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Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with PSB use in aquatics? 

By that I mean photosynthetic bacteria. Particularly purple non sulfur bacteria like rhodobacter? 

I have a friend who spent many years in Asia where he fell in love with aquatics (particularly Japanese Medaka) and is now a breeder here in the UK. He swears by using it in all his set ups and the list of things he claims it helps with is borderline too good to be true. However from reading up about it the science does sort of seem to add up. 

He says it's common practice in much of Asia to use it but it's practically unheard of here in the UK, I know most here are US based so wondered if you guys had any thoughts or experience of it? 

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Depends I suppose. There are thousands of species of photosynthetic bacteria found in our aqueous environments. I assume I have this bacteria in my tanks just naturally same with algae and other microorganisms that just “appear” over time in a healthy environment. 
 

But if you are specifically referring to purple photosynthesizing bacteria, it won’t work in our environment. These are anaerobic bacteria that use photosynthesis with the assistance of ferrous iron in their nitrogenase systems. 

 

Here is an article:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/photosynthetic-bacteria

 

And I believe they talk about this more in laymans terms on a different aquarium  forum that references this article. You will have to use google here as this goes against forum rules.


We also talked about anaerobic environments in the aquarium extensively here:


 

Edited by Biotope Biologist
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On 6/8/2022 at 8:00 PM, Biotope Biologist said:

Depends I suppose. There are thousands of species of photosynthetic bacteria found in our aqueous environments. I assume I have this bacteria in my tanks just naturally same with algae and other microorganisms that just “appear” over time in a healthy environment. 
 

But if you are specifically referring to purple photosynthesizing bacteria, it won’t work in our environment. These are anaerobic bacteria that use photosynthesis with the assistance of ferrous iron in their nitrogenase systems. 

 

Here is an article:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/photosynthetic-bacteria

 

And I believe they talk about this more in laymans terms on a different aquarium  forum that references this article. You will have to use google here as this goes against forum rules.


We also talked about anaerobic environments in the aquarium extensively here:


 

Well that's what I thought but (according to Wikipedia 😅) purple non sulphur bacteria "can be mixotrophs, capable of anaerobic and aerobic respiration or fermentation" depending on the concentration of oxygen and light

I've read two summaries of studies which tests their usefulness which do seem to suggest there is something in it... let me go find them, one was about how it changed the structure of the microbial community and improved water quality and the other was about it's effectiveness in a shrimp aquaculture (preventing disease and improving hatch and growth rates or something along those lines). 

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Ok so here are the things I read:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262785273_Effect_of_photosynthetic_bacteria_on_water_quality_and_microbiota_in_grass_carp_culture

 https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://kb.psu.ac.th/psukb/bitstream/2016/11737/1/420149.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjenIKH6J_4AhUST8AKHfbkAVQ4ChAWegQIDRAB&usg=AOvVaw2j51EXBqME0vWTHKmXKvij

There were quite a few others as well that I disregarded either because they seemed to also be selling PSB probiotic products, or they were regarding saltwater aquaculture, or they were talking about using it as aquaculture/agriculture feed rather than probiotic. 

There were also results coming from Asian Facebook groups/forums which does seem to suggest its use is more common in Asia.

 

I'm going to try it out and will report back anything I notice, though without setting up even more tanks to perform real experiments I'm not sure how I can really judge if it's doing anything! 

Maybe I'll encourage my breeder friend to set up some real side by side experiments as he has the facility more capable than my 40ish gallon total tank volume 🤣

 

 

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@Biotope Biologist as a biologist if you are interested and have the time I'd really appreciate you having a look at those studies and see if I'm understanding it wrong. 

My friend is enthusiastic about it to say the least, passionate even (he has been using it for many years and swears by it, he's even gone so far as creating his own culture 'recipe' which he uses by the gallon in his facility) so it's hard not to get caught up in his enthusiasm and I find myself really wanting it to be a thing so unbiased thoughts would be great! 

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Interesting you do have me down a rabbit hole here. I knew of the uses of specific PSB in aquaculture where large amounts of waste can be generated. Specifically I know that, and perhaps this is true in asian aquaculture, it is becoming more common place to use seepage fields and anoxic ponds to breakdown wastes rather than reliance on heavy duty and expensive filters to scrub the water.

 

From what I have gathered on Rhodopseudomonas (Rps.) palustris and other similar species is that they are particularly good at breaking down a lot of the “waste products” we see in the fish industry. Fats, proteins, ammonia, and nitrogenous wastes. And because this species can both respire and photosynthesize it makes it particularly useful in these conditions. However, everything I have read states that this species respires the most efficiently at (<1%) dissolved oxygen and depending on the presence of oxygen can breakdown nitrogen into several products. The article you have at the top, and wikipedia references it heavily, used this bacteria in conjunction with a rich community of other bacteria to facilitate heavy breakdown of nitrogenous waste and ammonia. I only looked at a few other articles that cited their work and it seems that others have come to similar conclusions, especially in regards to aquaculture. This is very important research as many peoples across the world rely on fish proteins as their main source of protein and fats. 

CEAD2176-17ED-4DA1-B5F8-474D9F855AC1.jpeg.e1fe94d5cdbeab552b0ccb3424550cad.jpeg

source: (2014) world J microbiology biotechnology issue 30:2523-2531


But this is where my opinion on the matter ends. In aquarium use I’m not sure PSB specifically contributes enough to the already existing population of photosynthetic and heterotrophic bacteria that exists in a healthy aquarium. This bacteria population is available to us all for free through our water sources so purchase of a bacterial mix is rarely necessary. 

Edited by Biotope Biologist
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On 6/9/2022 at 4:16 PM, Biotope Biologist said:

. I knew of the uses of specific PSB in aquaculture where large amounts of waste can be generated. Specifically I know that, and perhaps this is true in asian aquaculture, it is becoming more common place to use seepage fields and anoxic ponds to breakdown wastes rather than reliance on heavy duty and expensive filters to scrub the water.

 

From what I have gathered on Rhodopseudomonas (Rps.) palustris and other similar species is that they are particularly good at breaking down a lot of the “waste products” we see in the fish industry. Fats, proteins, ammonia, and nitrogenous wastes. And because this species can both respire and photosynthesize it makes it particularly useful in these conditions. However, everything I have read states that this species respires the most efficiently at (<1%) dissolved oxygen and depending on the presence of oxygen can breakdown nitrogen into several products. The article you have at the top, and wikipedia references it heavily, used this bacteria in conjunction with a rich community of other bacteria to facilitate heavy breakdown of nitrogenous waste and ammonia. I only looked at a few other articles that cited their work and it seems that others have come to similar conclusions, especially in regards to aquaculture. This is very important research as many peoples across the world rely on fish proteins as their main source of protein and fats. 

CEAD2176-17ED-4DA1-B5F8-474D9F855AC1.jpeg.e1fe94d5cdbeab552b0ccb3424550cad.jpeg

source: (2014) world J microbiology biotechnology issue 30:2523-2531


But this is where my opinion on the matter ends. In aquarium use I’m not sure PSB specifically contributes enough to the already existing population of photosynthetic and heterotrophic bacteria that exists in a healthy aquarium. This bacteria population is available to us all for free through our water sources so purchase of a bacterial mix is rarely necessary. 

"Interesting you do have me down a rabbit hole here" - yay my plan worked haha. 

Thanks! I really appreciate you taking a look, great to get a scientific opinion! 

When you say it works best at <1% dissolved oxygen, what's a normal % in our aquarium? I'm not sure if it's like our aquariums (assuming they are well oxygenated) are at 100% or what the normal range is (I did try googling but I can only find explanations talking about PPM of d.o.) so not sure if there would be areas in that range within our aquariums or if that's unrealistic without a plenum or something. 

 TIA!

 

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On 6/9/2022 at 8:02 PM, KentFishFanUK said:

"Interesting you do have me down a rabbit hole here" - yay my plan worked haha. 

Thanks! I really appreciate you taking a look, great to get a scientific opinion! 

When you say it works best at <1% dissolved oxygen, what's a normal % in our aquarium? I'm not sure if it's like our aquariums (assuming they are well oxygenated) are at 100% or what the normal range is (I did try googling but I can only find explanations talking about PPM of d.o.) so not sure if there would be areas in that range within our aquariums or if that's unrealistic without a plenum or something. 

 TIA!

 

I suppose I have never measured DO in an aquarium. I would think the same is true in pond water where an average of between 75-100% is required for fish growth. You can go over 100%, but best not complicate things. Less than 1% is considered anoxic.

 

I do want to say as well that if you can get your hands on this bacteria, there is seemingly no harm in testing the idea in the aquarium. Maybe it does boost the production values of other bacteria found in the aquarium in some as yet described way. I don’t want to seem like a negative Nancy here. Or to poo poo your friend’s idea.

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I scanned through the links the links @KentFishFanUK included.  The shrimp one has me more intrigued with 3 little characters - B12.  It seems one of their strains could produce this critical, and not easily created, compound.  If this bacteria is producing and releasing this into the water, I could absolutely see it transforming the microbial community.  That said, I, like @Biotope Biologist, wonder if these bacteria are already present in established aquaria, given their environmental prevalence. 

The other thing I took from the sprimp study is that they were studying saltwater prawns.  Plus the bacteria looks like it was taken from sediment cores as well as water column.  Perhaps to get anoxic samples where these bacteria are found?

Honestly, a priori I wouldn't expect this to make a difference.  That said, what we are talking about here is the ecology of microbial community composition.  There just well isn't established theory for that.  I mean, we are still figuring out what microbes are out there, much less how they interact and what controls differing community composition.  We still can't predict with any significant certainty what species will become invasive or alter community composition when introduced on a macro scale in many cases.  I think someone would be over playing their hand if they claimed they could do so for microbial communities. 

This is all to say, I think you and your friend should go for it!  I for one would be seriously curious how it pans out.  For a start I'd be interested in what you would use as your response variables, but that's starting to get into detail here.  You should do this, whatever comes out of it will be interesting!

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On 6/9/2022 at 10:02 PM, KentFishFanUK said:

"Interesting you do have me down a rabbit hole here" - yay my plan worked haha. 

Thanks! I really appreciate you taking a look, great to get a scientific opinion! 

When you say it works best at <1% dissolved oxygen, what's a normal % in our aquarium? I'm not sure if it's like our aquariums (assuming they are well oxygenated) are at 100% or what the normal range is (I did try googling but I can only find explanations talking about PPM of d.o.) so not sure if there would be areas in that range within our aquariums or if that's unrealistic without a plenum or something. 

 TIA!

 


Hello, rabbit.

Here’s a link that might help on the dissolved oxygen info.  This info is based on game fish primarily, but some of the same variants apply to aquarium fish.  The shiners that @Fish Folkadores like lots of dissolved oxygen which makes sense when you know their natural habitat.  It’s what they’ve evolved to need.  Deeper, still water fish will tend to be more tolerant of lower dissolved oxygen.  Many adapt to other ways of getting their oxygen.  Bettas, gouramis, and other anabantid fish breathe air, even cories (primarily bottom fish) will grab a gulp of air intermittently.  Any fish seen gasping at the surface need more DO immediately or death is eminent.

There are a couple ways of talking about dissolved oxygen (DO).  How many mg/L (same as ppm - parts per million) or by percentage.  It can range from 0 ppm to 18 ppm at max, but 18 ppm is far above what most tanks will have.  Typical range in most streams is going to be 5-9 ppm or so, with faster streams at the higher end, but almost never above 10 ppm.  There are many factors that can affect it.  For example: temperature - heat decreases DO; dissolved organics (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, as well as others that we don’t measure) - higher levels decrease DO; salinity levels - higher salt levels decrease DO; surface agitation - more increases DO; altitude - higher will decrease DO; deeper water - decreases DO and stagnant layers can prevent DO from getting into the deeper parts of any body of water including a tank.

This is why a frequent recommendation for any sick fish is to add an air stone and do a water change.  This is aimed at removing dissolved organics that suppress DO, and increases surface agitation, plus reduces layering so the DO can get down to a sick fish that’s laying on the bottom.  Another reason why putting fish in breeder boxes or nets can help when they are sick - it keeps them closer to the surface and in better DO levels (plus makes it easier to keep an eye on them).  Best is to also add an airstone and water circulation directly into the breeder box itself.

Percentage of DO can get a bit tricker since since temperature, altitude, salinity, etc, all affect the potential amount of dissolved oxygen so the percent is based on how much is possible in those particular conditions, not just how much is present.  18 ppm is absolute max percentage achievable in pristine, pure water with no organics present, no salt, ideal low temps, extreme agitation, sea level, etc, etc.  So percent of saturation would be considered well above 100% at 18 ppm because that’s far higher than any normal saturation levels ever achieve.  So normal percent goal in tanks would be at least 70-75% in a planted tank, going only slightly lower when the lights are out.  Most tanks will be in the 5-8 ppm range which would be at least 65-100% saturation since 8 ppm is about max saturation for most tanks.  More is nearly always better, but there is such a thing as too much.  Excess DO ppm can actually burn gills and cause gas bubbles in the blood, but it’s very hard to get to excess levels in an aquarium.

Since percent saturation is trickier and so variable, most talk about and measure DO in ppm.  Test kits and meters are in ppm.

Probably more than most anybody wanted to know, but maybe somebody will find it interesting.  🤷🏻‍♀️  The article talks about some, but not all of this info.  I don’t know that any of this is pertinent to the discussion at hand, but wanted to point out that extremely low percent of DO would be deadly to fish, but could potentially be achieved in certain types of systems or filters - anoxic, deep sand beds, deep Walstad beds, etc.

https://www.water-research.net/index.php/dissovled-oxygen-in-water

I should not be on the forum so late at night after a long shift.  🤦🏻‍♀️ 

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On 6/10/2022 at 8:28 AM, Odd Duck said:

This is why a frequent recommendation for any sick fish is to add an air stone and do a water change.  This is aimed at removing dissolved organics that suppress DO, and increases surface agitation, plus reduces layering so the DO can get down to a sick fish that’s laying on the bottom.  Another reason why putting fish in breeder boxes or nets can help when they are sick - it keeps them closer to the surface and in better DO levels (plus makes it easier to keep an eye on them).  Best is to also add an airstone and water circulation directly into the breeder box itself.

 

@Odd Duck and @KentFishFanUK, this is great information. I too feel increasing DO can be therapeutic and sometimes pivotal in treating ailing fishes.

The study cited in this article linked below was one of the largest ever performed on fish in the US. They studied 10,000 fish being treated with one antibiotic and a variety of de-wormers with and without supplementary DO. The fish in the augmented DO tanks saw 38% less disease and mortality!

As these fish were for food production, they were limited in what meds could be tested but at least one antibiotic was in the study. The only negative to supplementary O2 is if all goes well, you'll never know if it was the O2 that helped! But it certainly cannot hurt. That study is in a link here: 

 

Edited by dasaltemelosguy
Sorry, accidentally inserted the link twice.
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How did I miss that write up in the first place?  Thank you for reading over 400 pages of a study then concentrating it into usable and digestible bites of information.

I just so happen to have an oxygen concentrator that was given to me by a friend after his father (our neighbor) passed.  I’ll be sure to drag it out next time I have sick fish.  I just need to figure out how to connect it to an airstone.  Would it be better to use a CO2 diffuser or too much with the concentrator, I wonder?  Surely a low level flow would still be safe enough.  I currently have one angel of a group I just bought, that is recovering from fin rot he had on arrival.  The lesions are clear and fins regrowing.  I suspect his fins would regrow faster with more O2.  Off to check the tubing I have to see if I have the bits and pieces I need to connect it to an airstone.

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As it turns out, my best silicone airline tubing fits directly onto the O2 concentrator, but the unit doesn’t like to run super low flow rate (funny how it has alerts to tell you your oxygen flow rate might be too low and you might want to check that before you die 🤷🏻‍♀️).  Simple bleed off valve and a higher flow rate, problem solved.  It’s a little noisier than I would want in my bedroom, but in the other room, no problem.  Barely louder than my air pump in that room.

We’ll see what this does for fin regrowth rate since the fin rot appears to be cleared, he just needs to regrow fins now.  N = 1 for my study.

 

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F087887D-1EDA-4C14-836F-DCFB455241B4.jpeg

949ECE5F-6A1B-407F-8AF1-5E2A445D18E9.jpeg

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On 6/10/2022 at 12:11 PM, Fish Folk said:

Love this thread. And I’m just here to shout out @OnlyGenusCaps for correctly using a priori. Maybe I can think of something brilliant to add that uses a posteriori… 

How about incorrectly?  Does that score any points?

@Fish Folk You need to get your a posteriori in gear on your saffron shiner thread.  I want to see some fish!  😉 😝 😆 😂 🤣 😘 

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On 6/10/2022 at 1:19 PM, Odd Duck said:

How about incorrectly?  Does that score any points?

@Fish Folk You need to get your a posteriori in gear on your saffron shiner thread.  I want to see some fish!  😉 😝 😆 😂 🤣 😘 

Me and my a posteriori are just sitting here refreshing the tracking on UPS every 30 seconds 😂

Edited by Fish Folk
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On 6/10/2022 at 10:27 AM, Odd Duck said:

I just so happen to have an oxygen concentrator that was given to me by a friend

 

On 6/10/2022 at 11:13 AM, Odd Duck said:

As it turns out, my best silicone airline tubing fits directly onto the O2 concentrator, but the unit doesn’t like to run super low flow rate (funny how it has alerts to tell you your oxygen flow rate might be too low and you might want to check that before you die 🤷🏻‍♀️).  Simple bleed off valve and a higher flow rate, problem solved.  It’s a little noisier than I would want in my bedroom, but in the other room, no problem.  Barely louder than my air pump in that room.

We’ll see what this does for fin regrowth rate since the fin rot appears to be cleared, he just needs to regrow fins now.  N = 1 for my study.

 

8E26989C-D183-4168-A4D1-E717F0618841.jpeg

2CEE7502-B3A3-4928-9F47-B658AE73564E.jpeg

F087887D-1EDA-4C14-836F-DCFB455241B4.jpeg

949ECE5F-6A1B-407F-8AF1-5E2A445D18E9.jpeg

This is the same machine my mil had, that was my original fish room air pump until it no longer worked, lol. Look at my videos of the turtle's original pond, and you can hear the distinctive sound, plus see the "spa bubbles" Karma adored. More air may have been the secret to my success, and I didn't know it back then, lol. A nebulizer also worked in a pinch, and the airline tubing is fairly interchangeable. I also added a splitter and 2 4-ways to service tanks back then.

May your angelfish make a full recovery!

I am enjoying seeing I am not alone in exploring rabbit holes!

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