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Bacter AE

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I never used it. Bacter AE can make a biofilm in the aquarium. so I don't see why it wouldn't work. in my brackish tank I used "Dr. Tim's one and only" to get it jump started put some of my media from my freshwater tank

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What do you use to kick start bacteria in your tank?

For fishless cycling you can try ammonium chloride which is a source of ammonia for the bacteria that will naturally populate your biofilter. Dr tims is a popular one (http://store.drtimsaquatics.com/Ammonium-Chloride-Solution-for-Fishless-Cycling_p_190.html), or you can find surfactant free ammonia at your local hardware store. You can also get bacteria balls that contain dormant bacteria, when introduced to water they reanimate. I've used azoo Max bio balls (http://www.azoo-aqua.com/product-info.asp?id=132) and they seem to cycle my tanks faster and I skip the stringy diatom algae phase.

Alternatively, if you have a bunch of ramshorns, you can just drop those in and over feed them. Lol. They generate a lot of waste (ammonia) which is necessary for the cycle.

You can also leave your temp up around 80 for a couple weeks and that will speed things up. Then when it's cycled, drop in a pea puffer to clean up the snails.

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If you want to cycle the traditional fishless/invertless way, you can use Ammonium Chloride or Ammonium Hydroxide as the ammonia source. Or alternatively you could use any ammonia source, even rotting fish food, rotting market shrimp, etc,.


If you want pretty much an instant cycle just use one of these nitrifying bacteria products: Dr. Tim's One and Only, Tetra SafeStart or Microbe-lift Nite Out II (2). They contain the correct nitrifying bacteria for Freshwater environments, Nitrosomonas (ammonia-oxidizers) and Nitrospira (nitrite-oxidizers). You could stock shrimp instantly, or if you felt more comfortable, you could dose ammonia for a couple days or so (same guidelines as fishless cycling, just much quicker to fully cycle since you added the bacteria) and monitor nitrogen (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) levels to be sure it is fully cycled.

Do note that I have only studied Freshwater bacteria, so I am not completely sure if these same bacteria also live well in brackish environments. I would think that they would still be suitable for brackish levels of salinity (complete marine/saltwater is another thing).


Don't bother with heterotrophic bacteria or biofilm products. Those naturally develop very rapidly.


With how little bioload dwarf shrimp produce, I wouldn't be worried much. Especially with the extremely hardy Opae Ula (pretty much the hardiest shrimp in existence?)

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