08-12-2012, 08:14 PM
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Lots of folks are confused about the bottled products when it comes to how the bacteria stay alive. Most strains of bacteria are very resilient. They go into a form of a stasis like suspended animation. Once introduced to a hospitable environment, they spring to life, feed and colonies form. Now there can be exceptions. If/when the bottled products are exposed to severe extremes in temperature, the cultures can be ruined. This may happen if/when there are poor shipping or warehouse conditions.
Some products suggest that you can add fish right away, but recommend only a small number at first. It takes awhile to develop colony(ies) large enough to support many fish. And remember, the bacteria need nitrogenous waste in order to thrive, reproduce and form a colony and the best way is with some fish. Oh I suppose you could add a pinch of fish food daily or use some pure ammonia....but if you can add a couple of fish with a bottled bacteria product, why not?