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Filter Boosters...Do they work?


2 Apr 2009
South Shields, Tyne and Wear
Hi Everyone,

Are filter boosters/starters any good and if so which product would you recommend.

I'm using ADA aquasoil which leaches ammonia so I thought using a booster might help.

Thanks in advance

I don't use any of these products and I never have a problem cycling a tank or filter. I conclude therefore that these products are generally either irretrievably pointless (like pH Up/Down) or downright redundant (like "aquarium salt"). The best "booster" one can give to a new tank/filter is to have that tank filled with healthy plants. Bacterial colonies will build at more or less the same rate whether a booster is used or not. The oxygenation of the water column coupled with adequate levels of dissolved organic carbon will increase productivity 1000X more than any "booster". :crazy:

Adding Starter/Booster products certainly don't hurt, but their effectiveness is questionable. I've seen lots of vendor claims but very little data to back the claims up. See a similar question on another thread. The Best way of cycling a tank

Cichlid keepers who have to stock their tanks quite densely (with fish, that is) from the start often seem to use (and like) Tetra Safestart. I've no idea if it is any good. There are boosters and boosters - some add a waste product for the filter to start working on whereas others add the bacteria that filters use to deal with the waste. The latter seem to be the preferred type but you do have to take a leap of faith and plonk your fish so their waste feeds the bacteria rather than have it die off.
Thanks for that guys.

I read that thread Ceg, very helpful so I won't be using any so called "boosters", I think the Aquasoil/brighty K and Easycarbo will do the job just fine and I'll be doing 50% daily water changes for the first 2 weeks.

+1 on the Tetra Safestart. I have used both the marine as well as the Freshwater ones. It doesnt cycle the tank instantly but you could safely add fish in 2-3 days.
Dry boosters like Bacter 100, Bacter Ball etc works slower but last longer.
The liquid stuffs like Tetra Safestart, JBL Denitrol, ADA Green Bacter act quicker, but because of the frequent water changes at the beginning you need to repeat the doses.

i used all of them and they helps. helps on quick start and helps when you maintain your filters, change too much water etc.

On my nano tank i add Green Bacter after every water change. (2 drop for the 20 liter / week). This keep my water crystal clear (remove greenish colour).

you can live withouht these products for sure. but you need to wait more to put fishes and inverts in.
and if you have a smaller filter like on my nano tank there harder to keep the balance. so better to strength the bacterial colony timely.
If you are talking about filter bacteria boosters, the only one I would ever recommend is 'Soll Bactinettes'.
Its a one use thing, and is suitable for up to 100l I believe, but £5.50 per pot. It comes refigerated so your lfs may have it.
It is called Bio Spira in the USA and people claim that it is the ONLY one that will work.