Slow fishless cycle

Actually, I used dr. Tim;s method of cycling and then modified it. Dr. tim had people needing to test nitrite at lkevels most test kits wont read. That meant doing diuluted testing. I revised the dosing methodolgy to prevent nitrite issues stalling cycles. What is intersting about his method (which he has since revised some) and the mehod I worked out is when all uis said and done we have both addeed the same amount of ammonia to the tank if all of it is added up. What differed is when and how much ammonia is added. When I offered to rewrite the fisless article for the site the number of threads with stalled cycles was nuts. I lkie to think I canged that. I see very few stalled cycled now. Slow cycles maybe but not stalled.

Either are fibbing about Goop or they have no clue. The nitrifying bacteria can safely live in a bottle for at least 6 months. They go dormant in the bottle and are basically in a state of suspended animation. I hav eused Dr. Yim's One and Only for well over a decade. I normally keep a small bottle in my fridge for emergencies. it is good in there for almost a year. So when they say this about Goop they are confused about the nitrifying bacteria:
As these bacteria are alive, they will be packed and shipped on the same day to arrive on a day that is suitable for you. They should be added to your tank as soon as you can so that they remain alive and ready to break down any available ammonia or nitrite. This product does not have a long shelf life (as it is alive) and that is why, whereever possible, we advise that your pouch of bacteria is used as soon as possible after it arrives, ideally within 48 hours. Fish can be added to the tank at the same time or within 48 hours of the bacteria being introduced.
Here is what the PhD microbiologist who changed the thinking about the bacteria in aquariums says:

What about the longer term storage of One & Only?

At a temperature of about 50°F, One & Only will be viable for one year. Each bottle is stamped on the back with the words “best used by” and then a month and year.
How can bacteria live in a bottle and not die for 6 months or a year?

A common misconception about bacteria in general is that they die if they are not fed. From a human being point of view this sounds perfectly reasonable: if you don’t eat, you die. However, bacteria are not human beings. Bacteria operate much differently than people and have a variety of ways to deal with those times when resources are not available for them to grow and reproduce. Some bacteria when stressed (from say lack of nutrients) form spores and go into a resting stage, waiting for conditions to improve. Nitrifiers do not form spores but have other mechanisms to deal with nutrient deficient periods. For nitrifiers, one way to deal with stressful conditions is to form a protective “shield” called EPS. EPS stands for extracellular polymeric substances and is, in simplistic terms, an organic protective shield that research shows inhibits various organisms from attacking and breaking open the cell wall of nitrifiers. Nitrifiers belong to a very old line of bacteria (millions of years) and they have developed ways to cope with very long periods of “drought.” Because the nitrifiers in DrTim’s One & Only are grown on a substrate, they can form EPS when needed and last 6 to 12 months in a bottle.

As far as I can tell Goop is basically filter squeezings. But how do we think it gets created. I know how to run a bio-farm for filters. I have been doing it for years. But I do not know the technique use to grow bacteria on a fine substrate, measure it out and then bottle it. What I do know is what allows Dr. Tim's and Tetra's bacteria to last in a bottle for as long as they do is because they are in tip top shape when they go dormant. This is important. The better condition they are in, they longer they can remain viable.

Finally, the say.
This product is designed to break down the ammonia as the fish excrete it. If you prefer to dose with an artificial ammonia source, please bear in mind that an influx of ammonia at one time does not mirror a normal aquarium ecosystem and so results will be different.

Anybody who has ever done a fishless cycle knows the above fact. However, dosing 3 ppm of ammonia into a tank all at once does not harm the bacteria. It makes them multiply. Read almost any set of directions for doing a fishless cycle and they say you are cycled when you can add 3 ppm of ammonia and 24 hours later test Both ammonia and Nitrite at 0 ppm. It is also why the scientist say do not let ammonia or nitrite as nitrogen exceed 5 ppm when doing a fishless cycle. This alters the cycle and can even slow it as different bacteria will start to colonize and the right ones can suffer from the elevated ammonia and/or nitrite levels.

And I put the equivalent numbers for this for the Total Ion scale used by mot hobby test kits. This turns the 5 ppm number into 6.4 ppm for ammonia and 16.4 ppm for nitrite.

One last observation here. There is a reason for using 3 ppm for doing a fishless cycle. If one has higher pH water, ammonia becomes more toxic. Think folks who keep right lake cichlids. They need more bacteria to insure a tank is safe. .25 ppm of ammonia in a higher pH tank can be very toxic. while 2 ppm of ammonia in my pH 6.0 Altum angel tank is not a worry unless it persists. So, for some tanks 3 ppm of ammonia will create more bacteria than needed, especially for lighter stocking level. But trying to write a cycling article for new fish keepers which tried to explain would just confuse heck out of everybody. So most use he universal 3 ppm and be safe.

Also, the folks who make Goop also sell cycled filters. How do we think they cycle them and keep them cycled? I know how I do it and it takes dosing a lot of ammonia several times a day. it takes close monitoring of water parameters not to stall it all.

Bear in mind that Dr. Tim and Tetra sell they products all over the world. The bacteria has to have a shelf life of it would not be possible. But ask yurslef this. How do they make Goop on demand? They have to be making it in advance.......
Last edited:

Most reactions