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What do Forum members think of the cost and the value of using live bacteria additives like

Seachem Stability, API Quickstart, Thrive Aquatics Bacteria Start ??

I have had to recycle a tank or two due to filter accidents; or putting in a new filter to run before removing an older

filter for a good clean out and new media refill;

anyway I often spend my money on these bacteria additives to "speed up" the recycling process especially if I have

fish in the tank - but I don't know if really it makes much difference - still seems to take 3 weeks or so for ammonia

readings to come down to zero.

Are they worth the money? Do they make a difference to the recycling time period of 3 - 4 weeks?


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I find they speed up the establishment of ammonia and nitrite eating biofilms in the filter. The thing is tho, they are 'monocultures' and so not as stable as the diverse microbe communities you find in a mature filter.

The fact is we understand our biological filtration in only the most basic sense. We kinda know which bacteria are usually the heavy lifters....... but on a tank to tank basis we can only assume.

The good thing about these bacteria in a bottle products, is the microbes they usually contain are very tough indeed and can thus make an aquariums biological filtration quite robust.

As to whether they are worth it.........

well, they are a tool

and theres nothing wrong with having tools on hand for certain jobs.

But hey, I own a chainsaw.

Never get to use the dam thing as I dont have the need.

So its kinda a waste BUT that doesnt mean that chainsaws are useless.

Infact they are the perfect solution to some problems.

Imps for example.


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The only person who can guage something's value is you. One person may spend $10 on bacterial additives for $2 worth of fish while another might not even for $1000 worth of fish.

There are quite a few different ways to encourage beneficial bacteria growth. Some of them free if you don't want to buy a commercial product.

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I suppose one thing the bottle bacteria has in its advantage is that theres no chance of contamination.

Grabbing some of someones filter media carries the risk of also introducing disease, snails, hydra, planaria, leeches, seed shrimp, sponges, worms and even algae.

That said the advantages are there as well, when it comes to speed of cycle/maturation and diversity of microbe communities.

As with everything, risk vs reward.


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Thanx all...

I have a chain saw -Stihl of course - and I love playing with my toy out here in my rural block - so many tree branches, not enough time.

Are you inviting all of us with chainsaws over to have some fun [emoji14]

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