Jungle Start Zyme...what's really in it? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Jungle Start Zyme...what's really in it?

They sell this product at every Walmart. I looked briefly at the companies website but was unable to identify what bacteria is actually in it. Has anyone used this product? And, is anyone able to identify what is actually in it?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 07:58 AM
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I tried it once......didn't work very well


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 05:44 PM
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Water and dead bacteria? lol IDK it didn't work very well at all any of the times i tried it. make sure you check the date on the bottle before the purchase at least.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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I bought some awhile ago when I started my tank and just had a few fish in my 20g. None of the fish ever died during cycling but, as nobody seems to know what bacteria is actually in it. So if it helped, no clue...

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 06:05 PM
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Many years ago scientists thought they knew which bacteria were the important species in the nitrogen cycle.
These bacteria entered a dormant phase, and were easily packaged and shipped. They could even be carefully dried and incorporated on things like bio wheels and in dry flakes of barley.

The companies also found that there were other species, perhaps not directly associated with the nitrogen cycle, but always seemed to be present in the filter, and these also could be packaged and shipped.

Some of the bacteria in these old packages are:
Nitrosomonas europa (This one is in sea water tanks, but does not play a big role in fresh water tanks)
Nitrobacter winogradsky
'faculative enzymes' (I have yet to figure out what that is!)
Heterotrophic bacteria (A group that is all around us, and can cause cloudy water, they reproduce so fast. Good bacteria, but not N-cycle bacteria. They will find the tank even if you do not add them.)

About 15 years ago a scientist working at Marineland actually identified the real species of bacteria that are responsible for changing the NO2 into NO3. A few years after that he identified the ammonia removing species. These were not so easily packaged, they do not enter a resting, dormant or spore stage. They need a certain minimum of oxygen and water to stay alive, and the right temperature.
Marineland started selling this as Bio Spira. Different formulas for fresh and salt water.

http://aem.asm.org/content/64/1/258.full
http://aem.asm.org/content/67/12/579...7-cdd9432ffd22

Other companies acquired the patent and started selling it, too. The scientist who figured it out left Marineland and is also selling his line of aquarium products.

Bio Spira is still available, but only the salt water version.
Fresh water versions include:
Tetra Safe Start
Dr. Tim's One and Only
Microbe Lift's Nite Out II

There may be others. The most direct way to tell is to read the ingredients. If it includes Nitrospira, that is the right stuff. If it says a bunch of stuff about 'helper bacteria', enzymes or Nitrosomonas or even worse Nitrobacter anything, this is the wrong product for the nitrogen cycle.
Another way to tell is to read the instructions:
If the package says you need to keep adding it, it is the wrong species. The wrong species do die out, so if you really wanted them you would have to keep adding them.
But the right species establish themselves on the surfaces in the filter and elsewhere and keep on reproducing. The only time you need to add them is if you add more fish, or something happens to the bacteria like getting killed by toxins.

Even if you do not add them from a bottle, these bacteria will find the tank. They are all around us, living in the soil, and pretty much any slightly damp surface.
Tanks that used the original (wrong species) would eventually cycle because the right bacteria would get going in there. Tanks that did not have any bacteria in a bottle added, right or wrong species would eventually cycle. Both of these set ups are using the fish-in cycle. Using fish as the supplier of ammonia, and moderating the level to keep the bacteria growing while not killing the fish. This method takes 6-8 weeks whether you use the wrong bacteria or no added bacteria. (Doesn't this suggest the wrong bacteria are not doing what they say it is supposed to do?)

The fishless cycle will cycle the tank as fast as 3 weeks even if you start with no bacteria. The right bacteria will find the tank and grow when conditions are right. It will also take 3 weeks if you add the wrong species. (See, the wrong species are not needed for nitrogen cycle.)

There are many other species of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in a mature aquarium. Mostly they decompose organic matter like fish waste, dead plant parts and fallen food. There are other species that do other things. If you are buying a bacteria product for these other purposes, do your research and find the best supplier of the right species or blend to do what you want. Remember, though, that microorganisms are all around us, and if you have the patience they will usually find the tank without you having to add stuff from a bottle.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 07:58 AM
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrimpaholic View Post
They sell this product at every Walmart. I looked briefly at the companies website but was unable to identify what bacteria is actually in it. Has anyone used this product? And, is anyone able to identify what is actually in it?

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I used this product twice I did not notice any difference in water.
using the Jungle Start Right seems to work quite well with water changes, in my 55 and 20, 30 gallon tanks.

Bob
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
There may be others. The most direct way to tell is to read the ingredients. If it includes Nitrospira, that is the right stuff. If it says a bunch of stuff about 'helper bacteria', enzymes or Nitrosomonas or even worse Nitrobacter anything, this is the wrong product for the nitrogen cycle.
My department actually does a lot of work regarding nitrification (mostly bioremediation), and Nitrobacter is still considered a predominant player in addition to Nitrospira

Nitrobacter and Nitrospira genera as representatives of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria: detection, quantification and growth along the lower Seine River

The papers you referenced are from 1998 and 2001, and even then, mine is from 2005, so they are quite outdated. There has been significant improvements in the past few years with regards to DNA sequencing, so we are getting better answers now than from nearly 20 years ago. That being said however, bacterial biofilms are still extremely complicated and difficult to understand.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 03:54 AM
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There are quite a few microorganisms, not all of them bacteria, that live in decomposing matter.
Different species thrive in different levels of ammonia and nitrite, so a species that works well in a sewage plant is not going to work so great in an aquarium.
The species of ammonia oxidizing organisms that they thought they had IDed shortly after they found out about Nitrospira species may not be the big players even in aquariums.

Votes are still out.

However, I stand by my statement that at the current time, the best way to find anything like the correct bacteria to help out the cycle in a fresh water aquarium is to look for Nitrospira species in the ingredients.
There will be a blend of organisms in there, but they will be the right ones.
Get the product from a reputable store, or on line with the correct packaging (heat pack for winter shipping in freezing climates, cool pack for summer) because the correct species of bacteria are sensitive to overheating and to freezing.

If you have the time, then doing the fishless cycle is the best way to get as large a population of the right bacteria as you need, and no harm to fish.
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