When it comes to the variety of DrTim’s Aquatics products, some can be used together but sometimes they should not be mixed. I am going to sort this out in a quick fashion for you.
One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria — before adding One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria, the water must be free of chlorine and chloramines so use AquaCleanse or First Defense to accomplish this. Make sure to turn off devices such as the protein skimmer and UV-sterilizer, and remove any filter socks for 48 hours after adding One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria. Do not add Waste-Away, Re-Fresh or Eco-Balance during the first 2 weeks of adding One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria.
AquaCleanse — can be used when first filling your aquarium and when doing large water changes (over 50%). While AquaCleanse can be used to temporarily control ammonia in emergencies, it is much better in the long run to use One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria to control ammonia. AquaCleanse is compatible with all our products as long as you do not extremely overdose the product.
First Defense — should be used when you are adding fish to your tank and doing small water changes (less than 50%). It is also great to add to dip solutions and when accumulating your fish. Do not add First Defense on the same day you add Waste-Away, Eco-Balance or Clear-UP, as the vitamins in First Defense will strongly stimulate the growth of the bacteria in these products.
Clear-UP — is used to naturally clarify aquarium water that is cloudy due to inorganic particulate material like fine sand or coral dust (rather than due to a bacterial bloom). Do not use First Defense, Eco-Balance or Waste-Away on the same day you add Clear-UP.
Re-Fresh — should always be used by itself. Do not add any other products (ours or others) for 24 hours after dosing with Re-Fresh. When trying to get rid of algae or cyanobacteria, it is best to add Re-Fresh, wait 48 hours and add another dose, wait another 48 hours and add a third dose. Turn your skimmer and UV off for at least 24 hours after dosing Re-Fresh. After the third dose, wait 48 hours and start adding Waste-Away per the instructions below.
Eco-Balance — should also be added alone. Do not add First Defense, Clear-UP or Waste-Away on the same day you add Eco-Balance. If this is the first time dosing your tank with Eco-Balance or you have not added it for several months, start with a low dose (1/4 to ½ the normal dose). Regular additions of Eco-Balance are best – every 2 to 4 weeks depending on the fish and coral load in your tank.
Waste-Away — another product to use by itself. Do not add First Defense, Clear-UP or Eco-Balance on the same day you add Waste-Away. Dose these products no sooner than 48 hours after adding Waste-Away to the tank. If this is the first time dosing your tank with Waste-Away or you have not added it for several months, start with a low dose (1/4 to ½ the normal dose). If the water turns cloudy, do not use more until the water clears. For best results, turn your UV and skimmer off for 12 to 24 hours after dosing Waste-Away, but at the first signs of cloudiness, turn you skimmer back on immediately. Regular additions of Waste-Away are best – even every week depending on the fish and coral load in your tank.