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Help with Red Sea Cycle product

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Hi All,

I'm just starting out with this and I've filled up the tank with water last Sunday. To get the cycle going I thought I would use the Red Sea Starter Kit which includes (and I quote):
Nitro Bac – A concentrated blend of nitrifying and de-nitrifying bacteria spores to seed the live rocks, substrate and the bio-media in a new tank.
Bacto-Start – A balanced blend of nitrogen and phosphorus components that simulate the natural waste products of an active aquarium, enabling a controlled development of the aerobic and anoxic bacteria.
NO3: PO4-X – A unique complex of carbons and other organic bonded elements that are used by anoxic bacteria for the accurate control of algae nutrient (nitrate and phosphate) levels. Prevents nuisance algae and enables control of zooxanthellae for optimum coral growth and coloration
KH Coralline Gro – A concentrated marine buffer complex of carbonate buffers & potassium, fortified with the specific minor and trace elements,such as iron, that promote the growth of coralline algae and other beneficial micro-fauna.

Tank is a Fluval Evo 13.5g and I've chosen to go without a skimmer. From what I've read this morning, I should stop with the Nopox as it is useless without a skimmer - is this right?

Also, as I bought nothing from the LFS that had Coralline Algae on it then presumably it is a waste of time buffering the KH to make perfect coralline conditions and there is nothing to grow there. Should I just stop with this too?

I know I'll need some bacteria from somewhere - in my freshwater it was from the plants I bought in but everything in my new reef tank was dry and inert when I put it in. The Nitrobac looks like it has it and the Bacto-start just looks like some ammonia equivalent to keep the bacteria alive. I'll just keep using these two?

Any thoughts/comments appreciated,


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Hi Alex, I see you are new to the forum.  :welcome:


I assume that you are using dry rock.  While you typically don't "need" to add bacteria, bacteria cultures (like Nitro Bac) can greatly shorten the time to establish a healthy nitrogen cycle.  So I'd dose the Nitro Bac.


Then you need an ammonia source.  I like to use DrTim's Ammonium Chloride and follow their fishless cycling guide.


The other products might have some merit, but really shouldn't be needed to establish the nitrogen cycle.  Bacto Start might assist when setting up a new aquarium; however, if using it, I'd dose it very sparingly.

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Thanks Seabass! Yep - very new (but very keen!)


Cheers for the advice - I actually have a bottle of ammonium in the shed from when I cycled my old freshwater so I might switch to that!

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