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Discussion Starter #1
So before anything else, I would like to say that API QuickStart $uck$. Save your money it’s not worth a cent. After doing my research I found that API has a very fast growing but very weak strain of bacteria. So if you happen to get a good bottle, it should help your cycle to move along fairly quickly. The absolute dealbreaker for me is the fact that it’s a sensitive and unreliable form of bacteria. A lot of people buy bottles off the shelf that are bad, there’s really no way to tell if the bacteria is still alive or if it’s dead and worthless until you try it. I’ve read that the main reason a lot of the bottles are worthless is due to what it goes through in transit. Heat, Cold, etc. Without perfect conditions this bacteria isn’t worth the plastic they store it in. On the upside, I’ve found that another brand that most LFS carry will work quite well: Seachem Stability. I’m currently using Seachem to cycle my new 40 gallon. I’ve also discussed Bottled Bacteria with my LFS, they refuse to carry API now because of how many complaints they’ve gotten and because of how disappointed they were with the product personally. Seachem contains a much slower growing strain of bacteria (a lot of companies like Tetra and API use bacteria that die quick and reproduce fast), however, this strain of bacteria is much more resilient to conditions. Seachem also contains DEnitrifying bacteria as well as nitrifying, in order to complete the nitrogen cycle, you need both types. Denitrifying bacteria converts nitrate into nitrogen gas which bubbles out of your tank (please note that a complete nitrogen cycle is still not a replacement to water changes). I think the choice here is pretty obvious: quick growing unreliable biofilter vs slightly slower growing, reliable, and complete biofilter. It’s no contest really, remember, nothing good in this hobby happens fast (I’ve learned that the hard way ;))
 

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The bottled bacteria is a waste and simply a way of making money. I've never cycled an with it...live rock and millions of bacteria on it already and you have to get that anyway. Even if you start with dry rock and dry sand you can seed it with a small live rock.
 

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I used bio spira and powdered ammonia to cycle my tank. it worked great. It wasn't a waste of money at all. There are many ways to reach an end, and no single path is always the right one for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I used bio spira and powdered ammonia to cycle my tank. it worked great. It wasn't a waste of money at all. There are many ways to reach an end, and no single path is always the right one for everyone.
I looked and Dr. Tim actually holds the patent on both bio spira and Dr. Tim's, not sure what the story is there but I've heard great things from everyone that has used Dr. Tim's. My LFS didn't have any in stock at the time.

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