Indepth TETRA SAFESTART article .

Stocking compatibility? Setting up tank and equipment?

Indepth TETRA SAFESTART article .

Postby Clare » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:58 am


I have been in conversation with Tetra and have now finished compiling a full indepth information article with regards to SAFESTART and MALAWI CICHLIDS. This article is tailored to Malawi Cichlids due to the high levels of foundation stock many people start with.

Between Tetra and myself we have tailored this to suit a Malawi CIchlid keeper starting their aquarium using safestart.

Tetra Safestart is a product to aid in the quick cycling of a aquarium. aiding the bacteria to colonise and mature while keeping the toxic levels at a level safe for fish to live in.

While using safestart their are some rules to adhere too to have the full and safe effect of the product. Please follow these guildlines when it comes to using Safestart while starting your Malawi Cichlid aquarium. Following these simple guildlines will allow you and your fish to have a healthy and happy aquarium from day 1.

Products that can cause Safestart to become void.

While using safestart and until the bacteria has colonised we recommend the use of AquaSafe as Tetra have thoroughly tested this water conditioner to ensure it complements the bacteria in SafeStart and will not hinder their function in any way. The use of other water conditioners, especially those that additionally bind ammonia are not recommended in aquaria were SafeStart is used, primarily as their compatibility has not been tested. Using any of these ammonia binding products can remove the ammonia which is beneficial and needed for the safestart to work. Without this ammonia the safestart would not work and the tank would cycle in the traditional way rendering the water toxic to the fish.

When is the best time to add Safestart.

You can add safestart when you add the fish or shortly after. To dose, follow the dosing instructions on the products packet.

When to test your water and what the safe levels are.

Start testing your water for ammonia and nitrite 48 hours after adding your fish, in these 48 hours DO NOT FEED your fish. The OATA recommended safe levels for fish are 0.02 mg/l ammonia and 0.2 mg/l nitrite. These are tolerable maximums above which toxic effects may occur.

What do you if your levels rise into the dangerous levels.

If any or both of your levels rise into dangerous levels then a water change will be needed. A small water change to dilute the levels should be suffice to bring your levels back down. In this time DO NOT clean, move, turn off any of your filters or gravel clean or clean your substrate in any way as this will upset the colonising nitrifiers. Stop feeding your fish until your levels are back to safe, then resume feeding once a day (Over feeding can cause a ammonia overload on the good bacteria). Within a week your bacteria should be settled and mature but remember there are many extraneous factors that could impede colonisation of the bacteria.

When to do your first normal water change.

Your normal water changes and regime can be started 2 weeks after adding safestart if your levels have been low throughout. If you have been experiencing erratic levels and had to do smaller water changes throughout the process then please allow your tank 2 weeks to settle down and mature before you begin your water change regime. Keep an eye on your levels every so often to make sure all is settling ok.

For the lifetime of your aquarium, the best water change regime and filter maintenance is essential for the health and happiness of your fish.

I hope that this has aided you in understanding Tetra Safestart when it comes to starting your African Cichlid Aquarium.

Tony and I highly recommend this product to new and old hobbyists alike and I am very pleased to have been able to have Tetra's insight into putting this article together.

This article was written by Clare January 2012
We supply high quality, home bred Malawi Cichlids to the UK Next day courier £15 Sat courier £26
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