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Aquarius Keeper 11-13-2008 07:06 PM

SW/FW bacteria - same or different?
This is related to my other post but that thread is all over the place so -

Does anybody know if the nitrifying bacteria in SW and FW are the same?

The reason I'm asking is - in converting a brackish tank to a full marine tank - I could do it very slowly over a couple weeks if it meant preserving the bacteria I've been culturing all this time - I was under the impression it's the same bacteria in both environments - if it isn't and the high salinity is just going to kill my present bacteria I might as well just do it all at once.

Anybody know?



Aquarius Keeper 11-14-2008 01:59 AM

I guess this isn't common knowledge?

Well, for me its a mute point - I visited my lfs and he told me his live rock was 99% cured and that after adding it I could add fish almost immediately (I trust him, he's a fellow Berkeley grad - besides, we live in LA so I have good reason to believe it's fresh) - so I just upped the salinity to 1.022. Sorry bacteria!!

But if anybody knows the answer to the question, I would be very interested to hear it!



Kellsindell 11-14-2008 12:05 PM

as far as that answer goes i can't give you it for sure, but when i go to the lfs they have the bottles called tlc and in them they have bacteria that moves the cycle more quckly. well they have 2 bottles one for fresh and one for salt.

as for the cycle. i don't believe that and neither should you. i used live rock that i have had for 4 years for my 55g tank and it still had all the cycle results. He just wants you to spend more money mate. It really doesn't matter what you do, you'll still have a cycle and it'll always be there and you'll still kill sensitive fish. If you have a clown or damsel that's fine, but a lawnmower blenny or a tang or firefish, yeah they'll all die.

Kellsindell 11-14-2008 12:07 PM


Originally Posted by Kellsindell (Post 152304)
If you have a clown or damsel that's fine, but a lawnmower blenny or a tang or firefish,

FYI those were just examples of a few fish that'll die or survive, not a complete list.

Aquarius Keeper 11-14-2008 01:21 PM

Don't worry - I'm new to this and have limited resources - I'm not going to stock anything but very hardy fish.

So why big brand bacteria-in-a-bottle products (API STRESSZYME etc...) say it works for salt and fresh?

As for the cycle - I don't think he wants me to spend more money - he knows I'm going to buy it from him anyway.

He's had it in cycled enclosure for 3 months, he says.

Anyway, I wasn't planning to add fish with the live rock, of course I'll wait until the water parameters are safe. I was hoping that would be a couple days but if it's longer, so be it.



Kellsindell 11-14-2008 04:33 PM

it's the water that needs cycling not the rock. tell him to throw a tang into salt water in the time he's recommending with liverock that he wants to give you and have it not be tied into the main system and see how long that sucker lasts... or if he'll even do it.

Aquarius Keeper 11-14-2008 05:10 PM

The water needs cycling?

I thought "cycling" referred to the culturing of nitrifying bacteria on various porous surfaces?

I thought live rock needs to be "cured" because it comes with a high degree of dead organics which will decay and cause a spike in ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.

Now I am getting confused.

Kellsindell 11-14-2008 09:04 PM

the water hold the bacteria the rock just helps with the filtration. if you do a cycle with no liverock and sand, just the tank the bacteria has to be somewhere.

Aquarius Keeper 11-15-2008 01:08 AM

In my research I found that the majority of the bacteria forms on a solid surface - I thought that was the whole Idea of biological filtration and a big part of why current is so important - it circulates the water over the bacteria colony, feeding it nitrites etc... I'm not sure what you think live rock does if it isn't a host for bacterial colonies.

However, I do know of an old fish keeper who runs a shop in Little Tokyo, who keeps small salt-water tanks healthy with nothing but an airstone, so what you are saying is possible. Still I think even in that case most of the bacteria is in the sand. That guys is something of a magician though, I don't know how he does it...

If bacteria were able to maintain a population in open water, what's the point of bioligcal filters and sumps that run water through sponges, ceramic rings, live rock etc?

Kellsindell 11-15-2008 07:30 AM

much of it will be to much for the water (for the livestock) which is why we use the filtration methods of LR and live sand(or dead sand that became live). it absorbs those nutrients making the water less harmful and more stable.

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