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Yes... the silent cycle depends on the plants themselves, the amount of plant matter, the available light, and other available nutrients...  

Generally speaking, floating plants are the best for this as they get the maximum light, have plenty of access to CO2 and are very fast growers... so they suck up the nitrogen (aka, ammonia) very rapidly.
 
I believe you guys in UK can get Dr Tim's One and Only for both salt and freshwater and his Ammonia solution which is already pre-mixed or just order the 'Kleen Off multi purpose household cleaner' from amazon uk.
 
You can order Dr Tims Nitrfying Bacteria as well as dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride which probably is best to use these two together as the dosages are given in the instructions to make life a little easier.
 
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But Kleen off will work as well, just need to be a bit more careful when comes to working out dosages etc.
 
Hi there.
 
I am very new to the hobby, and I am about to start a fishless cycle in a 30 gallon tank, I have been having a brutal time locating any ammonia sources in Canada, most of the time the products are discontinued, I have been to numerous grocery, big box, hardware and even pet store and no one seems to carry 100% pure ammonia products
wacko.png

 
I have seen the Tetra Safestart and Tetra Safestart+ at Petsmart though and I was wondering if I can use these two products alone to help start the nitrogen cycle? Or do I also need another source of ammonia as well like Old Country?
 
Also if I use Tetra Safe Start or Tetra Safe Start+ do I still need to add bits of shrimp or fish food to the tank? 
 
Thanks Vindi
 
Vindicare066 said:
Hi there.
 
I am very new to the hobby, and I am about to start a fishless cycle in a 30 gallon tank, I have been having a brutal time locating any ammonia sources in Canada, most of the time the products are discontinued, I have been to numerous grocery, big box, hardware and even pet store and no one seems to carry 100% pure ammonia products
wacko.png

 
I have seen the Tetra Safestart and Tetra Safestart+ at Petsmart though and I was wondering if I can use these two products alone to help start the nitrogen cycle? Or do I also need another source of ammonia as well like Old Country?
 
Also if I use Tetra Safe Start or Tetra Safe Start+ do I still need to add bits of shrimp or fish food to the tank? 
 
Thanks Vindi
 
Tetra SafeStart is an excellent bacterial supplement.  It is in fact the original formula developed by Dr. Tim Hovanec (the owner of Dr. Tim's One and Only, and the biochemist who led the team of scientists who discovered the true nitrifying bacteria species in aquaria); the rights were sold to Tetra.
 
I have started tanks using this product (or one like it).  Follow the directions.  Provided you do not overload the first fish, there will be no problems.
 
Byron.
 
Vindicare066 said:
I am very new to the hobby, and I am about to start a fishless cycle in a 30 gallon tank, I have been having a brutal time locating any ammonia sources in Canada, most of the time the products are discontinued, I have been to numerous grocery, big box, hardware and even pet store and no one seems to carry 100% pure ammonia products
wacko.png
 
You won't find 100% pure ammonia. In fact, you do not want 100% ammonia anyway.
 
Most bottles will contain around 9.5%, ammonium hydroxide. Basically means 90.5% water and 9.5% ammonia, nothing else must be included in the ingredients.
 
The most powerful ammonia I have found and used, is 35% in strength, pretty potent stuff. Only need tiny amounts for whichever sized tank you are cycling.
 
Think in Canada there are ACE hardware stores, they sometimes stock ACE Ammonia which several members have attested to have used successfully.
 
Failing that, you can order a bottle of ammonia online, Kleen Off is a popular choice, tried and tested. As well as the other small bottle of 35% ammonia.
 
These links are eBay, the UK version, just so you have a good idea of what to look out for :
 
Kleen Off
 
3Chem 35% Ammonia
 
These are just two examples of what could be found simply by typing "fishless cycling" on eBay. There are other bottles of ammonia, just as long as it is Ammonium Hydroxide and no other ingredients in the bottle, you're good to go.
 
 
Vindicare066 said:
I have seen the Tetra Safestart and Tetra Safestart+ at Petsmart though and I was wondering if I can use these two products alone to help start the nitrogen cycle? Or do I also need another source of ammonia as well like Old Country?
 
Byron has mentioned already that Tetra Safe Start is a good product and is likely to work as long as the bacs in the bottle are ok. This can depends on how the bottles were transported, how long they were stored and if kept in heat or cold etc etc
 
Exactly the same applies to Dr Tim's One and Only Nitrfying bacteria.
 
 
Vindicare066 said:
Also if I use Tetra Safe Start or Tetra Safe Start+ do I still need to add bits of shrimp or fish food to the tank?
 
I would advise in NOT using shrimps or fish food as a source of ammonia.
 
Several reasons, very messy, can create planeria (unsightly little worms), very difficult to know how much shrimp/fish to add to keep cycling going.
 
You need specific doses of ammonia for your tank size otherwise the risk of the cycle stalling or crashing is much higher.
 
If you use Tetra Safe Start or Dr Tim's, you will still need to add ammonia and tests and to get the bacteria colony to get to strength and to create suitable numbers of bacs to deal with your planned stocking.
 
Great thanks for the responses! I was interpreting 100% ammonia as pure ammonia without any other ingredients not regarding the strength/concentration. That my bad sorry about that. 
 
I don't know of any ACE stores in my region. I will check out home hardware for the Old Country ammonium. If not I will order up something off of Ebay, probably Kleen Off since others in this community have used it. 
 
Is there a real difference between the Safe Start and Safe Start plus? What I have read on other forums, is SS is better for regular maintenance and water changes while SS+ is idea for starting new aquariums as it has more bacteria. I just want to make sure I get the proper bottle before I proceed. 
 
Thanks again! 
 
I guess the SafeStart Plus would be better, though from the info on the Tetra site I can't see any difference in what either product does.  The test result charts for SS+ are useful, at the bottom of the page:
http://www.tetra-fish.com/Products/aquarium-water-care-maintenance/setting-up-how-to-set-up-aquarium-water/safestartplus-how-to-change-aquarium-water-remove-ammonia-from-aquarium-bacteria.aspx
 
To correct something, you do not add ammonia with SafeStart (either).  This product is live nitrifying bacteria that seeds the aquarium rapidly and can be used with a few fish.  The Dr. Tim's One and Only is a bit different, and the directions call for ammonia.  I have never added ammonia to my tanks, deliberately, and never will; it is completely safe to go with the Safe Start or the silent method using live plants.
 
Byron.
 
Byron said:
I guess the SafeStart Plus would be better, though from the info on the Tetra site I can't see any difference in what either product does.  The test result charts for SS+ are useful, at the bottom of the page:
http://www.tetra-fish.com/Products/aquarium-water-care-maintenance/setting-up-how-to-set-up-aquarium-water/safestartplus-how-to-change-aquarium-water-remove-ammonia-from-aquarium-bacteria.aspx
 
To correct something, you do not add ammonia with SafeStart (either).  This product is live nitrifying bacteria that seeds the aquarium rapidly and can be used with a few fish.  The Dr. Tim's One and Only is a bit different, and the directions call for ammonia.  I have never added ammonia to my tanks, deliberately, and never will; it is completely safe to go with the Safe Start or the silent method using live plants.
 
Byron.
 
Oh okay, this what I needed to know. So TSS+ and SS can be used as a stand alone and can be used for both fishless cycles as well as fish in cycles. I would just have to add the doses instructed on the instructions and then after the X amount of days I complete those doses the tank in theory should be cycled.  
 
Oh okay, this what I needed to know. So TSS+ and SS can be used as a stand alone and can be used for both fishless cycles as well as fish in cycles. I would just have to add the doses instructed on the instructions and then after the X amount of days I complete those doses the tank in theory should be cycled.
 
 
Basically, yes, but some explanation may be helpful.
 
Ammonia is what "starts" the establishment of nitrifying bacteria in a new tank.  Now, ammonia occurs from fish and decomposition of organics.  Adding a bacterial supplement that contains live nitrifying bacteria, such as SafeStart (either one) jump-starts the process.  If there are no fish present, ammonia will be very limited.  This bacteria can survive quite a spell without ammonia, so it will not all suddenly die.  But if you have a few fish in the tank, this gets it going immediately.  This is just one method of "seeding" the nitrifying bacteria to establish what we term the cycle.
 
You haven't mentioned live plants, but if you intend these they can go in at the start and will help in all this.
 
When you add fish, add only a few.  A 30g tank was initially mentioned, so presumably the fish will be relatively small sized species.  We can suggest which ones are best when we know what's intended.  And by "best" I do not mean to suggest that fish will in any way be harmed by this, quite the reverse is the case, but adding too many fish can cause trouble.  And some species are best left until the tank is established, a few months, before being introduced.  This has nothing to do with the initial cycling but with the biological stability that develops after a few months.
 
Byron said:
 
Oh okay, this what I needed to know. So TSS+ and SS can be used as a stand alone and can be used for both fishless cycles as well as fish in cycles. I would just have to add the doses instructed on the instructions and then after the X amount of days I complete those doses the tank in theory should be cycled.
 
 
Basically, yes, but some explanation may be helpful.
 
Ammonia is what "starts" the establishment of nitrifying bacteria in a new tank.  Now, ammonia occurs from fish and decomposition of organics.  Adding a bacterial supplement that contains live nitrifying bacteria, such as SafeStart (either one) jump-starts the process.  If there are no fish present, ammonia will be very limited.  This bacteria can survive quite a spell without ammonia, so it will not all suddenly die.  But if you have a few fish in the tank, this gets it going immediately.  This is just one method of "seeding" the nitrifying bacteria to establish what we term the cycle.
 
You haven't mentioned live plants, but if you intend these they can go in at the start and will help in all this.
 
When you add fish, add only a few.  A 30g tank was initially mentioned, so presumably the fish will be relatively small sized species.  We can suggest which ones are best when we know what's intended.  And by "best" I do not mean to suggest that fish will in any way be harmed by this, quite the reverse is the case, but adding too many fish can cause trouble.  And some species are best left until the tank is established, a few months, before being introduced.  This has nothing to do with the initial cycling but with the biological stability that develops after a few months.
 
 
Sorry I didn't want to clutter this forum page with a overview of the situation. I created another page that goes into more details here is the link: http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/441722-acquired-5-gal-tank-need-help/.
 
 To keep it short, I recently come into possession of a one month old 5 gallon tank that is at capacity if not over capacity, and I don't believe it was seeded or cycled properly, as the original owner, wasn't using any of the brands anyone recommended. When I acquired the tank I was given a bottle of Nutrafin biological supplement, which from what I understand doesn't have the proper bacteria in it. The tank currently houses a galaxy Pleco, and 3 tetras (serpaes and a black phantom). Over the course of this week I have managed to get my hands on 2 30 Gallon tanks, and I intend to transfer these fish from the 5 Gallon into one of the 30 gallon tanks. The 5 gallon does have live plants in it, 1 Java, I amazon sword and 1 red ludwigia, along with 2 pieces of driftwood which I also intend on transferring over.
 
I was inquiring about ammonia, because after reading the http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/421488-cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first/  article, I got the impression I needed to either use carefully regulated ammonium chloride or ammonium hydroxide to set up a proper fishless nitrogen cycle and that I should avoid using fish food or pieces of shirmp. The article didn't really touch on TSS+ or TSS or Dr. Tims products so I didn't know how I could use that as a kick start to the nitrogen cycle. My goal is to get the three aquariums cycling properly. 1 30 gallon would have a fish in cycle, while the other one and the 5 gallon would be done with by means of a fishless nitrogen cycle, and then once all three were established I would go from there. 
 
Just today I picked up Old Country Ammonia which someone mentioned works, however if I can purchase something like TSS+ or Dr. Tims and use that instead, I will certainly look into these options as a better alternative. 
 
I am sorry for pulling this forum topic of track! :(
 
I won't meddle in the other thread, you have some very knowledgeable members commenting.
 
There are a couple of ways to safely cycle a new tank, and using ammonia is one of them, but one I have never used and never would as I already explained.
 
Live plants as others mentioned in the other thread play a key role, especially fast growers like floating.  However, with live plants, adding ammonia can be risky as ammonia will kill the plants if it is high enough.  I also use wood and plants from existing tanks, which obviously have bacteria all over them, so this is "seeding" too.  And a couple times I have used a bacterial supplement, more as a back-up over-caution, and generally only when all of the wood was brand new.  I have set up dozens of tanks, I've done five within the past few months for various reasons, and I have never had ammonia or nitrite above zero.  Fish (not many) can go in on day 1 in most cases, though sometimes I leave the tank without fish for a week because I may still be sorting out the aquascape and it is easier to move things around without fish.
 
Whatever method you use, stay with it.
 
Byron.
 
Great thanks Byron for the advice and to everyone who has commented!
 
I think I will go with TSS+ for seeding the 30 gallon tank that will contain fish in it just because it is readily available for me. But I will also order up Dr. Tim's One and Only as well as his ammonia so that I can do the cycling for the tanks that won't have any plants or fish in it. I know they are more or less the same product but I wouldn't mind trying out both just to see which one I prefer. Do you Dr. Tim's ammonia damages live plants? He never mentioned about the risk of his ammonia in his cycling videos so I don't know. As soon as I have some cycled and established tanks will probably take the same route you have Byron, in relying on wood, plants and substrate to do future seedings, and then rely on the bacterial supplements as a back-up and over-caution. 
 
Thanks again!
 
Vindi
 
Both bottles of TSS and Dr Tim's bacterias contains just that, two types of bacteria. Nothing harmful for plants or stocking.
 
Ch4rlie is correct, but I think Vindi you were thinking of the ammonia itself that the Dr Tims One and Only uses?  I've never used this particular product, as I can't get it locally and it wasn't anywhere in Canada when I last looked a few years back.  If you can obtain it now (I see you are in Canada, somewhere) follow the directions.  As for the ammonia and plants, if the instructions do not explain this, I would try to contact the manufacturer.
 

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