Biological Filtration

Alan

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Without doubt this is the most important aspect of filtration. It does not matter what other filter methods are being used if your biological filtration is not running you will poison the live stock in your system.

"There are many paths to successfully setting up your marine aquarium. All involve certain elements… the tank, lighting, filtration. The last is especially important, in particular an aspect called biological filtration, also known as nutrient cycling. All aquatic animals produce a chemical compound called ammonia as their principal waste product, and this material is toxic, even in small concentrations. Thankfully, there exists certain microbes (bacteria) that readily convert, cycle or process this material into less noxious forms. Your success in keeping aquatic life depends on establishing and keeping these bacterial populations in sufficient numbers as your biological filtration".Again a quote from wetwebmedia

The rest of the article can be found here.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupii.htm

Another good article on filtration.
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-06/dw/index.php
 
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viper357

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Your success in keeping aquatic life depends on establishing and keeping these bacterial populations in sufficient numbers as your biological filtration
Question...

How do we prevent our tanks from suffering from monoculture bacteria strains? How do we introduce extra varied strains of bacteria?

I read on Ultimate Reef that a problem with high nitrates refusing to come down even with 200% water changes a month could possibly be due to the tank suffering from a monoculture of bacteria.

So...how do we add more bacteria to our tanks?
 

viper357

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Some of the readings I picked up on.

boost your bacteria levels as your rock might be blocked up being years old and you might have a mono-culture of bacteria, a strand that can't denitrify properly.
"It would explain why dosing vodka did nothing apparent for your tank, if you don't have enough bacteria in your tank, throwing a carbon source at it will only promote the monoculture, which if in-effective, will not effect your nitrate readings thus you wouldn't know the bacteria was multiplying"
"The basis of a low nutrient system is this.
To reduce wastes we add a food source for bacteria’s to thrive on, these food sources are designed to target some of the bacteria’s needed to tackle the nutrients we have mentioned above. The next stage is a complex amino acid and vitamin solution. This can combine to provide the right food sources for bacteria’s that need both a carbon source as food and an amino acid. Usually included in the amino complex will be a range of basic stuff that helps the health of coral zooxanthellae. Ok so at this point we have a system where the bacteria are breeding and specific nutrients are used as food by the bacteria.
Then we get the odd tank where we have a really poor set of bacteria, simply put the mixed bag of bacteria in our live rock can end up as a simple monoculture. It is at this point that most of the systems offer a probiotic suspended bacteria that can be used to inoculate the system with some good bacteria’s."
 
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Can these "bacteria" be added once of to ensure that there is some kind of population with various species. And in what form do one add this.

Thanx Ian
 

jacquesb

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Hi Viper - perhaps adding an "off the shelf" product that contains different strains of bacteria??? And then not do a water change for a while, that this new bacteria get the chance to multiply - as well as feeding the new "bacteria strains" something carbon based, i.e. Vodka?
 

Galibore

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Me also wants to know. Although I am sure that one would have to regularly inoculate the system with new strains as one culture will inevitably become the dominant one (me thinks).
 

Galibore

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Maybe something like this:

Tetra Aqua Bactozym said:
Allows faster fish introduction. It decomposes harmful waste, speeds up filter development, prevents New Tank syndrome and is easy and quick to use.
For all tropical, goldfish and marine aquaria.
 
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You can use something like bacter-boost or prodibio's biodigest to add different bacteria strains. this is essential if dosing a carbon source.
 

Galibore

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Similar product but different brand.

What I want to know is, will using a product like that give us the diversity in bacteria strains that we need.
 
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Good question
 
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If wanting to do this, can also try exchanging sand with fellow reefers, replacing a proprtion of your live rock once in a while, addign products Like Cycle, Prodbio.

Others like B504 from www.biosystemssa.co.za, or Bio Nitraclear/Bio Hydroclear (www.amitek.co.za, about R90/litre) will also work. If anyone is interested in doing a group buty onthe Bio Nitroclear and Biohydroclear let me know. Need to order about 10 litres of each)

I think the key is to vary the products one uses regularly i.e. don't just use Cycle. Introduce bacteria from as many different sources as possible
 
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viper357

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I think the key is to vary the products one uses regularly i.e. don't just use Cycle. Introduce bacteria from as many different sources as possible
I agree, maybe we can name the different sources available to us that we can add to our tanks to ensure a broad diversity of bacteria.
 

Rod

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If wanting to do this, can also try exchanging sand with fellow reefers, replacing a proprtion of your live rock once in a while, addign products Like Cycle, Prodbio.

Others like B504 from www.biosystemssa.co.za, or Bio Nitraclear/Bio Hydroclear (www.amitek.co.za, about R90/litre) will also work. If anyone is interested in doing a group buty onthe Bio Nitroclear and Biohydroclear let me know. Need to order about 10 litres of each)

I think the key is to vary the products one uses regularly i.e. don't just use Cycle. Introduce bacteria from as many different sources as possible
Thanks for the info. I will take a liter of each.
 
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If wanting to do this, can also try exchanging sand with fellow reefers, replacing a proprtion of your live rock once in a while, addign products Like Cycle, Prodbio.

Others like B504 from www.biosystemssa.co.za, or Bio Nitraclear/Bio Hydroclear (www.amitek.co.za, about R90/litre) will also work. If anyone is interested in doing a group buty onthe Bio Nitroclear and Biohydroclear let me know. Need to order about 10 litres of each)

I think the key is to vary the products one uses regularly i.e. don't just use Cycle. Introduce bacteria from as many different sources as possible

These products you mention clinton are they not for freshwater?
 

Rod

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These products you mention clinton are they not for freshwater?
Unless someone knows better, I dont believe there is a difference. Nitrosoma etc are spread throught the world. However perhaps I am sticking my neck out here, is there any difference?
Any learned reference out there?
I really want to know!
 
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These products you mention clinton are they not for freshwater?
The bacterial strains have probably been isolated from soil or water (fresh) in the past but that does not necessarily mean they will not grow in salt water.

There are very few products (if any) on the market that contain pure marine bacteria only - sure some of the bacterial strains may not thrive as well as they would in freshwater, but as long as the nutrients they require are there they should grow. They have all the necessary enzymes to do the job.

And I'm sure if peopel are culturing bacteria from a marine source they would do it in a fresh water growth medium, so why not the other way round

Lets look for instance at Prodibio Biodigest. It is listed as containing the four bacteria species listed below. I looked up where they have been isolated from

Nitrosomonas europea which is a Gram-negative obligate chemolithoautotroph that can derive all its energy and reductant for growth from the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and lives in several places such as soil, sewage, freshwater, the walls of buildings and on the surface of monuments especially in polluted areas

Nitrobacter winogradskyi lives in soils, fresh water or marine environments. It uses inorganic compounds as energy sources. It oxidizes ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to an end product of nitrate.

Paracoccus denitrificans is a non-motile coccoid soil organism from the alpha subdivision of the proteobacteria, and was first isolated in 1908 by the Dutch microbiologist Martinus Beijerinck

Pseudomonas stutzeri, isolated from ultrapure water
strains of Pseudomonas stutzeri were isolated from sediments of a polluted harbour
440 strains of Pseudomonas stutzeri isolated from soil and marine sediment
A silver-resistant strain of Pseudomonas stutzeri was isolated from a silver mine

This just demonstrates that even excellent products like Prodibio utilise bacteria that are found in a wide, diverse set of conditions. Bacteria are remarkably resilient and as long as they have the correct enzymes, adn the food sources are there they should perform.
 
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Awesome thread Allan and awesome info there palmer!!
I can just picture crazy budget conscious reefers scraping toilet bowls, their gardens, sewage outlets and old mine heaps for stains of bacteria, rushing to the off sales for a half jack of russian bear.........

You can use something like bacter-boost or prodibio's biodigest to add different bacteria strains. this is essential if dosing a carbon source.
absolutely, and a vital point often missed by people trying to use vodka to lower nutrients
 

Alan

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Well i would imagine with out proper bio filtration nothing in the tank will survive, and yea i would use any of the more reputable products for diversity in your bacteria culture.
 
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So...how do we add more bacteria to our tanks?
peeing in your tank would be a good start;) and cheaper, now if you had drink vodka every day you styling!!
 

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