01-30-2014, 06:43 AM
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Nitrosomonas and nitrospira are (in order) the two species of bacteria that oxidize ammonia and then nitrite in the freshwater aquariums nitrogen cycle.
Products which claim to contain these are Tetra Safestart, API Quickstart, Micobelift Niteout II, ATM Colony, Dr Tim's One and Only and a few others. These are autotrophic bacteris; they need oxygen to process ammonia and nitrite. They also continue to multiply, doubling every 24 hours, until they reach the minimum amount required to oxidize all the ammonia and nitrite produced by the system, but no further.
I have received first-hand feedback on each of these products. They all work faster than waiting for a system to cycle "naturally." My understanding of the reason they produce inconsistent results: They are living organisms and can be killed or damaged if frozen, overheated, dried-out or allowed to get too old on the shelf.
Seachem Stability does not claim to contain these specific bacteria, but anecdotal evidence indicates it helps the cycle, perhaps by breaking up sludge, encouraging the bio-film or otherwise improving the environment for the "real" nitrifying bacteria. It contains heterotrophic bacteria which can reproduce with or without oxygen every 3 or 4 hours. They are not, however self-sustaining and must be re-introduced regularly.
Java fern, spiralis, anubias, and amazon sword are all lovely plants. I enjoy having several of them. But they are slow-growers and are not the best at consuming ammonia. Fast-growing floaters work better for that.