best options to quickly introduce/add beneficial bacteria to tank?

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moogie21

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thanks so much for all suggestions and responses! these are very helpful for newbs like myself.

for some reason i 'thought' i did cycle the tank 2 months ago when i add the water w/o any fish, added the api quick start, had air stones, aquaclear 50 running, water became cloudy, and cleared in 10 days. added the initial 2 goldfishes. then after 2 weeks, i added another 2 goldfishes, cleaned/rinsed the filter/media. but i think i rinsed with tap water and may have inadvertently killed the BB (now i know better). after checking the water chemistry, it appears my ammonia is around 0.5ppm, nitrite 5.0 or so, and nitrate around 10. i suspect i have to re-cycle this tank again :(
 

Essjay

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I'm new to this site, and don't see a "Sticky" for fish-in cycling,
There are actually 2 stickies for fish-in cycling.

The second does get a bit complicated



The simple version is:
Test the water every day and do a water change if either or both ammonia and nitrite are above zero.
Feed the fish once every two or three days and do a water change 4 hours after feeding
Use a good quality bacterial starter.
Put lots of live plants in the tank. Even a number of anacharis (elodea) stems left to float will help, even if they don't look pretty.
 

mcordelia

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Did you add a source of ammonia when you added the quick start? Usually a fishless cycle takes longer than 10 days, even with bacterial starter. Numbers that I have seen suggest that a fishless cycle with no bacteria source takes 4-6 weeks on average, and with bacteria it is about two weeks.

Were you measuring your ammonia after the first two goldfish were added? What did your numbers look like?
 

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