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Bottled Bacteria


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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2021 at 5:20 PM, BIG GREEN said:

If there is bottled bacteria how does the bacteria  stay alive in a bottle??????

I usually preface my comments with “in my opinion” or “it is my experience”, but in this case I can state emphatically…

No!

The beneficial bacteria we know as responsible for the nitrification process require oxygen to survive.  They are called “aerobic” bacteria for a reason.

Definition of aerobic?

“relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen.”

Want a peer reviewed scientific paper that states this?

Happy reading…

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/aerobic-bacterium

 

Edited by tonyjuliano
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On 7/2/2021 at 5:32 PM, tonyjuliano said:

I usually preface my comments with “in my opinion” or “it is my experience”, but in this case I can state emphatically…

No!

The beneficial bacteria we know as responsible for the nitrification process require oxygen to survive.  They are called “aerobic” bacteria for a reason.

Definition of aerobic?

“relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen.”

Want a peer reviewed scientific paper that states this?

Happy reading…

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/aerobic-bacterium

 

I knew you would reply, and thanks for the link. I agree with you but still wanted to ask the question to hear what others think. I think companies should not put the idea out there that there is such a thing. I know why they do it though $$$$$$$$

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Posted (edited)

Cycled my tank quickly with ammonia from ace hardware and seachem stability. Not sure whether it's "real/true" bacteria or not but for the purposes of tank cycling it does indeed work. There's usually more than one way to do things in this hobby. Of course it's not actually activated until you put it in the water. That's why it can sit on a shelf and not die.

Edited by sudofish
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2 years ago when i took my bearded dragon to my exotic/aquatic veterinarian i ask…he said emphatically no that he had read many papers regarding research into bottled bacteria and at best some have compounds that do help keep parameters more stable while bacteria establishes itself but most do not and are strictly marketing hype because it is not fda or any agency regulated they do not have to prove their claims.

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On 7/2/2021 at 5:51 PM, sudofish said:

Cycled my tank quickly with ammonia from ace hardware and seachem stability. Not sure whether it's "real/true" bacteria or not but for the purposes of tank cycling it does indeed work. There's usually more than one way to do things in this hobby. Of course it's not actually activated until you put it in the water. That's why it can sit on a shelf and not die.

its not real......count on it

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I mean if you just want to know if helps cycle a tank. Yes it does. Countless hobbyists have used it for years to do just that. Now I haven't read any scientific papers on the subject, mainly because I'm not interested as I don't necessarily have to know HOW it works, the fact that it does what I want it to do is all I care about. I'll leave the arguing over which paper is correct to bigger nerms than I lol.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2021 at 2:32 PM, tonyjuliano said:

I usually preface my comments with “in my opinion” or “it is my experience”, but in this case I can state emphatically…

No!

The beneficial bacteria we know as responsible for the nitrification process require oxygen to survive.  They are called “aerobic” bacteria for a reason.

Definition of aerobic?

“relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen.”

Want a peer reviewed scientific paper that states this?

Happy reading…

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/aerobic-bacterium

 

I disagree with such a strong statement.  as you say in your definition oxygen need only be involved or related not necessary.  though I do believe nitrifying bacteria are obligate aerobes.

 

I guess it depends on how you define live, but many bacteria can sporulate, or live in stationary phase for a long time.  Nitrosomanas seems to do the latter.

Here's a paper that shows Nitrosomonas can live (or come back to life if you don't count a inactive metabolism as living) after being starved for almost a year (342 days).

https://academic.oup.com/jb/article/124/4/811/807862

image.png.08f36bb872c4985987936de3fc461adf.png

 

 

Edited by CT_
fixed anaerobe->aerobe typo
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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2021 at 7:14 PM, CT_ said:

Here's a paper that shows Nitrosomonas can live (or come back to life if you don't count a inactive metabolism as living) after being starved for almost a year

Starved of a food source (ammonia in this case) for a year, not deprived of oxygen.

Most organisms (humans included) can survive an extended period of time without nutrition.

But very few can survive without oxygen, aerobic bacteria included.

Edited by tonyjuliano
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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2021 at 5:23 PM, tonyjuliano said:

But very few can survive without oxygen, aerobic bacteria included.

There's a LOT of anaerobes (including all life before photosynthesis) that are fine without oxygen or die in the presence of O2.  But limiting this to aerobes, if you're basing this idea off the name alone every definition for an obligate aerobe I can find says it requires O2 for growth, not that it's necessary to remain alive.

 

Out of curiosity, what else would a nitrifying bacteria use O2 for? Besides oxidizing ammonia/nitrite?

Edited by CT_
typos. clarity.
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On 7/2/2021 at 9:22 PM, CT_ said:

Out of curiosity, what else would a nitrifying bacteria use O2 for? Besides oxydizing ammonia/nitrite?

Just like all other aerobic organisms, normal cellular function, is a pretty big “use”.

From the first paragraph of THIS , peer reviewed scientific paper…

Aerobic bacteria require oxygen for survival.”

”The obligate aerobes that compulsorily require oxygen for deriving energy, growth, reproduction, and cellular respiration. These organisms do not survive in the absence of oxygen”

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The place where I have some trouble wrapping my head around things is that it seems to be generally accepted that nitrifying bacteria colonize on surfaces (substrate, rock, bio rings, etc.) and very little of the bacteria is free swimming in the water column. Having the same bacteria colonized in some liquid suspension that immediately dissolves to nothing when mixed with tank water doesn't seems to jibe with the other info and behavior I'm seeing attributed the bacteria.

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On 7/2/2021 at 6:34 PM, tonyjuliano said:

Just like all other aerobic organisms, normal cellular function, is a pretty big “use”.

From the first paragraph of THIS , peer reviewed scientific paper…

Aerobic bacteria require oxygen for survival.”

”The obligate aerobes that compulsorily require oxygen for deriving energy, growth, reproduction, and cellular respiration. These organisms do not survive in the absence of oxygen”

That link is a topic page from science direct with snippets from papers.

here's the about for that page:

Quote

These pages are auto-generated by ScienceDirect using heuristic and machine-learning approaches to extract relevant information from our extensive collection of content. We compile this information on a topic-by-topic basis providing the reader both depth and breadth on a specific area of interest.

I'd agree they need oxygen for "survival" since part of survival is reproduction and growth.  But dormant bacteria are not deriving energy, growing, reproducing, or respirating. 

 

I think you underestimate how good microbes are at surviving.  Under stress bacteria do all kinds of cool things to survive.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2021 at 6:55 PM, NanoNano said:

The place where I have some trouble wrapping my head around things is that it seems to be generally accepted that nitrifying bacteria colonize on surfaces (substrate, rock, bio rings, etc.) and very little of the bacteria is free swimming in the water column. Having the same bacteria colonized in some liquid suspension that immediately dissolves to nothing when mixed with tank water doesn't seems to jibe with the other info and behavior I'm seeing attributed the bacteria.

This is the case in an aquarium but they can also have a flagella (tail) and swim around depending on conditions.

 

They also don't dissolve in water, but they will disperse, which is what you want.  You want them to colonize your whole aquarium and not just land in the corner and only live there.

I found this cool graphic showing the life cycle of microbes that live in biofilms while writing my PhD thesis.  It's much better art than mine:classic_laugh:.

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Biofilm-life-cycle-I-Motile-cells-colonize-a-clean-surface-II-Development-of-the_fig1_326758785

Biofilm-life-cycle-I-Motile-cells-coloni

Edit: oops it actually wasn't this figure, which is more recent, but a very similar one.  In any case this is a good figure other than the invasion part which we're not really talking about.

Edited by CT_
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On 7/2/2021 at 6:16 PM, sudofish said:

I mean if you just want to know if helps cycle a tank. Yes it does. Countless hobbyists have used it for years to do just that. Now I haven't read any scientific papers on the subject, mainly because I'm not interested as I don't necessarily have to know HOW it works, the fact that it does what I want it to do is all I care about. I'll leave the arguing over which paper is correct to bigger nerms than I lol.

Will if there is a nerm out there that can explain how it helps cycle a tank plz explain, I would like to know......

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On 7/2/2021 at 8:11 PM, BIG GREEN said:

Will if there is a nerm out there that can explain how it helps cycle a tank plz explain, I would like to know......

I define a cycled tank as a tank that has enough nitrifying bacteria to convert ammonia to nitrite then nitrate at a rate that's at least as fast as ammonia is entering your tank (through rotting stuff or fish poop or from a bottle).

So bottled bacteria add lots of nitrifying bacteria that can colonize your tank.  Bacterial growth is exponential (assuming plentiful nutrients) so starting with say 10^9 bacteria gets saves you log2(10^6)~=20 doubling times vs starting with say 1000 bacteria that happened to float into your tank from the soil.  So if they multiply every day that saves you about 3 weeks.  Those numbers are educated guesses, but you can put your own numbers in and do the math to decide how much time it takes to build up your colony of BB.

Interesting corollary:  Using two bottles only saves you a day. 

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On 7/2/2021 at 11:25 PM, CT_ said:

I define a cycled tank as a tank that has enough nitrifying bacteria to convert ammonia to nitrite then nitrate at a rate that's at least as fast as ammonia is entering your tank (through rotting stuff or fish poop or from a bottle).

So bottled bacteria add lots of nitrifying bacteria that can colonize your tank.  Bacterial growth is exponential (assuming plentiful nutrients) so starting with say 10^9 bacteria gets saves you log2(10^6)~=20 doubling times vs starting with say 1000 bacteria that happened to float into your tank from the soil.  So if they multiply every day that saves you about 3 weeks.  Those numbers are educated guesses, but you can put your own numbers in and do the math to decide how much time it takes to build up your colony of BB.

Interesting corollary:  Using two bottles only saves you a day. 

well I guess thats a simple way of saying it, its just really hard for me to fall for this bottled bacteria in a bottle when I know the BB will crash with out food and oxygen and water flow. I just don't feel bottle bacteria is the right bacteria or you could say the right aquatic bacteria. I think this bottle bacteria leads a lot folks down the wrong path of a cycling a tank.......just my .02 seen it and have read about it way to many times.

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On 7/3/2021 at 12:24 AM, BIG GREEN said:

well I guess thats a simple way of saying it, its just really hard for me to fall for this bottled bacteria in a bottle when I know the BB will crash with out food and oxygen and water flow. I just don't feel bottle bacteria is the right bacteria or you could say the right aquatic bacteria. I think this bottle bacteria leads a lot folks down the wrong path of a cycling a tank.......just my .02 seen it and have read about it way to many times.

Well it sounds like you made up your mind before asking the question then.  I suspect there's other things at play during some or all of these crashes too, and a lot of it is confirmation bias.  But I'm not in everyone's house watching their tanks so I can't say for sure.  It may be that it takes these bacteria some time to restart their metabolism when ammonia shows up again and so there's time for a momentary jump in ammonia, enough excess ammonia will also kill nitrifying bacteria (I think I've read something like 4ppm).  It could also be anerobes out compete and or kill the aerobes with toxin/antitoxins when you loose too much oxygen, or one of another million things that wouldn't effect a monoclonal culture of microbes.  Ecosystems and even aquariums are complex things, and there can be complex reasons why things happen and we just ascribe simple explanations when we don't have a complete understanding.

 

FWIW I'm not trying to get you to "fall for" anything.  Buy it, or don't, I don't care about that.  But personally I do get upset when people underestimate the amazingness of microbes, the things they can do, and the things they can tolerate. 

Hopefully I've also convinced some people that yes you can put bacteria in a bottle and it will come out the other end alive.  How that effects aquarium cycling outcomes---I've not seen a study about that.  But if we're going by anecdotes there's as many anecdotes of bottled bacteria working as there are crashing cycles presumably because their bacteria died from lack of ammonia or O2.  so 🤷‍♂️ .

 

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On 7/3/2021 at 12:10 PM, CalmedByFish said:

@CT_

 

Dumbing it down, does bacteria stay alive in a bottle a little like brine shrimp eggs stay alive in a can? In both cases, the living thing doesn't *appear* to have what's needed for survival, but they can reanimate. Yeah?

Yeah that's a pretty good analogy.  Technically I'd say brine cysts are more like sporulated  microbes because they have a durable shell.  So dormant microbes are a bit more fragile but yeah pretty close.

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On 7/2/2021 at 7:46 PM, CT_ said:

This is the case in an aquarium but they can also have a flagella (tail) and swim around depending on conditions.

 

 

Helpful graphic,  but when I look up pictures of nitrifying bacteria,  the majority seem to be rod or blob shaped bacteria without flagella (I get that there's multiple types of nitrifying bacteria and there *is* at least one type with flagella).  My layman's brain keeps having problems understanding why the bacteria wouldn't colonize all over the interior of the bottles and (like chickens crossing a road) only go free swimming to get to the other side (of the bottle).  Are we throwing away the vast majority of the beneficial bacteria we're buying if we simply dump the liquid from the bottle into the tank?

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