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100ml TetraAqua bottle of SafeStart
Backview of 100ml TetraAqua bottle of SafeStart


SafeStart is a commercial bacteria seeding bottle by TetraAqua. It claims to enable the instant introduction of fish (in measured amounts) to a new aquarium and will inhibit new tank syndrome. This product claims to do this by adding a large amount of live Nitrospira bacteria that consume ammonia and nitrite.

The PR claims to reduce ammonia levels by up to x14 and nitrite levels by up to x10.

This product comes in a 100ml or 50ml plastic bottle with a twist cap, the bottle is not sealed. It contains a clear liquid with white particles which are the bacteria held in suspension.

The bottle has 10ml marked sections running down one side for ease of application.


The 100ml product costs around £8.50 (~US$17) and will treat a 120 Litres (31.7US G.) tank.


Tetra have confirmed in the Press that their product contains the living Nitrospira, Nitrosospira and Nitrosomonas bacteria.


This product has a relatively short life due to the live bacteria slowly dying. So check the date stamp on the base of the bottle. It should have at least 6–9 months of life left. It is said to only last one year from manufacture.

It also states it needs to be stored between 2-29°C (35.6-84.2°F) . We suggest you keep it in the refrigerator (not below 2°C (35.6°F) !) or at least in a cool dark place for maximum shelf-life. (It may even keep as long as the Marineland-Labs product - BIO-Spira if you do this).


This product was introduced to the world in 2006 and is based on a patent submitted in 2001 (EP1282688) which is based on the product BIO-Spira by Marineland Labs. This patent claims that other older bacteria seeding bottles were based on studies in 1977 on the wrong species of nitrifying bacteria (seemingly they used soil samples instead of aquarium samples!) and that their newly discovered species of Nitrospira significantly speeds up the cycling process.


  • If used alongside water conditioner Prime by Seachem then any leftover ammonia or nitrite (or metals) is rendered non-toxic for 24 hours without depriving the maturing nitrifying bacteria. This makes setting up a tank with aquatic animals within a day practical and safe.