Bottled bacteria

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by ekocak, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I've recently returned to the marine aquarium hobby after more than a decade, and one of the things I've seen a lot of are these bottled bacteria solutions for speeding the cycling of a tank up. Have any of you folks used these products? What are your thoughts? My instinct is to play it safe and wait things out like old times, but I'm curious.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    From what I have read, it is pretty useless. It is not that the bottles don't contain what they say (although there is some concern that it may not be alive) the conditions in a new tank (amount of ammonia being generated) won't keep the added bacteria alive for long (it will starve).

    Good live rock (not a budget item) or lots of time are the tried and true methods that I use. If you can obtain live rock that is still in an active tank from a hobbyist, this will do more than any bottle of additive, even if all your LR is not active. Keep in mind that it takes a full 3 months of active cycling to approach growing enough bacteria to handle the waste load of a large animal. The initial cycle (when the fish stores tell you that your tank is "ready" for fish) is not ready for an octopus or any animal that is a heavy bio-load producer. Also keep in mind that cycle fish (I prefer a fishless cycle) will need to be rehomed before adding an octopus. DON'T expect them to become food. They are more likely to harass the animal than provide enrichment. In stead of fish, I add clean up crew that can stay with the animal and then overfeed the tank to bring up the bacteria.

    There is a decent list of compatible animals that you can start adding after the initial cycle in the Tankmates What works and what doesn't thread in the Octopus Care forum.
     
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  3. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Yeah, I was not at all planning on rushing it, was more just curious about how something like the bottled bacteria could even work, and it sounds as though you're confirming my suspicions. From what I remember, the last time I cycled a marine tank it took 90 days, and yeah a large bioload organism would be longer. Thank you for the additional info about tank mates though, that's very useful.
     
  4. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    Dr Tim's One and Only seemed interesting to me, and distanced itself from similar products by claiming to be backed by peer reviewed research and having several large clients such as the London Aquarium.. The guy seems credible, but I wasn't able to find the research he talks about. I used it when I was initially cycling my tank, however I introduced into when I was already somewhat into my cycle. Still, my tank was cycled about two weeks after..

    My thinking was when starting on setting up a fresh tank, it can't hurt to add it, as in the worst cast scenario it just wont work.
     
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  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    @Thales posted a link to this article on Facebook. It compares two of the big brand cycle products against a simulated natural cycle (they did not use live rock as one of their comparative test). IMO, it pretty much suggests that, where it does no harm (other than to the pocketbook) there was no clear new aquarium benefit.
     

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