Will bacterial die without sufficient ammonia/nitrite/nitrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Will bacterial die without sufficient ammonia/nitrite/nitrate

I have a small 3 gallon planted tank that was previously cycled (2-3 months old), but for the last 3 weeks, the tank ran 0 ammonia/nitrite/nitrate (I tested every 2 days)
Most likely due to the plants sucking up all the nutrients...

Now, is it possible that the nitrfying/ beneficial bacteria are dead because of the lack of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate in the tank?
Or the bacteria can generally get the ammonia before they are absorbed by the plants?

Reason I am asking is because I am planning to lower the lighting in the tank since the carpet plant are pretty much "filled", and I want to reduce the growth + algae. But I am afraid ammonia could go up if the bacteria are dead
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 03:31 PM
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IME once a tank is well cycled you should be OK. Just make sure that if any plants melt/die during adjusting to different lighting levels that you remove the dying growth; that might trigger an ammonia spike. I wouldn't worry about the N-bacteria colony, however- once the colony is established IME it's typically pretty good about adjusting itself to minor changes.





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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2008, 09:51 PM
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I dont think you will have a problem, there is still going to be bacteria in there getting their share of the ammonia. Bacteria can multiply rapidly when they need to. Are you just lowering the photoperiod? Instead of going from 12 hours a day to 8 you could bring it down slowly to help everything adjust if you are worried. Do check on your nitrates though after your reduction in light, 0 nitrates is not good for your plants.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-13-2008, 03:28 AM
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Did you have anything in the tank? Fish, shrimp, snails, etc?

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-13-2008, 11:20 AM
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it takes a lot to kill bacteria. i think they probably just went into hibernation, and if not then there would be a massive die off as the population overshot the carrying capacity (would take a long time to actually kill), but that would cause a spike in ammonia, then nitrite, finally nitrate so it would be a mini-cycle. this would feed an replenish the remaining bacteria, which would divide like mad, and then have no food left and the boom and bust cycle would start over. but that is unlikely in a tank since the bacteria can probably go for monthes with nothing being added, since you probably have a bunch of protists and such living in you tank.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-13-2008, 11:33 AM
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There will only be as much bacteria in the colony as your bioload can support. period.

Lets say you have a huge tank with 4 monster fish and 2 of them die. The result is less waste being produced and your bacteria colony will shrink to accommodate the new load. Yes they die off. Now if you increase your load the bacteria will also increase to meet the need.

Bacteria (from what I have read) will only hibernate with a significant temp drop. We are talking a drop to say refrigerator cold.

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