Natural bacterial seeding

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Little c big D

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So for obvious reasons (fear) I didn't attempt anything I'm going to ask! I would, in theory, be using a natural alternative to live rock/sand and any bacterial additives with nature. I am tempted to set up a small 10g or something along those lines and test it. Perhaps someone else has experience with this already tho. I've seen @Paul B tank and how he believes in natural mud. Maybe he could weigh in. I was always intrigued by his methods.

Anyway. I live on a saltwater marsh. The flats if you will. It's teaming with life. Fiddler crabs at the banks. Many bait fish in the tide pools. Mud minnows. Shrimp, mullet. And bigger fish in the channell. Reddish, snook, flounder. Saw grass and all kinds of aquatic plant life grow year round. Florida weather is great!

The water tends to be murky and not really what I would assume is usable, probally a higher salt content also. But the mud! Would the mud be useful? Could it be used in a sump or refuge? Would it possibly help mangroves grow? I can only imagine it is teaming with bacteria! But what are the risks. Is it worth trying in an isolated tank?
 
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Little c big D

Little c big D

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BostonReefer300

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That mud in a refugium would probably be great. Lots of people do "mud" refugiums. I tried one myself for a while, but didn't do it right and essentially ended up with cement after a couple months. Doing a mud fuge is a topic for a whole different thread though. The answer to your basic questions:
--- that mud will be teeming with beneficial bacteria
--- you can use that water too, but check it's salinity and other parameters first then adjust as necessary. For example, if the salinity is too high, dilute it with RODI.
--- whenever you add things from nature like this, you run the risk of adding things you don't want (pests, pollutants, etc.). Balancing that risk are the benefits of great biodiversity, lower costs, etc. Just go into it with your eyes open.
--- Question: what's your aversion to using live rock?
 

Paul B

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That looks exactly like the places where I collect. Don't tell anyone but the big secret to this hobby is natural bacteria that you can get at any salt water beach. If you live in Nevada or Tunesia, have someone mail you some.
(It may be illegal so if you do, don't mention my name)

Just take some of that mud, like a few tablespoons and sprinkle it in your tank. If you lift some rocks you should find amphipods. Throw those in but leave the fiddler crabs where they are.

I would use top soil if I didn't live near the sea which I have added many times if you are sure doesn't have pesticides, fertilizer etc.

 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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if you use anything from that natural system + purchased bottle bac ill be mad lol

having access to those natural components for common cycling bacteria means specifically you should never be caught purchasing a bottle bacteria product. a single pebble from anywhere near there brings in all the bacteria you'll need for cycling, and if you brought in mud it'll go especially fast (the transmission rate of inherent cycling bac to inert surfaces in the new tank such as dry rock)


based on where you live, bottle bac sales should be 0%

they're not though because that's how good the bottle bac sales machine is at making us need them in every context, all the time. your plan will work deviously well.
 
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Little c big D

Little c big D

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That mud in a refugium would probably be great. Lots of people do "mud" refugiums. I tried one myself for a while, but didn't do it right and essentially ended up with cement after a couple months. Doing a mud fuge is a topic for a whole different thread though. The answer to your basic questions:
--- that mud will be teeming with beneficial bacteria
--- you can use that water too, but check it's salinity and other parameters first then adjust as necessary. For example, if the salinity is too high, dilute it with RODI.
--- whenever you add things from nature like this, you run the risk of adding things you don't want (pests, pollutants, etc.). Balancing that risk are the benefits of great biodiversity, lower costs, etc. Just go into it with your eyes open.
--- Question: what's your aversion to using live rock?
I have no aversion to live rock. I just had a very specific design I liked and find it easier to build and glue together dry rock prior. I'll add live rock rubble here and there to help promote Coralie and what not.

That looks exactly like the places where I collect. Don't tell anyone but the big secret to this hobby is natural bacteria that you can get at any salt water beach. If you live in Nevada or Tunesia, have someone mail you some.
(It may be illegal so if you do, don't mention my name)

Just take some of that mud, like a few tablespoons and sprinkle it in your tank. If you lift some rocks you should find amphipods. Throw those in but leave the fiddler crabs where they are.

I would use top soil if I didn't live near the sea which I have added many times if you are sure doesn't have pesticides, fertilizer etc.

Well, as a bird flies, I'm a mile from the beach. But by boat it is 11 miles. So natural stuff is in noway hard to aquire!

if you use anything from that natural system + purchased bottle bac ill be mad lol

having access to those natural components for common cycling bacteria means specifically you should never be caught purchasing a bottle bacteria product. a single pebble from anywhere near there brings in all the bacteria you'll need for cycling, and if you brought in mud it'll go especially fast (the transmission rate of inherent cycling bac to inert surfaces in the new tank such as dry rock)


based on where you live, bottle bac sales should be 0%

they're not though because that's how good the bottle bac sales machine is at making us need them in every context, all the time. your plan will work deviously well.
I knew this would lure you in lol! But the short answer is yes, I used bottle! Considering this is my backyard however it seemed logical that nature could provide other methods. Maybe better ones!
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I forgive


it'll take us nine years to replace the buying impulse with cycling truths and admitting one has a problem is the first step in any remediation sequence. :)
 
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Little c big D

Little c big D

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So I collected some mud. Very little and sprinkled it into my 3 day old DT. With a pair of small occelarus clowns. I suppose I could do this regularly. I must say, even after washing my hands twice I still smell the mud on it lol. It was an exceptionally low tide today. Would there be any benefit to submerging a rock out there? for a few days.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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other than just for fun and possibly being fined for illegal rock harvest depending on the veracity of local rangers if applicable lol no harm/ experiment away
 

Nano sapiens

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+1 to using natural salt marsh mud for it's bacteria content...and it's free ;Joyful. If you don't want the mud to disperse and/or don't want to introduce potential pests (respecting that some people are quite concerned with this), you can put the mud into a sub-micron filter sock and soak it in the sump or DT for a week or two as the bacteria/archaea/viruses are so small they'll go right through it into your system.

The question of whether repeated additions are beneficial is an interesting and complex one. Paulb finds them beneficial, but he's also adding nearly all the macro and micro organisms that are in the mud and so these additions may be largely contributing to what he sees benefiting his system. Another angle is that the added bacteria are consumed by the filter feeders (or feed larger microorganisms that are in turn eaten by filter feeders) and thus benefit the system each time they are added. The bacteria themselves, once initially added, will find their niches (those not adaptable will perish) and so develop a stable diverse population that should persist for the lifetime of the aquarium (assuming no major traumas to the system).

Having said that, we all add bacteria (typically in small amounts) whether we realize it or not. For example, I feed compost derived earthworms once a week that have terrestrial soil associated bacteria. The Red Sea salt that I use also has natural salt water bacteria since the salt is made up from both natural and processed elements. And every time I stick my hand in the tank (or blow/sneeze in it), I'm adding bacterial constituents of my own human microbiome into the system :)
 
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BostonReefer300

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So I collected some mud. Very little and sprinkled it into my 3 day old DT. With a pair of small occelarus clowns. I suppose I could do this regularly. I must say, even after washing my hands twice I still smell the mud on it lol. It was an exceptionally low tide today. Would there be any benefit to submerging a rock out there? for a few days.
Definitely! I'd throw a bunch in a mesh bag and let it sit for a week out there!
 
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Little c big D

Little c big D

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Definitely! I'd throw a bunch in a mesh bag and let it sit for a week out there!
I for sure will try it our for sure. I have some smaller pieces that didn't work with my aqua scape that I could throw out that and use in the sump.
 
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Little c big D

Little c big D

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I forgive


it'll take us nine years to replace the buying impulse with cycling truths and admitting one has a problem is the first step in any remediation sequence. :)
I have a question for you. Obviously my tank is seeded. I'm using a red sea kit to check nh3 no2 and no3. You it seems don't believe those style ammonia tests. Because my results have been interesting. .4 on the NH3 and 0 on no2. Nitrates are 2 to 4ish What does this tell you?
20210801_204442.jpg
 
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PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

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    Votes: 43 6.4%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 472 69.8%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 5 0.7%
  • Phosphate (most)

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  • (least) Phosphate

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