You seem to be missing a critical point here. The bacteria needed to complete the nitrogen cycle need food to live and grow in a non-spore state. The first of these foods is ammonia, second is nitrite. So combine bacteria in spore state with the right food and they grow and thrive.
Originally Posted by paulca
You'll have to excuse me if I didn't use all the proper terminology..I don't think it's necessary. It's quite a simple process really and I don't see the need to make it any more complicated than necessary. After all, nature has been at it for years now.
But do continue the debate if you feel it's necessary........
Last edited by Taurus; 03-30-2013 at 10:22 PM.
When in doubt, do a water change.
"This ain't rocket science!"
“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” - Will Rogers
I don't think anybody is agruing that point Taurus. The question is, why can't the initial population come from a bottle/packet/bag instead of haphazardly relying on what you find in your air at home.
I mean, you can make beer or cider or wine just by leaving crushed fruit out in the air. Wild yeast will colonize it and it will ferment. Trouble is, a lot of the time you get the wrong microbes, soar taste, unsightly growths etc. So brewers have for years cultivated their own yeast. In the early days it was believed that the town brewer had a magic spoon that made beer. In truth the spoon was infected with a suitable yeast strain. However, when people figured it out, the good yeast were cultivated, stored, and distributed.
I think the point I was trying to get a debate going on was, why can't this be done with the bacteria we need.
I am no expert in this category, however I will throw in my two cents.
I do feel, honestly, that "cycle in a bottle" products are worthless. Why? It comes down to experience, and historical use. -IF- these products worked as advertised, and they contained all they said they contained, then the failure rate of those using them would not be so high. Though admittedly, some new fish keepers are clueless, many really wish to do right by their new pets, and use these products correctly, and still they do not work. Their advertising makes claims that simply do not equal the results.
I have used these products myself, and find no difference in cycling time from tanks cycled with fish without them. Considering I am an experienced fish keeper, I am not exactly new nor unable to follow the directions precisely.
This is not to say that these products do not contain bacteria. They may, and several reports from microbiologists say that they do, indeed, contain said nitrifying bacteria. My speculation is that, on the whole, either from a bottle or naturally, the bacteria still require the same time frame to multiply, so using it or not makes no difference.
As an answer to where does it come from? Nitrobacter is in the air. It is a rather common bacteria, as no atmosphere or household is completely dry. If you doubt this, install an inexpensive hydrometer to measure room humidity. Anywhere from houseplants, to shower stalls can harbor this bacteria, and when dry and dormant it can become airborne and reactivate from a dormant state. Landing within a correct habitat (a fish tank), it will begin to multiply. "Grow" is the word used here, but I know what they mean, which is "multiply". I am not admittedly, a scientist or microbiologist, but even I can understand the life cycle at work here.
In truth, though the bottled material does likey by testing contain dormant bacteria, its effectiveness is almost pointless, as it would occur naturally regardless. Using it or not, would take the same amount of time roughly to cycle a tank, so therefore, bottled bacteria is little more than a gimmick. After all, why pay for what you can get for free? On the other hand I find these products detrimental, as sold to unaware clientele, they are made to believe they can toss in a bottle and they are good to go. Instead of, of course, being educated on the proper cycling and maintenance of a tank.
Last edited by Tiari; 03-31-2013 at 01:05 PM.
2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.