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Fish-less cycle any advice

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So I am looking at doing dry sand and dry rock in my new tank, and there are tons of companies that offer “Quick cycles/ bacteria strains. Any experience with some of the big ones:

Polyplab Genesis

Brightwell Aquatics Microbactor

Dr Tims one and only live bacteria

Fritz Tyme turbo start

Lif Bio Fil

or any of the other 900 options.

Also any good guides on cycling in a modern reef world.





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I have used Dr Tim’s a few times with good results. I’d imagine that most of them are pretty equivalent but you might do some reading on the “bigger ones. I flunked out of med school, and that makes me a doctor in New Jersey, so take my opinion as such. 

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I believe BRS has a series on cycling a tank in this fashion. One of my take aways is that while they help delay some of the ugly stage of cycling, the tank will still go through a stage where algae is going to grow heavily. That being said, the bottled bacteria does prevent or lessen the odds that other unfriendly  bacteria like cyano etc. will take hold. My limited understanding but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express one time...

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The live sand really isn’t live sand just water with some bacteria so it can say live but it has a clarifier which does work. Easier to go with live sand IMO.

When I first set up my Waterbox I first cycled dry rock with Dr. Tim’s with the ammonia additive in a large tub. I did not set up the tank until that rock had cycled for 2 months.   When I set up the tank we landscaped put in live sand and immediately put in the cured live rock that had cycled with Dr. Tim’s. Added our RODI water…. By the next day I had added green chromis and clowns and never lost a one.

The advantage to this way was it helped me avoid the ugly stage.. Once the tank was set up i started dosing MICROBACTER 7 on a weekly basis.  Once the tank was set up I really worked on just building a good bacteria foundation and started adding copepods and amphipods….

Also, I know dry rock is easier to work with when you landscape because you can glue in place, harder to glue wet rock.  But what I did was made a template of my tank bottom and I glued all my dry rock together.. did a mock up then I took all the glued rocks and put them in the tub to cure…easy peezzy


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