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Microbe-lift/gel Filter Cartridge Inoculant


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I was just wondering if anybody has had any experiences with the Microbe-Lift Gel Filter Cartridge Inoculant product.

I set up a new 55g yesterday and my lfs had it with a big sign saying it would cycle a tank in 48 hours instead of the usual 2 or more weeks. I have a an Aquaclear 110 with the sponge, carbon, ceramic ring setup so I squirted quite a bit on the sponge and the ceramic rings but the Microbe-Lift only shows directions for cartridge filters. My ammonia was at 1.0 this afternoon.

Edited by tangelo123
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Here's a couple pictures of the tank in question. I've got a 3.5 in. red oranda and a 2.5 inch calico fantail(?) in a 10gl established tank waiting to move in.

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I guess all the bacteria you need to cycle your tank is in the gel (be careful it smells very very bad). It says to squirt it on your cartridge or media when setting up a new tank and it will cut cycling time way down.

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Well anyway, my ammonia is down to 0.5 this morning so I guess that means the bacteria are working. I think it's gonna take longer than 48 hours to cycle but the rate it's going I should be ok by tomorrow. It looks like it may cut the cycle time down to 72 hours which is pretty good. I won't do anything until the ammonia is down to 0. I'll post with pics when I get the fish in.

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I am confused -- are there any fish in the tank in question? If not, what is the ammonia source in your tank?

In my personal experience, the Microbe Lift products smell awful and don't do a whole lot for your cycle. In the process of cycling my 75 gallon tank I tried all sorts of "miracle" bacteria products and spent a lot of money on them. In the end the only one that seemed to really help was Seachem Stability (which was among the cheapest and most readily available). Along the way I tried two Microbe Lift products (with the assistance and advice of their customer service department) and did not find that it helped to bring my ammonia or nitrite down at all.

In the end it took over 12 weeks to establish my cycle. Unfortunately, I don't think that there are any shortcuts when it comes to preparing a biological filter for goldfish.

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It's a new tank with no fish so I'm not sure where the ammonia is coming from. It's steadily going down so I took that as a good sign that something was going on in there. I bought this stuff on the advice of my lfs owner. In the past he's always told me to let a tank cycle for at least 2 weeks and check the levels before I think about buying fish. I think this stuff is pretty new because I couldn't find any product reviews on the web. They seemed pretty confident in the product but I'm still pessimistic.

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If you have ammonia in a tank with no fish, then in all likelihood the source is split chloramines from your tap water. The fact that they are going down doesn't really mean a whole lot.

I never know why pet store employees will tell you to leave the tank to "cycle" for two weeks prior to adding fish. I agree that it is good idea to let the water temperature equilibrate after setting up a new tank, but that only takes about 24 hours at the most. Beyond that you are just "cycling" in the sense that water is going round and round in your tank. You are not doing anything during that time in the way of growing a biological filter because the beneficial bacteria have no food source (ammonia). The only way to start a biological filter is to 1) add fish or 2) add pure ammonia from a bottle.

If you have a cycled ten gallon, I think you would be better off to move the filter media from that filter into the filter on your 55 gallon tank and to move the fish over at once. Ten gallons is not much space for two sizeable goldfish. Bacteria from the ten gallon filter media will quickly multiply and colonize the new filter.

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Yeah, I wanted to get my gf out of the 10g as soon as possible once I realized it was too small. Should I wait until the ammonia goes down to zero before adding the fish? I went ahead and added the ceramic rings from my 10g to the new filter.

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Well I put Tiger and Fredo in the new tank about 90 min ago and so far they are definitely liking the new space. I just fed them and they gobbled everything up so I guess they're gonna be ok. The tank clouded up and if I'm not mistaken that's the bacteria multiplying and eating all the nasties. I'll post some pics if I can get some decent ones. Thanks for all the advice!

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:) Good luck with your goldies! It's good that you're asking questions now and getting them proper care, instead of waiting until something goes wrong. :thumb:

Just keep testing your water, and if the ammonia or nitrItes start to get high, do a water change.

The used media from your 10 gallon should speed things up significantly. When I was cycling, using established media REALLY helped.

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