DrTim's Aquatics offers a variety of products to successfully start up and maintain aquariums of all types and sizes. This page provides a quick guide about our products and how to use them. For much more detailed information, please visit DrTim's information site.
Our products are divided into 4 general categories depending upon the type of aquarium or pond: freshwater, saltwater, reef and koi ponds/water gardens. Some common questions about which category of products to use are:
1) I have a brackish water tank which should I use?
If your water salinity is less than 10 ppt (1.007 specific gravity), use the freshwater version. If the water salinity is over 10 ppt, use the saltwater version of our products.
2) Saltwater or Reef products which one?
For most of our products, there is no difference between the saltwater and reef versions. We make the two versions because some stores/customers want products that are specifically labelled for reef aquaria. Two products where there are differences are First Defense and Eco-Balance.
Other questions involve what product to use and when and which products to use together. Here are some general recommendations depending on the situation:
3) I am just starting. What do I need and when do I use it?
Use AquaCleanse first to remove ammonia, chlorine and chloramines from your tap water (if you are using RO or DI water, you dont need to use AquaCleanse. After 15 minutes or so, add the One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (Click here for info about fishless cycling).
Add First Defense when you add your fish. These are all the products you should need to get your tank up and running and cycled. If your water turns cloudy and stays that way for more than a few days, you can use Clear-UP to solve that problem. Generally, do not use Waste-Away, Eco-Balance or NP-Active Pearls during the first 3 to 4 weeks of start-up.
4) Re-Fresh, Waste-Away, Eco-Balance can I use them together?
We recommend you not use these products at the same time (meaning add them to the tank on the same day). Get more information about using these products for attacking cyanobacteria here, or general maintenance here. But in general, you do not want to add them at the same time because it could result in too much bacteria in your tank, causing a bacteria bloom and a rapid decline in oxygen in your water.
For cyanobacteria, use Re-Fresh first, then Waste-Away (more information about treating cyanobacteria with Re-Fresh and Waste-Away here). For general maintenance, alternate between Waste-Away and Eco-Balance. Use one for one week and the other the next week, etc.
One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria prevents new tank syndrome by instantly working to establish a biofilter in newly set-up aquaria. Use One & Only to control ammonia and nitrite levels.
One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria has no sulfur or other offensive odors. Buy One & Only.
Sludge and organic busting beneficial bacteria will naturally dissolve the sludge and dirt that accumulates in an aquarium and prevent the build-up of debris when used on a regular basis. Also removes dissolved organics. Waste-Away is fast-acting and specially formulated to remove aquarium gunk, unclog gravel/coral beds and keep filter pads freely flowing longer. This results in better water flow, more oxygen and a healthier aquarium environment. Buy First Defense.
Revitalizes old, green/brown aquarium water. Re-Fresh is a potent combination of beneficial bacteria that work together to maintain clear water, clean aquarium surfaces and eliminate odors. Buy Re-Fresh.
Uses friendly probiotic bacteria as a natural way to restore and maintain a balanced aquarium environment that promotes beneficial bacteria, while helping to reduce the numbers of bad bacteria, and resulting in a clean and healthy aquarium. Buy Eco-Balance.
Eliminates common chemicals in tapwater that are toxic to fish and other aquarium creatures with no unpleasant odors. AquaCleanse destroys the chemical bonds that form ammonia, chlorine and chloramines, chemicals that can kill your fish if not eliminated. Use when setting up a new aquarium and doing large routine water changes. Buy AquaCleanse.
Clears cloudy, white water. Clear-UP is a 100% natural water clarifier consisting of beneficial bacteria, with the ability to 'floc' small particles from the aquarium water - without the use the harmful chemicals contained in other water clarifiers, such as alum (that contains aluminum) and polyacrylamide (a potentially toxic chemical). Buy Clear-UP.
A 100% certified biodegradable, natural polymer made in the USA that is pure with no fillers or chemicals. Pearls are a food source for beneficial bacteria that will remove nitrate and phosphate from the water as they grow, keeping these nutrients away from algae. Buy NP-Active Pearls.