We don't know exactly how "Prime" works, because Seachem won't tell you, but Kordon's "Amquel" has a patent and I would be very surprised if the mode of action wasn't similar. If you go to the "Removing Chloramine From Water: Chemical Reducing Agents" section of <"Chloramine and the .....">, it is that process. Basically "Prime" etc. don't remove any nitrogen, they just shuffle it into forms less toxic than ammonia (NH3).Prime shouldn't be addded because it will remove ammonia and will interfere with the nitrogen cycle, correct?
The original research was based on the growing requirements of bacteria isolated from sewage works (high pH, high ammonia loading), but you can only grow a tiny proportion of micro-organisms in culture, and the ones we can <"grow in culture aren't the ones found in aquarium filters">.
sooner are a waste of money?
That is a question that we can't really answer, we are into a shades of grey world, it is a similar question to <"do probiotics in yogurt etc work?">. The only way to find out would be to be run a DNA scan looking for COMAMMOX bacterial and Ammonia Oxidising Archaeal (AOA) genes. My suspicion is that they may contain some of these, how useful they would be would depend on the ammonia loading the products were produced under, again my guess would be that the bioreactors that produce these products run on quite high ammonia loadings, which would make them less useful.am I safe to conclude from the above that the commercially available bacteria cultures that promise addition of fish sooner are a waste of money?
With any aquarium product I look at it like buying a fitted kitchen, the salesman tries to sell you all these up-grades etc. but when you look at it objectively you have just paid a £400 for a couple of bits of particle board and some cheap fittings. I know enough about photosynthesis and plant nutrition to know that there are no "special phosphors" in fluorescent tubes and that every NO3- ion is the same as every other NO3- ion in solution, and if any-one tries to tell me different they are wrong.It's the job of companies like Seachem to discover new and interesting ways to part us from our hard earned cash.
It never ceases to amaze me how many products there are on the market that we didn't know we needed until they were invented.
Have a look at Dr Tim Hovanec's comments in <"Bacteria revealed">. He did a lot of the original research on nitrifying bacteria, but has revised his his opinion based on subsequent scientific advances, despite having a <"commercial interest"> in these products. All we can say that the bacteria that were claimed to be in the product might be there, or they might not, but in either case they are entirely irrelevant.having only 2 species of bacteria will get you started with hardy fish. These products don't always contain the right two though. You need the correct nitrite and ammonia eaters.
cheers DarrelBagchi et al. (2014) <"Temporal and Spatial Stability of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Bacteria in Aquarium Biofilters">. PLoS ONE 9(12): e113515. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0113515.
I think this beats the whole purpose of doing a dirted tank. You do dirt in order to avoid paying for a readily commercial product. I am sure you can find a nice size and colour inert substrate.Is it OK to cap with Tropica Soil? I can't find a gravel / sand I'm happy with and I like the look of the tropica stuff? This would be for a cap over 1" of aquatic compost and moss peat mix.
I think this beats the whole purpose of doing a dirted tank. You do dirt in order to avoid paying for a readily commercial product. I am sure you can find a nice size and colour inert substrate.
Having said that , if you choose to do both dirt and Tropica soil you will probably get a profusion of nutrients in the water column that you will have to take care of using fast growing plants along with extra water changes.