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Re: Starving bacteria

On Sun, 23 Apr 2000, James Purchase wrote:
> Interesting excerpt Paul.... given the fact that the majority of the
> bacteria which exist in an aquarium biofilter are species which seem to
> require high oxygen levels and relatively high nutrient levels, how likely
> is it that they have the same sorts of abilities as the subsurface bacteria
> described in the article?

According to my wife's microbiology text, Bacillus and Clostridium
bacteria (and maybe a few more) commonly form endospores in response to
starvation, and that allows them to rest with very low metabolic demands
for long periods of time.  Azobacter and a few other bacteria groups form
cysts that fulfill some of the same purposes and allow the bacteria to
resist UV light and live through extended dry periods - a particularly
important skills if they live in desert soils.  Other bacteria might have
other responses.

It seems that the nitrifying bacteria we like to culture in our filters
must not be very good at forming endospores or cysts.  The products that
supposedly contain inactive cultures of nitrifying bacteria would work
better if those bacteria were good at lasting through hard times.

Roger Miller