Balanced nutrient source for establishing and maintaining biological filtration in marine aquaria

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• Formulated specifically for marine aquaria.

Used in conjunction with MicrōBacter7, establishes and develops biological filtration by providing critical nutrients in specific forms and ratios.

(Note: Not designed to be used with MicrōBacterStart XLM or MicrōBacterClean, use QuikCycl for those products, instead.)

• Ethical and effective; encourages microbial proliferation without the use of poor nutrient sources, such as fish food (rich in refractory organic compounds) and so-called “starter fish”.

• Indirectly benefits corals and other suspension-feeding invertebrates by encouraging reproduction of bacterioplankton (an important food source for those organisms).

• Helps prevent bleaching in zooxanthellate corals.

• Encourages polyp-expansion in corals, anemones, and their allies.

• Formulated by a marine scientist.



250-, 500-ml, 2-, 20-L

Technical Background

Establishing viable biological filtration in a new aquarium set up requires that the appropriate microorganisms are added in the presence of specific nutrients in the proper ratios.  Long-term maintenance of the biological filtration system requires that these nutrients remain available to the microorganisms. The use of “starter fish” and fish food in such systems to act as a source of nutrients is a poor practice: it places the fish at risk of being poisoned by toxic nutrient concentrations that are typical in immature systems; it creates potential future problems for the aquarist if the species employed has a natural aggressive nature, terrorizing new inhabitants, and proves difficult or impossible to remove without extracting most, or possibly all, of the decorations/infrastructure from the tank; it pollutes the system with large molecular weight particulate and dissolved organic material that can lead to proliferation of cyanobacteria and/or filamentous algae. The use of FaStart-M provides a “clean alternative solution” to all of these issues, and enables beneficial microorganisms to rapidly populate an aquarium system to establish biological filtration, then maintains the population through periods of changing bioload to ensure stable rates of nutrient uptake. When aquarium nutrient concentrations are maintained at constant values and within the appropriate respective ranges, inhabitants exhibit better overall health and coloration.

Does not require refrigeration. Maintained free of contaminants, remains viable indefinitely. Not impacted by temporary freezing.

Instructions and Guidelines

Shake product well before each use. Though FaStart-M may be used in any established marine aquarium, it is intended for use in systems dosed with MicrōBacter7. Greatest stability of biological filtration capacity will be achieved when using these two solutions in conjunction, as directed below. Grossly overdosing FaStart-M will not significantly increase the effectiveness of the product, nor the rate at which it enacts changes in aquaria; in fact, it may have a deleterious effect on water quality if not used as directed. Marine aquaria employing effective protein skimming will achieve maximum rate of nutrient export via extraction of bacterioplankton biomass, as opposed to systems that are not skimmed. Do not attempt to maintain an aquarium containing zooxanthellate organisms completely free of detectable nitrate and phosphate; doing so is highly likely to result in loss of life of those organisms. Water temperature, salinity, pH, and alkalinity must be within appropriate ranges prior to adding live microorganisms to aquarium.

Establishing biological filtration in new aquaria: Add 5 ml (1 capful on 250- and 500-ml bottles; 1/2-capful on 2L bottle) FaStart-M per 20 US-gallons (76 L) of aquarium water; allow to circulate in system for at least one hour. Using accurate test kits, determine concentrations of ammonia, nitrate, and phosphate; record results. Begin adding MicrōBacter7 as directed on that product’s label, dosing daily. Re-test nutrient concentrations daily for the first two weeks of use. When ammonia concentration is below detection level of test kit and nitrate concentration is below 3 ppm, then aquarium is cycled.

Dose with FaStart-M as necessary to maintain nitrate and phosphate within a range of 3 - 5 ppm and 0.01 - 0.03 ppm, respectively. Daily dosing will encourage the most stable concentration of available nutrients in any aquarium system. Begin with 5 ml per 100 US-gallons (378.5 L) of aquarium water, and adjust dosage as nutrient concentrations dictate. When decreasing the aquarium bioload, increase normal dosage by 10%, and resume normal dosage once nutrient concentrations stabilize within desired ranges. Caution: Keep out of reach of children. Not for human consumption.


Purified water, proprietary blend of USP- and ACS-grade phosphate, nitrogen, and organic carbon sources.





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