Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Mean Harri 12-26-2011 07:57 PM

Nitrifying Bacteria question
Hi all. Long time no see. I have a question pertaining to the bacteria and transferring some to a new tank set up.

As we all know one does not want to take fish from water parameters and just drop it in to another environment of different water parameters. We do this slowly with "floating" or some other to acclimate the fish.

Do we need to do this with bacteria as well?

I am setting up an 8 gallon Fluval Flora nano kit. I want to take some ceramic discs from my XP 3 canister filter and add them to the new tank to get a biological process started right away.
However, I am planning on setting my water parameters in the new tank by starting off with de-ionized water and adding the necessary components to the DI water to achieve the parameters that I want.

I am doing this because of the lessons I learned with my 55 gallon. My tap water is horrible. I live in a heavily agricultural area. There is a lot of nitrates in the water. My tap water ph is 8.2 GH is 11 and KH is 6.
I used to use the API tap water filter years ago and set my parameters from the get go. It worked and I am going back to this. The 55 gallon is coming down and I am going small planted tank only.

Would a sudden transfer of bacteria laden materia from one water parameter tank result in the bacteria dying, thus thwarting my effort for a quick biological start up, due to the different water parameters to a tank with much different water parameters?

The 55 gallon where the bacteria is coming from has water paramters very similar to my tap water reading shown above.

Good to see you all again. I remember many names still. I should be around more often. I disappeared but did not die. lol

zof 12-26-2011 08:15 PM

You should be fine, bacteria are resilient little buggers, heck just think of the fact we start our own beneficial bacteria colony just from the few that make it from the treated tap water. Just like with all living creatures you will see some loss with a dramatic change though but on my unscientific opinion with beneficial bacteria it would probably have to be a huge pH drop of something like 2 or more points to see any sort of huge loss in the colony. So from my opinion you should be fine moving them right over when you move the fish.

Byron 12-27-2011 02:19 PM

I tend to agree. You can read a bit more on this here:

as there may be some loss/slow-down depending.

And welcome back to TFK.


Romad 12-27-2011 08:08 PM

Hey I remember you :) Welcome back Harri.

fishyfarts 12-28-2011 08:49 AM

I have been battling water that sounds like yours. Mine is from a well and I have farm fields all around my house which I never considered. I'm curious about this API filter you're talking about and why you chose it. I'm starting a 40 gallon soon and want to be able to get the best water I can in there short of toting 40 gallon jugs from the store...especially when I'm doing water changes.

Mean Harri 12-28-2011 07:09 PM

Thank you guys. I appreciate that article Byron. Good stuff as always. I find it interesting that bacteria do better at higher Ph levels. I did not know that.

@fishyfarts: I chose the API tap water filter because I had one years ago and it works. When I initially set up my 55 g a year and a half ago after yrs. of not having an aquarium I had looked at the filters online and it seems to me people were bad mouthing them. Although I may have been reading the "bad press" on salt water forums. I can't remember.

This past week I decided to start researching it and I found a lot of positive feedback. It may not be ideal for making water to use in salt water tanks but it is a good tool for people who have horrid tap water.

The more minerals and junk in the tap water causes the filter to need changed more often. Some people run the tap water through an RO unit first. But RO units waste a lot of water.

Since this will be used on an 8 gallon tank a filter should last awhile. The API comes with a bottle of mineral and Ph adjuster to set your parameters where you want them. It literally makes what I call "dead water". There's nothing in the water. No salts, no nitrates, no phosphates, no calcium or magnesium. You add it back in to the parameters you want.

It is slow. Your flow rate is about 1 cup/8oz every 20 to 30 seconds. So it takes some time. With large quantities it is possible to use part tap water and part filtered water and mix them to achieve a more suitable water quality.

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