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Cynthia Writes:

<<<There are nitrifying  bacteria in the water and I say this for two reasons:

1.  How else would a newly set-up tank acquire the bacteria if not from 
the water (assuming no seeding of filter media or substrate); and

2.  How could these bacteria be grown from water samples if there were no 
bacteria in the water.>>>

The quickest answer is "dust in the air." We are all familiar with the "dust
motes" visible when a beam of sunlight comes through a window. You will see
some of these, even if you have a very efficient particulate filter on your
heating system, and I include the electrostatic ones. As far as a bacterial
resting stage is concerned, a dust mote is a planet!  Researchers and folks in
NASA "Clean Rooms" go to great effort to eliminate as much airborne
particulate matter __as is possible,__ and they don't get rid of all of it. 

The other answer is, virtually all domestic water supplies contain at least
SOME organic matter, which is bacteria food. Chlorination, etc., does not kill
all bacteria. Just most of the ones that will make us sick. We are surrounded
with, and full of, bacteria, the vast majority of which are either beneficial
to us, or harmless. If you really do NOT like "germs," just don't think about
the preceding statement.  It will get a bit too annoying! :-)


Jean Olson
JOlson8590 at AOL_com
Out in the Boonies, near
Cambridge, Iowa