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A New Look at Cycling


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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A New Look at Cycling - Dr. Tim's One and Only
Why is it
important to
"cycle" your
aquarium before
you put anything
live in it?
A. The nitrogen cycle of an aquarium is a natural chain of events resulting in the colonization of various types of nitrifying bacteria, each with their own job to do. Without a strong, healthy biological filter, an aquarium will never be able to support a healthy population of fish and invertebrates.
The nitrogen cycling process that all new aquarium setups go through when they first start is what leads to the birth of the aquarium's biological filtration. From start to finish, this cycle usually takes around 30 to 45 days to complete. If you don't want to wait around for nature to create this needed end result bacteria, consider bacterial additives. Dr. Tim's One and Only jump starts the cycling process, quickly establishing a functioning biological filter in your aquarium and allowing you to immediately add fish.

Dr. Tim's One and Only is available for freshwater and for saltwater aquariums and is designed to quickly establish a biofilter in your newly set up aquarium, so that your fish do not experience New Tank Syndrome (NTS). NTS occurs when the water contains high levels of ammonia and nitrite and there are no beneficial bacteria to process it, resulting in fish loss. One and Only contains species of ammonia- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria that prefer to live in the aquarium environment. One and Only will maintain ammonia and nitrite below toxic concentrations and establish a fully functioning biological filter in much less time than a similar but non-dosed aquarium.

Add One and Only after the aquarium has been set up. Be sure the water has reached the proper temperature and has been dechlorinated. Start the filter and make sure it is functioning, and then add One & Only. Add fish within 24 hours of adding One and Only nitrifying bacteria.

Keep in mind that some basic rules about new aquariums will still apply, but One & Only will dramatically reduce the time it takes to cycle your aquarium. After initial dosing, you will be able to safely add one medium-sized fish per gallon. You might detect a little ammonia or nitrite for a day or so but this will quickly disappear. You can then add more fish to the aquarium.


Dr. Timothy A. Hovanec, creator of Dr. Tim's One and Only, was the Chief Science Officer at Marineland. Dr. Hovanec earned his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology and holds U.S. and foreign patents for his work with previously unknown nitrifying bacteria and the role they play in tropical fish aquariums.
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