Bacteria in a bottle, Myth or Fact

Which bottle bacteria in your personal experience worked for you in a sterile tank.


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Dr. Reef

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Call me old school, back in the day we placed a deli shrimp in a tank to kick start the cycle. When tank reached 1.5-2 ppm ammonia we pulled it out and waited sometimes weeks to months for bacteria to colonize and drop ammonia and nitrites down to 0 to make tank safe for livestock.
With recent research and technology which is still growing, there are some companies out there that claim No new tank syndrome, fast cycle or instant cycle.
Personally i dont think such bacteria can survive manufacturing process, trucking, shipping, warehousing. rotation, non proper storage and variant temperature exposures. Some may not even carry the right strand of bacteria needed to produce the claims stated.
In order to put my personal mind to rest i have decided to conduct a simple study.
Setup few tanks, dose ammonia, dose bacteria from bottle and watch them do their job.
Do this test 3 times over to get the best of 3 results and for more consistent results.
While conducting these studies comparing ammonia kits is also another type of a side study. Most common ammonia kits according to few polls i have researched are Red Sea, API and Seachem or Salifert kits. (popular in order stated)
In order to get the best and fresh bacteria off the makeline i reached out to many manufacturers and some returned back to me and committed to ship free samples of their products.


Final Review:
After all the comments and concerns and have had most vendors contacted me, finally i have come to conclusion to setup an experiment to just show how fast these bottles will work to bring ammonia down and maintain ammonia 0 over 1 week.

Experiment as follows:

Equipment:

5 gal tanks with dry reef sand and equal amount of ceramic rings. Each tank will have HOB with filter and ceramic rings. temp will be 74-76F at all times and ATO installed to keep salinity stable at 1.023.

Course of Action:

Day 1: Going to start in each Tank with 2 ppm ammonia first day and by few hrs later (2-4hrs) place the dose of bacteria according to manufacturer.
Test ammonia nitrites nitrates 24 hrs later.
Day 2: Test for ammonia nitrites and nitrates. (if bottle recommends addition of bacteria then dose accordingly)
Day 3: Add 1 ppm ammonia test 24 hrs later. (if bottle recommends addition of bacteria then dose accordingly)
Day 4: Add 1 ppm ammonia test 24 hrs later. (if bottle recommends addition of bacteria then dose accordingly)
Day 5: Add 1 ppm ammonia test 24 hrs later. (if bottle recommends addition of bacteria then dose accordingly)

Soon as ammonia tests zero i will add 0.5ppm to 1ppm ammonia daily for 5 days to see if ammonia returns.
this study will be conducted 3 time to get the best and consistent results.

Any thoughts concerns or changes are welcome before i start the process.
#reefsquad
#reefsquadleaders
#mods



Products to be tested: (in order they came in)

Group 1:

1. Fritz Turbo Start 900 (on board)
2. Dr Tim One and Only (on board)
3. Prodibio Start Up (on board)
4. Seachem Seed (on board)


Group 2:


1. Instant Ocean Bio Spira
(on board)

2. Microbe Lift Nite Out 2 (on board)
3. ATM Colony
(no response)
4. Fluval Cycle (REJECTED on free sample, DID NOT respond for buying fresh bottle)



I recommend all hobbyist to show the manufacturers that participated in providing free samples a great appreciation for their commitments and their work in our industry and helping the environment. They all sound very confident about their products and have research and years to prove it. I myself when i started my hobby 25-30 yrs ago things were very different and i was very skeptical of such products i guess you can call me old school. This is a great learning experience for myself and i am sure the data points are going to more interesting for all of us.

I like to add that this experiment is not to put one product down or over the other. simply want to see which product works in what length of time.




First Group:


1. Fritz TurboStart 900

2. Dr. Tim One and Only
3. Prodibio Startup
4. Seachem Seed

fritz2.png drtim2.jpg prodibio2.jpg seed2.jpg


Second Group:


1. Instant Ocean Bio Spira
2. Microbe Lift Nite Out 2
3. Fluval Cycle
4. ATM Colony
biospira2.jpg nite out 2a.jpg fluval2.jpg ATM-Colony2.png


ADDITIONALLY
Few side studies came up during the main course:

List of side studies to be conducted:


1. Fritz shipped cold or not (Done) (results: Pages 57-60)
2. Fritz cold bottle vs room temp bottle (Done) (results: Page 67, Post #1333)
3. Ammonia kits (API vs Salifert vs RedSea) (Done) (winner: RedSea)
4. Effects of elements on bacteria (Done)(i locked up a jar of cycled water with fritz and will test 10 yrs later)
5. Turbostart 900 vs Zyme 9
(Done) (results: Page 85)
6. Bacteria poured in water vs poured directly on ring/filters/sand (Done) (results: Page 85)


Studies in Future:

1. Garlic appetite opener
2. Live Sand vs Dry Sand
3. Bottle Coraline algae



For Updated results see post #3 on page 1.
 
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Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef

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Results (1st Group):
1st study, Round 1 & 2 (8ppm)
Page 20: Best Performance: Fritz Turbo Start 900


fritz.jpg

Results (1st Group):
2st study, Round 1 (2ppm)
Page 48: Best Performance: Fritz Turbo Start 900
Page 50: Round 1 Conclusions


2st study, Round 2 (1ppm)
Page 51: Best Performance: Fritz Turbo Start 900
Page 52: Round 2 Conclusions


2st study, Round 3 (1ppm)
Page 56: Best Performance: Fritz Turbo Start 900

Page 56: Round 3 Conclusions

fritz.jpg



Results (2st Group):
3st study, Round 1 (1ppm)
Page 69: Best Performance: Bio Spria
Page 69: Round 1 Conclusions


3st study, Round 2 (1ppm)
Page 76: Best Performance: Bio Spria
Page 76: Round 2 Conclusions


3st study, Round 3 (1ppm)

Page 76: Best Performance: Bio Spria
Page 76: Round 2 Conclusions

biospira2a.jpg
 
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DSC reef

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Only have 3 x 5gal tanks, wanted to do the most common and 2 of the oldest bottles. I can do microbelift as well just have to get another tank today or tomorrow.
Ive used the microbelift in previous tanks but no real data. That stuff stinks so bad.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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bottle bac is real, does speed cycle compared to none added, it's factual. It's very simple to keep all aquatic strains of bacteria alive in bottles, some shelf lives have a two year expiry

If the experiment is ran against ammonia digestion from a hydrated but non bottle inoculated tank, the strains that are nitrifiers will show quicker and stronger ammonia digestion after two weeks than the undosed tank. There are massive university level genetic studies that have been ran on bottle bac brands to literally measure what's in there, reef builders had a nice one online. Can't wait to see how this test aligns with prior ones

Some bottle bac are not meant for cycling, they're for detritus digestion. In that case, a typical home has no way to measure presence or not, only the cycling ones we can test via ammonia digestion after predicted timeframes. Is microbe lift used for cycling or for waste reduction/increasing diversity?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Also

It has been stated that your control system #1 should be able to self cycle up to .5-1ppm testable ammonia oxidation on its own sourcing in between 90-120 days. Can't wait to see if it does, the theory is that the world still puts trace ammonia and seed bac in every open system given time.

APi ammonia can't be used for this test, the best ammonia testing is required

What brand ammonia test here
 

DSC reef

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bottle bac is real, does speed cycle compared to none added, it's factual. It's very simple to keep all aquatic strains of bacteria alive in bottles, some shelf lives have a two year expiry

If the experiment is ran against ammonia digestion from a hydrated but non bottle inoculated tank, the strains that are nitrifiers will show quicker and stronger ammonia digestion after two weeks than the undosed tank. There are massive university level genetic studies that have been ran on bottle bac brands to literally measure what's in there, reef builders had a nice one online. Can't wait to see how this test aligns with prior ones

Some bottle bac are not meant for cycling, they're for detritus digestion. In that case, a typical home has no way to measure presence or not, only the cycling ones we can test via ammonia digestion after predicted timeframes. Is microbe lift used for cycling or for waste reduction/increasing diversity?
According to the bottle I assumed both.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I didn't even check but it makes sense yep. It takes special refining to get nitrifiers -out of- any produced liquid suspension. To have select digestion bacteria that run alongside oxidation strains is just like nature, no pure strains exist in aquatic systems they're all biofilm mixes. More bang for buck.

I've seen microbe lift beat cyano invasions in a stat significant amnt of posts using it
 
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SPR1968

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Great experiment and I’m following along and as said above thanks for taking the time to do this. The results will be very interesting to see.

I’ve used ATM Colony twice and that worked for my with an instant cycled tank so if you have room add that as well. I’ll keep ya busy! Lol
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Every freshwater tank pre 1990 was like your system #1 and cycled itself in a month. Lfs across the US told me to wait as a kid, not add something, in those pre bottle bac days. They didn't even tell us to ghost feed, cuz that's a nineties invented notion about how our additions or withholdings, not microbiological contamination and vectoring controls aquatic bacteria (as if)

How the world cycles is amazing! But that's fw, they abound

Sw strains are found in nature too, just lesser, so takes 120 days+

Take a standard tetra fw cycling bottle from wal mart: one bottle does fw and sw per directions, but add twice as much for sw

Little clues line up from various places, regarding microbiology already set by millennia.

My cycling thread will have killed a thousand tanks if bottle bac are not real. One cannot input speed bioload without correct bacterial presence, guppies or anemones, they'll all die in 48 hours. But with skip cycle biology, we can simply cheat master time.

The only things humans control given no direct medication is time of deposition, not actual deposition of bacteria. As soon as anything is hydrated and it's not done in a positive pressure bacterial lab, with sterilized water, a cycle has begun. Only time and surface area are last two factors to meet a given need for us, bottle bac let's is brazenly cheat that point.

Your tank #1 testing is most important to me

Instant fish use is no longer cycling heresy; it's a fallow/QT foul.
 
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Dr. Reef

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At this point after reading all the remarks and concerns i like to make few changes.
1. API ammonia kit is probably not a great test kit so lets move up to salifert or any other someone can recommend?
2. because there are other bottles being thrown out here. due to room and time i only have 4 tanks. i will do this experiment with the first 3 stated products. then i will break the system down, bleach everything, dry everything and reset the experiment again with new dry rock and use other products some are suggesting. there will be no standard (control) on the second set as we will simply compare the time and amount of bacteria we find along the way on daily basis.

On the second round i will do
Stability, ATM Colony so far
 

Velcro

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Well its definitely not a myth.. I had go move two tangs, two clowns, a leopard wrasse, a fairy wrasse and a decorated goby to a 20 gallon hospital tank.

I put filter floss, some food and biospira in the tank 24 hours before adding all the fish. Added all the fish at once and the tank saw no ammonia for the month that they were in there.

Theres a huge difference between the live bottles (biospira, dr tims) and the spore bottles (stability).
 

Velcro

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At this point after reading all the remarks and concerns i like to make few changes.
1. API ammonia kit is probably not a great test kit so lets move up to salifert or any other someone can recommend?
2. because there are other bottles being thrown out here. due to room and time i only have 4 tanks. i will do this experiment with the first 3 stated products. then i will break the system down, bleach everything, dry everything and reset the experiment again with new dry rock and use other products some are suggesting. there will be no standard (control) on the second set as we will simply compare the time and amount of bacteria we find along the way on daily basis.

On the second round i will do
Stability, ATM Colony so far
Seachem ammonia multitest is the best by far.
 
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Dr. Reef

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Another thing I 'll be interested in knowing is some manufacturers claim to use the bottle and add fish immediately or few days after.
If ammonia is still present after initial dose or few days as bottle recommends them the claim is not true as we all know ammonia will hurt/kill fish.
 

cracker

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Thanks for all the work ! Well planned also. I'm doing the same on a much smaller basis. Used seachem stability on a sterile 20 long with clean filter media in a aquaclear 70 hob took over 2 weeks . double recommended doses & ghost feeding every other day. next time I will use Dr Tim's the same way.
 

Sallstrom

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At this point after reading all the remarks and concerns i like to make few changes.
1. API ammonia kit is probably not a great test kit so lets move up to salifert or any other someone can recommend?
2. because there are other bottles being thrown out here. due to room and time i only have 4 tanks. i will do this experiment with the first 3 stated products. then i will break the system down, bleach everything, dry everything and reset the experiment again with new dry rock and use other products some are suggesting. there will be no standard (control) on the second set as we will simply compare the time and amount of bacteria we find along the way on daily basis.

On the second round i will do
Stability, ATM Colony so far
If you want better results you could run just one product at the time, but do replicates(two tanks without treatment and two tanks with). Otherwise the tank itself is a factor.

Otherwise great initiative!

/ David
 
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Dr. Reef

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I just read instructions on
Dr Tim
Bio spira
Microbe lift.

Dr Tim and bio spira claims to setup tank use bottle and fish ready immediately.
While Microbe lift says tank is ready after 1st day.
Now its hard to prove that with pure ammonia as source already present in tank at 1.5ppm. Because a new tank with fish may not produce that much ammonia.
So for now I'll do a pure ammonia test and then maybe do another test with fish instead of ammonia.
 

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