Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Follow It Home 09-04-2007 08:44 AM

Quick Cycling question
Hey everyone, just a quick question. For the past week or so I have been adding Seachem Stability to my tank and this morning when I did my tests these were my results. 0 Ammonia 1ppm Nitrites 0 Nitrates and a pH of 7.4. My question is, is my tank cycling? I hadnt been doing much other than the stability because I have been focusing on my plants, however if the stability is creating a cycle well then all right :-D


mHeinitz57 09-04-2007 10:40 AM

how big of a tank is it? How many fish? What kind of filter? Stability does not actually "create" a cycle but just aids in cycling the tank faster. The cycle is created by introducing something that produces ammonia such as fish flakes or fish or even pure ammonia. I've seen some people try to cycle the tank without anything in it and just using bacterial supplements...but that won't do anything unless there is an ammonia source.

jones57742 09-04-2007 12:19 PM


Once again I discourage the use these types of products.

Who knows what the side affects may be in any given ecosystem.

Stability™ ... contains a synergistic blend of aerobic, anaerobic, and facultative bacteria ..."

Hopefully someone can explain to me how aerobic bacteria can survive in a sealed vessel for "who knows how long" and at "who knows what temperature".

Hopefully someone can explain to me why a typical tank would need anaerobic bacteria.

Four extra tablespoons of flakes will accelerate the required cycle time also.


mHeinitz57 09-04-2007 03:28 PM

i've always wondered how these products work since bacteria won't simply survive in a bottle on some store shelf. Thats why I refer to them as bacterial supplements and not simply "bacteria in a bottle". Plus beneficial bacteria does not simply wait in a dormant form. Jones your description of the stuff comes directly from the label of the bottle and you're right in your skepticism of it. However, I have to speak from my own experience that these products do actually work. Often times the labels on the bottle will give a description that the beginner customer wants to hear but the actual product is not exactly that. I have a feeling there is something in these products that does somehow encourage faster bacteria colonization. ONe of the most extreme products I have seen is Bio-Spira invented by the lead scientist of Marineland...a genius when it comes to beneficial bacteria activity. People have reportedly cycled their tanks in a matter of days with this product. As far as any negative side-effects of bacterial supplements, I have heard of none. Any anearobic bacteria will not survive long in an oxygen-rich tank. I usually like to understand completely the products I use or suggest but bacteria supplents such as Cycle, Stability and Bio-Spira are some that I find no problem using even if i'm not sure how it works, lol. If anyone has doubts though, the cycle is a natural process and supplements surely are not needed.

Mating Slinkys 09-04-2007 05:31 PM

I'm no biologist, but apparantly there is some treatment you can do to bacteria that causes them to become spores which basically means they seal themselves in a capsule which can survive extremes of temperature, anerobic conditions and even drying out or concentrated salts etc.

This is why you must always be very careful with cooked rice, as it often contains bacterial spores that are not killed by boiling water (i believe that these rice bacteria can survive in spore form up to about 175 deg. C, though it's been a very long time since GCSE biology, so don't quote me on the figure) So if you leave cooked rice out for too long the spores de-spore themselves and find a nice damp food source and multiply away, giving you the backdoor trots should you eat them.

I'm pretty certain that's how the bacterial suppliments work, the bacteria is in spore form, and when it finds itself in a nice cozy tank with a nice meal of ammonia to eat they get de-spored and breed away.

As i say, it's been a long time since i studied this, but i think that's the gist of it. If i am well off the mark i''m sure that someone will tell me, that's the beauty of forums!

mHeinitz57 09-05-2007 07:01 AM

hmmm that's really interesting and I'd love to learn more about that. Bacteria comes in many different forms and some can be encapsulated in a dormant form but I have always heard that beneficial nitrifying bacteria can not. If anyone has more input in this or any stories of their own use of bacteria supplements, please chime in.

mHeinitz57 09-05-2007 09:31 AM

ok guys, I did a little research and got a response back from Seachem. They were extremely helpful and wrote back within a matter of hours. Here is the response email...

"Hello Michael,

That is a very good question.
Stability is a cultured bacteria. The culture we have produced is an endospore former and nitrifier. Stability has an inhibitor in the bottle to keep the bacteria in a spore form. The inhibitor allows us to keep viable bacteria in a spore state so the bacteria do not go through life cycles and consume nutrients, create waste, and begin to die in the bottle. Once dosed to the tank, the inhibitor is diluted and the bacteria can begin to take up nutrients and reproduce.
Seachem Support
Tech Support "

I found that to be pretty interesting. I also wrote marineland with the same question and am waiting to hear what they say. So it seems they are saying even if beneficial bacteria does not have a dormant state that it can go into, the spores can be inhibited from continuing the life cycle for a period of time and therefore can be bottled and sold.

Mating Slinkys 09-05-2007 10:54 AM

Interesting, i was on the right lines then, even if not totally accurate. I havee oten wondered exactly how this works!

mHeinitz57 09-05-2007 11:02 AM

Yeah you were. The tech from Seachem also added that they are the only company that offers this bacteria that is cultured in such a way that it will last on shelves in room temperature. That could just be a sales pitch but im interested to hear if Marineland writes me back. Maybe I should check Cycle too but I think this shows at least that these products do have potential to work.

Mating Slinkys 09-05-2007 11:07 AM

The chap in the LFS said that Tetra have bought out something similar, but much more concentrated. I cant remember what it's called as it was very expensive, so i didn't buy it. I presume that since there are many of these products available, at least some companies will have developed similar systems. So maybe Seachem is the only one that offers "this bacteria" bacteria in "this way," but others may be similar in effect if not method. Just a thought!

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