I know bacteria is on surfaces…but will NSW help bacteria diversity?

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Miami Reef

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If you’ve ever lugged buckets of water up the beach into your car you would know why you don’t wanna do this
It was hell. I had to park far away and that one 5 gallon bucket was so heavy. I had to carry it with 2 hands because when I just held it by the handle I would get water splashed all over myself. It was a grueling process and I splashed myself numerous of times.
 
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If you live in South Florida you can get salt water pretty cheap from LFS’s or any aquarium service guy. By the time you take into account making the Ro water and adding the salt you’re probably spending just as much. Back in the day every single aquarium my head I use natural salt water to start and for all my water changes. I also used live rock so I don’t know how much it had to do with it but aside from a little bit of algae in the beginning and a small bloom of diatoms you would have to deal with the aquariums would cycle very easily and usually you could put fish and corals in there within a month. Now I still start the aquarium with natural salt water but do mix my own salt for water changes after then. I think there’s allot of good stuff in that water and at the beginning every little bit helps
 

Staghorn

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It was hell. I had to park far away and that one 5 gallon bucket was so heavy. I had to carry it with 2 hands because when I just held it by the handle I would get water splashed all over myself. It was a grueling process and I splashed myself numerous of times.
I tried once and gave up. My LFS always had nsw and I have a buddy who does Maintenece who pulls his own water. I don’t know if he drives all the way down to Miami but I could ask if you’re interested
 

Staghorn

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Do you want to hear something crazy I don’t know if it has anything to do with the water but I have never had a dinoflagellate problem in my aquariums. Now I see that everybody has these impossible blooms of dinoflagellates why is that happening? Is it the dry rock ? Where do they even come from if people are not introducing them in the water or on the rock? Is something in the natural salt water preventing them from proliferating?
 
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Paul B

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If you’ve ever lugged buckets of water up the beach into your car you would know why you don’t wanna do this
I have done that more times than I could remember since the 60s.
Now I drive up to the surf and throw in a bilge pump on a long hose and just pump it into 12 gallon buckets in my Jeep. I can take 40 gallons at a time without getting to heavy where my car sinks in the sand and I can't get out. I get it from here, you can see the bilge hose on the sand

 

Timfish

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Do you want to hear something crazy I don’t know if it has anything to do with the water but I have never had a dinoflagellate problem in my aquariums. Now I see that everybody has these impossible blooms of dinoflagellates why is that happening? Is it the dry rock ? Where do they even come from if people are not introducing them in the water or on the rock? Is something in the natural salt water preventing them from proliferating?

It frustrates me too. Besides Rohwer's video posted Aquabiomic's article also goes to show how critical bacteria are for healthy and stable ecosystems. I don't use NSW but I do use maricultured live rock shipped airfreight to minimize dieoff. I rarely have dinoflagellate problems and when I do they clear up with minimal intervention by me. In line with some of the discussion in this thread I have also had them and other nuisance algae problems clear up doing water changes using water from a "healthy" reef system.

I have to commiserate with PaulB, the notion of setting up systems with dry rock and select bacterial cultures or some kind of manufactured "live" rock that's had select bacterial culture added has caused a lot more frustration and death then using live rock from the ocean would have. WHen 16s DNA testing became available what researchers realized is they could only culture a tiny fraction of the microbes that are present. The cultures used by aquarists may be beneficial species but they are nowhere close to what is actually needed in reef systems.
 

BostonReefer300

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I’m all for good biodiversity, etc don’t get me wrong. However I think it’s important to note that not everything added from “nature” is great for a reef tank. I started my first reef tank over a decade ago with a beautiful piece of REAL live rock. It was probably harvested off Haiti by some reef pirate using dynamite and I feel horrible about that now. Anyway, I didn’t realize that rock had a vermetid snail in it. I still battle those to this day. Also had a fire worm that I luckily managed to trap early on. You also have to think about diseases that might hitchhike along too. Very few people QT their naturally sourced rock, etc. Anyway, I’m not arguing against getting natural stuff. Just playing devil’s advocate
 

Paul B

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I collect my biodiversity here.


Or under these snails.


Or here where the fiddler crabs try to chase me away so I don't tell anyone where to get the biodiversity.

 

New&no clue

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I'm starting a new tank and looking to add some biodiversity to my tank. I have gone the traditional route of adding pods, sponges, and macroalgae from other reefers or vendors. I live on the coast of Maine, so we have rocky beaches, not many sandy ones. However, I was wonder if I could still add some of these rocks into my sump and benefit from them? I've heard, or maybe just assumed, that you need porous rocks to hold the beneficial bacterial. Maine rocks are very smooth, so I didn't know if they would do much.

1624626463155.png
 
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BostonReefer300

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I'm starting a new tank and looking to add some biodiversity to my tank. I have gone the traditional route of adding pods, sponges, and macroalgae from other reefers or vendors. I live on the coast of Maine, so we have rocky beaches, not many sandy ones. However, I was wonder if I could still add some of these rocks into my sump and benefit from them? I've heard, or maybe just assumed, that you need porous rocks to hold the beneficial bacterial. Maine rocks are very smooth, so I didn't know if they would do much.

1624626463155.png
If you’re keeping a tropical tank, it would be best to add things that came from a tropical region. And if you’re running a highly specific ecosystem tank like a Virgin Islands tank for instance, you’d ideally want to add live rock, etc from there. I’m guessing you’re not going to run a Maine coastal tank, so adding “diversity” from a cold water source like that to a tropical tank is a bit of a mismatch. Is that bad? Not at all. Some of the transplanted life may thrive just fine under tropical conditions. Some may not. Regardless, you’re definitely going to be adding diversity and it’ll be like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates—-you never know what you’re gonna get. Specific to your question, I know those rocks you’re talking about since I grew up on the Maine coast. Those aren’t great choices as their not porous at all. You’d be better off collecting a bunch of small rubble to maximize surface area bang for the buck. Mud is also great
 

New&no clue

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If you’re keeping a tropical tank, it would be best to add things that came from a tropical region. And if you’re running a highly specific ecosystem tank like a Virgin Islands tank for instance, you’d ideally want to add live rock, etc from there. I’m guessing you’re not going to run a Maine coastal tank, so adding “diversity” from a cold water source like that to a tropical tank is a bit of a mismatch. Is that bad? Not at all. Some of the transplanted life may thrive just fine under tropical conditions. Some may not. Regardless, you’re definitely going to be adding diversity and it’ll be like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates—-you never know what you’re gonna get. Specific to your question, I know those rocks you’re talking about since I grew up on the Maine coast. Those aren’t great choices as their not porous at all. You’d be better off collecting a bunch of small rubble to maximize surface area bang for the buck. Mud is also great
That makes sense. I was thinking about the temperature difference, but didn't really consider the ecosystem as a whole.
 

green behind the ears

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If you dipped your rock in bleach for 5 seconds, you killed the bacteria. or at the least gave them a really good headache. Using NSW will not hardly increase your biodiversity but adding mud will. You are in Florida so drive down to the keys, near some mangrove trees and collect a handful of mud. It's probably illegal so maybe walk through the mud and empty your shoes into your tank. I doubt anyone would arrest you for a handful of mud but thats just me. I collect mud all the time here in New York but here there are no laws against that unless I backed up a dumptruck to a beach.

You should add that mud all the time anyway and use NSW if you can.
Aqua forest now sell the mud
 

Paul B

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If you’re keeping a tropical tank, it would be best to add things that came from a tropical region.
Probably. But so many people are stressing out over hitchhikers and you won't get much of that by using cold, northern water as I have always done since the 60s.

Cold water crabs will live in a tropical tank and I have had a few of them but they are generally easy to see and remove. If they are real tiny, the fish will eat them.

Amphipods that I sometimes collect by the thousands here and live and reproduce in a tropical tank. I still have some in my tank and I haven't collected any in 2 or 3 years. Those are very beneficial in a tank.

I think the bacteria I take from the surf here in New York lives in my tank because the seawater here now is almost 70 degrees and in the tide pools where I collect mud for bacteria and biodiversity gets into the 80s or more, especially at low tide.

I believe anything you collect in the sea is much better than anything you can buy at a LFS. :)
 

jt17

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My parameters are fully stable. No algae. I’m even getting coralline algae on my power heads and back wall.
Salinity 1.026
Alk: 11
Cal: 460
Phosphates .04
Nitrates 5-10ppm
Magnesium 1350
temp 78

So why do I need to wait 1 year for certain corals? I think the general conscious is because there is a micro fauna/biome that needs to establish.

Can adding NSW help me get more bacteria in my tank? I hear people talking about adding mud…where can I find this mud?

Help me understand exactly what I’m waiting for.
I got mud from ipsf.com. Also the purple helix and pink fusion coraline algae have bacteria in them as well. The bacteria in a bottle products that we start our tanks with are dormant bacteria of only a few species. For a diverse population you need live bacteria from the ocean (ipsf) or a mature system (pink and purple coraline).
 
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RoweReef

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Probably. But so many people are stressing out over hitchhikers and you won't get much of that by using cold, northern water as I have always done since the 60s.

Cold water crabs will live in a tropical tank and I have had a few of them but they are generally easy to see and remove. If they are real tiny, the fish will eat them.

Amphipods that I sometimes collect by the thousands here and live and reproduce in a tropical tank. I still have some in my tank and I haven't collected any in 2 or 3 years. Those are very beneficial in a tank.

I think the bacteria I take from the surf here in New York lives in my tank because the seawater here now is almost 70 degrees and in the tide pools where I collect mud for bacteria and biodiversity gets into the 80s or more, especially at low tide.

I believe anything you collect in the sea is much better than anything you can buy at a LFS. :)
I'm loading buckets in my boat this morning and heading out to Jones Inlet, Long Island for water. I use to do this in the 90s but stopped for no reason.
 

Ef4life

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If your in the southwest USA Catalina water is available in a lot of lfs, it’s nsw that’s been pumped directly from the ocean and filtered. I’m sure the east coast has similar options as well.

edit - apparently you can buy it at petco nationwide too
 

Oliver d

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also handy

if we take time to read aquabiomic's post history, dna sampling of water and surfaces, we see that any tank getting an initial inoculation just streamlines into whatever that unique home environment fosters within about 2 years. we aren't maintaining diversity, but they'll happily sell us initial boosts for it.

the best thing you can do is keep detritus waste out of the system by design and will/work, feed exceptional quality and availability, have strong export and refreshment of current water and itll cruise. maintain that nice rock scape and caves even when the uglies hit one day I hope they dont, its perfect now. if that was my reef I'd have a uv sterilizer meant for a ten thousand gallon pond on it. doesnt mean it has to be turned on, just plumbed n ready for the drop.
L
 

Gup

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Theres millions of suspended bacteria in reef water, especially cycling bacteria. Here’s proof

cycles a 200 gallon all dry setup by only adding reef water, no hard surfaces. 20 days. No feeding no dosing or anything, reef tank water.



and that’s aquarium water, imagine the ocean. Much more available bac. Very diverse

mud is diverse to, but that doesn’t mean a few ounces of clean source ocean water isnt.


I saw a video from MACNA that unequivocally said reef water had no filter bacteria. looks like under alternate equivocation, they do :)
Since your earlier help with my crash Brandon, I trust my reef to you explicitly. Although I had a fosw 55 some 40 years ago, a reef is a completely different animal.

That said, we now live in Wildwood New Jersey. The Ocean can't get much closer. My problem, and it's a big one, how would I know a safe place to collect a mere 2 gals at high tide. I even thought of grabbing some during the last storm up to East Coast. I'm thinking that would be the best time. But I preferred your opinion before I make this jump
 
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