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Adding bacterial supplements- Is it actually beneficial?

This is a discussion on Adding bacterial supplements- Is it actually beneficial? within the FreshWater Beginner Information/Questions forums, part of the FreshWater Topics category;
Hey MFT! It's been a few years, but I don't trust any online fish community more with their opinions! I ...

  1. #1
    Super Fish PlecoCollector's Avatar
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    Question Adding bacterial supplements- Is it actually beneficial?

    Hey MFT! It's been a few years, but I don't trust any online fish community more with their opinions!

    I have a co-workers who drives me up the wall with his suggestions of bacterial supplements. Got ammonia in your tank? Add Stability. Fish dying? Add Stability. Putting in new fish (in the middle of your cycle!?!)? Add Stability. Cycle in its 3rd week and it's still not over? Add Stability. Don't even get me started on his love-affair with carbon. Ugh.

    I'm a big fan of adding bacterial supplements at the beginning of a cycle, following the directions, and then letting things go their natural course. I talk to a lot of people who, in my opinion, have a cycle that's going though its natural course and should be left alone to do its thing, but my co-worker will jump in (he literally grabbed someone who was in the parking lot leaving, dragged them back in, and made them buy Stability after I told them to leave their tank alone).

    What do you guys think? Is there a point in the cycle that bacterial supplements are like adding a match to a fire (my opinion) or is it beneficial at any point in the cycle (and life of the aquarium, for that matter)?
    5 gallon Eclipse (Hex) Heavily Planted: Half-moon Betta, 5 Cardinal Tetra, 4 Harlequin Rasbora, 4 Pygmy Cory, Clown Pleco
    2.5 gallon: Orange Male Betta

    90 gallon and 20 gallon Zebra tank are in my dad's care!
    20 gallon: 2 Female Zebra Pleco, 5 Amano Shrimp
    90 gallon: Rainbow fish, Serpae Tetras, BN Plecos, lots o' Guppies, 3 Syno cats, etc...

  2. #2
    Super Fish KcMopar's Avatar
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    I personally think you get better stable bacteria with a natural cycle. I like to toss in a couple of medium to large peeled shrimp and let the tank go. Just check its nutrients ever couple days and once its got nitrate start to slowly add a couple fish a week until its stocked. I have seen the bottled stuff work but, start a mini cycle with just a couple fish added after the first cycle was done and supposedly safe to add fish.
    150G. Salt water Reef mix tank
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey. Emperor 400, HOT Magnum 350.
    75G. Now converted to Saltwater as of 01/14. Mollies, Chromis, and two Scooter Blenny so far.
    40G. Fish/Reef. Running Algae Turf Scrubbers on ALL my Salt Water tanks, nutrients are at zero to zero-ish on the SW tanks!!
    10G. Pod production tank.

    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  3. #3
    Super Fish PlecoCollector's Avatar
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    I agree with you there- I wish I had customers who were willing to do fish-less cycles. However, it's often difficult enough to get them to not fully stock their tank in one go and to explain the nitrogen cycle to them. I must sound like a broken record half the time! I'm anxious to get out of college and have more room to start up some tanks; you'd better believe they'll be cycled without fish!

    I think the bottled stuff works okay, but not as a cure-all like my co-worker seems to believe. However, he believes that docile African cichlids and angels can be mixed, despite extreme water requirement differences. You made an excellent point about naturally formed and artificially added bacteria; I'll have to start relaying that information when people don't believe me. Just because I'm 40 years younger does not mean I don't know what I'm talking about!
    5 gallon Eclipse (Hex) Heavily Planted: Half-moon Betta, 5 Cardinal Tetra, 4 Harlequin Rasbora, 4 Pygmy Cory, Clown Pleco
    2.5 gallon: Orange Male Betta

    90 gallon and 20 gallon Zebra tank are in my dad's care!
    20 gallon: 2 Female Zebra Pleco, 5 Amano Shrimp
    90 gallon: Rainbow fish, Serpae Tetras, BN Plecos, lots o' Guppies, 3 Syno cats, etc...

  4. #4
    Super Fish KcMopar's Avatar
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    A fish in cycle is possible but, daily water changes even maybe two a day must be engaged to keep the ammonia poisoning down and in check so not to harm the fish. The rotting shrimp scenario works well for me and many others as it seems to be the most stable and promising and not to mention NO water changes so the cycle time takes less time.
    150G. Salt water Reef mix tank
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey. Emperor 400, HOT Magnum 350.
    75G. Now converted to Saltwater as of 01/14. Mollies, Chromis, and two Scooter Blenny so far.
    40G. Fish/Reef. Running Algae Turf Scrubbers on ALL my Salt Water tanks, nutrients are at zero to zero-ish on the SW tanks!!
    10G. Pod production tank.

    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  5. #5
    Little Fish FlameTetra333's Avatar
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    By the way, where does this Beneficial Bacteria come from?
    This is my Dream Tank. It is a combination of fish I already have and fish I want.


  6. #6
    Super Fish KcMopar's Avatar
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    It is in the air you breath. Its everywhere. If you could see the bacteria that surrounds us you would not touch anything!!!! Once it has a food source it will colonize and multiply then continue to feed on this food source. This bacteria makes it possible to keep our aquariums safe for our water pets.
    150G. Salt water Reef mix tank
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey. Emperor 400, HOT Magnum 350.
    75G. Now converted to Saltwater as of 01/14. Mollies, Chromis, and two Scooter Blenny so far.
    40G. Fish/Reef. Running Algae Turf Scrubbers on ALL my Salt Water tanks, nutrients are at zero to zero-ish on the SW tanks!!
    10G. Pod production tank.

    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  7. #7
    Super Fish
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    I personally do the silent cycle route. I can instantly fully stock any aquarium.
    Just my 2cents,
    OC

  8. #8
    Super Fish KcMopar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeCones View Post
    I personally do the silent cycle route. I can instantly fully stock any aquarium.
    Plants are amazing!!!
    150G. Salt water Reef mix tank
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey. Emperor 400, HOT Magnum 350.
    75G. Now converted to Saltwater as of 01/14. Mollies, Chromis, and two Scooter Blenny so far.
    40G. Fish/Reef. Running Algae Turf Scrubbers on ALL my Salt Water tanks, nutrients are at zero to zero-ish on the SW tanks!!
    10G. Pod production tank.

    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  9. #9
    Super Fish KcMopar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurel421 View Post
    supposedly safe to add fish.
    What is the image? It does not work for me. I see this JPG link on several posts in dozens of different forums ranging from AK-47 to gamer forums. Is this Spam?
    150G. Salt water Reef mix tank
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey. Emperor 400, HOT Magnum 350.
    75G. Now converted to Saltwater as of 01/14. Mollies, Chromis, and two Scooter Blenny so far.
    40G. Fish/Reef. Running Algae Turf Scrubbers on ALL my Salt Water tanks, nutrients are at zero to zero-ish on the SW tanks!!
    10G. Pod production tank.

    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

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