Possibly a dumb idea - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 24 Old 10-16-2012, 11:18 AM
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Perhaps I can add some clarity here. And first, it is for most of us essential that we understand to some degree just what is happening in our aquarium. Understanding the science gives us a better foundation for a healthy aquarium. And the nitrogen cycle is about as essential as anything can be to this.

Rather than bog this down with repeated background, have a read of my article on Bacteria:

It is true that this natural establishment of nitrifying bacteria happens without your intervention, but it takes time and any rise in ammonia or nitrite above zero does affect fish. They may not die immediately, but they are negatively affected by stress at the very least but possibly internally too. And this weakens them and allows for other health and disease problems that would otherwise not occur. And almost always the fish die prematurely.

Weekly water changes are not going to have much effect on this. That is getting into another area entirely. Water parameters, being GH, KH, pH and temperature are a very different thing.

I don't regularly test for ammonia or nitrite, and haven't for years; I have live plants. I rarely check for nitrates. But I know that all these bacteria are still there doing their thing, and if something does go wrong I can readily check for probable causes.

One has to understand the science to some level. This is a scientific hobby, we can't escape that. We are confining living creatures in a very small and very artificial environment, but nature is still going to impact that environment. And we must understand how and why.


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 #22 of 24 Old 10-16-2012, 12:03 PM
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I am old, and started keeping fishes before such bacteria in a bottle product's existed.
I and other's, started our community tank's by setting them up,plug in the charcoal filter,heater, and let the tank run for a week to ten day's.
We then selected very small ,hardy fish ,and very few, (tetra size) and placed maybe three or four of these fish for let's say 30 gal tank.
We fed the fish tiny amount of food perhap's every other day for approx ten day's.
These small,active fish, represented a very small bio-load on young tank, and with sparse feeding's, and not too many fish ,or two large of fish..there was no harm to the fishes.
After ten day's from first three or four fish,,we added another three or four tetra's,small barb's,danio's, and continued to feed tiny amount of food every other day and after another ten day's,, we then performed first water change ( around three week mark) and maybe selected a group of four to five cory's, or other tetra like fishes if bottom feeder's were not desired, and continued to feed small amount and after the fifth week ,maybe select a centerpiece fish such as Pearl gourami ,or Honey gourami.
No daily testing was needed,no daily dosing of ammonia,no daily water changes,and the tank's were allowed to mature slowly,gradually, without harming the fishes.
I appreciate that thing's have advanced, but new hobbyist's are often taken in by the label's that say.. Add this bottle of #$*!*! and add fish same day.
They do not understand, that this does not mean you can add all of the fish in one go,(even DR, Tim rightly point's this out) and problem's arise quite quickly,(sick ,dead fish) depending on number's of fish,food's offered,and volume of water.
These product's at best,,allow for what could be done without the product, with a little bit of patience,discipline (short supply these day's).
I... as stated previously,,, wished these product's worked well for everyone, but the simple truth of the matter is,, that they don't for various reason's, not all of which are self inflicted.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #23 of 24 Old 10-16-2012, 04:25 PM
Originally Posted by pop View Post
Hello abbysdad
I think you missed my point. It’s not the type of bacteria but that it’s a natural process that happens without any intervention on my part.
Uhm...actually yes and no.

Pop, the problem is that the natural process can very easily get out of control. For example, the nitrosomonas bacteria that's required to processes ammonia can't exist before there is ammonia. Depending on the bio-load, the ammonia levels can spike too high before the bacteria can get established. The levels can get high enough to damage or kill fish and high enough so as to even prevent the proliferation of the desired bacteria (at higher levels ammonia is toxic to everything). A similar process can unfold for nitrites and nitrobacter bacteria.

So yes, it 'can' be natural, without a bio-seed, but unless it's done very carefully, with only a fish or two and/or lots of plants ... and even then with a close eye on ammonia and nitrites, being prepared for a quick water change.

With a good bio-seed, the process is nearly fool proof. As I mentioned, commercial aquariums and professional installers setup a new tank, add the bio-seed and fully stock a tank confident that there will be no problems.

A week doesn't go by on this and other fish keeping forums that I don't see new tank setups soon followed by fish loss. A good bio-seed would prevent this or at least lower the incidences.

Father Knows Best but Abbey knows everything! I once knew everything, then I asked one question.
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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 10-16-2012 at 04:29 PM.
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post #24 of 24 Old 10-17-2012, 08:03 AM

Salutations Abbeysdad:

We have found common ground. I hope the individual who started this thread got the answer and has a joyful fish keeping experience. I have read the sticky about bacteria and stress I found both very interesting, which of course I have thoughts and worse an opinion I will save for another thread.

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