Bacteria Supplement - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-12-2010, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Bacteria Supplement

Just wandering how good bacteria supplements are. My 2 aquariums are well established. Thanks.
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-12-2010, 07:25 PM
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Then you don't need them.

An aquarium that has been running for a few months "establishes" itself biologically. There is a close relationship between fish, plants (if present) and bacteria. And we are not talking simply nitrification bacteria, but all sorts of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. If the fish load is reasonable with respect to the water volume, the plants (if present) and the maintenance (water changes, etc) is in tune with the foregoing, there will be a balanced biology or equilibrium.

Adding or removing a significant component will affect that equilibrium. Adding biological supplements also affects them, depending upon the supplement and what it does (or is claimed to do, sometimes quite astounding claims are made). The ordinary "Stability" which only adds nitrification bacteria can't really harm anything because the bacteria will simply die if there is insufficient "food" for it (ammonia, then nitrite) so adding this type of product is only wasting your money.

However, there are certain products on the market such as API's StressZyme and Tetra's Balance (or something similar) which in my view may be detrimental. These products claim to add bacteria (unspecified from my recollection) that clean up organic sludge and alter this and that, according to the manufacturers. I would never add these to an established tank; all this is already present if the tank is established, and messing around with nature is not something I take lightly.

There may also be side effects; I know the Tetra stuff raises ammonia, which is natural if it does add bacteria that attacks organics, since that is what the natural bacteria in the aquarium are doing, which is why ammonia comes not only from fish but from organic processes and bacterial actions. But you won't (or shouldn't) see an ammonia spike if you leave the natural bacteria alone to do their job.

Hope this is understandable.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 3 Old 04-12-2010, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Yes thank you.
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