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4.7 out of 5 stars30
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2013
I highly recommend this product. A couple of months ago I had a catastrophic filter failure and effectively had to restart the cycle in my tank, but this time with 16 residents.

Ammonia levels soared, despite trying nearly every bacteria aid product out there, and this continued for 2 months (lots of pwc, more chemicals that I care for). 2 weeks after starting with Tetra Safe Start I have my weekly average ammonia level down from 35ppm to 0ppm and no more nasty chemical additives.

Fantastic - a total must for new or uncycled tanks!
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on 26 April 2015
Worked for me in two tanks.
1. Set up tank, fill with water (make sure to use a dechlorinator, such as Tetra Aqua Safe)
2. Run filter/s, pump/s and heater/s for 24hours. This isn't just to make sure that all work OK, Tetra have said that Safe Start should be used 24hours after using a dechlorinator product.
3. Lightly stock with fish.
4. At the same time as adding fish, add Safe Start. Shake the bottle vigorously beforehand. The water will go cloudy. This is normal.
5. Feed fish lightly for two weeks.
6. Don't do a substrate clean/partial water change for 2 weeks (unless you've done something wrong and you have a big Ammonia or Nitrite reading after 1 week)
7. After two weeks you should have readings of Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and a reading for Nitrate. The reading for Nitrate is good (as long as it isn't excessive) as it shows your tank is cycled/cycling.
8. Do not immediately add more fish after those 2 weeks. Do your normal weekly water change for a couple more weeks at least, all whilst taking water readings. Allow the filter/tank to mature further.
9. When you do add fish, add a small number at a time. Adding too many could result in the filter not coping and your tank could possibly start cycling again.
10. It can take 6 or so months for a tank to be fully mature and stable. So don't ruin your hard work after a successful start by immediately fully stocking with fish you want. Take it slow, or there is a very, very good chance it will all go belly up.

Oh yeah, couple points for potential fishkeepers.
1. You can't overdose with Safe Start. I pretty much double dosed in the two tanks I've used it in. It's not a chemical, it's bacteria, so overdosing (IMO) can only help.
2. Whatever you do, DO NOT clean your filter for at least a month. You should be lightly stocked with fish, so not necessary anyway. When you do eventually clean it. DON'T replace the sponge filter or ceramics/bio materials. If you feel the need, a simple swoosh in the water you have removed from the tank during your routine partial water change should suffice. Under no circumstances should you ever clean any part of your filter or its media with tap water. Only thing in a filter that should be regularly changed is the activated carbon media (if your filter has it)

I should add, I have a few tanks and had a plan to remove the fish from tanks that I was using Safe Start in, if it had failed to work. However, next tank I set up, I will not hesitate and will use Safe Start again without hesitation.
It's not a wonder solution providing an instantly cycled and mature tank, but, in my experience it speeds things along at a great pace.

Recommended wholeheartedly, just take your time with stocking fish.
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on 10 April 2016
2 years ago when I first set up my darling wifes aquarium I initially used some APS product and then used Evolution Aqua's Pure Aquarium Balls - none of them worked. Using the APS testing kits could not detect and nitrites or nitrates for weeks. That was until I used Tetra Safe Start. This is the product that kick started my fish tank and within days I noticed nitrites and then nitrates. Was so glad to get the tank cycled after weeks of agony. Don't buy anything else but this. Oh and buy some Seachem Prime for conditioning water.
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on 24 February 2013
I started a new tank with a few hardy fish. After six weeks there was still nitrite at unacceptable levels. I use Safe Start and 24 hours later nitrite was at zero.
I have occasionally had a small nitrite spike after changing filters and a small dose of Safe Start has rapidly reduced the nitrite to zero.
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on 12 October 2015
Wow...stupid me cleaned my sponges under the tap and then BAM! my fish health went through the floor...put this in and withing 24hrs everyone was happy....definatly getting more for if and when water quality get a bit iffy again....seemed to help my nitrate overload too....
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on 19 September 2013
I became aware of this product through an online forum. I have a tropical fish tank and although the tank appeared to have cycled several weeks previously I suddenly had a large ammonia spike. The tank is only 45 litres but I used the entire bottle over a period of 2/3 weeks, adding more with each partial water change. The ammonia levels dropped after this time. This product is great for people like me who have an established tank and are having "water issues" or for those who are just setting up. Tetra recommends cycling a tank using Safe Start with only a few fish to begin with but as I have only 6, it was the ideal product. Note; I had fish and ammonia before I used Safe Start - the bacteria in the bottle need something to feed upon.
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on 5 August 2013
After seeing the positive reviews on here and researching on the internet I decided to give it a try. The bottle has a best before of 07/14 so felt confident using it (I wouldn't of ran the risk if the bottle was older than a couple of months).

Here's a breakdown of my start up of a 40 gallon tank:

1) The tank had been running for 4 days before to clear the water (I used a sand substrate so the water needed to clear)
2) Conditioned the water the day before to remove any bad chemicals in the tap water.
3) Shook the Tetra safe start bottle.
4) Emptied half the bottle into my Bio media (Ceramic noodles) and half in the water.
5) Went to the LFS and purchased 6 Cory catfish (these were the hardiest fish on our wanted list)
6) Went through the normal process of letting the bag sit on the top of the tank for 20 minutes, then adding some of my water to the bag then waiting another 20 minutes.
7) I'm on day 5 now and every water test has been perfect.
8) It says wait 2 weeks before a partial water change but I maybe brave and do it after 1 week.
9) The Cory catfish are looking good and will be relaxing in my new 40 gallon for the next 2 weeks or so before some new friends arrive.
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on 11 May 2013
speaking to a few people that have tropical tanks and the have said they have not bothered with this and their fish have not died and they fill their tanks up with TAP water whats going on. I am not taken the chance and this product reduced nitrate levels in 24 hours. i would still use it even with water change. my fish look good. i would buy this again
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on 15 April 2014
This product was recommended on a tropical fish breeding website. According to them, it prevents many common ailments in tropical fish. I have been using the product for over a year now and have not lost any fish due to water changes, filter cleaning or related tasks. It's really brilliant value for the price as replacing fish can be very costly.
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on 21 February 2014
Having just started up 2 tropical aquariums I was on the search for a product that made a difference to the inevitable spikes of ammonia and nitrite on a newly set up tank.
I had spent around £30 on different products trying to make sure things went as smoothly as possible to no avail.
After purchasing Tetra Safe Start within 1 day, ammonia and nitrite levels were at 0 ppm and have stayed there since I used the product over a week ago.
I have 3 fish in one tank and 4 in another. Everything is going very well so far, after having a few deaths previous to using Safe Start. Would very highly recommend.
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