any reason to add bacteria later down the road? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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any reason to add bacteria later down the road?

my tank is about 8 months old now and I still have some of the 2nd bottle of cycle left. I have been adding some here and there with waters changes just because I have it. I am sure there is plenty of bacteria in the substrate and filter. Is there any reason to add bacteria later down the road to a tank. Or is it not necessary. What do you guys do?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 08:54 AM
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Not necessary.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 03:14 PM
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Not needed. Nitrifying bacteria is not a real issue in a planted tank. They are present but not in huge amount as in a fish only tank. Plants use up a lot of ammonia needed by the bacteria also.

Anyway, Cycle product is pretty much useless even for cycling a new tank. Cycle contains nitro bacters and nitro somonas bacteria those were proven NOT to be the bacteria that do the nitrifying process. The real nitrifying bacteria is the nitro Spira. That's why the Biospira products have been a huge success in the market lately.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for answering.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 01:47 AM
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I disagree, I think it's great to add bacteria once a week for the general health of the tank.

I like to use Microbe Lift. I add 20mL of Special Blend and 10mL of Thera-P once a week to my 42 gallon tank. I turn my UV off for two days after adding it.

http://www.microbelift.com/newhomeaquarium.html







Despite what it says in the top pic, I still change 15 gallons of water every week... also good for the overall health of the tank.

I know most people will probably disagree with me but the best I can say is don't knock it until you've tried it.

http://www.microbelift.com/onlinesupport1.html
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 03:34 AM
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I see no use for that what so ever, waste of money....

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 03:39 AM
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It's your money. You should also look into an Eco-Aqualizer

But there is no need to add more. Every surface in the tank is going to be covered with bacteria one the tank gets established.

BTW I'm soon going to be selling some super pure freeze dried water if anyone is interested.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 03:41 AM
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I'm not knocking the product, I simply don't need it. Plants provide the bio filtering. Infact, we are always in short supply of nitrogen compounds (ammonia, nitrate). We need to dose nitrogen.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 06:31 AM
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Well, the way I look at it is an aquarium is a fish toilet, and the filtration system is basically a sewage treatment plant on a micro scale. It's a lot like adding bacteria to your septic tank (and that company makes septic tank bacteria btw)... it's not necessary, but very good for the overall health of the system.

I know you will never be convinced and will never try the product, but I'm happy with it.

BTW I don't believe this is anything like the "eco aqualizer," I would never buy that ridiculous thing. However before I had my RO system I did used to go to the store and buy distilled water for my tank.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 10:05 AM
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Warning: Do not buy Rex's super freeze dried water! Contrary to what he states, it is not correctly freeze dried...

Just wanted to make sure nobody was suckered into it.

Now, the super freeze dried water that *I* sell is the real thing! It has been put through the most vigorous tests and it's been proven that fish and plants live well in it.


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo
I'm not knocking the product, I simply don't need it. Plants provide the bio filtering. Infact, we are always in short supply of nitrogen compounds (ammonia, nitrate). We need to dose nitrogen.
No bacteria can eliminate Nitrate unless it is anaerobic bacteria, and it can only work in a reducing environment, that is, in water with no oxygen in it (negative ORP). Aquarium water can't be like this or all the fish will die! They do make nitrate filters that work with a low flow rate so such an environment can be created, but these can be on the expensive side. They do work very well however - I have one.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 02:21 PM
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
No bacteria can eliminate Nitrate unless it is anaerobic bacteria, and it can only work in a reducing environment, that is, in water with no oxygen in it (negative ORP). Aquarium water can't be like this or all the fish will die! They do make nitrate filters that work with a low flow rate so such an environment can be created, but these can be on the expensive side. They do work very well however - I have one.
Sorry, I poorly stated my point. I am well aware of the nitrogen cycle and that nitrates are not further oxidized by bacteria...or as you mentioned, in the reverse process of reduction.

The point was extra bacteria to a planted tank is not needed because the biological filtration is highly efficient. Plants and their bacteria coating are already converting/uptaking all the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate in the first place so much so there is actually a shortage of nitrogen. We must dose it. If there is a shortage why do I need to increase the efficiency of the biological filtration even further? That would be counterintuitive. That's why I have no use to add more bacteria. Just my 2 cents.

BTW, I never said bacteria removed nitrates.

Last edited by Rolo; 11-10-2004 at 06:03 PM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo
Plants and their bacteria coating are already converting/uptaking all the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate in the first place so much so there is actually a shortage of nitrogen. We must dose it. If there is a shortage why do I need to increase the efficiency of the biological filtration even further? That would be counterintuitive. That's why I have no use to add more bacteria.
But that's not the main point of adding a product like Microbe-Lift. If you think ammonia/nitrite/nitrate are the only things you want to remove from your water you're wrong! It's not marketed as being mainly for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, but rather for breaking down the many different types of dissolved organics, diatoms, phosphates in various forms, and other pathogens that build up in the tank over time (mainly from fish poop and uneaten food). It also helps prevent bacterial infections from more harmful bacteria, since dosing helps outnumber and outcompete them.

I have big messy goldfish. But I appreciate them as much as reefers appreciate their reefs. My gravel doesn't have any visible sludge, and my water stays so clear it looks like the fish are floating. My fish have also never had any parasites or sickness. I'm not saying I attribute this 100% to Microbe Lift, but again I think adding it helps the overall health of the tank.

The breakdown of dissolved organics by bacteria is pretty well documented science, unlike "water ionization chambers" like that Eco Aqualizer thing.

Here's my tank this morning:




I like equipment. Here's underneath the tank on the left:



The canister is the Eheim 2128 Thermofilter. Water goes from the tank to that. An airline taps into the Eheim's output line and feeds small amounts of water to the Aqua-Medic Nitratreductor 400 (which is sitting next to the Eheim) through the yellow Vario dosing pump. This is the anaerobic bacterial Nitrate Filter I mentioned. It works very well... my tank is overstocked (Goldfish, Plecos, Loaches, Otos, Siamese Algae Eaters, Snails) and Nitrates have never been above 5-10 ppm since I hooked it up.

The Eheim's output goes to an 18W UV TurboTwist which is mounted next to the Vario pump.


Now here's the right side underneath:



The output from the TurboTwist feeds an Aqua-Medic CO2 Reactor 1000. Since there is a lot of feeding and tubing involved, the water flow needs boosted. Above the Aqua-Medic CO2 Reactor 1000, I have mounted a Marineland Maxi-Jet 1200 Powerhead. The water finally returns to the tank from below the CO2 Reactor 1000.


Here's my controllers:



On top is an American Marine pH monitor. If pH falls below 6.9, CO2 is shut off. So far this has never happened. I recalibrate once a month and I hardly ever have to adjust it.

Underneath is the controller hooked up to a redox probe inside the Nitrate filter. In order for the anaerobic bacteria to effectively reduce Nitrate, the redox of the water must be negative, between -50 to -200. If it drops below -300, the bacteria will become septic and start to sulfate, producing hydrogen sulfide. It's not that dangerous though, because as soon as hydrogen sulfide hits oxygen rich water, it turns to sulfate which is relatively harmless. The controller turns the Vario dosing pump on when the redox falls below -200. If the redox rises above -200, the controller turns the Vario dosing pump off. This keeps the redox around -200 all the time. The Nitrate Filter has its own internal pump that keeps all the water inside circulating from top to bottom so no "dead spots" form.


Finally here's the tank thermostat hooked up to the Eheim canister:




The tank is a 42 gallon hex. I change 15 gallons of water once a week, then add Microbe Lift and turn the UV filter off for 2 days afterwards. My dissolved oxygen is around 7.5 ppm, and my phosphates are on the low end of the scale. I feed frozen + pellets every other day.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 08:17 PM
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Hey, if you feel that you need it there is no way I will stop you. I can see with overstocking a relatively small tank with messy goldfish that this product can be beneficial. I'm not doubting either that it doesn't work at breaking down mulm, organics, etc.

When I was a fish-only person back then I used similar products with similar functions for years. But by experiece I'm an ardent believer that large water changes are the single, most effective way to keep water healthy for fish. The products I used were as added as supplements. But now moving to fully planted with less fish I can't justify using them again. Large water changes suffice and my fish are perfectly healthy. Anyway, I commend you efforts.
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