Bacteria dosing - pushing sales?

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by Jaco Schoeman, 27 Jan 2011.

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Hi guys...

    I have done a bit of homework on bacteria lately... And I have walked into a wall that I cannot seem to find an answer for...

    We all know now that we can do Vodka (carbon) dosing, NeoZoe, NeoVite, Bio pellets, microbacter dosing etc etc etc

    All of these companies then has a "rule of thumb" that you need to refill or replace this product...

    What I do not understand however is when you look the graphs they supply and statements they make, I wonder whether or not they are not just making an extra buck out of us...

    Please feel free to correct me at any time, but this is how I see it...

    Day 1: Your NO3 is at 50ppm
    Day 2: Bacteria population = 0 (now you start dosing...)
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Day 20: NO3 is at 25ppm and bacteria is at 100
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Day 40: NO3 is at 0 and bacteria is at 200 (full strength)
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Day 50: Bacteria has no more food so they reduce to 100 again
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Day 60: NO3 up to 10ppm again so your bacteria compensates and multiplies to 200 again...



    So you get the idea... The more "food" the bacteria gets, the more they grow, and the less they get, the more die. Simple balance of nature really...

    So where in this entire process is the need to keep on "dosing" bacteria? Why then replacing NeoZeo and bio pellets etc. if the bacteria will balance the poluplation itself according to the bio load on the system?


    Please help me out, maybe I am just not understanding it right.:p
     
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  3. SIMS

    SIMS

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    I think its to ensure one strain of bacteria does not become domanant...so you keep adding others.
     
  4. Jeann1

    Jeann1

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    This is a very good question - tagging along to hear the answers..

    If a natural cycle is run with a new setup - should the bacteria not anyways grow without any supplements?
     
  5. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    SIMS, I agree to a degree yes... But adding "bacteria food" will not introduce a new bacteria strain right? Even if you dose Brigtwells Microbacter, it will become the dominent strain, so why keep on dosing it then even more?

    Jeann1, you are also right IMO. If you just leave a setup to come to life, then a strain will take the lead. Dosing just makes sure that you basically help the right strain along quicker - like giving them steroids...

    I am no expert here guys, so please feel free to share your thoughts - I have no right answer here, it just does not make sense... Where are the Neo experts?
     
  6. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Im sure its because we are impatient......we want the most out of our tanks in the shortest time.....so we dose bacteria and carbon to speed the process, instead of waiting a month for your system to stabalize
     
    Last edited: 27 Jan 2011
  7. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Yes, initially it is good to dose IMO... But my question here is, after the tank ran for 6 months for example, why do I need to refill my bio pellets?

    Makes no sense, except more cash for the LFS and the supplier.

    If you have a good healthy colony of bacteria, that can repopulate as they get taken out by coral, water changes and starvation, yet still able to grow fast enought to keep up with nutrient demand, why then try add more - they will only go so far...
     
  8. wukkie

    wukkie

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    I am not sure if I understand the question completly.
    To my understanding, we dose the Carbon, as ther is a ratio that is needed, to breakdown the NO3. But I would agree with, my shoudl I be dosing mor bacteria. Once I have reach the balance and the ratio can be mantained, then why woudl I add more nacteria, as they would just die off. I could go with the adding of Bacteria, if I change the Bio load of the system, and I want the Bacteria to catch up quicker.

    This is just my 2 cents. No xpert here.
     
  9. gaboon

    gaboon

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    In my case if I continue with carbon dosing and stop the bacteria dosing I get a cyano outbreak. (Good vs bad bacteria)

    You can have a non-desirable bacteria strain in your tank that the good bottled bacteria is keeping at bay. I wont try elaborate on that cause I cant.
     
  10. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Gaboon, thanks for the input... That makes sense yes. So in your case it makes sense to keep on dosing...

    But what if you have a good strain running already?
     
  11. gaboon

    gaboon

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    The good strain in your tank is not a sure thing, I'm sure others can become dominant so just think of it as replenishing the good bacteria from time to time.
     
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  12. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I think the addition of more bacteria is (as SIMS said) to insure one strain doesnt become dominant. As far as im aware none of the bacterial cultures are single strains and are all made up of a variety of different bacteria to help break done different things (ie nitrates, nitrites, etc). Like all organisms, bacteria need a carbon source to produce energy, lipids etc and in so doing will take up nitrates/nitrites.
    I tend to agree that there is a certain element of "making a quick buck" but also replacing bacteria often will stop the fluctuation you pointed out earlier. Having too many isnt an issue, your skimmer will sort that out. Having too few desirable bacteria will lead to more nitrates, increased cyano and other nasties. So adding at predetermined intervals will always ensure that if nutrients do spike there will be bacteria around and you wont have to wait a week or two for the tanks bacteria to double to sort it out.
     
  13. Jeann1

    Jeann1

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    In a case like that it makes sense, but , another question i keep on asking myself is - if bacteria needs food to live, how can they be stored in bottles? buy adding some sort of chemical that slows them down - but if a bottle is 1 year old, or 2 years old ?

    In any supply chain age of products is a variable - expiary dates work well, but how many of these products have expiary dates?

    Do we really know the composition of whats in the bottle?

    I do not know about this hobby enough to make any assumptions, but hasn't any one else ever wonderd about these questions ?
     
  14. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    I must say that Ive always been pretty skeptical of all the bacteria products....if you read the caption on a bottle of Stability or MB7, it basically doesnt give any concrete answer on whats in it, simply stating some scientific names, that I dont have any referance of......how do you bottle bacteria without it getting lumpy or turning into solid matter?

    Yet with that said for some reason Ive noticed improvements in my tanks appearance, more so than when I dont use the stuff.....I cant explain it?
     
  15. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    My dad (freek on MASA) works for EarlyBird Farms (chickens not TV's)

    Now in his industry, his job is to clean the water that is filled with chicken blood and stuff. So they have a DSB, NO JOKES, the size of a rugby field. Really!!! It is a dam and they dose it with bacteria, not in milliliters, but in thousands... They have skimmers the diameter of silos, and not one, about 4 or 5 of them. They are also now constructing an algae scrubber worth a few bar...

    So, he has had to go for massive training on bacteria, and he laughs at me with wanting to refill my pellets. He says once the colony is in place, the regrow so fast, that even if you do a water change, wihtin hours your levels are back on par...

    Have not thrown the strain curveball to him yet, so let us see what he says...

    @freek
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  16. gaboon

    gaboon

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    Ask @HenkHugo

    I think he'll be able to help here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  17. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    cannot compare our tanks to cleaning chicken farm blood. Nutrients in the farm are huge so bacteria will grow very fast. Dominnt strains will also be different.
     
  18. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    True, but the principle stays the same. Yes they do it HUGE quantities compared to us... not sure... EISH...!!!
     
  19. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    bacteria have to survive in a bottle. Some will form spores, others will develop a protective slime coat, or they will simply hibernate. The comanies probably add certain chemicals to help keep them dormant.

    most of them do. They should use "use before" and "use within xx after opening"

    no. Some will give an idication of my genus are in there, but the exact species will be company secret.
     
  20. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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  21. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    I have rewritten this a few times as it is difficult not to make it sound like a massive sales pitch :D The info I provide here applies to our bacterial product. I am not sure about the strains of bacteria contained in the other products mentioned above.

    Jaco is right. The principles of cleaning/keeping clean your tank using bacteria are the same as using bacteria to perform bioremediation.

    Bacteria also acts as a food source for corals and I believe my RBTA recovered from the normal bleaching during shipping as fast as it did due to my continual dosing of Special Blend.

    For optimum results you will need a bacterial consortium that performs various tasks. Thus you want bacteria that can survive in various condition and perform various jobs under these various conditions i.e. Aerobic, anaerobic, facultative, photosynthetic and chemosynthetic.

    Our product is self-selecting and only the bacteria that are needed at the point of dosage will be active. As the conditions change bacteria dies off and other strains need to become dominant. When we do large application such as manure pits, industrial oxidation ponds etc. we have a rather interesting dosing program. A once off large inoculation dose, 4 to 8 weeks of a lower intermediate dose and then it changes over to a lower dose every 2nd week. This ensures that the correct bacteria are active in the system and that the organic waste is consumed with optimum results.

    Now an aquarium is the same. There will always be a built up organic waste in the tank. If you use a product with the correct consortium (in SpecialBlends’ case 29 species) you should get good results. The bacteria will out compete algae for available nutrients thus starving it and leading to a slow die off of the algae. In one industrial application it even outcompeted E-coli.

    If anyone wants any more info on our aquarium bacteria I’ll gladly supply it. If you want info on our industrial applications send me a PM and I’ll mail some reading material to you.
     
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