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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,

I note that the well-respected forum member, Byron, is not in favour of using organic waste control/sludge removal products. Or, at least, that's how I have interpreted his/her words in the excellent article about bacteria in the aquarium. But, is this a case of never using such products? Seachem's Aquavitro range includes a product called "Remediation". Although I have a bottle of this, I stopped using it having read Byron's article. Did I do the right thing?

I should add that I have only rarely posted on this forum but I suspect that may change soon!

JPC
 

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I'm a little confused. Remediation is a type of bottled bacteria not a chemical waste remover. My perspective on using chemicals to control algae/ammonia etc is only when there's a real issue in the tank and the health of the fish are at risk. I have a new tank with an overgrowth of blue-green algae so I used a product to kill it while I find the root cause. It's not good to rely on chemicals to cover up the issues. I have no issue using bottled bacteria to kickstart a fishless cycle or as precaution when increasing fish numbers. Certain types of water conditioner can actually kill bacteria (curious, I'm sure it has nothing to do with money making), so if you're finding that you can't stay on top of the tanks' conditions, give a read over the ingredients/reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Remediation is a type of bottled bacteria not a chemical waste remover.
Hi Genos,

Thanks for your reply.

You are correct in making the statement above. However, Remediation is a bacterial waste remover. And Remediation is just one example of those products that Byron is discouraging us from using. In Part 2 of https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-general-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-185721/, Byron states:

"In a filter, if sludge is allowed to increase, heterotrophic bacteria will multiply so fast they actually smother and kill the autotrophic nitrifying bacteria." and...

"never using products that purport to reduce sludge—all these will aid in controlling heterotrophic bacteria."

Remediation claims to "break down excess food, sludge, waste and detritus". Another product, API Stress Zyme, claims to "destroy sludge in the gravel bed...".

That's why I started this thread specifically dealing with organic waste control products.

JPC
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Everyone,

Just to add a little more to my last post...

As organic waste settles on the substrate, it can be very difficult to remove all this waste in a timely manner. This can fuel the growth of algae. In one of my tanks, I have had BBA growing as black tufts on the substrate (JBL Manado). But this only grows in dead spots where the water flow is minimal.

My thinking is that, if the organic waste is consumed by bacteria, this will become dissolved organics which can then be removed by suitable media in the filtration unit.

JPC
 

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Ah alright, I read on seachem's sight about Remediation and it seemed like nitrifying bacteria. JPC has you ever read up on anaerobic bacteria? It's the other half of the cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ah alright, I read on seachem's sight about Remediation and it seemed like nitrifying bacteria. JPC has you ever read up on anaerobic bacteria? It's the other half of the cycle.
Hi Genos,

Yes, I have read quite a lot on anaerobic bacteria. It is a subject that I find very interesting.

JPC
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Folks,

It would appear that nobody (or very few people) uses organic waste control products. I find that surprising. And there does appear to be a great deal of scepticism around these products. A lot of people on other forums view them as nothing more than snake oil. Time to do some more digging...

JPC
 

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IMHO there is no need to add any bottled bacteria. Especially for FW aquariums. Sure In marine tanks you do have to dose things like calcium alk and magnesium but nothing is required to take care of normal fish wastes in either fw or marine systems.


What I do is use plant life (FW plants, marine macro/turf algae) to do those functions. For instance, even in a totally bacteria free starting aquarium, the plants/algae will consume ammonia directly preventing the dangerous cycle spikes. Then after the bacterial builds up, the plants/algae will consume the resulting nitrates. Plus phosphate and carbon dioxide as well. Not to mention bio-accumulating (filtering out) copper and other ions nasty to corals. While returning oxygen and fish food.


I just don't know of anything that provides all the benefits especially and very low costs or free.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #9
IMHO there is no need to add any bottled bacteria. Especially for FW aquariums. Sure In marine tanks you do have to dose things like calcium alk and magnesium but nothing is required to take care of normal fish wastes in either fw or marine systems.


What I do is use plant life (FW plants, marine macro/turf algae) to do those functions. For instance, even in a totally bacteria free starting aquarium, the plants/algae will consume ammonia directly preventing the dangerous cycle spikes. Then after the bacterial builds up, the plants/algae will consume the resulting nitrates. Plus phosphate and carbon dioxide as well. Not to mention bio-accumulating (filtering out) copper and other ions nasty to corals. While returning oxygen and fish food.


I just don't know of anything that provides all the benefits especially and very low costs or free.


my .02
Hi beaslbob,

This thread is dealing specifically with organic waste control products. These contain bacteria that supposedly help to break down detritus, decaying leaves, etc. that accumulate on the substrate, for example. These bacteria are not the same as the beneficial bacteria that are responsible for breaking down ammonia and nitrite in the internal/external filter.

I also have live plants which, as you say, absorb ammonia and nitrates.

JPC
 

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Hi beaslbob,

This thread is dealing specifically with organic waste control products. These contain bacteria that supposedly help to break down detritus, decaying leaves, etc. that accumulate on the substrate, for example. These bacteria are not the same as the beneficial bacteria that are responsible for breaking down ammonia and nitrite in the internal/external filter.

I also have live plants which, as you say, absorb ammonia and nitrates.

JPC

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
 

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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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First, Byron is long gone and swore never to return but that's another story.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
 
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