Add bacteria or no?

TrevorL

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So I recently bought a dead rock structure about 5 days ago. I know it will take some time for it to turn into live rock but I’ve been thinking about what would happen if I added bacteria to the tank. Would it help or would it do nothing? And thank you to everyone that helps it means a lot!
 
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andrewey

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@brandon429 is right. It's also important to understand not all bacterial additives are the same, so it's hard to make large generalizations. That being said, for those that are efficacious, they will often speed up your cycle, if that's your goal. They may or may not help to colonize your new dry rock in a currently running tank (I'm not sure anyone has tested that question one way or another).
 

01xp

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I think it help keep the bacteria population up. I've added to my old setup mulitiple times
 
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TrevorL

TrevorL

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if you are adding the rock to an existing reef the bac isnt needed. if you are starting a new tank with it / bac can help speed up the cycle
What bacteria would you recommend to add to the tank? It is a new tank and it’s all dead rock.
 
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andrewey

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I'd start here- you should find some summaries in the first few posts of the products that were the most efficacious and then you can check out the procedure/findings/discussion if that interests you.
 

andrewey

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You'll have to pardon the funny colors of the summary pages :)
 

SMSREEF

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So I recently bought a dead rock structure about 5 days ago. I know it will take some time for it to turn into live rock but I’ve been thinking about what would happen if I added bacteria to the tank. Would it help or would it do nothing? And thank you to everyone that helps it means a lot!
I have added microbacter 7, ZEObac, dr Tim’s, tropic Marin bacteria. I think it’s all a waste of money and does not help. I should have bought real live rock to begin with rather than trying to bring life to dead rock.

edit: but for cycling Fritz 900 and bio-spira work
 

Bryn

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I like doing things simply when it comes to cycling. Add rock to tank, seed with 2ppm ammonia, wait about a week add 2ppm ammonia again, wait another three days and add another 2ppm of ammonia, test ammonia about 30 mins later and get a color result. 24 hours later test again and see the color change. Hopefully the ammonia should have changed color that represents zero ppm of ammonia, but I'm really only interested in the fact the color has changed in the downwards direction, meaning it is clearing the ammonia hopefully all the ammonia in less than 24hrs. Bacteria in a bottle just speeds things up, at a price.

If I was to use bacteria in a bottle, I would try Fritz-Zyme Saltwater Turbo Start 900 first, followed by Dr. Tims, and Bio Spira.
 
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LeftyReefer

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I have added microbacter 7, ZEObac, dr Tim’s, tropic Marin bacteria. I think it’s all a waste of money and does not help. I should have bought real live rock to begin with rather than trying to bring life to dead rock.
Those products are to help establish biological filtration bacteria, which I'm sure they did.
If you want to turn dead (white) rock into live (purple) rock, you need coralline algae, which is a different product.
Check out the products that contain actual strains of coralline algae, not nitrifying bacteria for this.

Add benifitial bacteria to get the tank cycled. Then once conditions are right for corals, add the coralline algae and then wait 4-6 weeks or so for the coralline algae to show up. Or add live rock instead.
 

SMSREEF

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Those products are to help establish biological filtration bacteria, which I'm sure they did.
If you want to turn dead (white) rock into live (purple) rock, you need coralline algae, which is a different product.
Check out the products that contain actual strains of coralline algae, not nitrifying bacteria for this.

Add benifitial bacteria to get the tank cycled. Then once conditions are right for corals, add the coralline algae and then wait 4-6 weeks or so for the coralline algae to show up. Or add live rock instead.
Actually the products are advertised to increase biodiversity and help beyond the cycle.
I have 2 pieces of live rock in with it and they are the only rock that looks good. Coralline takes months to grow on the dead rock.

The above quote from me was about establishing a good biome in the tank to prevent unwanted outbreaks of opportunistic bacteria/algae/protists.

For sure you can cycle dead rock in a day. But just because it can reduce ammonia does not equate to “live” for me.

And I agree Fritz 900 and bio spira are the best at that, which is why I added the edit in case OP was thinking more about only the cycling of the tank.
 

LeftyReefer

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Again, two different things.... its not the nitrifying bacteria in your tank that is making the rocks pink/purple... its the coralline algae. if you want your white rocks to turn pink/purple, add coralline algae, not bio-spira or Turbo Start. You can add the algae via a coralline algae in a bottle type product or adding existing live rock to your tank. Either way, it will still take several weeks/months for the algae to find its way onto your new rock and start changing the color.

Some newer product contain both the algae and the nitrifying bacteria, but most certainly don't. As far as I know, neither Bio-Spira nor Turbo Start contain any coralline algae, just strains of nitrifying bacteria for cycling your tank and getting the biological filtration bacteria going. But these will not turn your white rocks purple/pink without adding coralline algae into the new tank somehow.

Products like the Pink Fusion/Purple Helix, contain both the bacteria and the algae though. Two birds with one stone.... but will still take time.
 
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ponyboy96

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I’m new like you and working on cycling my first tank. my first post was yesterday and similar to yours. Andrewey sent me the bacteria post and I spent a lot of time reading it. Very helpful.

Anyways, after running Seed for 7 days as directed, I dosed to 2ppm ammonia and nada after 3 days. I put Dr Tim’s in last night (it’s what the LFS had), 12hrs and ammonia dropped from 2ppm to 1.2ppm. See what happens this evening at 24hrs, but it seems to be working.
 

SMSREEF

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Again, two different things.... its not the nitrifying bacteria in your tank that is making the rocks pink/purple... its the coralline algae. if you want your white rocks to turn pink/purple, add coralline algae, not bio-spira or Turbo Start. You can add the algae via a coralline algae in a bottle type product or adding existing live rock to your tank. Either way, it will still take several weeks/months for the algae to find its way onto your new rock and start changing the color.

Some newer product contain both the algae and the nitrifying bacteria, but most certainly don't. As far as I know, neither Bio-Spira nor Turbo Start contain any coralline algae, just strains of nitrifying bacteria for cycling your tank and getting the biological filtration bacteria going. But these will not turn your white rocks purple/pink without adding corolline algae into the new tank somehow.

Products like the one below, contain both the bacteria and the algae though. Two birds with one stone.... but will still take time.
Again, it’s the other bacteria that keep population of Nuisance algae, Dino’s, chrysophate down and take up real estate on the dead rock to allow the good stuff (coral, coraline, Feather dusters, etc) to Attach and grow.

I think we are kinda talking past one another. Text is hard to get full meaning.
I think ultimately we both agree.

Although I am not spending any more money on bottles of stuff that make huge claims and lead to little results (outside of initial cycle).

I have added a couple pieces of live rock, snails with coralline from my other tank, and also have added scraped coralline from my nano. But it’s about more than just coralline.
it’s about a larger and more diverse biome needed to support a thriving reef tank.
 
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