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Question Regarding Tetra Safestart


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#21 ian

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:25 AM

To state there is no tech understanding is beyond me. I think it's others that really have no ability to critique. Something I think others should learn. Linking a sea hem website clearly wouldn't wash in the world of science, neither would a non peer reviewed article clealy paid for by the company that makes this stuff. I suggest you gain some understanding before hog washing our comments.

#22 sadguppy

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:49 AM

To state there is no tech understanding is beyond me. I think it's others that really have no ability to critique. Something I think others should learn. Linking a sea hem website clearly wouldn't wash in the world of science, neither would a non peer reviewed article clealy paid for by the company that makes this stuff. I suggest you gain some understanding before hog washing our comments.


You are right ianho - I have worked in the scientific industry and it is amazing how companies pick and choose which studies to fund and publish, and the number that never make it to publication because they didn't show anything exciting or the results went against what the funding company wanted.

Prime Ordeal I think you need to adjust your attitude a little. A newbie comes asking for help - the best advice for them and their fish is to understand the cycling process properly, not put their faith in some bottled magic potion which, based on the experiences on these forums, may or may not work. There was no need to be rude to me - I in fact did dose on prime, 5x the dose as the bottle suggested, however I quickly learned that there is no substitute for clean, fresh water and I would advise any newbie such.

#23 Prime Ordeal

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:09 AM

To state there is no tech understanding is beyond me. I think it's others that really have no ability to critique. Something I think others should learn. Linking a sea hem website clearly wouldn't wash in the world of science, neither would a non peer reviewed article clealy paid for by the company that makes this stuff. I suggest you gain some understanding before hog washing our comments.


Perhaps you could indulge me then and point me to just one peer-reviewed paper which conclusively proves that bacterial starters do not work?

#24 ian

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:13 AM

I don't need to, science will not pay for things that are clearly snake oil. What the point in paying for someone/independent team to do research on something that doesn't work. Thats the reason there isn't any.

#25 sadguppy

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:13 AM


To state there is no tech understanding is beyond me. I think it's others that really have no ability to critique. Something I think others should learn. Linking a sea hem website clearly wouldn't wash in the world of science, neither would a non peer reviewed article clealy paid for by the company that makes this stuff. I suggest you gain some understanding before hog washing our comments.


Perhaps you could indulge me then and point me to just one peer-reviewed paper which conclusively proves that bacterial starters do not work?



I can't do this as I no longer have access to scientific journals however I can tell you that null results are rarely published (less likely to be submitted for publication and less likely to be accepted), which is known as the publication bias. Additionally, null results will never see the light of day if it is the company investing in the product who is funding the study.

Edited by sadguppy, 15 April 2012 - 11:15 AM.


#26 Prime Ordeal

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:14 AM

I don't need to, science will not pay for things that are clearly snake oil. What the point in paying for someone/team to do research on something that doesn't work. Thats the reason there isn't any.


There's no point discussing any further with someone who argues at the level of a child.

#27 ian

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:17 AM

Good answer. If in doubt head for the jugular.

Nice discussion and well backed up.

#28 Tolak

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:46 AM

Peer reviewed or otherwise reviewed papers aside, I often wonder why these products don't perform as expected in so many cases. If any other product you purchased, from gasoline to greasy burgers had such a questionable track record of living up to their advertised claims they would be out of business in a hurry. Yet these quick & easy cycling products keep being sold and used. Thinking real world, if one tank of gas out of ten didnít work properly would you keep using that product? How about if 1 burger out of 10 looked like it had been stepped on by a gorilla?

If these cycling products worked 9 out of 10 times they might be useful, with the claim that 10% of the time they donít work as advertised. We arenít seeing that here, on a busy forum, with hands on experience from members spread all over the planet. Iíd be surprised if weíre seeing them work half the time.

I wish they would come up with a product that was reliable, and easy to use for someone with a new aquarium, as very often that new aquarium has been purchased by someone new to aquatics. Being new to aquatics some of the basics of science behind it is fine, most likely they arenít going to want to read terminology heavy peer reviewed scientific studies. They do want as easy & enjoyable of a time as possible, with as little hassle in the setup, stocking & so on as can be found. Advising the use of a product with reliability issues does not provide that. Providing links to tough to digest scientific research from the start probably makes them wonder what in the world they will need to do for homework concerning their tank a month or several months from now.

Remember, this is the Your New Freshwater Tank section. Please save the peer reviewed scientific studies for the Scientific section, and the bickering nonsense for our PM system.

#29 ZoddyZod

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:53 AM

Who said it takes 8 weeks, that would be ridiculous? Apologies, I should have stated "as an example" for how long a fish-in cycle takes

Here's a very good thread from the Seachem forum: http://www.seachem.c...read.php?t=3983, in particular read troglodyte's posts starting on page 2 and look at the graph of his cycle with Seachem Stability here: http://s1213.photobu...emgraph001.jpg. He had a glitch, which he was able to explain away (eventually), but if you ignore that then the tank cycled in 12 days! A bit different from your 8 weeks and considerably shorter than any bacterial additive-free cycle I have done or seen done (that being 18 days for me).

call me suspicious, but seeing positive comments about a product from the manufacturers own forum is not something I could accept as evidence, but I am very interested to hear more about your own experience and exactly how the aquarium/filter was set up and the process followed to acheive an 18 day cycle.


I'll be blunt here, comments like yours and ianho's on this thread and from countless others on other threads really annoy me, based as they are on little technical understanding of the process and, worse, the fact that you've never used any of these bacterial starters.

You merely parrot what everyone else says without any justification.[/b][/i]

that's not true in my case - I used Nutrafins product to set up my first ever aquarium. Result? 12+ week fish-in cycle, so it didn't exactly match what it promised on the bottle, which is the basis for most of my sceptisism for these products



I am yet to be convinced that any of these products speed up the cycling process in the way they state. Also, I don't think any of them state in the instructions that you MUST use an ammonia/nitrite detoxifying product in conjunction, which clearly is a pre-requisite.


This is a particular bugbear of mine. The problem (for the manufacturers) is that if they state that ammonia and nitrite detoxifiers are a necessity, then they are openly admitting that those toxins will rise to lethal levels - something that is hardly likely to increase their sales of the product. That, along with the fact that during the distribution there is a good likelihood that the maximum temperature tolerances, typically 0-30C, may be exceeded and end-users who do not know how to use these products is what leads to the unjustifiable conclusion, by many, that the products do not work.


I don't agree with this at all - what you are saying is that the manufacturer of the product does not need to tell the consumer how to use the product correctly. They are gambling that the consumer knows that ammonia and nitrite are toxic to fish and taking the gamble even further by assuming that they know which products are required to detoxify them, thus making their product safe to use. You are also stating that they are not responsible for the correct conditions being met during transportation & storage, which again I don't agree with. If I sold frozen chickens, would it not be my responsibility to ensure that they arrived at the point of sale frozen, and to ensure that they had been kept frozen during transport? Temperature controlled transport and storage facilities exist, and if a product requires to be kept in a certain temperature range then it is the responsibility of the manufacturer and then the seller to ensure these are met. I apologise for the over-simplified comparisions, but I still think they make valid points.



#30 CezzaXV

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:00 PM

I suspect that any published journals which do claim such products work will be paid for by the companies that make them. I'm doubting they will be truly objective in the sense of comparing results to a fishless or fish-in cycle, and I'd imagine all they'd do is prove it makes a small difference, if indeed such a product did exist.

In my experience, such products do not work. I cannot back this up with scientific fact, all I know is that I got some free with my first tank so used it but didn't see any differewithhold what I'd expect without using it.

I'd also like to point out that it's generally accepted that cycling will still occur with levels of ammonia our hobbyist test kits can't even detect, so I feel the point about letting the ammonia rise is moot.

Prime Ordeal, I also stand by my point that telling a beginner that it's acceptable to let ammonia rise to 2-3ppm is bad advice, especially since you didn't give much more detail than that but felt it necessary to jump down my throat when I pointed it out so. Remember, the OP thinks 1ppm of ammonia isn't that bad, and this is in no way a dig at the OP, just a statement of fact that they don't know fully what theyre doing and I'm not sure advising them to use an obscure, debatable cycling method as opposed to the tried and tested methods is what's going to help.

#31 Bignose

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:42 PM


To state there is no tech understanding is beyond me. I think it's others that really have no ability to critique. Something I think others should learn. Linking a sea hem website clearly wouldn't wash in the world of science, neither would a non peer reviewed article clealy paid for by the company that makes this stuff. I suggest you gain some understanding before hog washing our comments.


Perhaps you could indulge me then and point me to just one peer-reviewed paper which conclusively proves that bacterial starters do not work?


whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa here. This is NOT right. One does NOT jut assume a claim is true until a paper comes out that proves it wrong. It is 100% the other way around. One should be skeptical of any claim, until objective evidence can be shown that it is correct.

Farcical example: if I told you that the face on Mars was carved by an invisible unicorn that travels among the stars with a rocket powered by faerie wishes, and you really going to believe that until it is proven wrong? Are you really going to hold that belief until every cubic millimeter of space is searched and no invisible unicorn found? I would certainly hope not. No, the onus is on me to demonstrate evidence why other should believe that.

This is a very basic tenant of science. The promoter or believer of an idea must provide compelling objective significant evidence that shows his idea is likely true. We do NOT assume something is true until it is proven wrong.

#32 OldMan47

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:46 AM

Tolak, I think I can answer your underlying question. It is based on the eternal hope that the real world facts are not real. (yes real are not real, we are all free to hope in any society) Since people want to bypass the real time involved in a proper cycle, they will latch on to anything that promises them a significant shortening of that time, regardless of how often it is proven to be wrong. I view it much like a typical "get rich quick" scheme as shown on late night TV ads where the only people who truly get rich quick are the people selling the methods.
The only instant cycle product that I would rely on is when you are getting some mature filter media from a fellow member. That is a place where I would expect a near perfect clone of filter media. In that case you receive filter media with live bacteria of the right kind and you simply multiply it to serve your own tank.

#33 TetraGuppyFTW

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:02 PM


I am sure it must work, some of the time, otherwise they wouldn't be able to market it.


you are putting a lot of faith in the relevant regulating authorities to actually check that the product meets what it says on the pack.

I've read quite a few success stories actually. It all depends on how it's done.


interesting - can you reference those stories so we can have a read about the methods used?


Here's one example: Tetra SafeStart REALLY WORKS

Now of course this person could be making it up, but if you browse around the web you'll find some success stories as well as some failures. This one was the best example IMO because this person did all the things an uninformed beginner would do and it ended up working out.

Edited by OldMan47, 19 April 2012 - 01:17 AM.
Break link to competing forum


#34 sadguppy

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:08 PM

So what have your readings been like?

Edited by sadguppy, 18 April 2012 - 03:09 PM.


#35 TetraGuppyFTW

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:23 AM

Well just tested, looks like I'm somewhere between 2 and 4 ppm. I have the API test kit and it says to put the test tube against the white area beside the color chart and it looks like it's somewhere between there. It's become obvious that my SafeStart experiment failed. I guess the next step is a water change. I feel terrible that I'm putting my fish through this, I gambled and I failed. I was thinking maybe buying another bottle and adding it asap and hoping for a miracle.

#36 OldMan47

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:39 AM

We have yet to see it truly work here, even though Tolak was more generous in his estimate of possible successes.

#37 TwoTankAmin

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:36 AM

Please, show me how these studies were paid for by the manufacturers of the products involved or those of a competing product.


Meded Rijksuniv Gent Fak Landbouwkd Toegep Biol Wet. 2001;66(3a):79-86.
Use of a nitrifying culture to shorten the activation time of biofilters for the removal of ammonium and nitrite in freshwater aquaria.
Grommen R, Van Hauteghem I, Van Wambeke M, Verstraete W.
Source
Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Abstract
The removal of ammonia (NH3) through nitrification in intensive aquaculture systems is an important process as the total ammonia nitrogen (TAN, compromising NH4+ and NH3) concentration often is the key limiting water quality parameter in these intensive aquaculture systems. In this study, the performance characteristics of a suspension of nitrifying cells (named ABIL) have been explored This aqueous suspension contains a highly active, nitrifying microbial consortium and is stable for several months when preserved at 4 degrees C. Tests were performed in freshwater at lab scale (70 L, 20 - 24 degrees C). Results showed that the application of the consortium at a dose of 5 mg Volatile Suspended Solids (VSS) L(-1) assures a total removal of ammonium and nitrite species from 10 mg N L(-1) to below the detection limit within a period of four days. Experimentally, at a substrate level of 10 mg TAN L(-1), a rate of biological ammonium and nitrite conversion of the order of 0.3 - 0.5 g TAN g(-1) VSS(-1) d(-1) could be achieved by the consortium in the freshwater aquaria systems tested Provided adequate aeration and dissolved oxygen levels of 6 mg per L or more, no important intermediary nitrite concentrations were noticed Only a small amount of TAN was not found back as nitrate and might have been lost due to ammonia stripping After 12 months preservation of the inoculum at 4 degrees C, no important decrease in ammonium removal activity and only a minor decrease in the nitrite removal rate of the consortium were noticed.

PMID:15954566 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
From http://www.ncbi.nlm....pt=abstractplus


An improved nitrifying enrichment to remove ammonium and nitrite from freshwater aquaria systems
by R Grommen, I Van Hauteghem, M Van Wambeke

Aquaculture (2002) Volume: 211, Issue: 1-4, Pages: 115-124 Abstract
The total ammonium nitrogen (TAN) concentration is often a key limiting water quality parameter in intensive aquaculture systems. Removing ammonia (NH3) through biological activity is thus an important objective in aquaria and aquaculture system designs. In this study, the performance characteristics of a suspension of nitrifying cells (named ammonia binding inoculum liquid, ABIL) have been explored. This aqueous suspension contains a highly active, nitrifying microbial consortium that can be used to shorten the start-up period of a biofilter. Tests were performed in freshwater at lab scale (70 l, 20-24 C). Results showed that the application of the consortium at a dose of 5 mg volatile suspended solids (VSS) l-1 assures a total removal of ammonium (NH4+) and nitrite species from 10 mg N l-1 to below the detection limit within a period of 4 days. Experimentally, at a substrate level of 10 mg TAN l-1, a rate of biological ammonium and nitrite conversion of the order 0.3-0.5 g TAN g-1 VSS-1 day-1 could be achieved by the consortium in the freshwater aquaria systems tested. Provided adequate aeration and dissolved oxygen (DO) levels of 6 mg l-1 or more, no important intermediary nitrite concentrations were found. Only a small amount of TAN was not recovered as nitrate and might have been lost through ammonia stripping. Pre-inoculating the nitrifiers in polyurethane (PU) sponges and installation of such sponges in the freshwater aquaria did not improve the effect compared to adding the consortium directly to the water. After 12 months preservation of the inoculum at 4 C, no important decrease in ammonium removal activity and only a minor decrease in the nitrite removal rate of the consortium were noticed.

From http://www.mendeley....quaria-systems/

If you are wondering what ABIL is --> http://www.avecom.be...e.php?name=home



Novel application of nitrifying bacterial consortia to ease ammonia toxicity in ornamental fish transport units: trials with zebrafish
  • A.K.S. Dhanasiri1,
  • V. Kiron1,
  • J.M.O. Fernandes1,
  • ō. Bergh2,3,
  • M.D. Powell1
Article first published online: 27 MAY 2011

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2011.05050.x

© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2011 The Society for Applied Microbiology


Abstract
Aims:  To evaluate whether two commercial nitrifying bacterial consortia can function as biocontrol agents in ornamental fish transporting systems.

Methods and Results:  The consortia were applied in a simulated set-up using zebrafish as the model organism in three trials. The efficacy of the bacterial consortia in controlling the ammonia level was validated by measuring water quality parameters such as total ammonia, nitrate and pH of the transport water. The bacterial community structure in the transport unit was studied using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The consortia tested improved the nitrifying activity that in turn facilitated the reduction of ammonia that had accumulated during the transport. Bacterial profiles revealed the presence of both ammonia-oxidizing and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in the transport bags.

Conclusions:  The application of the consortia during the transportation of zebrafish could profoundly improve the water quality by curbing ammonia accumulation.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  The potential of applying nitrifying bacteria as a bioremediation practice during the transport of ornamental fish has been demonstrated and this innovative approach contributes to the amelioration of current fish welfare in ornamental fish trade.

Author Information
  • Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, University of Nordland, BodÝ, Norway
  • Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway
*Viswanath Kiron, Aquatic Animal Health Research Group, Faculty of Biosciences & Aquaculture, University of Nordland, 8049 BodÝ, Norway. E-mail: kiron.viswanath@uin.no


From http://onlinelibrary...5050.x/abstract
(You have to pay to see the full report.)



It isn't really about cycling, but a related issue sort of. Would you like to see one that investigates the use of products that are supposed to help with slime coats? You know that Aloe Vera stuff etc. Hmmmm.........

Abstract Fish are coated with an external layer of protective mucus. This layer serves as the primary barrier against infection or injury, reduces friction, and plays a role in ionic and osmotic regulation. However, the mucus layer is easily disturbed when
fish are netted, handled, transported, stressed, or subjected to adverse water conditions. Water addi-tives containing polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) or proprietary polymers have been used to prevent the deleterious effects of mucus layer disturbances in the commercial tropical fish industry, aquaculture, and for other fisheries management purposes. This paper reviews research on the effectiveness of water conditioners, and examines the contents and uses of a wide variety of commercially available water
conditioners. Water conditioners containing polymers may reduce external damage to fish held in containers during scientific experimentation, including surgical implantation of electronic tags. However, there is a need to empirically test the effectiveness of water conditioners at preventing damage to and promoting healing of the mucus layer. A research agenda is provided to advance the science related to the use of water conditions to improve the condition of fish during handling and tagging.

Abstract above from here http://www.springerl...4850u102164201/
Full pdf is here http://www.springerl...01/fulltext.pdf





#38 sadguppy

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 06:46 AM

I am almost certain that the funding for these studies will be from those companies with a vested interest in the results, who will also have a say about whether they make it to publication, and that's without the publication bias I mentioned above. I know this isn't possible to prove, but think who else would fund this? It has no applications for health or disease in humans after all and there is unlikely to be a single funder out there who wants specifically to prove or disprove this who is not 'in the business'/

At the end of the day, it looks like it didn't work for the OP in this instance, and it didn't work for me. Thus, despite the research I remain sceptical.

Edited by sadguppy, 20 April 2012 - 07:23 AM.


#39 ian

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:52 AM

TTA with all respect, we cannot critique these articles as they are only abstracts. I have to pay to read both articles, reading an abstract is not good enough, this is what we got taught in our first year at university. The abstract doesn't explain HOW the experiment were done, it doesn't go into specific products, we don't know if in anyway the results were skewed cos we can't read them. The last PDF has no bearing on cycling. Again, i'm yet to be blown away.

If you click the first abstract there's a article by you mate Dr Tim...there's your evidence of a company doing there own research.




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