Using Tetra Safe Start Without Fish

Features & Benefits
Tetra safe is a very simple treatment and it is easy to use. There’s not that much to say about it, as we’ve already covered what ammonia is and why it’s bad for fish. Although, there are a few key things that you need to know about using Tetra SafeStart water treatment.

As mentioned above, Tetra SafeStart is more or less a bottle of the same bacteria which is usually present in your tank’s biological filter. The problem is that these filters can be sterile for up to 40 days, meaning they’re lacking bacteria. As these bacteria need to grow and multiply, which can take a few weeks. During the first few weeks, no fish can be added to the tank during this period. This is where Tetra SafeStart water treatment becomes useful.

What It Does & How To Use It

Tetra SafeStart gives a kickstart that your biological filter needs. By simply adding the appropriate amount of treatment (refer to package instructions) to get things started. The new bacteria will start to infiltrate your biological filter and multiply rapidly. It’s like an instant addition of bacteria to your tank and the biological filter.

The obvious benefit of using Tetra Safestart is that you do not have to wait for 40 days before adding fish into your new tank. So by simply adding the appropriate amount of Tetra safestart into your tank, you should be ready to start adding fish into the tank. One single dose of Tetra safestart adds enough bacteria for the whole filter bed.

Not having to wait for the bacteria in a new tank to grow before adding fish cuts down on a lot of wasting around hassle too. The bacteria contained in tetra safestart starts working immediately upon entry to break down ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. A 1.69 ounce bottle of Tetra SafeStart is enough to get you going for a 15 gallon tank. There’s also a 3.98 ounce and 8.45 ounce bottle, which are good if you have a 30 gallon or 70 gallon tank.


  • Immediately adds the beneficial bacteria needed for a new aquarium
  • Helps establish your filter immediately
  • Starts breaking down ammonia and nitrites fast
  • Allows you to add fish into a new tank without needing to establish the filter or cycle the tank
  • Easy to use
  • Extremely effective


  • Can cause the aquariums water to be sudsy for a few days
  • Can make the tanks water a little cloudy

Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate & Your Aquarium

As previously mentioned, the problem with newly established aquariums is that they don’t have enough beneficial bacteria present to adequately handle the build-up of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

Fish waste gives off ammonia, something which is very deadly for fish, even in very small quantities. Well established fish tanks are full of beneficial bacteria which breaks ammonia down into nitrite and then into nitrate, then eventually into harmless nitrogen.

A biological filter that’s been left to grow bacteria is a great way to get rid of this stuff, however, if the filter is new and the bacteria haven’t had time to establish, you can have a problem. New tanks need to be cycled, meaning that you’ll need to wait a few weeks for the bacteria to build up before adding fish.

There needs to be bacteria already present before adding fish into the tank. Without a buildup of healthy bacteria, ammonia will accumulate, untreated, quickly killing your new fish.

Tetra Safestart Tips:

  • Don’t do any water changes for two weeks.
  • If the ammonia starts rising for no apparent reason within this time period you can do a water change to lower the ammonia levels.
  • Keeping Your Fish fish tank cycled
  • After the second week, you can gradually add fish, although don’t add 10 at a time.
  • When doing the first water change the ammonia will go up, as there is ammonia in tap water, but you shouldn’t worry about this too much as the levels should quickly go back to normal within around 12 hours.
  • Don’t worry if your tank’s water starts to become cloudy as the water will clear within two to three days or a week at the most.
  • Seeing cloudy water in a new tank while it’s at the beginning of its Nitrogen cycling is completely normal and means that different bacteria are establishing their hierarchy.


Tetra SafeStart Water Treatment is more or less a little bottle of liquid filled with the beneficial bacteria needed to get rid of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

The bottom line is that ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate shouldn’t be present in an aquarium, even in small amounts. Rather than waiting for your biological filter to establish itself and for bacteria to grow, a water treatment like tetra safestart can help immediately.

Fishkeeping is a hobby that needs lots of patience. Whether you choose to go natural or use Tetra Safestart when starting a new tank, you’ll have to wait it out for a while.