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Re: Mulm and bacterial starters

> What would happen if the wet gunk from the filter was dried
> and safed? Would
> the bacteria (in another form) survive? How long?
> My tanks produce quite a bit of this stuff and it would be
> neat to have it
> available when setting up a new tank to kick-start the
> substrate. Cheap too.
> Thoughts?
> Michael Eckardt
> near Waterloo, Ontario

How many folks do not live near some LFS or some other aquarist
that would not mind you coming over to vacuum their gravel?
?Have you no established tanks of your own? I could see that
happening but rather unlikely. You could get someone to send you
some nice fresh mulm if desperate.

Vacuum the fresh live stuff. Always better. Let it settle(10
minutes is plenty) and decant off the supernatant. Set the thick
settled mulm aside and fill another bucket and repeat.
After you have enough to make a 1/4" layer on the bottom of your
new tank toss a small amount of ground peat in there for good
measure and top with laterite/gravel or flourite etc.

If you add plenty of plants from the start(they have bacteria
covering them and their roots), add some mulm to your filter,
there is no real break in period. A water change or two extra is
about all you need to do.

Adding NH3 and fishless cycling is a waste compared to doing
this method. Adding NH3/NH4 is messy and allows the algae to get
going before the herbivores can be added. Many algae bloom due
to high NH4 inducement rather than high to moderate NO3
inducement. I've seen more than a couple of folks do this with
GW outbreaks(among other types of algae) rather than smooth

But mulm doesn't look all pretty, comes in a nice little bottle
with claims on it and cost 10$ for 50ml. Why on earth anyone
would want expensive canned Tomatoes when they can have fresh
organic that are free is beyond me.

You can let the mulm dry and keep it as it's not bad to add to a
new tank either(use in place of soil). I've never had a problem
finding fresh personally. I doubt many folks would either. If
your having trouble finding fresh mulm email a friend on the
list, a water bottle full of the fresh stuff could easily be
sent to you.

Used as a soil replacement(dried mulm), a larger amount added to
the lower part of your substrate would work well, perhaps better
than soil even. I'd still add a touch of peat with it and cap.

If you look at Amano's aquasoil, it looks like harden mulm. It's
soft like clay, light weight but very similar to mulm in some

Tom Barr


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