biological/bacterial water additives - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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biological/bacterial water additives

I am doing some research into bacterial additives for tank cycling, and I have a few questions I am hoping someone could help me with. First, are products like those made by Microbe Lift and others in any way beneficial to a planted tank? (Microbe Lift also makes planted tank substrate: is this worth looking into?) Should I use products like this as a cycle starter? Is it OK (or even useful) to add these products when I do my water changes? If anyone has any experience with these products I would welcome their advice. Thanks!

I even have duckweed in my water bong!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 04:16 PM
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I have used seachem stability in the past. I really have no proof that it did anything special but it made me feel good when I put it in the tank, like I was doing the right thing.

I suspect you will need to contact the manufacturers of these products for actual concrete evedince that they are directly improving the bio filtration of the tank.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 04:50 PM
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Ive used Cycle in the past but ive read these additives dont really have the right type of bacteria.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 05:31 PM
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I've tried both Stability and Bio-Spiria and still ended up with dead fish.

Found best way was water treated with Prime, water changes out the backside, a batch of zebra danios and patience...as aggravating as it sounds...and it is.

But, after those three or four weeks of aggravation, everything I've added since has lived happily and show it by mating in the plants, leaving me with way too many fry!

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 05:38 PM
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heavily stock your aquarium with plants from the beginning...they're filled with beneficial bacteria

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 07:13 PM
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Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bother require free dissolved oxygen to survive. They also die if the temp drops below 32 or goes above about 120. I think this stuff is snake oil.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 07:17 PM
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Unless you're doing a fishless cycle.
http://www.csupomona.edu/~jskoga/Aquariums/Ammonia.html
I agree that start up a new tank with plants from existing tanks is the best option. Keep in mind you have to feed the bacteria until your fish can.

Historically the issue with dry or other forms of bacteria mixes, is the date on the package and preservation techniques. Results seem to be anecdotal or so scientifically detailed as to not matter to the average or above average tank keeper.
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 07:25 PM
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I used tetra safe start and it worked perfectly.
I used the largest bottle they had on a 20 gallon and stocked 8 tiger barbs the next day and had no issues whatsoever.
I wouldn't count on any dry bacteria being alive.
TSS bacteria is what used to be Bio-Spiria, but they bought those bacteria and developed one of their own strains as well and now its Tetra Safe start.
It's packaged in liquid ammonium or some inert ammonia, as long as its not very old it should work!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueJack View Post
heavily stock your aquarium with plants from the beginning...they're filled with beneficial bacteria
+1 this is how and why we use plants




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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bother require free dissolved oxygen to survive. They also die if the temp drops below 32 or goes above about 120. I think this stuff is snake oil.
Agreed.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhunt View Post
... this stuff is snake oil.
I have to admit this has become my all time favorite saying on this forum to discredit any product, method, etc. and I mean that with all due sarcasm.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 07:59 PM
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stability is OKAY imo. used it before. Nutrafin Cycle however, IF, its new is very effective. i've used it on a few tanks, and experiments and it is quite effective.
there is one out there i beleive its called THC.. its not marijuana but it supposedly cycles a tank in 24 hours. i have no proof but my lfs has seen it used but he said its not worth the price.

you wont need to keep using the stuff after the tank is cycled. not after water changes..

PLANTS work great though!

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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I really do not have a bunch of faith in dry bacteria mixes; don't nitrifying bacteria need oxygen? (Not to mention water...) I have used a Seachem bacterial product once, but I did not really feel comfortable adding fish for a few weeks afterward- old habits die hard- so I am not sure if it actually did any good or not. I have been reading about Microbe Lift products, and their website is really informative, but I am not sure that they are an unbiased source of info on their own products. I have heard both good and bad things about bacterial additives, but like someone posted in this thread earlier most of this is anecdotal. (see quote below) There seems to be almost no support of the claims of these products that is scientific and most of the info I have found seems to be self-promotion from companies that manufacture this stuff. I am also put off a bit by the fact that none of the products available have ingredients listed on them; I have no idea if there is anything in them that could potentially be dangerous to my inverts or my plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Unless you're doing a fishless cycle.
http://www.csupomona.edu/~jskoga/Aquariums/Ammonia.html
I agree that start up a new tank with plants from existing tanks is the best option. Keep in mind you have to feed the bacteria until your fish can.

Historically the issue with dry or other forms of bacteria mixes, is the date on the package and preservation techniques. Results seem to be anecdotal or so scientifically detailed as to not matter to the average or above average tank keeper.
I checked out the link from [email protected], and it has some pretty good info that is very clearly explained. I have used filter media from existing tanks to sort of speed the cycle along a bit, but for some reason I still wait several weeks before adding fishes. I guess I would rather err on the side of caution.

The bottom line is that if these products actually do what they advertise, it would be a huge advantage in setting up a new tank and reducing the time before I can add fishes. And if periodically adding these products can enhance the health of my tank even a little bit then in my opinion they would be well worth the expense. I like the concept but I am concerned that these are 'gimmick' products that I do not want to risk harming my livestock with if they do not perform as advertised. Several people have responded here with their experiences, and this is what I am really looking for: advice from my peers. If you have had a good experience with one of these products, please post it. If you have had a bad experience, I want to hear about those too. I would rather spend time doing the research and getting good advice than risk the chance of killing off my fishes (and plants and inverts).

I even have duckweed in my water bong!
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:16 PM
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I started in the hobby a little over a month ago. Used Tetra safestart on both my tanks (29g and 7.9g) and both cycled within 2 weeks with full bio-loads from day 2 resulting in no dead fish.

The key is following instructions (which the bottle lacks); this link went a long way in helping with that.

http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aq...safestart.html
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:33 PM
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I have to admit this has become my all time favorite saying on this forum to discredit any product, method, etc. and I mean that with all due sarcasm.
Branded, tarred and feathered and labeled.




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