Biofilm Impact Upon Algae & Plant Health - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 07:32 AM
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biofilms are everywhere and it's sort of a 2 edged sword..
I agree with this. Some bacteria are good and some or bad. In addition the biofilm is not just bacteria. Algae and fungus is also part of any biofilm. Some plants host certain bacteria that can help the plant to grow. Legumes for example host nitrogen fixing bacteria in there roots. The bacteria provide the nitrogen the plant needs and the plant feeds the bacteria. Legumes can grow in soil with no nitrates while most other plants cannot. I have read that other plants ned a fungus or bacteria in the soil to help the seeds to germinate. How this works in a aquatic environment I cannot say for sure but in general I would expect some to be beneficial and some biofilm to be harmful.

As to your experiment idea I don't think it is practical to do. there is always some bacteria, algae and fungus floating in the air. So as soon as you stop sterilizing microorganisms will move back in. So as soon as you stop the sterilization process new bacteria and organisms will move back in. The only way to permanently elliminate biofilm would be to completely and permanently seal the tank. During the sterilization process the plants will suffer some damage from either the sterilization agent or by changes in nutrient levels caused by the sterilizing agent reacting with minerals. That damage could favor a harmful biofilm over a beneficial biofilm. I can't think of any way to kill off a biofilm without doing some, even a small amount, of damage to plants. Also while Glut or H2O2 are affective against many organisms there will always be some organisms that will resistant or immune to the Glut or H2O2.
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post #17 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 08:31 AM
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I took a little different read on this:

Very interesting. So, very little, if any, bacteria (esp. Nitrosomonas) involved in freshwater nitrogen cycle after all Öbut only where NH3 dominates. an NH4 abundance means that bacteria, and not archaea, dominate. I guess we have to now focus on BA (Beneficial Archaea) where NH3 is involved.

Generally, then: AOA above pH of ~7 and AOB below pH ~7. Could an implication from this be that, if we are going to run tanks below pH 7, it is important to cycle them that way to develop AOB vs. AOA? If we keep pH above 8, which is commonly recommended for cycling, we may not have the necessary AOB when we drop pH below 7?

Also, does this mean that anaerobic reduction of nitrates is better suited to NH4 conditions if bacteria, in fact, arenít found in NH3 environments?

Great find @DaveKS!

We still have the issue of the biofilm question but, it seems that flooding an aquarium with near-UV may kill the biofilm in an NH4 environment (probably near-visible is even deadlier), but NH3 environments may not respond to this energy region.

Also: the archaea weren't mentioned as having anything to do with NO2, or did I miss it? So, in an NH3 environment, bacteria that consume nitrites must still exist.
My reasons for posting those were more in response to your stated idea of adding more biomedia to filter. Basic is that most biomedia added to filters is not colonized by what you think it is and may actually not react nor have properties in the way us aquarists have been trained to think for decades. Much of this research has not even started to trickle down to hobbyists mindset. Itís a intricate little web that involves way more than the 2 bacteria weíre trained to respect.

Coenzyme production by Archaeon around root zone, which has been shown to be predominant there (in terrestrial soils below PH 5.5 you wonít hardly find anything but archaea you here, have no idea if same holds true for aquatic soils), it is theorized to be one of the major influencers of allopathic chemicals produced by plants to fight off unwanted organisms from its leaves.

And yes, all plants and even biofilm itself on rocks etc have ways of preventing Algae/Cyanobacteria from forming there. That is a discussion that isnít even open for debate with me. But the intricacies of what causes us to make that system fail in our little closed loop/restricted slices of ecosystem is fair game.

Anyway Iíve been rambling to long, Iím going to go drink my Breckinridge Christmas Ale.
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post #18 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with this. Some bacteria are good and some or bad. In addition the biofilm is not just bacteria. Algae and fungus is also part of any biofilm. I would expect some to be beneficial and some biofilm to be harmful.
Agreed. There does seem to be some symbiosis, but to what extent and how valuable it actually is, is half the reason why I would like to eliminate it in the tank, so that it all resides in the filter. The only harmful aspect, that seems to be the most obvious, is that biofilm also harbors algae, which is the main point of interest.

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As to your experiment idea I don't think it is practical to do. there is always some bacteria, algae and fungus floating in the air. So as soon as you stop sterilizing microorganisms will move back in. So as soon as you stop the sterilization process new bacteria and organisms will move back in. The only way to permanently elliminate biofilm would be to completely and permanently seal the tank. During the sterilization process the plants will suffer some damage from either the sterilization agent or by changes in nutrient levels caused by the sterilizing agent reacting with minerals. That damage could favor a harmful biofilm over a beneficial biofilm. I can't think of any way to kill off a biofilm without doing some, even a small amount, of damage to plants. Also while Glut or H2O2 are affective against many organisms there will always be some organisms that will resistant or immune to the Glut or H2O2.
Well, I’ll find out how practical it is as I’m willing to risk damaging the good (with a very brief sterilization) to see if it results in a long-term reduction of the slow accumulation of algae on older leaves. I’m hoping that the glut will simply degrade the biofilm to help the UVS complete the job. I know that bacteria/archaea cannot be eliminated from the environment. The question is: once their biofilm cities are removed from the plant leaves, will their biofilm cities in a filter consume so much food that they all have to pack up and move there.

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My reasons for posting those were more in response to your stated idea of adding more biomedia to filter.
In my case, I’m adding biomedia where none now exists. Regardless of your reasons for posting, it was a fascinating and eye-opening read. I do plan to test the possibility that cycling in pH above 7 will prevent AoB from forming and will actually require re-cycling when pH drops below 7 to create the AoB that exists only in NH4 environments (according to the studies you provided). I’m thinking of cycling at pH 8-9, developing only AoA, then dropping pH to 6.5 to see if total ammonia appears, indicating that the AoB aren’t there. Of course, one question is: will the AoA survive long enough to allow the AoB to replace it without a total ammonia spike?

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And yes, all plants and even biofilm itself on rocks etc have ways of preventing Algae/Cyanobacteria from forming there. That is a discussion that isn’t even open for debate with me. But the intricacies of what causes us to make that system fail in our little closed loop/restricted slices of ecosystem is fair game.
I’m beginning to think that biofilm does not prevent algae from forming and, in fact, does the opposite. The articles provided by @jeffkrol (and other articles I found after pursuing this line) indicate that algae actually become part of the biofilm (another one of the intricacies that you mentioned). Perhaps this is the long-term problem with algae formation on older leaves. Perhaps, too, the biofilm prevents allelopathic response by the plants (if they exist) from working.

I'm also starting to think that this entire thread is really getting out on the fringe of reality.
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post #19 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 01:37 AM
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Dang, I have been researching and learning about planted tanks for at least 6 months now, and still haven't jumped in myself and set up a tank. When I read threads like this, I get overwhelmed and feel kind of out of my element. Then I go to Aquatic Warehouse, or Pet Kingdom here in San Diego and see the beautiful plants and fish, and I want my own planted tank! Then I read another thread like this filled with science and chemicals and bio films and NH4 and AoA and Glut and H202 and I get another headache... Maybe I should just get another cat!

Wayne
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post #20 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 02:00 AM
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Dang, I have been researching and learning about planted tanks for at least 6 months now, and still haven't jumped in myself and set up a tank. When I read threads like this, I get overwhelmed and feel kind of out of my element. Then I go to Aquatic Warehouse, or Pet Kingdom here in San Diego and see the beautiful plants and fish, and I want my own planted tank! Then I read another thread like this filled with science and chemicals and bio films and NH4 and AoA and Glut and H202 and I get another headache... Maybe I should just get another cat!



Wayne
First let me say please don't let threads like this scare you away from a planted aquarium!

We have had conversations in a few threads over the past couple of days about the hobbyist who has an aquarium with plants, and then others who really enjoy getting into the weeds (pun intended!) and try to dissect more aspects of the hobby.

By no means do you need to get this deep to have a successful and enjoyable tank. Sure it will be a journey with its leanings, ups, and downs, but overall I have been so pleased with the planted aquariums.

If you want to try your hand at a planted aquarium I do hope you get the opportunity to do so, and are able to enjoy it!
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post #21 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 02:02 AM
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I have had biofilm on wood several times, and it was never a problem. At this point, I expect it on new wood.

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post #22 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 02:04 AM
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Dang, I have been researching and learning about planted tanks for at least 6 months now, and still haven't jumped in myself and set up a tank. When I read threads like this, I get overwhelmed and feel kind of out of my element. Then I go to Aquatic Warehouse, or Pet Kingdom here in San Diego and see the beautiful plants and fish, and I want my own planted tank! Then I read another thread like this filled with science and chemicals and bio films and NH4 and AoA and Glut and H202 and I get another headache... Maybe I should just get another cat!

Wayne
This thread most likely pertains to less than 3% of online aquarists.
Most would not be interested in types of nitrifying bacteria etc...


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post #23 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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I have had biofilm on wood several times, and it was never a problem. At this point, I expect it on new wood.
Biofilm is on everything, even when we have filters. The questions, in this thread, are: is it greatly reduced with varying levels of biomedia in our filters (corollary: can it be further reduced in the tank by other means) and does it provide a platform for algae development/protection?
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post #24 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 02:41 AM
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Interesting. I would say that when I have had cloudy biofilm, nothing else grew on it. The snails grazed it, but I think it just consumed whatever came from the wood and then just went away.

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post #25 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting. I would say that when I have had cloudy biofilm, nothing else grew on it. The snails grazed it, but I think it just consumed whatever came from the wood and then just went away.
Although it was film and biological, I think it was probably the typical, and usually temporary, fungal or non-AoB/AoA bacteria that will form on untreated driftwood when first placed in a tank.
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post #26 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 04:45 AM
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Ah, ok.

Style: Organic potting soil, sand, gravel, wood, plants, moss, algae, biofilm, snails, shrimp, small fish, dual siestas
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post #27 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 05:14 AM
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First let me say please don't let threads like this scare you away from a planted aquarium!

We have had conversations in a few threads over the past couple of days about the hobbyist who has an aquarium with plants, and then others who really enjoy getting into the weeds (pun intended!) and try to dissect more aspects of the hobby.

By no means do you need to get this deep to have a successful and enjoyable tank. Sure it will be a journey with its leanings, ups, and downs, but overall I have been so pleased with the planted aquariums.

If you want to try your hand at a planted aquarium I do hope you get the opportunity to do so, and are able to enjoy it!
Thanks Grobbins 48, I will eventually. I tend to over-analyze things to the point of paralysis. Like many things, it seems like the more you learn, the more questions you have.
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post #28 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 12:37 PM
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Like many things, it seems like the more you learn, the more questions you have.
Isn't this the absolute truth!



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post #29 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 01:38 PM
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First let me say please don't let threads like this scare you away from a planted aquarium!

We have had conversations in a few threads over the past couple of days about the hobbyist who has an aquarium with plants, and then others who really enjoy getting into the weeds (pun intended!) and try to dissect more aspects of the hobby.

By no means do you need to get this deep to have a successful and enjoyable tank. Sure it will be a journey with its leanings, ups, and downs, but overall I have been so pleased with the planted aquariums.

If you want to try your hand at a planted aquarium I do hope you get the opportunity to do so, and are able to enjoy it!
+1 and well said.

I have to admit, this thread is even a bit deep into the weeds for me. It's interesting, but in the bigger picture is not something that I ever consider. I've just always subscribed to the more is better theory of filtration. Has served me well, and whether right or wrong, have always used bio media.

A planted tank requires a good balance of light/CO2/Ferts/maintenance. Sounds easy, right? Well, that all depends on your ambitions. If you are going with low/medium light plants, it is fairly easy. But what usually happens is over time we redefine our ambitions. If one decides to add more fast growing colorful flowery stems, it does require a deeper dive into each area.

So you can make it as simple or complicated as you want.

IMO, the best advice for beginners is the same thing I have said over and over again. Find some journals of successful tanks that have similar size/ambitions to your own. Study their methods. It will give you an idea of what it takes to succeed in that style. And don't be afraid to reach out to folks here, as most are very generous with their time and are happy to share their thoughts.


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post #30 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Between this thread and the “Burying plant cuttings?” thread (and many others on TPT), we seem to find the need to warn members to go elsewhere for fear of scaring them out of the hobby.

Maybe the criteria under the "FORUMS” choices for postings should first be presented as three choices: “Beginner”, “Intermediate” and “Advanced” so that beginners wandering into “Algae 303” know that they may encounter things that aren’t necessary to consider in their effort to just get a tank going. It would also, possibly, prevent posters from introducing advanced topics in, e.g.; “Beginner” threads.
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