Hi Unicorn ;-)
Over the last 21 years or so, I've seen many "Bio Spira" such as this one from Marineland Labs (I think its this one) and they may work but could be problematic if misused, which means that we, the humans, make mistakes, even when we have experience (I do mistakes and it's been 21 years now with marine tanks:shhh::tongue1::scratchch) and the wrong dose is so easy to be added as you don't see or can measure (at least most of us do not have the needed equipment for that at home nor do many of us have the knowledge to use it or let alone have the money to buy it) if the system is in need of such bacteria or not and one of the worst things to have in a system, is a biological filter failure because bacteria started to die by the millions because simply they do not have enough food to sustain them, or simply because they multiplied so much, consumed whatever was available as food source and oxygen that know either by lack of food and oxygen either by the fact that their short lives (short when compared with other life spans) ended, they will decompose and release again whatever they took, and this at a rate that the remaining population of bacteria simply does not cope with, the skimmer skims like crazy and you have a tank crash. This kind of thing happens frequently when sugar sources such as alcohols (Vodka for instance ) are added. People don't see the bacteria nor do they see if the amount of food for bacteria is high or low, so they add this coffee spoon of Vodka convinced that this will boost the bio filter, but do not realise the possible aftermath of this, which can bee a very rapid growth of the bacteria population in a few hours time which will form bacteria film (the picture and case in the link are not exactly the same as it occurs in marine tanks, but its just for you to have an idea) all over, with consequent rapid depletion of the available foods and oxygen, and rapid die-off of a major part of the bacteria population with consequent release of all the nasty stuff taken by them and consequent tank crash, etc.... There has to be a balance, so the system has to develop what it really needs to perform adequate biological filtering by itself and in direct function of what it houses, and this takes time, natural adjustment, patience. Think of it as a work of art, a sculpture, a living sculpture or diorama of the reef, or even sa reef garden if you prefer that way, that you build bit by bit, and stop to look at in its different stages, and in no time you will have a nice piece of ocean at home. Don't rush and have look here in these two excellent examples Tank Girl (
One last thing, liquids such as Bio Spira or Vodka are good to produce bacteria film to feed some bacteria feeding sea stars such as the blue Linkia laevigata. This is done in a small separate tank in which salt-water (artificial or natural) is motioned lightly and aerated. You can dip in some acrylic plates onto which bacteria film will develop, and some time later when you pick the plates you will feel a slimy touch to your fingers, that's bacteria film, so you place the plate into the main tank, "et voil?, bacteria film "? la carte pour mademoiselle" sea star)- Its not a guarantee so far, needs more developing and understanding about the biology and nutritional needs of the potential receivers, but it works to some extent (even if you have to hand pick the animal and put it on top of the plate for that matter) and helps doing the difference, improve conditions.
The best thing I have found that works when setting up a tank and getting it to cycle is patience. Time and research are the best things for a cycling tank. Get the best equipment you can now and start your tank off right!
dont add any chemicals to your setup it could probably do more harm than good.take the time to cycle correctly and everything will work out for you.what kind of filtration are u using for your tank.how much rock and sand are u using.what type of tests did u use to come up with those parameters.what type of salt and at what temp are u keeping it while it cycles.do u have lights and what kind are they.have u left them on or off during cycle.we need all the info to help u out