Is API Quick Start for real?

jaylach

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It advertises that using makes the tank immediately ready for fish. I have trouble believing that. I can believe that it can help speed up a tank cycle but can't buy that it instantly cycles a tank. Am I wrong? :dunno:
 

wasmewasntit

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It might cut the time taken...might

But as a sales gimmick, along with all the various kickstarter type stuff on the market...its not the holy grail that it advertises itself to be

If it was the holy grail of cycling then no other product of its type would exist cos there would be no market for anything else like it

Gimmickery for those wanting a commission on a sale from a naive customer who will believe everything they are told in the store cos the shopworker MUST know what they are talking about ;)
 

GaryE

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As far as I have heard, no fishkeeper has actually set up to test all those products. I encountered a powdered starter that was tested and worked, but that company went under 20 years ago. The stuff cost too much.
I'm skeptical of how good it is. But since I don't test water I'm not the one to check these products out. At a convention, someone asked a group of very experienced, conference giving aquarists I was in about such a product (there are many), and all were in the same boat as me - they don't use test kits to start tanks.

It's a job for one of our chemist aquarists.
 
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jaylach

jaylach

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We shall see what we shall see with this stuff. I DID bury some veggie and protein fish food in the substrate to give bacteria something to work on. Sigh, that is an old school type thing when we buried dead feeder fish in the substrate for the bacteria to feed.

With the fish food I put in the substrate I hope to see an ammonia spike in a few days as the food starts to rot. After that I can actually monitor the cycle.

Right now my tank prams are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates but that could be the results straight out of the water tap. Heck, water has only been in the tank for like 12 hours. ;)
 
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jaylach

jaylach

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Burying dead fish in the substrate must have been a wild west thing. That's the first I've heard of it.
Very old school; think 1980s. In those days under gravel filtration was the 'thing'. bury the fish and put established substrate around and you could cycle a tank in a week to full population.
 

Wills

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My opinion on these has changed over the years. I always swore by them to start with but then learned about fishless cycling and dismissed them. But someone pointed out to me that I was dismissing them because we focus purely on aerobic bacteria in our filters which is very unlikely to be alive in the bottles.

But some of these products promote bacteria and ecological processes that dont focus on the aerobic bacteria but IMO are not as efficient and long term reliable. But when it was described to me these processes are not useless and can help in the early stages of a tank. I have also heard really good things about a product called Colony Freshwater that is meant to be legit! Not tried it but I've seen some compelling things about it.

Wills
 
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jaylach

jaylach

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My opinion on these has changed over the years. I always swore by them to start with but then learned about fishless cycling and dismissed them. But someone pointed out to me that I was dismissing them because we focus purely on aerobic bacteria in our filters which is very unlikely to be alive in the bottles.

But some of these products promote bacteria and ecological processes that dont focus on the aerobic bacteria but IMO are not as efficient and long term reliable. But when it was described to me these processes are not useless and can help in the early stages of a tank. I have also heard really good things about a product called Colony Freshwater that is meant to be legit! Not tried it but I've seen some compelling things about it.

Wills
From what you have said I assume that, at least, the stuff won't hurt. ;) I'll be getting my plants later today and will put in. I DO hope that the stuff I put in the substrate will cause an ammonia spike after a few days. Old school says that you can't tell if a tank has cycled until there is an ammonia spike that goes away...
 

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Thats the quick way of saying it yes :) It wont hurt, but don't rely on it 100%.

Take a pic of your tank when you first set it up with the plants and a week later take an other and look for your plant growth, as long as you have planted densely with some fast growers and you can see they are growing week to week I think you've got something to use the ammonia from the first few fish you want to get, but always be on hand to test the water and do the water changes.

Wills
 
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jaylach

jaylach

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Thats the quick way of saying it yes :) It wont hurt, but don't rely on it 100%.

Take a pic of your tank when you first set it up with the plants and a week later take an other and look for your plant growth, as long as you have planted densely with some fast growers and you can see they are growing week to week I think you've got something to use the ammonia from the first few fish you want to get, but always be on hand to test the water and do the water changes.

Wills
LOL! You don't know me and plants!!!! I'll be thrilled if they are all still alive in a week. Took me a while but I actually managed to kill a 'luck bamboo'
 

Slaphppy7

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I'll never understand why people waste their $ on "bottled bacteria" or any other stuff that supposedly speeds up a fishless cycle

I've cycled 6 tanks using the fishless method with water conditioner and pure ammonia, only...no plants....elevated temp, and a bubbler.....and all 6 of those cycles completed in 3 weeks, or less

Patience is key in this hobby, and for me personally, 3 weeks is nothing...gave me time to scape and plant my tanks, and plan my stocking

This hobby is full of "gimmicky" products that do nothing but line the pockets of stores and manufacturers

I don't like wasting $ on things I don't need; Mrs. Slap does it enough for the both of us :rolleyes:
 
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BrianK

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works for me! I've started tanks several times with quick start. And no ammonia spikes.

I have no idea really but all I can say is that it has been okay for me.
 

Byron

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There is scientific evidence on these "cycling" products. There is, so far, only one product that does instantly cycle, and that is Dr. Tim's One and Only. I have never used it because I have never "cycled" an aquarium, I have plants and that avoids any and all cycling as a necessity.

Dr. Tim Hovanec led a team of scientists that researched into the cycling issue. Below are excerpts from my article on bacteria that is on @AbbeysDad blog if anyone wants further details, but I will mention that the article needs revision with respect to the role of archaea and I haven't yet got to it.. https://mjvaquatics.com/bacteria-in-the-freshwater-aquarium/

Nitrification is the oxidation of ammonia/ammonium to nitrite and then the subsequent oxidation of nitrite to nitrate; this is performed by two groups of bacteria known collectively as nitrifying bacteria or nitrifiers. True nitrifying bacteria are autotrophs; they use chemosynthesis to manufacture their energy by using oxygen plus nitrogenous waste (ammonia or nitrite) and carbon (from CO2). There are several different bacterium species involved, all in the family Nitrobacteraceae, that carry out this function in soil, and it used to be thought that these, particularly Nitrosomonas europa and Nitrobacter, were the nitrification bacteria in freshwater. But Dr. Timothy Hovanec led the team of scientists that proved this to be a mistaken assumption. Ammonia is converted to nitrite by bacteria of the Nitrosonomas marina-like strain [2] and nitrite is converted to nitrate by bacteria closely related to Nitrospira moscoviensis and Nitrospira marina. [3] With several subsequent scientific studies by other scientists on wastewater nitrifying bacteria this data is now accepted.​
[2] Paul C. Burrell, Carol M. Phalen, and Timothy A. Hovanec, “Identification of Bacteria Responsible for Ammonia Oxidation in Freshwater Aquaria,” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, December 2001, pp. 5791-5800.​
[3] Hovanec, T. A., L. T. Taylor, A. Blakis and E. F. DeLong (1998), “Nitrospira- Like Bacteria Associated with Nitrite Oxidation in Freshwater Aquaria,” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 258-264.​

Dr. Tim's One and Only is so far as I have seen the only product containing the required bacteria and the claim that if the directions are followed the aquarium is cycled has never been disproven. Dr. Hovanec also carried out studies on several products including API's Quick Start. His determined that none of these contain the specific bacteria strains that do the nitrification, but he admitted that his tests showed some (like the API) do speed up the cycling process. Cycling normally takes anywhere from two to eight weeks (under suitable conditions) and the use of the Qjuick Start sped up the cycling by a couple of days. He reasoned that even though the actual strains of bacteria in this product were not nitrifiers, the bacteria did somehow "improve" conditions for the establishment of the nitrifiers. You can find information and (I believe) the scientific papers on Dr. Hovanec's website:

 

GaryE

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I've cycled 75 tanks since March without products or without ammonia added - just old school (older school than that newfangled 1980s dead fish trick) very light stocking, plants filter switches and light feeding. All have been in soft water, so ammonium would have been my nemesis. Only it wasn't.
No fish seemed even bothered - no losses, not even a clamped fin.
 

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