Live Bacteria Question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-26-2013, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Live Bacteria Question

If there ever comes a time to treat the water with medications due to fungus or harmful bacteria.. will this kill the essential live bacteria that we need in our tanks?
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-26-2013, 04:01 PM
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As far as I'm aware, it does not. However, it will stress out your fish as much as it helps them. It is a good idea to keep a back up tank set-up and ready in case anything does go wrong, that way you can transport your fish and heal them up there, rather then affecting the entire tank or any plants you might have. It's not necessary (I currently am not running one) but it is a nice security blanket.

"Just because you can,doesn't mean you should!"
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-26-2013, 04:01 PM
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I have not had a problem losing the cycle after treating with various meds.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-26-2013, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Many thanks that is what i initially thought.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-26-2013, 04:33 PM
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It depends what the medication is, and the level. Antibiotics will kill many types of bacteria [that is what they are intended for]. Copper-based treatments can kill bacteria. The extent to which this occurs will depend upon the tank's biology and the level of antibiotic/medication used.

But remembering that these bacteria will colonize if their "food" is available, most probably reform before you notice it. Having live plants will also help, as they grab the ammonia faster anyway.

The nitrifiers in an established tank will likely not be bacteria but archaea, a different form of life. I've not yet come across definitive data on various aspects of these, comparable to how bacteria respond, as this discovery is still fairly recent. I would suspect it is similar.

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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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