Dr Timothy Hovanec's comments about Bacterial supplements

lilirose

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Hi @lilirose

As carbon is a fundamental element required by all living things, it applies to both of the above. But, I was specifically referring to the nitrifying bacteria.

JPC

Thanks for that. AFAIK, room air contains carbon in the form of CO2, so that must be why cycling a sponge filter with an air pump in a bucket with RO water. commercial aquarium remineraliser, household ammonia, and a bacterial starter works well for me.

In previous posts you assert that, in order to successfully grow nitrifying bacteria, one must pay attention to multiple parameters (alkaline pH, phosphates, hardness etc) because they're "critically important".

I've successfully "cycled" seven sponge filters in the past year using RO water and household ammonia whilst ignoring all these so-called critical factors. Respectfully, could you provide some sort of source or example for your assertions instead of supposing that we know and agree to all the same things that you know? Possibly I'm just misunderstanding, but a clearer explanation would help greatly.

I know I've been responding to your posts quickly, because I'm not busy tonight, but I'd much prefer a complete answer to one provided swiftly.
 

Zeus.

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But if someone produces factual evidence that something happens when something is done, opinions and theories don't come into it, do they?

One piece of factual evidence is a start only, which may make others think, it needs to be 'peer reviewed', 'reproduced independently' by several others, then it would be looked at more seriously,...... it takes a lot of effort and time for it to be considered to true by all.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Thanks for that. AFAIK, room air contains carbon in the form of CO2, so that must be why cycling a sponge filter with an air pump in a bucket with RO water. commercial aquarium remineraliser, household ammonia, and a bacterial starter works well for me.
Yes, the nitrifying bacteria need dissolved CO2. The form that <"Total Inorganic Carbon (TIC)"> takes is dependent upon pH and the total amount of TIC is dependent upon atmospheric CO2 levels.

Because nitrification is an acidifying process (you've liberated three H+ ions and combined three oxygen atoms) you can potentially, convert all the TIC to CO2, which reduces pH and can limit nitrification, because the CO2 will only be replenished by diffusion from the atmosphere. If you have a reserve of carbonates, these buffer the pH fall and mean that a continual stream of CO2 is available for nitrification. As H+ ions are liberated pH doesn't fall because the CO3-- buffer is converted to HCO3- and those bicarbonate ions converted to CO2. You only run out of CO2 when the carbonate buffering is exhausted.

<"Ammonia Oxidising Archaea (AOA)"> need less oxygen for nitrification, I don't know how this effects their carbon requirement, but lowers it would be my guess. They certainly don't have the same requirement for high carbonate hardness that Ammonia Oxidising Bacteria (AOB) have.

cheers Darrel
 
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lilirose

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Hi all,Yes, the nitrifying bacteria need dissolved CO2. The form that <"Total Inorganic Carbon (TIC)"> takes is dependent upon pH and the total amount of TIC is dependent upon atmospheric CO2 levels.

Because nitrification is an acidifying process (you've liberated three H+ ions and combined three oxygen atoms) you can potentially, convert all the TIC to CO2, which reduces pH and can limit nitrification, because the CO2 will only be replenished by diffusion from the atmosphere. If you have a reserve of carbonates, these buffer the pH fall and mean that a continual stream of CO2 is available for nitrification. As H+ ions are liberated pH doesn't fall because the CO3-- buffer is converted to HCO3- and those bicarbonate ions converted to CO2. You only run out of CO2 when the carbonate buffering is exhausted.

<"Ammonia Oxidising Archaea (AOA)"> need less oxygen for nitrification, I don't know how this effects their carbon requirement, but lowers it would be my guess. They certainly don't have the same requirement for high carbonate hardness that Ammonia Oxidising Bacteria (AOB) have.

cheers Darrel


Thank you for the very clear and thorough explanation!

I started keeping fish in the days of undergravel filters, when the substrate was the biological filter. I left the hobby for a time, and came back to find undergravel filters not only impossible to find, but an actual subject of mockery (despite how well they worked for me in the past).

While researching to set up new tanks, I discovered a group of kids online preaching fishless cycling and saying that the nitrification taking place in the substrate was negligible compared to what was happening in a filter, whether that filter be sponge, HOB, or canister. To them, plants and substrate are decorations, nothing more. Real plants look nicer than fake ones, but there's no benefit beyond appearance. You were supposed to fishless cycle your filter with Tetra Safe Start and ammonia, in exactly the same way, keep the same spreadsheet of tank parameters, etc. or you were being cruel to your livestock, and to question this was treated as heresy.

Then I grew my own jungle tank and could see right in front of me that the cycled filter was one component in a system that is more complex than any of those young folk realise. It's important, but it's not the end-all-be-all. The livestock, plants, substrate, and filter form a complex system, with every bit important. But I have mostly been working on instinct rather than knowing the "why". I've always been a person who likes to know how things work, so threads like this are of immense value to me.
 

Luketendo

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To add to the plants cycling tanks argument, I cycled my tank earlier this year in 1 week just with Amazonia Powder / Amazonia II and heavy planting. They were a bunch of emersed plants from a grower here in Australia.
 

Zeus.

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Checked out those links to the papers, but could only get access to the 'abstracts' of the papers without paying, which isn't as bad as 'data on file' which you can get as companies hiding their research papers from everyone which back up their claims. But if you have to pay to read the papers I always feels this hinders 'Good Science' as this information should be open transparent and free for all to read and digest.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
The thousands of people that had great success were doing it wrong, just ask those kids you mentioned.
I started keeping fish in the days of undergravel filters, when the substrate was the biological filter. I left the hobby for a time, and came back to find undergravel filters not only impossible to find, but an actual subject of mockery (despite how well they worked for me in the past).
Things tend to go in and out of fashion, my guess would be that there are still quite a few older aquarists using UGF, and at some point they will have limited renaissance. I think people like canister filters for <"their look">, because they are quiet, because maintenance is easy etc., but not necessarily because they are <"always the best choice">.
You were supposed to fishless cycle your filter with Tetra Safe Start and ammonia, in exactly the same way, keep the same spreadsheet of tank parameters, etc. or you were being cruel to your livestock, and to question this was treated as heresy.
I think a lot of us <"have been there">.
Then I grew my own jungle tank and could see right in front of me that the cycled filter was one component in a system that is more complex than any of those young folk realise.
Same for me, but I'd admit that I'm not an entirely objective observer. I started from the premise that:
I think the last fifteen years have largely vindicated this as a view (but I'm obviously biased by my "faith" position).

One thing I would note about UKAPS, is that, although we are a plant based forum, we tend to have relatively few "fish health" posts, and a lot of members have <"fish breeding in their tanks"> without any intervention. I'm pretty sure this is because our tanks have consistently high water quality, and that this is directly attributable to the plants.

cheers Darrel
 

Tim Harrison

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I started keeping fish in the days of undergravel filters, when the substrate was the biological filter.
The same here as well. Even back then there was no end to the BS about how plants wouldn't grow very well if you used an under-gravel filter since it continually disturbed the roots, or some such nonsense.

Basically, not many folk were successful at growing plants back then, for a number of reasons, but the unifying factor was UG filtration so they assumed it was that. Often the plants sold were drowning house plants. Many tanks came with a useless Edison type tungsten bulb. When folk did get hold of aquatic plants they often used lead to anchor them in plain pea gravel and didn't feed them. The list goes on.

I actually used a layer of peat sandwiched between two layers of pea gravel over an UG filter. It worked like a charm. I probably had two very viable oxidised microzones, the substrate was probably a hive of microbial activity, the tanks were supper healthy and plant growth was amazing.

I don't think I even tried to cycle a tank, never heard of it, although I did know about the nitrifying process. But it always worked without loss or problems. I guess I know pretty much why now, but it was more intuitive back then. I just tried to create an environment that was as close to natural as possible.
 

Zeus.

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To add to the plants cycling tanks argument, I cycled my tank earlier this year in 1 week just with Amazonia Powder / Amazonia II and heavy planting. They were a bunch of emersed plants from a grower here in Australia.

IMO the cycling process will different for all substrates as each substrate will bring a different array of bacteria and microorganisms to the tank, even inert substrates will have bacteria on them, how clean are our hands when scaping the tank will have an effect. To get definitive results/conclusions from living organisms or ecosystems (which includes a 5kg bag of substrate in a plastic bag) is hard, and any conclusions are subjective.
 

Luketendo

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IMO the cycling process will different for all substrates as each substrate will bring a different array of bacteria and microorganisms to the tank, even inert substrates will have bacteria on them, how clean are our hands when scaping the tank will have an effect. To get definitive results/conclusions from living organisms or ecosystems (which includes a 5kg bag of substrate in a plastic bag) is hard, and any conclusions are subjective.
I was referencing the substrate as an ammonia source not bacteria. I also used power sand which supposedly has bacteria added but more likely the plants I would say.

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dw1305

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Hi all,
but could only get access to the 'abstracts' of the papers without paying,
PM me if you want full-text.

There is a lot of argument about open source science, some scientists will <"only publish"> in open source journals, but a whole industry is based on the <"pay to publish", "pay to read" model">.

Scientists are trapped really, they have to keep publishing to remain in any form of employment, and they have to publish in <"prestigious journals"> to rise up the academic treadmill. If they don't "perform" they are sacked. Academia is a pretty ruthless place these days, it really is a buyers market, with a huge "over-supply" of scientists.

cheers Darrel
 

Luketendo

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Hi all, PM me if you want full-text.

There is a lot of argument about open source science, some scientists will /journals.plos.org/plosone/static/publish']only publish[/URL]"> in open source journals, but a whole industry is based on the /www.aje.com/en/arc/understanding-submission-and-publication-fees/']"pay to publish", "pay to read" model[/URL]">.

Scientists are trapped really, they have to keep publishing to remain in any form of employment, and they have to publish in /www.annualreviews.org/about/impact-factors']prestigious journals[/URL]"> to rise up the academic treadmill. If they don't "perform" they are sacked. Academia is a pretty ruthless place these days, it really is a buyers market, with a huge "over-supply" of scientists.

cheers Darrel
As a PhD student yes

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Driftless

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I am sorry if I missed it but I have question about Dr. Tim's products: as a result of of this discussion I ordered a number of Dr. Tim's products to try and now that they have arrived I am wondering if they are compatable with Purgen which I run as my chemical filtration in all of my caninsters? Thanks.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I am wondering if they are compatible with Purigen?
I don't know, but I don't think Purigen will make any difference to the Bacteria/Archaea, (or ammonia) you add.

It is to do with the <"size of the particle">, the microbes will be too big and the ammonium ion (NH4+) and/or dissolved ammonia (NH3) too small to be bound. If I could easily take it out of the filter I would, but if you can't it doesn't matter.

If you have plants? and your tank is up and running? You don't need the "One and Only", but it won't do any harm.

Ammonia addition is definitely likely to do more harm than good, if you tank already "cycled".

cheers Darrel
 

Driftless

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All of my tanks are heavily planted and cycled, I asked my question because Purigen does not play well with some aquarium additives, they can reduce the effectiveness of Purigen.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
my question because Purigen does not play well with some aquarium additives, they can reduce the effectiveness of Purigen.
They can, but it is down to the size of colloid or molecule. Have a look at @Craig Matthews post in <"FeEDDHA">, and Seachem's response..



All of my tanks are heavily planted and cycled
Is there a water quality reason for wanting to try "One and Only"? It would probably only make a positive difference if you felt that <"biological nitrification had been compromised">.

Because your tanks are established, and heavily planted, the microbial assemblage you have in the filter (and substrate) is likely to be one that has developed under <"low ammonia loading">, which would reduce any advantage of "One and Only" may have.

If you had a high ammonia situation without an inoculum of suitable microbes (basically a non-planted, non-cycled tank) then it would be worth trying, although my guess would be that plants and time are still a better option .

cheers Darrel
 

Driftless

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Hi all,They can, but it is down to the size of colloid or molecule. Have a look at @Craig Matthews post in <"FeEDDHA">, and Seachem's response..



Is there a water quality reason for wanting to try "One and Only"? It would probably only make a positive difference if you felt that <"biological nitrification had been compromised">.

Because your tanks are established, and heavily planted, the microbial assemblage you have in the filter (and substrate) is likely to be one that has developed under <"low ammonia loading">, which would reduce any advantage of "One and Only" may have.

If you had a high ammonia situation without an inoculum of suitable microbes (basically a non-planted, non-cycled tank) then it would be worth trying, although my guess would be that plants and time are still a better option .

cheers Darrel

They are the better option but I am thinking of future tanks. Thanks for posting the text from Seachem.
 
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