Using Organic Waste Control Products - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-08-2019, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hi beaslbob,

Byron discusses two types of bacteria, namely autotrophic and heterotrophic. If you're interested in reading more, go to

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post #12 of 13 Old 03-09-2019, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by beaslbob View Post
I thought aerobic bacteria broke down fish poop, dead fish, pee and other wastes into ammonia kicking off the nitrogen cycle.

Anaerobic/anoxic bacteria do that through a different process with very toxic side effects in some cases.

I still feel it is best for the aerobic bacteria to break things down and for the plants to consume the resulting products.

The very last thing I want is sewer/septic tank bacteria working in my aquariums.

But then my tanks only run for 9-10 years with no filter and no water changes. And with descendants from the original cycle fish. So what do I know?

So that's just me and my .02
Omg thats amazing! Little eco systems

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post #13 of 13 Old 03-29-2019, 05:04 PM
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First, Byron is long gone and swore never to return but that's another story.
There may be some confusion here. There is faculative (aerobic) bacteria that decomposes organic waste. This decomposing along with fish respiration creates ammonia. Nitrosomonas bacteria consumes ammonia, which creates nitrites. Nitrospira bacteria converts nitrites into nitrates. In the typical aquarium, we reduce nitrates by routine, periodic, partial water changes.
Note: fast growing plants, especially floating plants will use ammonia as their nitrogen source. This bypasses the bacteria ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate process. Some plants may use nitrates, but the plant must expend more energy to do so.
There is anoxic/anaerobic bacteria that can strip the O2 from the nitrates (NO3), releasing nitrogen gas. However, creating anoxic/anaerobic regions to culture this bacteria can be a challenge in the highly oxygenated FW aquarium. Organic decomposition in anaerobic environments can produce hydrogen sulfide gas which can be a problem.
Now I never see 'sludge' in my tanks, so I don't know what we're trying to fix with these products...and the bacteria they might add already exists in the established aquarium, breaking down organic waste...and this is not unlike the bacteria the breaks down organic waste in a septic tank.
I'd say save your money.

Last edited by Observer54; 03-29-2019 at 05:08 PM.
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