The Best Aquarium Bacteria Starters for Safe Biological Habitat

best aquarium bacterias starter

Are you aware that valuable and beneficial cleansing bacteria consume a lot of time to thrive? Indeed, these are very delicate and usually wane when there is no adequate nutrition available. For fact, this is the reason why a number of tanks unexpectedly have superior levels of ammonia and nitrite in the water after the introductory fish stock has been placed. And, even after an extended run-in stage, this could possibly emerge.

The required bacteria haven’t had the opportunity to grow and the lack of nutrients implies that they require more time to conform to the changed conditions. Moreover, in order to ensure that this event does not materialize in the first place, the use of the best aquarium bacteria starters in all tanks is highly recommended. Through this, you can ward off the situation from getting worse and the fish will benefit too.

Choosing an aquarium bacteria starter can be highly frustrating. After all, the market is full of available options that all promise effective results. But this process becomes easier when you have an understanding of these essential buying factors:

  • Type of Tank and Fish: Every bacteria starter is developed for a specific type of aquarium/fish. They’ll be freshwater, saltwater, or usable in both situations. You’ll need to match the starter with your particular setup.
  • Effectiveness: It may seem like common sense, but it’s vital to research the bacteria starter’s effectiveness before buying it. Use customer reviews and other resources to understand whether it’s reliable.
  • Tank Size: Different products require varying dosage per gallon of water. See how much water your tank has and buy enough bacteria starter for it.

Explore more on the following product reviews to help you get started.

Best Overall

API Quick Start

API Quick Start

✅ Minimizes compounds hazardous to fish
✅ Adept at inhibiting fish loss
✅ Allows immediate addition of fish


Premium Choice


Seachem Stability

✅ No requirements needed
✅ Ideal for new tank syndrome
✅ Very responsive to various threats


Editor’s Choice


Tetra SafeStart Plus

✅ Can ensure fast results
✅ Effective and reliable treatment
✅ Speeds up the establishment of bio-filter


List of Top-Tier Aquarium Bacteria Starter Reviews 2023

1. API Quick Start

API Quick Start

If you are planning to start a saltwater or freshwater tank and you need to cycle it, then this product is a great fish tank bacteria starter that you can consider. When using this product, you can only properly cycle the aquarium by introducing ammonia into the water instantly and making sure that no fish are present in the tank.

Moreover, the natural and gradual approach to execute this is to add biomass into the aquarium and then wait for it to decay. It is suggested to combine this with a sponge from an older tank or an old filter media, perhaps a few bits of plants, rocks or gravel from an old tank.

Afterward, you may add this into the mix. Basically, this should be adequate to begin a tank cycle in a natural mode in just a short period of time without conditioning the aquarium for a longer period. At first, the water in the tank will appear cloudy, but this will disappear on its own after some time. See to it that prior to adding any living creature in the tank, the nitrites and ammonia levels are stabilized.

Also, this is a useful tool to get for starting and assisting you in maintaining a stabilized water cycle in your fish tank. It is also highly recommended to get a test kit for you so you would know precisely how your water is doing.

Take note that it is important to carefully follow the directed dosage or amount to be added in the tank when using this product.

  • Ideal for starting both saltwater and freshwater tanks
  • Minimizes compounds that are hazardous to fish
  • Allows immediate addition of fish
  • Adept at inhibiting fish loss in saltwater and freshwater tanks
  • Utilize when changing water as well as filter media
  • The cycle requires ammonia to start
  • Does not produce instant results
Overall, this product is a good catch. It is good at cycling or stabilizing the tank. However, please be reminded that this is not the ideal choice for you if you prefer an instant result. While this product is a good one, the truth is cycling the tank can’t be done overnight.

2. Seachem Stability


The Seachem Stability water stabilizer is perceived to be one of the top-tier nitrifying bacteria that you can ever invest in for your newly setup aquarium. This is highly recognized as being the most suitable solution when it comes to preventing new tank syndrome.

Furthermore, this liquid’s consistency is smooth and slippery, and it also does not appear to possess any foul or strong odor. Of course, there is a slight chemical odor to it but this does not in any way cause any harm. It is specially formulated to keep ammonia and nitrate levels under control which is the common problem of most tanks and newly-installed ones due to the newness of the bio-filter.

What makes this treatment amazing is that its formulation is made up of a symbiotic mixture of anaerobic, aerobic and facultative bacteria that enable the disintegration of ammonia, waste organics, nitrate, and nitrite in order to keep the water in the aquarium clear, free of any foul odor and of course healthy. This is a very safe way of combating annoying algae.

This water stabilizer product has been formulated to work best in marine and freshwater tanks. Needless to say, this is absolutely a great convenience for the aquarist who is searching for a more versatile option.

For satisfying outcomes, utilize a capful with each water changes, a capful once per month and a capful when introducing new fish inhabitants, or whenever treating your tank.

  • Ideal for new tank syndrome
  • Very responsive to various threats
  • No requirements needed
  • Compatible with saltwater and freshwater tanks
  • Can guarantee superior bio performance
  • Slightly expensive
  • Has the tendency of fish death
Seachem Stability water stabilizer is a great purchase for your newly-installed tank. It is certified harmless to all aquatic organisms and plants and you won’t even need to worry if you happen to overuse it. More than that, it does not alter the hue of water nor affect its clearness. This is the right choice if you want to keep your bacterial filter strong. As you can see, it’s precisely what you prefer from a safe and proper tank stabilizer.

3. Tetra SafeStart Plus


Having trouble shopping for aquarium bacteria in a bottle? Then, you don’t need to frown anymore because the solution to your problem has finally arrived. The bacteria in this bottle requires nitrite, ammonia as well as fish rubble to thrive, so you need to ensure that your tank is stocked otherwise the bacteria will go hungry and may perish prior you even add your fish. Note that the entire bottle should be consumed in one shot as directed.

This product is cost-effective and can be utilized for up to 500 gallons. It is crucial to adhere to the instructions by adding enough to start your tank nitrogen cycle. It is advised to add this treatment on a regular mode for your weekly and monthly water changes.

Additionally, since this bottle does not contain ammonia as food for the bacteria, your aquarium may register a little amount of ammonia for up to 2 weeks. The normal register is 1 ppm. Your fish will be fine with it.

It is not suggested to facilitate water changes for two weeks after putting this treatment. If you do, the bacteria will be removed prior to being set up in the tank filter.

The top-rated thing about this product is that because it has patented live bacteria, this allows instant addition of fish in the newly-installed freshwater tank. It is interesting to know that the live bacteria begin to work instantly so to provide a healthy and risk-free environment for the tank occupants without the need to wait for a longer period of time.

  • Speeds up the establishment of bio-filter in newly-installed freshwater tanks
  • Comes with patented live bacteria
  • Shortens the time it takes for a tank to cycle
  • Can ensure fast results
  • Very effective and reliable treatment
  • May require refrigeration
  • Comes with a short shelf life
To sum it up, if you are searching for an instant cycle in a bottle, then this is the solution for you. There is no need to wait for several weeks to cycle your tank and you can rest assured that your fish inhabitants won’t be stressed. This is the product that all aquarists should invest in!

4. Dr. Tim’s Aquatics Aquarium Products


Are you currently scouting for beneficial bacteria aquarium that can help keep your tank occupants safe, happy and healthy? Then, Dr. Tim’s Aquatics Natural Aquarium product is your one great savior!

This is perfect for Nano and reef tanks and is proven to work wonders in inhibiting and getting rid of new tank syndrome as it comes with all-organic living nitrifiers. These nitrifying bacteria are known to aid in working urgently so as to manage properly and eradicate dangerous nitrite and ammonia that are present in the tank.

Luckily, unlike other products sold in the market nowadays, this stuff does not come with a foul odor mainly because it is formulated with non-toxic contents which means it is unlikely for it to cause overdose issues. As compared to other products, you won’t feel annoyed since this stuff does not produce any offensive smell when used.

It is worth mentioning that once purchased, you are guaranteed that you get the real value of your money because the microstructure of the bacteria remains active for a very long period of time. You will feel confident that the occupants in your tank remain safe and healthy.

If it is your first time to use this product, expect that it won’t be easy for you to administer. Many a time, newbies are having a tough time since they aren’t fully aware of when they should precisely utilize it if it is needed to test it on a daily basis or what next procedure to do afterward.

  • Does not come with offensive odors or sulfide
  • Formulated with mighty nitrifying bacteria that eliminate nitrite and ammonia
  • Ideal for reef and Nano tanks
  • Made with all-natural contents
  • Can guarantee active live bacteria for a long term
  • Might not be the ideal option for newbies
  • Not effective if not used as directed
By happy chance, this product works quite effectively provided that you strictly adhere to the instructions as is. Once administered as directed, you can significantly reduce the cycle period for your newly setup aquarium. This stuff may be slightly costly but it is worth every single penny you spend for it.

5. Fluval Hagen Biological Enhancer


If you hope to promote good bacteria for fish tanks, then Fluval Hagen Biological Enhancer can help you achieve this. But, be reminded that this is not the type of treatment that works like a miracle in terms of cycling your aquarium in a few days. It is required for you to examine the water to see if the cycle is completed. This product works by adding beneficial bacteria that needs to thrive on all of the surfaces. The growth may take a long period.

Undoubtedly, this product is a must-buy. It is definitely ideal for getting your tank cycle going. It is advised to microdose after every water replacement, and from there you will see that your nitrate and ammonia levels are minimized. Review the step-by-step dosing directions found on the label for maintenance, water replacement or start-up.

Besides, it is suggested to disperse evenly surrounding the aquarium and pay more attention to the crevices and filter where the bacteria could hide and settle well. This product really aids when you need to install an aquarium in a hurry. It can be utilized in all new tanks as well.

You may utilize Fluval Hagen Biological Enhancer with every water replacement. In so doing, this shall greatly help in making your tank water remain pristine and the tank occupants will surely thrive well. As compared to other brands available out there, this product works effectively and it is not costly at all.

  • Good at impeding fish loss
  • Can instantly build safe biological tank environment
  • Ideal for marine and freshwater aquarium
  • Encourages the instant introduction of new fish
  • Can ensure responsive and powerful nitrite and ammonia reduction
  • Live bacteria settle to the bottom
  • Does not ensure a fast-acting outcome
If you want to ensure that you get the real value of your money for an effective nitrifying bacteria product, then this can be your go-to treatment to guarantee that your fish are safe and healthy. This is ideal when it comes to helping aquarists cycle their tanks. Also, if this is used as directed when starting an aquarium, it will help the tank get cycled within a month.

6. Instant Ocean BIO-Spira


Would you like to ensure having live bacteria for an aquarium? Then, you should not think twice whether you’ll give this product a try or not. This brand has been one of the top options because it comes with live nitrifying bacteria and does a sterling job at making your tank water cycle a success.

Make it a point that the aquarium comes with a suitable biological filter substrate in place as well as proper circulation in a period of one to two days. Many aquarists who have utilized this have affirmed that it works effectively without failure many times.

So, if you are encountering some problems with high nitrates and nitrite levels for a long time now, then you may finally put an end to your long-time agony. This product is an instant cycle that will surely work most suitable for your tank needs.

Over and above, this stuff is highly recommended for starting up your new aquarium and it could also serve as a very practical rescue measure when your saltwater tank has high levels of ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites. This treatment can help eliminate UV, activated carbon or protein skimmer in the tank.

  • Helps make saltwater tank fish-safe immediately
  • Can be utilized after treating, new fish introduction and after water replacement
  • Live bacteria begin working instantly to provide a healthy and safe hub for fish
  • Does not cloud the tank
  • Can guarantee faster water cycling process
  • Tendency of fish to perish
  • A little bit pricey

If you dream of having a great way to start and maintain a healthy and safe marine tank, this product is the one that you can rely on. This can be utilized to first build your biocube and it works superbly too when maintaining it. You’ll see the difference it could bring once you begin using it and you will realize that it is well worth the money!

Set aside some money before you buy this product as it is slightly pricey. If you do not want to deal with the long and laborious way of nitrifying bacteria in your newly setup tank, then you do not need to look further.

7. Dr. Tim’s Aquatics Aquarium Cleaner


It can be difficult to choose what effective nitrifying bacteria for saltwater aquarium products since many brands claim that they are the best in doing the job. However, one of the most trusted ones is Dr. Tim’s Aquatics Natural Aquarium Cleaner. If you use this product, the levels of nitrate will steadily lower particularly if you utilize it as part of your weekly maintenance routine. The top-rated thing about this is that it is adept at getting rid of a green hair algae outbreak in your aquarium.

What sets this product apart from other brands is that it is formulated with very vigorous nitrifying bacteria that get to work immediately when controlling and eliminating harmful nitrites and ammonia. Unlike other products, this does not come with a strong smell so you won’t have issues even if you overuse it.

And, if you opt for a non-toxic kind of treatment, then this is the right pick for you. It is made of 100% organic formulation so there is no need for you to worry about your fish occupants from getting overdosed.

Additionally, this treatment is long-lasting which means the bacteria have the capability to remain active even after a very long period of time. Without any doubt, you’ll certainly be impressed with how efficient this product is at sustaining your tank water’s cleanliness and its stunning ability to maintain low levels of nitrates.

  • Ward off and wipe out new tank syndrome
  • Comes with every powerful nitrifying bacteria
  • Does not come with strong irking odor
  • Made with organic ingredients and toxic-free
  • Remains active for a longer period of time
  • Results may be seen after a few weeks’ time
  • Slightly expensive as compared to other brands
If you would like to ensure that you get the right product for your tank, Dr. Tim’s Aquatics Natural Aquarium Cleaner is highly recommended. This can be used on a regular basis for marine and freshwater tanks. You can keep 2 large tanks properly balanced with good bacteria with this excellent product! As you can see, it is effective, reliable to use, can ensure what it has promised to deliver and is definitely a great help to aquarists.

8. Fritz Aquatics Nitrifying Bacteria


Undeniably, we all go for a natural and risk-free method to treat aquarium water. Thus, if you want to guarantee aquarium bacteria bloom, then Fritz Aquatics FritzZyme Nitrifying Bacteria will work wonders for you. This is a worthy investment in that it can immediately reduce nitrite and ammonia levels, and it enables the instant and safe introduction of tank occupants.

Many aquarium hobbyists or aquarists prefer this product mainly because it is known for being superb at considerably minimizing the cycling period in a new tank and most importantly, it can ensure original live nitrifying bacteria for freshwater tanks. If you hope to establish and retain a more exceptional bio-filter, then your search is over.

Please be reminded that this is a living product which means there is a tendency that it could endanger fish immediately if it is not fresh. So, it is necessary to consider testing the contents for nitrogen prior to adding it into an aquarium with livestock in place. There is no need to worry about doing so because the test is fast and easy to run.

Meanwhile, if you don’t utilize all of your supply, you may consider keeping the rest in a dry and cool storage area. Indeed, you must not forget to examine it prior to utilizing it in an environment with living creatures.

  • Instantly eradicates nitrite and ammonia
  • Enables instant and safe introduction of livestock
  • Builds and sustains a healthier bio-filter
  • Risk-free and natural approach to treating tank water
  • Can guarantee live nitrifying bacteria for freshwater tanks
  • Poor viability due to its being live product
  • Smell like a rotten egg when expired

If you no longer wish to waste your time, money and energy in useless nitrifying bacteria products, then you need to invest in a brand that won’t let you down. Luckily, this brand is the perfect solution if you hope to ensure keeping good bacteria in your tank and properly cycle your tank water without the need to wait for a long time.

Of course, it is your sole responsibility to provide and maintain a safe and healthy hub for your tank inhabitants.

9. ATM Aquarium Products Nitrifying Bacteria


We all wish to spend in the best aquarium bacteria starter supplement that can solve our tank problems at once. It’s all thanks to ATM Aquarium Products Colony Nitrifying Bacteria products; we can now efficiently import actual and authentic nitrifying bacteria. This is a wise investment in that unlike other brands it contains appropriate species of bacteria for freshwater tanks.

Also, after the treatment, you can safely put the fish on the same day and you no longer need to wait for the tank water to be cleared because it is risk-free to add living creatures.

What is important as well is that there is no need for you to have second thoughts about whether this product is safe to use or not because it has been proven and tested by commercial aquariums. In the same way, once opened or closed properly, the product can guarantee a shelf life of one year. As you can see, this is not the case with other brands.

While it has been claimed that it is safe to add fish after treatment, it is still top-quality to wait for some time prior to adding the fish just to make sure that the fish are kept safe.

  • Guaranteed to contain authentic species of bacteria
  • Efficiently imports actual and genuine nitrifying bacteria
  • Can ensure instant and satisfying results
  • Utilized and approved by commercial tanks
  • Comes with a 1-year shelf life span
  • Presence of a few small white clumps in tank water
  • Slow drop in ammonia levels

If you opt for toxic-free and odor-free products, then ATM Aquarium Products Colony Nitrifying Bacteria is the most suitable solution for you. You don’t need to feel irked while using this in your newly planted tank as it does not produce any offensive smell that makes medicating your aquarium a struggling takes for you to deal with.

The presence of beneficial bacteria in the aquarium is surely advantageous to all the living creatures inhabiting it. Therefore, it is just right that you choose an authentic, effective and fast-acting nitrifying bacteria product that can make your tank a safe, healthy and happy place for your aquarium friends.

Outdated Products

Dry Format Bacteria (Outdated)


If you need to facilitate frequent water replacement on your tank, these nitrifying bacteria products could assist you in bringing back the bacteria way faster than you could ever imagine. Thus, if you are regularly purchasing liquid bacteria products, then, why not give this product a try and see for yourself the wonders it could bring?

To boot, in order to ensure that this product works more effectively, it is highly advised to adhere to the instructions when using it stringently. In general, one of the reasons why some products appear to be ineffective is because they are not utilized as directed. So, to avoid unsatisfying outcomes, you better read the instructions well prior to adding it to your tank.

Be reminded that the instructions with regard to proper usage and the amount to add to the tank are vital factors to consider when using this product. This is to ensure that the right amount is added to boost its effectiveness.

What is more, proper storage for this product is also encouraged. Since it is a dry bacteria format, of course, you would not wish the bacteria to lose their vitality. You need to store them in a cool dry place wherein its quality can be sustained or preserved. Seal it properly after use.

  • Comes with Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas strains that symbiotically transform ammonia to nitrate and nitrite to nitrate
  • Superb at cycling the new tank and sustain good bacteria cycles
  • Less susceptible to errors caused by diverse water parameters
  • Budget-friendly as compared to other brands
  • Helps establish a proper bacteria cycle a lot easier
  • No significant change in ammonia levels
  • Not as effective as advertised

On the button, this dry bacteria format product is amazing. It can effectively help keep the tank water safe and healthy for your aquarium friends and can help keep nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels under control.

The good bacteria remain active and serve as quite advantageous to various tank inhabitants for these provide them the nutrients they need to thrive. It is not that costly and is easier to find in local fish stores and various online shopping sites.

What To Look For When Buying An Aquarium Bacteria Starter


As responsible aquarium owners, we have the responsibility to provide the most trusted possible habitat and conditions for our tank inhabitants. And, there are some considerations to think through prior to buying an aquarium bacteria starter.

Here are a few of the factors that you need to take into account:

  • When planning to set up a new tank, we need to think about the types of fish we are going to add to the aquarium. There are 3 primary types of fish that you should consider when keeping a tank: saltwater fish, tropical freshwater fish as well as Coldwater fish.
  • Where is the most suitable place to put the aquarium? Positioning the aquarium in an appropriate area in the house is crucial. It is essential to keep it away from an area where it could be hit by direct sunlight or anything that may expose it to extreme heat or temperature. This is going to be hazardous to fish and other organisms living in the tank.

A place where it is convenient to plug in all your aquarium electrical equipment is another factor to consider too. The area where you will set it up must provide the fish the serenity they need to prevent them from feeling stressed. Of course, you’ve got to choose the spot where the tank will appear more attractive.

  • The size of your tank. Bacteria starter products come in different contents and amounts or dosages. Typically, this will depend on the size of your tank. You may refer to the instructions and other information regarding the product you are eyeing to purchase.
  • When it comes to the kind of bacteria starter you need to buy, make sure that it contains non-toxic components, comes with genuine and live nitrifying bacteria, can help make the tank water cycle a lot easier to administer and a product that is safe and healthy to all your tank occupants.

Not to mention, you’ve got to consider the price too, but this is not the sole factor that is the most valuable. Never go for a cheaper product that isn’t safe and effective to use. Maybe consider saving more to buy a product that is highly trusted even though it is slightly pricey.

Quality should always be your priority.

Other Important Factors To Consider


What is an aquarium bacteria starter?

These are commonly known as bacteria boosters which are apparently colonies of bacteria that are especially intended to aid in getting your aquarium cycled or aid in enhancing the capacity of the biological filter.

In addition to this, living organisms in water produce waste. This is the reason why our tanks require bacteria to convert the wastes into non-toxic substances. These bacteria thrive quite gradually, relying on the supply of food. Thus, adding bacteria starters can help support their colonization as well as in speeding up the process.

How does it work?

A lot of aquarium brands offer various nitrifying bacteria products since these are perceived to be of great help in accelerating the tank water cycling process.

For a fact, the concept is identical to the cycle tank approach where you add live bacteria to the aquarium so they these could establish a lot faster. And, just how efficient these products are up for discussion; however, countless aquarium hobbyists claim that this helped their aquarium cycle faster.

Indeed, there are various kinds of nitrifying bacteria. While all of these products have the capability to consume nitrites and ammonia, only a few of them contain the nitrifying bacteria that shall thrive in the tank filter.

It is delighting to note that if these are utilized properly, these nitrifying bacteria products could substantially accelerate the cycle of your tank. Nonetheless, you have to keep in mind that these are living products- if they aren’t stored in appropriate places (exposure to too cold or too hot temperatures), or if the bacteria run out of food supply; the bacteria could be lifeless by the period it is added to the tank. Obviously, lifeless bacteria can do nothing to accelerate the water cycle in your tank.

What are the different types of aquarium bacteria starters?

  • Aquarium Bacteria in a Bottle

This commonly contains live nitrifying bacteria. And, as compared to other bacterial additives, you can instantly and safely add fish to your tank after use. This type of bacteria starter is recognized for doing a job great in eradicating new tank syndrome can aid in creating biofilters fast and can get rid of nitrite and ammonia in a natural mode.

  • Dry Format Bacteria

This is the dry form of nitrifying bacteria and it contains both Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas strains in order to transform nitrite to nitrate and ammonia to nitrite symbiotically. Since this comes in dry or powdered form, it comes with a scoop so to make measuring the right amount a lot easier to administer.

  • Aquarium Bacteria Supplement

This certainly serves as health enhancer for your tank. It comes with good bacteria that aids in stabilizing the aquarium water. It is known for minimizing high levels of ammonia and does a great job in the nitrogen cycle as it assists in lessening the potentiality of fish loss and new tank syndrome.

Why do you need an aquarium bacteria starter? Benefits?

One of the most indispensable things that an aquarium owner could do to sustain the quality of the water in the tank is to seed their aquarium with nitrifying bacteria from a stable, established and healthy tank.

It is worth mentioning that putting these good bacteria will give the aquarium a head start with disintegrating organic matter. Beneficial bacteria also referred to as good or nitrifying bacteria are present after auspiciously cycling a new aquarium.

These bacteria are the ones that provide organic and biological tank filtration and are also the ones accountable for disintegrating organic waste inside the aquarium. Fundamentally, a mixture of autotrophic and heterotrophic strains of cleansing bacteria significantly assists in detoxifying the water through disintegrating nitrite, ammonia, proteins, and ammonium.

What is more, the specific enzymes of the cleansing bacteria deteriorate the excrement of the fish and other waste and aid in sustaining the biological balance in the tank.

As a whole, these good bacteria greatly serve a very vital role in keeping the tank occupants safe, healthy and happy. It also aids in accelerating the tank water cycle without much work.

Frequently Asked Questions


When should I add starter bacteria to my aquarium?

Luckily, there are only a few situations when adding aquarium starter bacteria is necessary. It makes the process simple to ensure even newbies won’t have issues. So here’s a list of those scenarios to get you started:

  • An ammonia spike occurs due to dead fish or other reasons.
  • You’re cleaning out a filter or replacing it.
  • Starting an entirely new tank cycle or regulating the nitrogen cycle of the aquarium
  • Changing out the tank’s water
  • New fish increasing the ammonia level

Overall, it’s best to avoid adding starter bacteria in other situations. It should also answer how often to add bacteria to aquarium tanks. Usually, once every two weeks is the answer, since people change their water this frequently and not everyone adds new fish, etc.

Can you add too much bacteria to a fish tank?

Adding too many bacteria to a fish tank is undoubtedly possible. However, the amount would have been massive, and its overall effects won’t be as damaging as expected. It’d likely cause a spike in ammonia, but even that would be small.

In any case, it’s best to follow the provided directions to avoid this issue. You’ll then never have to worry about the effects of adding too much freshwater aquarium bacteria starter.

What kills beneficial bacteria in aquariums?

The main culprits for killing beneficial bacteria are chlorine and chloramine. Sadly, they’re often found in tap water. It’s why you must use a dechlorinator to treat tap water before adding it to your tank. Otherwise, these compounds will wreak havoc on your fish and beneficial bacteria.

Of course, chlorine and chloramine aren’t the only bacteria killers. Some other potential culprits include fish medication, heavy metals, cleaning products, overexposure to light, and antibiotics.

How to make beneficial bacteria for aquariums?

Aside from introducing bottled bacteria starters like Tetra’s Cleaning Bacteria for Aquarium Tanks, aquarium owners can use several other methods to create beneficial bacteria. Here’s a quick overview of some DIY options that’ll help produce a healthy tank environment:

  • Introducing Filter Media: This method will help speed up the nitrogen cycle and significantly increase your tank’s bacteria population. I’d also suggest letting your filter run during this process to offer a stable breeding ground for this bacteria.
  • Adding an Air Pump or Increasing Water Flow: I put these two options together because they both work to increase oxygen levels inside an aquarium. The higher amount of oxygen will help bacteria grow more quickly.
  • Raising the Water’s Temperature: Warmer water will quicken the bacteria’s reproduction during the nitrogen cycle, so raising it to 85 or 90 degrees can work wonders. It’s what I did when nitrifying bacteria for reef tank aquariums in my apartment.
  • Creating a Darker Environment: If the lights are always on inside your tank, bacteria won’t grow as sufficiently. So I’d recommend giving them time to grow in complete darkness while you’re sleeping to cultivate a more suitable environment.

Owners can also use these tips with a top-tier bacteria starter/booster. I’d suggest any of the ones mentioned in our article to help.

Some other excellent choices would be the Imagitarium Biological Booster or the Aqueon Pure Balls Bacteria Supplement. I used them numerous times to achieve effective results, and people love them on Reddit.

Tetra SafeStart vs API quick start: Which is better?

It depends on what you’re looking for in a bacteria starter. For instance, Tetra SafeStart offers more effective bacteria but only can be used in freshwater tanks. So it’s an obvious choice for a person looking to purchase a booster for freshwater aquariums.

Meanwhile, a person with saltwater tanks doesn’t have the option to use Tetra SafeStart. Instead, they’d have to choose API Quick Start, which is still an effective starter. Honestly, if I had both saltwater and freshwater tanks, I’d pick it to avoid the hassle of buying both.

What are the most trusted aquarium bacteria starter brands?

While there are limitless options when it comes to aquarium bacteria starter brands, some of the most highly trusted brands that wise consumers prefer to comprise of the following:

  • DrTim’s Aquatics
  • Seachem Stability
  • API Quick Start
  • Tetra SafeStart Plus
  • Fluval Hagen
  • Instant Ocean

Are aquarium bacteria safe for humans?

While you may already be aware that bacteria play a valuable role in keeping your tank healthy, you might not realize the fact that some specific types of bacteria present in your aquarium could actually be harmful to you. Some studies disclosed that the bacteria Mycobacterium Marinum could be uncovered in home aquariums.

Thus, if you have scrapes, sores or open cuts on your hands when you clean your aquarium, there is a greater possibility that the bacteria could penetrate your bloodstream. The hazard of this is that the infection signs might not emerge for as long as 2 by up to 1 month after exposure. As you can see, this is how long it takes for the bacteria to breed inside the human body.

This type of bacteria is a kind of free-living bacteria that is unveiled in water that is non-chlorinated; for instance, the water found in home aquariums. Moreover, these bacteria have been perceived to bring about opportunistic infections in humans that may consist of a kind of uncommon disease referred to as aquarium granuloma.

Meanwhile, aquarium fish are very renowned pets probably because of their shiny scales and bright colors and these are comparably easy to take care of. Furthermore, these are nice pets for those suffering from pet allergies; fish are known to have the capability to produce relaxing effects and help minimize tension among people who nurture them.

Also, just like all animals, fish have the tendency to carry bacteria that can make humans ill. These bacteria could also contaminate the water in which other fish dwell.

And, even though tank water and fish could spread bacteria or germs to humans, ailments due to keeping various fish species is considered uncommon.

By simply providing routine care to your fish and their tank and following some health guides, the likelihood of contracting diseases from feeding, touching or owning aquarium fish is less likely to happen.

How fast do aquarium bacteria grow?

The process commonly takes anywhere from two by up to six weeks. As a matter of fact, it may even take a longer period to cycle a tank at temperatures under 70F. Nitrifying bacteria gradually thrive as compared to other kinds of bacteria. It may take roughly 15 hours for a colony to make twice as large under optimal conditions.

How long can aquarium bacteria survive?

All bacteria species come with limited bounds of tolerance and these are typically receptive to pH. Aside from this, they are also sensitive to inhibitory chemicals, salt, dissolved oxygen levels as well as temperature. These bacteria cannot withstand any drying process without exterminating the organism, unlike heterotrophic bacteria species.

More than that, these types of bacteria could only withstand short periods of inimical conditions by using stored materials inside the cell. The bacteria perish when these materials are reduced.

Can aquarium salt kill beneficial bacteria?

Adding aquarium salt to your freshwater aquarium could have several advantages. In reality, at best, this is a less pricey health care precaution. The good news is that aquarium salt does not endanger the good bacteria bed in your aquarium.

Putting aquarium salt in your freshwater tank can:

  • Improve the ability of the fish to develop a protective slime coat. As you know, this is particularly useful if your fish are recuperating from an injury or a bacterial infection; for example, a torn fin.
  • Help ward off the consumption of stressful high nitrates in current tanks.
  • Assist in the control or treatment of plenty of parasitic populations when putting in the tank and if utilized accordingly.
  • Impede the intake of harmful nitrites at the time of the nitrogen cycle when setting up a new aquarium.
  • Reduce tension by adding gill function.

How and when to add salt?

It is not required to put aquarium salt all the time; however, this is most advantageous when utilized in combination with other treatments. In the same way, aquarium salt should often be pre-dissolved first in the water prior to putting it in the tank.

Take in mind that the concentration of aquarium salt utilized is hinged on your purpose.

It is critical to use aquarium salt with care specifically with bottom feeders and plants. Even though there are several aquarium salt benefits, there are also some downsides that you need to watch out for prior to adding it to your aquarium. Live plants can be exterminated through treatment concentrations of sea salt.

Besides, spawning may also be affected by adding aquarium salt since this could dry out the eggs and exterminate the sperms transmitted by male species. If concentrations are too high, some fish, particularly those sensitive to aquarium salt, may also perish.

How to use it?

Good or nitrifying bacteria products are added to the tank to aid the tank water cycle. You need to follow the instructions on how to use them, primarily the amount or dosage you need to use. Various brands and products have different dosages or amounts, so be careful and read the directions first prior to using them.

Where to buy?

Aquarium bacteria starters can be purchased on Amazon, eBay, Lowes and other trusted online shopping sites. Alternatively, they are also available in local fish stores.


Right to it, it cannot be denied that good aquarium bacteria play a very substantial role in the nitrogen cycle of our tank. As fish eliminate waste, other biologic matters like fish residue and plant leaves disintegrate, generating ammonia. As we know, high ammonia levels in the tank will exterminate the inhabitants in our tank more instantly.

And since, we do not wish to harm our tank inhabitants, we’d like to ensure that we provide them with a possible top-tier environment when we start to set up a new tank for them. This is the reason why purchasing safe, effective, reliable and the best aquarium bacteria starter is a must for us to consider. Of course, you do not want to fail your most cherished aquarium friends.

If you’re looking for the right bacteria starter for your tank and having trouble how to get started, then you may delve into the product reviews discussed above so you can decide which one will be a worthy investment that can benefit you and your fish for the many years to come.