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Stability By Seachem Product Review


Peterlock

STABILITY.jpg

With no shortage of Biological water treatments available - I've never really relied on them.

The reason being is there's really no true shortcut to a fully cycled aquarium - you have to wait and let nature take it's course.

In the past I've tried products like Cycle by Nutrafin and Easy start by Tetra but in most cases these products were used in setting up fast quarantine and hospital tanks.

Most of these products -want you to use them continuously which doesn't make sense to me.

If you have a fully cycled tank why would keep adding new strains of bacteria to already established water?

Well, I think because some manufacturers want you too keep coming back for more and the price of admission isn't cheap.

Cycle at around $22 for 16 ounces encourages you to dose your tank with 5 ml for every ten gallons once a week - and 10 ml for every ten gallons during water changes.

Nonsense.

This brings me to "Stability" by Seachem (one of my favorite companies)

But being partial to them and their product line doesn't mean I don't question or research as best I can when trying something new.

That said, I'm nursing a new 55, a 40 and 125. I had a bottle of Stability which I had bought on a what the heck basis - the 55 has fish in it, I seeded the filter but still had serious ammonia spikes.

Seachem claims that the bacteria used in competitive products are inherently unstable. And for the bacteria to survive it must live in the exact temperature, PH and other water parameters in which it was raised and colonized.

This makes perfect sense.

When you add this bacteria to your aquarium, it survives for a brief while - but then crashes and dies.

Stability on the other hand, has bacteria that can survive in almost any kind of water - fresh and salt and virtually any type of water conditions.

Seachem states the strain took a decade to develop. What sets it further apart from the competition is that it contains nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria which isn't the case for any other product of it's kind.

Seachem also states - other bacterial supplements form toxic hydrogen sulfide - something that can never happen with Stability.

With this said, I've dosed the 55 and 40 according to the directions which are 5 ml per 10 gallons on the first dose and a follow up of 5 ml per 20 gallons for 7 days.

What I've noticed - and noticed quickly, is that my water is clearly more stabilized.

Currently I show no ammonia on the API test or Seachem Ammonia Alert meter - it's been five days since the last dose and all of my readings are in the safe zone.

I don't use it for water changes - but having experienced the problems of adding fish to a non or partially cycled tank, I have not so fond memories of daily 50% -80% water changes for weeks..ugh.

Where Stability shines is in helping you protect your fish and stabilize the water, especially in helping to keep the primary fish killer - ammonia in check.

So for specific applications Stability is an excellent product.

It's harmless to fish and appears to deliver on it's promise. But as a weekly or even monthly addition to established tank maintenance I wouldn't suggest it.

To their Credit, Seachem says you can use it as an on going additive - but unlike other products they don't make it sound like you have to.

http://www.seachem.c.../Stability.html

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I am still highly dubious about any of these products and i still doubt that any of them actually work. Have read lab test reports from a professor of ichthyology who claims that they are all 'snake oils' and do not work. Anyhoo, have been digging a little deeper and this is one of the reports that i have found :)

Research conducted by Timothy A. Hovanec (formerly of Marineland Labs, now the founder of Dr. Tim’s Aquatics) has identified the correct combination of autotrophic bacteria performing the nitrogen cycle in our tanks are Nitrosomonas marina (converts ammonia to nitrite) and Nitrospira (converts nitrite to nitrate). Only two “bacterial additive” products contain these bacteria, Dr. Tim’s Aquatics “One and Only” and Tetra SafeStart. United Pet Group has purchased Marineland. In the process, Dr. Tim bought out Marineland Labs (the creator of BioSpira, which is no longer available), forming “Dr. Tim’s Aquatics”. United Pet Group also owns Tetra. Tetra has subsequently released Tetra Safe-Start, which appears to be BioSpira repackaged in a form that does not require constant refrigeration (just as One and Only does not require refrigeration). It may be that availability of actual functioning product, containing the correct combination of living bacteria, may remain limited to these two products due to patent restrictions. Dr. Tim and the former Marineland Labs (now Dr. Tim’s Aquatics) hold the patent and United Pet Group/Tetra received co-ownership via their purchase of Marineland.

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I can only relate my experience with Stability. I was doing a fish in cycle and changing water a lot to keep the ammonia down. The cycle didn't have a chance to kick in. I'd been at it for about 4 months and and kept testing positive for small amounts of ammonia. When I used Stability all parameters were at 0 within a week and stayed that way until I added a new fish a couple of months later. I used Stability again and parameters were at 0 within a couple of days. I've also used it after cleaning my canister filter. I don't think it produces an instant cycle, but it certainly helped to stabilise my water. I now always have a bottle at hand!

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I am still highly dubious about any of these products and i still doubt that any of them actually work. Have read lab test reports from a professor of ichthyology who claims that they are all 'snake oils' and do not work. Anyhoo, have been digging a little deeper and this is one of the reports that i have found :)

Research conducted by Timothy A. Hovanec (formerly of Marineland Labs, now the founder of Dr. Tim’s Aquatics) has identified the correct combination of autotrophic bacteria performing the nitrogen cycle in our tanks are Nitrosomonas marina (converts ammonia to nitrite) and Nitrospira (converts nitrite to nitrate). Only two “bacterial additive” products contain these bacteria, Dr. Tim’s Aquatics “One and Only” and Tetra SafeStart. United Pet Group has purchased Marineland. In the process, Dr. Tim bought out Marineland Labs (the creator of BioSpira, which is no longer available), forming “Dr. Tim’s Aquatics”. United Pet Group also owns Tetra. Tetra has subsequently released Tetra Safe-Start, which appears to be BioSpira repackaged in a form that does not require constant refrigeration (just as One and Only does not require refrigeration). It may be that availability of actual functioning product, containing the correct combination of living bacteria, may remain limited to these two products due to patent restrictions. Dr. Tim and the former Marineland Labs (now Dr. Tim’s Aquatics) hold the patent and United Pet Group/Tetra received co-ownership via their purchase of Marineland.

Agreed, I remain dubious too just like our past conversation about bogus flow rates on filters. However, I'll say this and use dog food as an example.

Most every major manufacturer employs Doctors, scientists, nutritionists and so on. I find them defending even the most atrocious foods with what boils down to slanted, self serving glowing reports, finding and conclusions.

With countless products you'll find that even the "independent" research from laboratories - are from labs these companies either own - or have a vested interest in.

Vitamins and supplements are notorious for this because they answer to no one - not even the FDA. Hence the on going debate in congress for tighter regulation.

A wonderful source of good information is consumerlabs.com - they recently discovered that Pet-Tabs an incredibly popular pet vitamin manufactured by Pfizer. Had after 30 years of US production sourced out manufacturing to India.

Levels of lead were found in Pet-tabs well into the toxic zone.

So from my perspective and I again share your raised eye brow at much of this research which I see as just so much marketing hype - to be highly suspect.

If I find more clout and integrity in findings I read when it comes from an independent source. A source with no product to sell - no financial gain to be directly or indirectly made as a result of the conclusions.

This is why the net is so great - and so bad.

It allows you research anything - but the time has to be invested to cross check, reference and dig as far under the surface as you can.

I do find positive information/research about products I intend to use - and more often than not I'm appalled at the findings.

Your Blue Oranda look so much like mine - did you steal my fish?

Edited by PeterD

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The Prof of ichthyology is/was a Moderator on badmans tropical fish. She didn't believe that a product can take the normal fishless cycle of a tank from 8-12 weeks down to a number of days so she tested a few. She found that that bio spira reduced cycling time by 3 weeks and that the old nutrafin cycle actually increased the time to 15 weeks. I know that research has changed alot since the original findings but there are still companies that use the term 'instant' in their headlines to sell these products.

It was thought the species associated with the conversion of ammonia into nitrite was Nitrosomonas europaea and that the species associated with the conversion of nitrite into nitrate were Nitrobacter, Nitrospina, and/or Nitrococcus. This belief was based upon the correct fact that these are the bacteria primarily responsible for maintaining the nitrogen cycle in soil. To this day, most bacterial additives (quick cycle products) available to aquarium hobbyist contain these bacteria. Unfortunately, it has been discovered that this is not the correct combination of bacteria that exists in our tanks. It’s no wonder that aquarist worldwide have come to the combined conclusion that these “quick cycle” products do not work. They (as in, the industry) are packaging bacteria that function in soil and selling it to us as something that works in water. It doesn’t.

Nitrifying bacteria only divide once every 12-20 hours, it can take a significant period of time for the bacteria population to catch up to the amount of ammonia being produced. From scratch, it can take up to 8 weeks for these bacteria to fully colonize a tank in sufficient quantity to eliminate ammonia and nitrite. Another issue is that nitrospira (the bacteria that converts nitrite into nitrate) cannot multiply in water that contains significant concentrations of ammonia. There is even evidence suggesting that existing populations of nitrospira become dormant when ammonia is present in high concentrations. So if you are cycling a tank, the nitrospira bacteria will not even begin to colonize until the Nitrosomonas marina bacteria population is sufficient in size to bring ammonia concentrations under control. If you experience an ammonia spike in an established tank, you can expect a subsequent nitrite spike, with the nitrite spike being a “double-whammy” as the nitrite oxidizing bacteria may have to wake up from dormancy, then increase in population to account for the abnormally high nitrite levels.

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Alistair, I agree with you in principle, and I have been skeptical of a lot of these products. BUT, at least with Nutrafin Cycle, the product speaks for itself. Recently, a friend of a friend asked me to help them while their cycle had crashed and had just entered the skyrocketing nitrite phase. After using Cycle for 4 days, the Cycle is now rock stable and has been so for over a week. We are still monitoring this.

I've also had personal experience with helping people on this forum with uncycled tanks or tanks where the cycle is damaged. At least with Nutrafin Cycle, this product works well enough in that almost all cases, things are fixed within a week. This time frame is reasonable to me, given the division rate of 18-20 hours.

Do you know when that mod/prof tested out these products? I think things really have changed in the last couple of years, as far as these products are concerned.

Peter, thanks for the review. I love Seachem's products, and the next time I need to test out one of these products, I will try stability.

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This is the kind of stuff your friend should be writing down :) We need data and we need it now ! The tests were 2007/8 and that was back in the day when bio spira was around $40 and had to be kept in the fridge at all times. Personally i have used stability in 2 different tanks and on both occassions had no noticeable results.

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I wished when I lost my cycle twice last year, I would have logged the progress when I used this stuff. GRR

It did help my cycle bump alot :)

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The nitrifying bacteria that we associate cycling aquaria with are aerobic, meaning they need oxygen to survive. So that being said a bottle of anysuch products would have to have a limited shelf life. After all the oxygen was consumed by the bacteria in the bottle it would perish and therefore be useless. Or am i missing something?

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Even if the bacteria is dead it will help as the water has nothing in it to begin with :thumb:

Sometimes this stuff works wonders, other times it just doesnt work at all :thumb:

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The nitrifying bacteria that we associate cycling aquaria with are aerobic, meaning they need oxygen to survive. So that being said a bottle of anysuch products would have to have a limited shelf life. After all the oxygen was consumed by the bacteria in the bottle it would perish and therefore be useless. Or am i missing something?

Many gram-negative bacteria, can sporulate, or form endospores, which allow them survive in harsh or unfavorable conditions for years. If the company is doing it right, this is the form that you will find the nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the bottle. They should last for a couple of years.

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Just wanted to add that I had a horrible time cycling my first tank, tried using Stress Zyme, it took 3 weeks for the first nitrites to appear and ammonia to be at safe levels! So for my 2nd tank, my 60g, I decided to give Stability a try- within a week ammonia was at 0! Nitrites are a bit of a pain still at 18 days but it certainly has sped up what seemed like an eternal process on my 20g tank!

I now always keep a bottle on hand and add 5ml per 20g after each big w/c. I can't guarantee it was Stability that made things easier on my other tank, but I definitely think it helped. So :thumb: from me to SeaChem.

Edited by KrystalPR

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