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Customer Questions & Answers for
SafeStart

SafeStart accelerates the establishment of the bio-filter in newly set-up freshwater aquariums. The live bacteria start working immediately to provide a safe and healthy environment for your fish without the long wait. SafeStart reduces ammonia and nitrite, as well as fish loss caused from new tank cycle. Use to cycle new aquariums or replenish the good bacteria after maintenance.
Customer Questions & Answers:
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83 Answers

Questions & Answers for Tetra SafeStart

Question

I have a brand new 50 gal. tank. Will do a fresh water set-up. Do I need to add anything other than Safe Start to begin?

want to start right. Any particular brand of gravel? Want to do angels and discus.
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: 21 to 50 gallons
asked 2 years, 6 months ago
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by
debra8
redondo beach, CA
on SafeStart
-1point
0out of 1found this question helpful.
2 answers
Answers
answer 1
Angels will not do week at all with your discus. The angel will show a lot of aggression to the peaceful discus. This will stress your discus out. Witch you don't want at all!
How long have you owned an aquarium? 3+ years
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Larger than 50 gallons
answered 1 year, 7 months ago
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by
FishNamedEd
Baltimore Maryland
0points
0out of 0found this answer helpful.
answer 2
Hello,

How exciting! A South American biotope! One of my favorite tanks to set up and maintain. I cannot go into all the details you may be interested in learning about this type of tank, here, in this forum. However, in regards to chemicals, we would recommend AquaSafe Plus, Safe Start, and Blackwater Extract. The first one will condition the water, the second one is your beneficial bactera (add this 24 hours after you set the tank up, and right before you add your first fish), and the third one will soften the water and provide the minerals and trace elements that would make your fish happy. This should be added at least monthly. Give me a call, and I'll give you more info on what you might want to do to be successful with this tank.

Regards,
BREX
answered 2 years, 6 months ago
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by
BREX
+3points
3out of 3found this answer helpful.
Question

When using SafeStart do I turn off my filter?

We are having a terrible setting up an aquarium. Fish keep dieing. Pet store tested water and ammonia was high. They recommended we use SafeStart. I feel the directions were vague. It mentions on the back to make sure to turn off ozone generators and UV sterilizers.....I don't even know what those are. Do I run the filter? I hope so because I did.
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: 11 to 20 gallons
asked 2 years, 10 months ago
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by
Valerie
on SafeStart
+2points
2out of 2found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
Hello,
The number one mistake new aquarium keepers make is they start with way too many fish. This can cause high ammonia because in a new aquarium there is not any beneficial bacteria established to break down the ammonia. Make sure you only start with a couple fish at most, and these should be fish known to be hardy and inexpensive.

SafeStart will help establish the good bacteria faster in your aquarium. You can run the filter while using the product. Don't worry about turning off your UV sterilizer or ozone equipment. This is equipment you would have to buy seperate. Most aquariums do not have these, but some advanced aquarium keepers use them. You would definitely know if you had this equipment.
answered 2 years, 10 months ago
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by
Crush
+10points
10out of 10found this answer helpful.
Question

What else can I do to bring down the ammonia levels in the tank?

We are having a terrible time with our tank. The people at the pet store didn't explain to us to only start with a couple of fish at a time. We bought 6 fish, lost one replace it. The next morning woke to find 4 dead. I returned those for a refund and DID NOT get replacements. That is when I added the SafeStart and two and moss balls (as recommended by a much more knowledgeable worker at the store). However, we have lost one more fish and the remaining one doesn't look good. The ammonia levels are still high (reading at 1.0) I do believe that is an improvement, but I also vacuumed the gravel and did a 20-30% water change (adding the SafeStart after the water change and adding the water over the course of an hours to reduce temp changes). UGH! This is harder than I thought!!!!
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: 11 to 20 gallons
asked 2 years, 10 months ago
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by
Cara
Louisville Ky
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
Hello,
Sorry to hear your frustration. The good news is that once your aquarium matures a bit and the bacteria is able to establish itself in your gravel and filter, your problems will subside. Aquariums are most unstable in the beginning because the bacteria isn't there yet. Adding SafeStart was an excellent idea. You could also use Tetra AmmoniaSafe to detoxify the harmful ammonia. You may need to do frequent small water changes for the next week to get the ammonia lower, but with just the one fish in your tank now the production of ammonia should be much lower and the bacteria will be catching up in population and will soon break it down to nitrite and then to nitrate. You can expect to see cloudy water as the bacterica develops. This is totally normal and will subside. As always, keep your feeding to a minimum. Feed only so much that it is all gone in a few minutes. This will help keep down the ammonia levels too. You are in good company with the thousands of aquarists who have experienced the frustration of starting a new aquarium with too many fish. Fortunately you have learned quickly from this and will be able to avoid further frustration now. Let the aquairum mature and add fish only a couple at a time. Allow enough space for each fish, and do regular partial water changes in the aquarium, and you will likely have few problems in the future.
answered 2 years, 10 months ago
Customer Avatar
by
Crush
+12points
12out of 12found this answer helpful.
Question

I still occasionally have spikes in my readings and I was wondering if I can use Safestart in a tank that's been set up for over a year?

Although I've had my tropical fish aquarium set up for over a year now, I still seem to have spikes in my water test readings. My water seems to be going through another cloudy period and I'm wondering if my tank is still cycling after all this time. I have also gone through the time of my water readings all being at zero & I do my small water changes as I should, but at times I wonder if I'm doing that too much. I just want my fish to be healthy, stress free and happy. Will using Tetra Safestart be something that I can use to help this process along more? I have a 29gal. tank with 6 tetras, 4 danios, 3 catfish and a rainbow shark. These particular fish have been with me since the "very beginning" and it would break my heart to loose them. They look to me to make them safe. Please help!
How long have you owned an aquarium? 1-3 years
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: 21 to 50 gallons
asked 2 years, 7 months ago
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by
MiMi1528
Hopewell, VA
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
Hello and thank you for your inquiry.

In short, you can use Safe Start any time you think you need it, it is not a chemical and cannot be overdosed. The long answer to your question is this: why do you see spikes from time to time? You are properly stocked, and you say you do your water changes regularly. Therefore, you either have an issue with overfeeding or with your water source. Have you ever tested your tap water to be sure it is safe to use? If not, you might want to do so. As for feeding, make sure you feed once a day to the upper feeding fish such as your tetras and danios, one flake or pellet per fish. For the catfish and shark, when you turn the lights off at night, drop two small sinking tablets in at opposite ends of the tank.

Last, be sure to maintain your filter regularly. Ignoring this can lead to spikes in nitrite and nitrate. So every month, remove and rinse or replace all media. Every other month, take the filter off and lightly rinse the box out, and run a bottle brush up through the tubing. Remove the impeller and clean it and the motor area thoroughly.

Good luck!
BREX
answered 2 years, 6 months ago
Customer Avatar
by
BREX
+5points
5out of 5found this answer helpful.
Question

Should I use this before using Aquasafe?

I have a new 1.5 gallon tank with the whisper filter system that I'm going to put Goldfish in. Should I use the Startup before using the Aquasafe?
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Goldfish
Size of tank: Less than 10 gallons
asked 2 years, 6 months ago
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by
Newatthis
on SafeStart
+3points
3out of 3found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
No, use AquaSafe first to dechlorinate the water, and then use SafeStart immediately before adding your fish.
answered 2 years, 4 months ago
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by
Kiley
Marketing
+3points
3out of 3found this answer helpful.
Question

Can I use SafeStart to help with my fishless cycling process? I'm doing it with fish food.

It's a ten gallon tank and it's my first.
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Less than 10 gallons
asked 2 years, 4 months ago
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by
MACKMAN
Ft. Worth, Texas
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
Hello,

No because the bacteria need a constant source of food. Adding food once a day would not keep them going. You would find it easier to add one small fish along with Safe Start. This would cycle the tank in one to two weeks, and you would never register ammonia or nitrite, unless you overfed. Fishless cycling is a lot of work, especially when there are much easier, better methods available.

Regards,
BREX
answered 2 years, 4 months ago
Customer Avatar
by
BREX
+2points
4out of 6found this answer helpful.
Question

i have set up a new 57 gallon mbuna tank how much safestart do i need to use & and how many times. to give me a idea of size of bottle i need to buy?

info on qty needed for the size of tank would be helpful before purchase so i can decided what size bottle needed, also the bacteria need's ammonia to live so will it be better adding a couple of fish a few hours before adding freshstart so the ammonia builds up slightly in my tank.
How long have you owned an aquarium? 3+ years
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Larger than 50 gallons
asked 2 years, 4 months ago
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by
eggo
Doncaster, UK
on SafeStart
0points
1out of 2found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
The 8.45oz bottle treats 75 gallons - but you can't overtreat with SafeStart, so I recommend that size, and just use the whole bottle. Good luck!
answered 2 years, 3 months ago
Customer Avatar
by
Kiley
Marketing
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
Question

If i put safe start in my aquarium do i still have to cycle it?

Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: 21 to 50 gallons
asked 2 years, 3 months ago
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by
AdrianR
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
SafeStart cuts the cycle time by adding the necessary good bacteria immediately. There will still be some adjustment time, but your aquarium water will be safe for fish without going through the full cycle process.
answered 2 years, 3 months ago
Customer Avatar
by
Kiley
Marketing
+3points
3out of 3found this answer helpful.
Question

Can I add safe start to a tank with fish?

I'm having trouble cycling a 20 gallon tank. It has fish already in it. I am doing 30% water changes every other day with ammonia at 1.0 ppm. What do you suggest I do. I have ordered safe start and it will arrive in several days. Fish are doing OK. I am using tetra ammonia clear as well.
How long have you owned an aquarium? 6-12 months
Type of tank: Marine
Size of tank: 11 to 20 gallons
asked 2 years, 2 months ago
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by
Billy
Greenwood Sc
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
We recommend adding it to clean, dechlorinated water in a clean bucket, and then pouring it into your aquarium. Be sure to use AquaSafe before hand!
answered 2 years, 2 months ago
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by
Kiley
Marketing
0points
0out of 0found this answer helpful.
Question

Hw much Tetra "Aqua Safe" should I put in a 1.5 gallon tank?

How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Less than 10 gallons
asked 2 years, 2 months ago
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by
Jason
Home
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
It should be dosed as 8-10 drops per gallon.
Thanks.
answered 2 years, 2 months ago
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by
Tetra
+2points
2out of 2found this answer helpful.
Question

Tetra Safe Start

Hii i started a fish-in cycle 5 weeks ago using Tetra Safe Start & Tetra Aquasafe conditioner. IMy aquarium is a 30l Biorb Flow. I am changing 20 litres of water every 2nd day to keep ammonia below 0.25ppm, there's been no nitrite reading throughout and only 10ppm of nitrate above my tapwater nitrates. IWhen starting up i was under the impression my tank would be cycled with 2 weeks, What is going on?
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Less than 10 gallons
asked 2 years, 1 month ago
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by
ASTRAL2k1
UK
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
The water changes are most likely preventing the cycle. Toxic ammonia levels are 1.0 & higher. You may of started over & removed the SafeStart, with those water changes. At this point, I would recommend leaving the tank alone for the next week. Be sure not to overfeed. One or two pieces of food per fish, are all that are necessary.

Thanks.
answered 2 years, 1 month ago
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by
Tetra
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
Question

I have a 125 gallon fresh water tank with a wet dry filter.

Do I pour SafeStart into the water or over the bio balls? I just purchased two safestarts for 70 gallon treatment. I do not have fish yet, but want to do this correctly. Please let me know if I need to add more than two bottles and if so when would I add the next treatment. I will be adding 50 Africa Cichlids once the tank is safe. Please help me through this. Thanks! joeyo
How long have you owned an aquarium? 3+ years
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Larger than 50 gallons
asked 2 years ago
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by
Joeyo
Huntley IL
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
You can add it either way: directly into the tank or over the bioballs. Make sure you do not add it within 24 hours of using any type of water conditioner. And once you add it, you must put some fish into the tank within an hour or so, otherwise, the bacteria will starve off rapidly. We would recommend adding additional Safe Start approximately one week after adding the fish to the tank, since you are planning on adding so many at one time.

BREX
answered 2 years ago
Customer Avatar
by
BREX
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
Question

Will high nitrites kill TSS bacteria?

I've read that hight ammonia 2ppm - 4ppm will damage some tss bacteria and I'm wondering if high nitrites will kill/damage some of them as well. I've been doing a fishless cycle for about a month in my 20 gallon fishtank. I now have ammonia eating bacteria and I've been raising my ammonia to about 1ppm to keep them alive. But now I have a lot of nitrites atleast 15ppm maybe more. And two days ago i added TSS to try and get the nitrites down. It's been two days and there are no nitrates and the nitrites look the same. Was it a mistake to add TSS with such high levels of nitrites? Should I do a water change and then buy more TSS and put it in with the lowered levels of nitrites?
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: 11 to 20 gallons
asked 2 years ago
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by
dannydgk
california
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
Definitely! Toxic levels of either ammonia or nitrite will kill any nitrifying bacteria. You would need to get those levels down before proceeding.

BREX
answered 2 years ago
Customer Avatar
by
BREX
0points
0out of 0found this answer helpful.
Question

How much Safe Start should I use to start up a 5 gallon tank?

I purchased a Betta Fish for my son a few weeks ago and it died. I feel terrible and wanted to do the right thing this time. I have done some research and read that they should be in a 5 gallon tank in order to live a happy, healthy life. So I purchased a 5 gallon tank and in the process of setting it up. How much Safe Start should I use? The directions on the bottle are a little vague, it says add entire bottle to aquarium (up to 30 gallons). The bottle is 3.38oz. How long do I wait to put the fish in the tank?
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Less than 10 gallons
asked 2 years ago
Customer Avatar
by
Jacquie
Arizona
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
You can use the entire bottle, as this is just beneficial bacteria, not a chemical. However, if you prefer not to, then use only 1/4 of the bottle. Shake it thoroughly and pour straight into the tank. We would recommend you set the tank up, let it run for 24 hours, add the Safe Start, then immediately go purchase the fish. Once you get back home with the fish (be sure to come straight home to keep from stressing the fish too much), float his bag for about 10 minutes. While it floats, mix a little bit of water from the tank into his bag about every 2-3 minutes. When you get ready to put the fish in the tank, drain him gently into a fish net, over a bucket; do not mix the store water with your water.

BREX
answered 2 years ago
Customer Avatar
by
BREX
+2points
2out of 2found this answer helpful.
Question

i wish to use Tetra safe start

i put the water in the tank and added tss but used prime for dechlorinator but read after that TSS wont work if using a water treatment that binds ammonia.

should i change the water 100 percent using Aqua Safe dechlorinator, run the tank 24 hours, add TSS and add a fish after 2 hours?

(does aqua safe not bind ammonia at all?)

Driections are not specific at all, got this info on line.
How long have you owned an aquarium? 1-3 years
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Less than 10 gallons
asked 1 year, 10 months ago
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by
michaelg210
San Antonio
on SafeStart
+1point
1out of 1found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
Yes, Aquasafe will do the same thing as Prime. Any water conditioner that removes chloramines will harm TSS. Any product that "locks up" or "removes" ammonia will also harm it. So any time you use it, you want to be sure it is at least 24 hours after a water change. No, you do not need to change your water at all, just wait the 24 hours (which you probably already have done). Once you add TSS, you can put your fish in immediately. No need to wait 2 hours. It will really cloud the water for about 15 minutes. Once that clears, add your fish.

I realize some items are missing from the instructions. Some of that is out of our control as the FDA influences our instructions. However, if you will go to the Contact Us button and email us a brief note about this conversation, along with your name, address, and phone number, I will be happy to replace the TSS for you. Please include the UPC bar code number as well. :-)

BREX
answered 1 year, 10 months ago
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by
BREX
0points
0out of 0found this answer helpful.
Question

re: answer from Brex below

ok, so here is where i am confused, do i add regular tap water and NOT add any dechlorinators or water treatments at all. Then wait 24 hours and add Tetra Safe Start?

in other words regular tap water will dipate all chlorine and chloramines in the 24 hour period?

Number One ContributorAnswer:
Yes, Aquasafe will do the same thing as Prime. Any water conditioner that removes chloramines will harm TSS. Any product that "locks up" or "removes" ammonia will also harm it. So any time you use it, you want to be sure it is at least 24 hours after a water change. No, you do not need to change your water at all, just wait the 24 hours (which you probably already have done). Once you add TSS, you can put your fish in immediately. No need to wait 2 hours. It will really cloud the water for about 15 minutes. Once that clears, add your fish.

I realize some items are missing from the instructions. Some of that is out of our control as the FDA influences our instructions. However, if you will go to the Contact Us button and email us a brief note about this conversation, along with your name, address, and phone number, I will be happy to replace the TSS for you. Please include the UPC bar code number as well. :-)
How long have you owned an aquarium? 1-3 years
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Less than 10 gallons
asked 1 year, 10 months ago
Customer Avatar
by
michaelg210
San Antonio
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
No, since you added tap water with Prime, all you have to do is wait 24 hours and then you can use TSS. Any time you add tap water conditioner, whether it is Prime, Aquasafe, or any other brand, you have to wait 24 hours before using TSS. Even if you just do a partial water change, and add tap water with a water conditioner, you have to wait 24 hours if you intend to use TSS, before adding the TSS to the tank. Chlorine will dissipate out of water, chloramines will NOT. You must use a water conditioner for this purpose.

So your tank has been sitting long enough now, that you do not need to remove any water, just add more TSS and then add fish.

Call and ask for me if you are still confused. 1-800-526-0650

BREX (pronounced B Rex)
answered 1 year, 10 months ago
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by
BREX
0points
0out of 0found this answer helpful.
Question

SafeStart cycling

I have a 60 litre tank (part planted).
50ml of SafeStart added two hours before 2 zebra danios (6 wks ago)
Further 3 zebra danios added (5 weeks ago)
6 cardinal tetras added (2½ wks ago)
I have been doing daily water tests using API test kit. Ammo, nitrate and nitrite have all been zero until 2 weeks ago when Ammo went up to 0.5ppm. All tests since then have been the same i.e. 0.5, 0, 0.
I have not done any water changes at all since adding the SafeStart and fish to avoid removing the good bacteria and as no nitrite to be removed.
How do I get the ammonia level back to zero and why haven't I seen any nitrate or nitrite readings?
Do I need to add some more SafeStart?...if so is the bottle which I opened 6 weeks ago still OK to use?
Presumably the bacteria will breed to cope with gradual increases in ammonia levels over a period of weeks and introducing more fish??
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: 11 to 20 gallons
asked 1 year, 9 months ago
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by
PaulD
Manchester, UK
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
Our recommendation would be to try a different test kit. The original two zebras cycled the tank for you (even without TSS they would have), so your readings should be 0, 0, and 5 for nitrate. We think the kit could be off. If you stir the gravel up a bit, do you see any debris floating up?

We would recommend vacuuming and changing 25% of the water regardless, waiting 24 hours, and re-test after that to see what you get.

Yes, TSS is good for up to 6 months after opening, as long as it is capped tightly.

BREX
answered 1 year, 9 months ago
Customer Avatar
by
BREX
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
Question

how much

i bought a bottle of safestart that treats up to 75 gallons. How much should i add to my tank, which is 20 gallons. My tank is already cycled, and 1 of the petsmart workers recomeneded adding bacteria after water changes.
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: 11 to 20 gallons
asked 1 year, 9 months ago
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by
Billy3
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
It's not a bad idea to add some after water changes, especially if they are large ones or you have a lot of fish. You would just use about 1/4 of the bottle each time. There is no actual dosage, it is just bacteria, you can use as much or as little as you like.

BREX
answered 1 year, 9 months ago
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by
BREX
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
Question

Fluorescent lights after using SafeStart?

Is it ok to run my fluorescent lights after using SafeStart? I read that UV lights can kill the bacteria, and that fluorescent lights have sone UV in it. Thanks.
How long have you owned an aquarium? Less than 6 months
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Larger than 50 gallons
asked 1 year, 9 months ago
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by
Dengar
FL
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
Yes, perfectly safe. The uv rays they are referring to are a LOT stronger than any uv that comes through a standard fluorescent bulb.

BREX
answered 1 year, 9 months ago
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by
BREX
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
Question

Does Safestart have an expiration?

I have a bottle of safe start that is from August 2011
How long have you owned an aquarium? 3+ years
Type of tank: Tropical
Size of tank: Larger than 50 gallons
asked 1 year, 8 months ago
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by
Bodega
New York
on SafeStart
0points
0out of 0found this question helpful.
1 answer
Answers
answer 1
That would be the expiration date. It only has a shelf life of one year, total, unopened. Once opened, only 6 months.

BREX
answered 1 year, 8 months ago
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by
BREX
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
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