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What is a good way to kickstart beneficial bacteria


Chiclid addict
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Are you asking how to start a cycle? Or, how to start a tank w/o a cycle?

Best way to start a cycle is with a cocktail shrimp, IMO - just let it rot.

For the latter - take a Sponge Filter from a cycled tank, and put it in the new tank.

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If its a brand new tank, I absolutely love Seachem Stability. It has always worked for me (avg time is about 3-5days to cycle). Whenever I service my Fx4 cannister I dose Seachem Stability. If you have an established tank and expanding, Take some media from the cycled aquarium and include it within the new filter media (and Seachem Stability). This can even speed up the cycle considerably. 

When I set up my latest 72g, I used stability and fully cycled in 4 days, re-dosed stability, then rehomed one of my plecos to be the ceremonial 1st fish of the aquarium.  The stuff just works. 

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When I start a new tank, it is always with the water from an established aquarium and plants from an established aquarium. For me that seems to bring enough beneficial bacteria so that the new aquarium can support fish from day one.

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I have several sponges going so I would transfer one of them and some gravel/plants/driftwood to the new tank. In fact, I might add additional sponges/plants/driftwood to the established tank ahead of time knowing I'm going to transfer to a new tank but that's premeditated. If a new tank is spontaneous impulse, the former sponge method still works.

I'd still check water parameters. Probably ghost feed on first day and check parameters in following day or two to allow the BB to repopulate and assure myself the tank is cycled. 

Cheers and happy cycling!

Edited by Kalita
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12 hours ago, Solidus1833 said:

If its a brand new tank, I absolutely love Seachem Stability. It has always worked for me (avg time is about 3-5days to cycle). 

I've never tried it but wondered if it worked. Happy to see that you've had great success with it. I think I'll give it a try.

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