With no shortage of Biological water treatments available - I've never really relied on them.
The reason being is there's really no true shortcut to a fully cycled aquarium - you have to wait and let nature take it's course.
In the past I've tried products like Cycle by Nutrafin and Easy start by Tetra but in most cases these products were used in setting up fast quarantine and hospital tanks.
Most of these products -want you to use them continuously which doesn't make sense to me.
If you have a fully cycled tank why would keep adding new strains of bacteria to already established water?
Well, I think because some manufacturers want you too keep coming back for more and the price of admission isn't cheap.
Cycle at around $22 for 16 ounces encourages you to dose your tank with 5 ml for every ten gallons once a week - and 10 ml for every ten gallons during water changes.
This brings me to "Stability" by Seachem (one of my favorite companies)
But being partial to them and their product line doesn't mean I don't question or research as best I can when trying something new.
That said, I'm nursing a new 55, a 40 and 125. I had a bottle of Stability which I had bought on a what the heck basis - the 55 has fish in it, I seeded the filter but still had serious ammonia spikes.
Seachem claims that the bacteria used in competitive products are inherently unstable. And for the bacteria to survive it must live in the exact temperature, PH and other water parameters in which it was raised and colonized.
This makes perfect sense.
When you add this bacteria to your aquarium, it survives for a brief while - but then crashes and dies.
Stability on the other hand, has bacteria that can survive in almost any kind of water - fresh and salt and virtually any type of water conditions.
Seachem states the strain took a decade to develop. What sets it further apart from the competition is that it contains nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria which isn't the case for any other product of it's kind.
Seachem also states - other bacterial supplements form toxic hydrogen sulfide - something that can never happen with Stability.
With this said, I've dosed the 55 and 40 according to the directions which are 5 ml per 10 gallons on the first dose and a follow up of 5 ml per 20 gallons for 7 days.
What I've noticed - and noticed quickly, is that my water is clearly more stabilized.
Currently I show no ammonia on the API test or Seachem Ammonia Alert meter - it's been five days since the last dose and all of my readings are in the safe zone.
I don't use it for water changes - but having experienced the problems of adding fish to a non or partially cycled tank, I have not so fond memories of daily 50% -80% water changes for weeks..ugh.
Where Stability shines is in helping you protect your fish and stabilize the water, especially in helping to keep the primary fish killer - ammonia in check.
So for specific applications Stability is an excellent product.
It's harmless to fish and appears to deliver on it's promise. But as a weekly or even monthly addition to established tank maintenance I wouldn't suggest it.
To their Credit, Seachem says you can use it as an on going additive - but unlike other products they don't make it sound like you have to.