09-20-2011, 06:55 PM
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Yes, I believe it does work by culturing anaerobic bacteria that can process/neutralize nitrates.
However, Kendra is correct, there's more 'pollution' in old water - it's not all about nitrates.
I also think the ability to push out partial water changes is more important in salt water aquariums where mixing salt water adds complexity and expense (unless you're by the ocean).
For fresh water, you can't really beat a weekly 50% water change to freshen the water. Sure, it takes a little time, but it's the 'best medicine' to maintain a healthy tank.