Does API Quick Start Work?

Are you planning to start a new aquarium or add new fish to an existing one? Or maybe your ammonia levels are just scarily high, and you need to mitigate as fast as possible.

In these cases, you may be looking for a quick, affordable aquarium water conditioner that will speed up and enhance your tank’s nitrogen cycle.

Does API Quick Start work to speed the water cycle? In short, yes, API Quick Start will significantly speed up your tank’s water filter cycle. Be aware, however, that API Quick Start doesn’t work overnight and that you do have to use it correctly to get the desired results.

If you want to learn more about using this product, keep reading.


What Does API Quick Start Do?

API Quick Start is a fantastic option when your ammonia levels are too high; you want to introduce new fish to an existing tank or start a new tank. It is also beneficial for regular maintenance of the ammonia and nitrate in your tank.

API Quick Start immediately starts the filtering cycle for your aquarium, nitrifying bacteria and limiting toxic ammonia. While this cycle naturally takes up to six weeks, the API Quick Start can generally reduce the cycle time to about two weeks.

When Should You Use API Quick Start?

API Quick Start is best used for the following three occasions:

  • When starting a new aquarium
  • After water or filter changes
  • When adding new fish to an existing aquarium

In each of these instances, you may be eager to move forward in the process and unable or unwilling to wait the usual six weeks. In those cases, API Quick Start would be the perfect means to reduce your waiting time significantly.

Though you cannot rely on API Quick Start to work immediately, reducing your wait time by four weeks is worth the effort to apply the product.

How to Use API Quick Start

When using API Quick Start, don’t forget that you cannot expect it to work immediately. It would be best if you were patient before adding your fish. It is best to use API Quick Start solely as a means of speeding your process up a bit.

You will also want to use a dechlorinator like such as Seachem Prime before putting API Quick Start in since this product only contains bacteria and not a dechlorinating property.

Also, you will want to shake very well before applying it to your tank because of the bacteria in the bottle.

API Quick Start Dosage Requirements

Technically, you could use an entire bottle of API Quick Start, and the results would only be positive. However, it is beneficial bacteria you are adding to your aquarium water, so the more, the merrier.

API itself, however, recommends a dosage of two teaspoons (or 10mL) per every ten gallons (or 38L). However, we would recommend going over that dosage because it helps your water. Start with at least double the recommended dosage.

For saltwater tanks, quadruple the recommended dosage above for best results.

Related: Can you add too much bacteria to a fish tank?

How Often Do You Need to Add It?

It would be best to use it every time you plan to introduce new fish or start a new aquarium. But for simple general maintenance, API Quick Start can be used either every two weeks or even monthly in your tank.

Don’t forget it can also be helpful in situations when:

  • Excess ammonia levels are present
  • Changing tank water
  • Changing filter media
  • After medicating fish

How Long Do You Need to Wait?

Though the bottle claims you can add fish instantly after applying the API Quick Start to your aquarium, it is best practice to wait at least ten days and up to two weeks before adding fish. The process does begin immediately, but ammonia levels will not be in the preferred range until after the 10-14 day waiting period.

If you add fish to a new aquarium immediately after applying API Quick Start, there are no guarantee the ammonia or nitrate levels will be healthy yet. The same is also true when adding new fish to an existing aquarium.

Can You Overdose API Quick Start?

The more API Quick Start, the better. It is not possible to overdose on this product, and it will only provide benefits for the tank, so be liberal with your application of the liquid.

It is preferable to double the recommended dosage. The more healthy bacteria in your water, the more beneficial your fish, will be.

Even if you were to pour an entire bottle of API Quick Start into the aquarium, it would not harm the water or cause an overdose of any kind.

However, it is essential to remember your de-chlorinator when applying API Quick Start because the two must work in conjunction for the water cycle to be truly complete.

Does API Quick Start Dechlorinate Water?

No, API Quick Start will not dechlorinate your water, so it is imperative to use a dechlorinator when using it. Because the API Quick Start does not do any dechlorination whatsoever, you will need to supplement this process with a different product.


Though API Quick Start claims to work immediately, it is best not to use the aquarium tank right away. In general, the water cycle process will be sped up from six weeks to two weeks with your API Quick Start.

Also, don’t forget to accompany your API Quick Start with a dechlorinator that will successfully dechlorinate your tank water while it is being conditioned and filtered.

API Quick Start is a great antidote and prescription for the issue if you find yourself running into ammonia issues in your tank often. But it may be wise to find the root of the problem.

What could be causing your ammonia spikes? And how can you lower them quickly and efficiently? You can learn more about these topics and how to get rid of ammonia in a fish tank and keep your fish happy and healthy in the future.

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