TLC Start Smart bacteria question

3rdimension

New member
Anyone use this product? If so, did/do the bottles you purchase come sealed on top with the cap or just the cap alone and no freshness seal? I'm asking, because I just purchased a 12 oz. bottle yesterday with no seal on it, and when I dumped the bacteria in the tank, it didn't look very populated with bacteria for the amount I was anticipating. I paid $35 for that stuff and feel that I got ripped off with a bottle that was deluted with water. Just as a side note; this was the only 12 ounce bottle on the shelf with an unmarked price on it. I'm very suspicious at this point. I'm planning on making a trip back to the store to check one of the other bottles to see if they have seals on them or not. I even called and left a message to the TLC distributer to tell them my concerns and questions. I'd just like to see anyone elses experience using this product as well, before I jump to conclusions. Thanks.
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
IMO, all of these 'Miracle-Gro' products are iffy at best. some may be OK; but most are genetically altered bacteria, that doesn't bother me. But many of these bacteria strains will out-compete, and possibly even destroy, the native bacteria that does so much for us. I've heard of a few tank wipe-outs due to one of these products, I think the brand was ''Right Now!". or something similar. this hobby teaches patience and that will work every time when cycling a tank. BTW, once the bacteria was dispersed, I'd be more surprised if I DID see anything.
 

3rdimension

New member
makes sense somewhat. I read some reviews on "Right Now!" just heard of it the other day. I've heard a lot of people swear on "Dr. Tim's one and only" nitrifying bacteria. I never tried it myself because it's too expensive. The founder of this bacteria claims he's discovered and harnessed the actual bacteria from fish and not just from any other source to mimic the right bacteria needed in aquariums, and that's why dr. Tim's claims to be the best and actually work. So do other products claim to do the same thing or close to it. Oh well. Patience is key, although I don't have much of it when starting an aquarium up, but I know it's necessary.
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
You do not need a fancy starter kit. Live rock, live sand, and a dead table shrimp is best way to go. (and salt water)
 

3rdimension

New member
yeah, may be true that's all you need and perhaps the better way to go, but since I don't plan on ever placing real live rock in the aquarium, due to bristle worms overpopulating and a pain to get rid of, and due to not having much patience, I decided to just dump bacteria in a bottle in the tank to help get it started and going quicker.

Update: I just checked the ammonia level this morning and after having 1 damsel in the 100 gallon tank to start with for 1.5 days, the ammonia level dropped to 0.50 ppm in a matter of 36 hours from between 1.5 ppm and 1.0 ppm after I dumped 150 gallons worth of start smart in the aquarium 1.5 days ago. That's a rapid decrease in ammonia compared to when I had the tank cycling with no fish and trying to use other products for over 1 week with no change in results.
 

Brewchief

New member
When I upgraded from my 39 to a 90 gallon I used TLC Start Smart to get the cycle going quickly. Because of the lack of space in my office I couldn't have two tanks and holding buckets sitting around for days. My LFS recommended Start Smart so I tried it.
I had some base rock and some cured live rock in the tank filled it with saltwater and added the Start Smart. After two days all water parameters tested fine and I moved the livestock over. It's been 6 months and the tank is doing great. The base rock is colored up and everything is growing. I'd have to say that Start Smart works as advertised.
 

3rdimension

New member
Another 2 days and ammonia went from 0.50 ppm to 0.25 ppm. A bit slower than anticipated. Oh well. Still better than waiting 2 months!
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
Your cycle is just starting. A tank cycled by any method could easily show a drop in ammonia in this time-frame. You should be showing some nitrite now. Your tank hasn't cycled until the ammonia and nitrite are zero; nitrates spike, and then drop. The real test will come when your bio-load increases and you see how this bacteria strain handles that.
 
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