+ and nothing else and brought to a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and when the tanks met my approval, I added the appropriate amounts of the Turbostart for the sizes of the tanks. I gave the water a swirl and allowed the filter a few moments to run to acclimate to the new bacteria and floated the fish and when they were acclimated to the temperature and water I released them.
There is one male betta in each of the tanks but the product is set to handle a full tank's compliment of fish at one time according to the instructions. The suggestion is that if you are going to have 5 fish in the tank, have them all ready to go in when you add the Turbostart. They suggest having all the fish available to add at one time as the Turbostart will create a cycle that is dependent on the number of fish you populate the tank with and if you have only one fish in there the bacteria that are not needed to handle the ammonia output for that fish will die off and create a cycle that is appropriate to maintain one fish.
If you want to populate the fish to the tank's maximum capacity and want to do it right away, the Turbostart is capable of creating a cycle which will support this population level as well. Care needs to be taken at all times though, as with any tank, not to overpopulate the tank for the size. No product will help in this case.
I do not usually run aquarium tests during a cycle that I do in this manner as the presence of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are normal in any cycle and when you have fish in the water it can be a bit unnerving to have them exposed to it and be told not to do water changes so as not to slow down or destroy the cycle's progress; but this time I did.
In the large tank I had a Hydor Sponge filter appropriate for a 25 gallon tank and a Penguin 100B Bio-wheel HOB filter running and the ammonia was at 0 by Day 2, the nitrites at 0 by Day 4 and the Nitrates never got above 20 (used real plants in this tank).
In the smaller tank I had a Hydor Sponge filter appropriate for a 10 gallon tank and no other filter. The ammonia was at 0 by Day 4, nitrites were at 0 by Day 6 and the Nitrates got to 40 on Day 7 but when I did a 50 percent water change they dropped to 20 and have not risen again. Since then I have done more water changes and they are now down to 10 in the smaller tank as well. This tank does not have real plants at this time but he will be going to the bigger tank with lots of them soon.
Overall, I was very pleased with the results of the cycle this product gave me and I think it is a wonderful product, although pricey. The literature online at fritzpet.com tells you that every ounce of the product contains a minimum of 30 million of the nitrifying bacteria that will give a lasting cycle. They also explain the differences in products containing the Bacillus sp. bacteria that are supposed to hasten or assist the formation of a cycle but will not produce a lasting or completed cycle. For those interested in ordering the product or at least checking into it further, their e-mail is petproducts at fritzpet.com.
I hope this has been informative and helpful.
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