The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heard the benefits of PNS mentioned on a podcast. Looked into it a bit and it seems to be pretty useful in reef keeping. Apparently, they also live in freshwater (might even prefer it). Of course the claimed list of benefits is long and seems to good to be true so I wanted to check with the experts here. Not really considering using it, but was curious to know if it could offer any benefit in a planted tank.

Link to a sellers description:

Sent from my SM-G970U1 using Tapatalk

Sent from my SM-G970U1 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
612 Posts
Fostering a diverse bacterial community is something we should all strive to do, as I feel it helps provide a more stable aquarium environment.. Reefkeepers have embraced this for years, where live rock and live sand have become staples in that hobby. I see the opposite among many freshwater aquarists, where the standard approach to introducing rocks or driftwood is to first sterilize it, either with bleach or by boiling in water, and the use of artificial substrates (that are nearly devoid of bacteria) and tissue-cultured plants. These are the same individuals who also panic when they see a copepod or amphipod in their tank and immediately want to know how to "get rid of it". It makes no sense to me.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,767 Posts
Fostering a diverse bacterial community is something we should all strive to do, as I feel it helps provide a more stable aquarium environment.. Reefkeepers have embraced this for years, where live rock and live sand have become staples in that hobby. I see the opposite among many freshwater aquarists, where the standard approach to introducing rocks or driftwood is to first sterilize it, either with bleach or by boiling in water, and the use of artificial substrates (that are nearly devoid of bacteria) and tissue-cultured plants. These are the same individuals who also panic when they see a copepod or amphipod in their tank and immediately want to know how to "get rid of it". It makes no sense to me.
Most reefkeepers today use rock that is dead, containing no bacteria. Synthetic rock is also becoming increasingly popular. They (I'm one of them, unfortunately for my bank account) cycle their tanks just like we do on the planted side - add an ammonia source and wait until rock and sand are loaded down with enough bacteria to provide biological filtration for a tank. I just spent way too much money on new rock - half harvested from a quarry with no bacteria and half harvested from a quarry and painted to appear as if it's cultured with coralline algae. All clean, no harm to existing wild reefs or habitats.

We don't really do the opposite in freshwater in treating wood. Most primarily do that to prevent unwanted pests and dangerous chemicals from getting into their systems where sensitive critters are often kept. (Some also do it to reduce tannins but I'm ignoring that here.) Bacteria eventually grows on it as our tanks cycle and helps with filtration. The same for any substrate that gets used in the hobby - some of which also claim to have bacteria in them or contain ammonia that helps feed bacteria and plants. A similar thing (to wood treatment) is done on the reef side when coral and invertebrates are dipped for a period of time in order to prevent pests and unwanted chemical elements. Fish are also quarantined on both sides of the hobby.

Tissue-cultured and aquacultured plants are often (and initially) used on the fresh side to stop habitat destruction and to prevent unwanted pests, problems and chemicals (like copper or other pesticides often sprayed upon import) from entering our tiny ecosystems. The same thing happens on the reef side with aquacultured coral, sterile-grown or cleaned macroalgae and corallines. There are entire companies built around sterile-grown stuff for tanks on the reef side.

The people who freak out over snails or daphnia in their freshwater tank are certainly silly (or just new and still ill-informed) in my opinion but that also happens on the reef side. Visit any reef forum and you'll see post after post about people freaking out because they've spotted a feather duster that hitch hiked into their tank on the back of a snail or hermit crab shell. They panic over dinoflagellates and aiptasia, as well. (I'm with you on all this - it's generally an ill-informed overreaction.)

It's just two sides of the same coin. The same practices are popular on both sides of the aquatics hobby. Similar panics happen over tiny critters and bugs.

I believe there are more newcomers to the planted/fresh side of the hobby who just don't know much about keeping a tank. They've seen something pretty on YouTube or Instagram and want instant gratification. Less so on the reef side. That's why we see so many posts from people in a panic because they've spotted a few Pond Snails in their tank... that they feed a cup of food every two hours. Also usually fly-by-nighters who only maintain the hobby for a few months and those just in it for a quick buck. Once those folks move on, you find the long-term hobbyists like us who do things like buy "pest" snails and copepods for our tanks because we recognize their benefit.

Requires a bit more reading, self-education and mountains of cash to really consider reefing. So that's likely a roadblock there. But I still see people panicking because they've discovered a brittle star in their tank.

Edit: not trying to be a jerk with this response. Just had a long discussion with a mod at a reef forum owned by VS this morning. Focused on newcomers on both sides of the hobby trying to get rid of things that most long-term hobbyists see as inherently positive. So all the similarities are on my mind at the moment.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top