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Re: Re: Nitrite (NO2) as a plant nutrient?

This was a great post, but I take issue with a few things, such as:

>Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 18:44:16 -0400
>From: "James P Purchase" <jpurch at interlog_com>
>Subject: Re: Nitrite (NO2) as a plant nutrient?
>Ali ("spiny eel" - come on Ali, use your REAL name on the APD, especially if

>you want people to take you seriously) 

There is really no need to make such comments. Perhaps this is what the person
is known as, or wishes to be known as, It is petty to suggest that he is not
to be taken seriously because he has a nickname.

>While there ARE several commercial preparations that CLAIM to contain the
>proper bacteria, at this point in time even the very identy of the bacteria

>responsible for the conversion of ammonia/ammonium into nitrate in fresh
>water ecosystems is uncertain. 

Uncertain maybe, but we do know that Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas are most likely
the two genuses (hmmmm, is that the right word?)

So whether thse commercial preparations can
>do what they claim to is open to doubt. The second part of Kenny's answer,
that "overdosage or underdosage of these bacteria is definately harmful", is

>pure speculation on Kenny's part.

It is also speculation to say that these products do not work as claimed. I
do not use them but know several people who have had success with them. I know
of no actual studies to prove that they are ineffective or effective.

>A system can definately have TOO FEW nitrifying bacteria present for the
>bioload (a new tank with a lot of fish for example). That can definately be

>harmful to the animals, due to ammonia toxicity. But a system cannot support

>more nitrifying bacteria that there is food to feed them - the excess will

>simply die. Unless someone added a HUGE overdose of one of the commercial
>preparations that DID contain live bacteria (most of them do not have live

>nitrifying bacteria in them)

There has been much debate over the actual "status" of the bacteria in these
products. Many are claiming to be enzymatic, not bacterial cultures. The ones
that I have seen with bacteria claim that it is in some sort of spore state
and will be "reactivated" by the presence of NH4. I have seen studies saying
that this is possible, but the studies suggest that it would require a much
higher concentration of NH4 for "activation" of the culture than is found in
the typical aquarium.

 I doubt that the added bioload of a few dying
>bacteria is going to swing things one way or another.
>The best solution for the initiation of the nitrogen cycle in ANY tank is
>patience and restraint. Not too many fish at first and be patient until the

>natural nitrifying bacterial population builds up to a sufficient level to

>handle the excretia from the fish. The big problem is that while most
>bacteria can multiply exponentially at astonishing speeds, the division rate

>for most bacteria capable of nitrification is measured in hours (usually 24)

>not minutes. So it takes time (measured in days and weeks) for the bacterial

>population to build up sufficient numbers to handle regular inputs of
>ammonia (fish waste). 

How can you say what the reproduction rate of the bacterium is if you do not
know what species it is as you said earlier? I am not slamming this statement,
just wondering if they have isolated the organism and just not put a name to

As the bioload increases, so will the bacterial
>population, but there will always be a time lag between the two.
>For the impatient, the best choice is to use a pre-cultured foam filter
>which has been in an established aquarium for a period of several weeks. It

>will have a built in bacterial population.

This is the method the shop I worked at uses. It is probably not very different
than adding a bottle of bacteria (assuming that the bottle actually holds some
living organisms). I hope this is not interpreted as a flame. I found the post
by Mr. Purchase to be very informative, I just disagree to an extent with the
mentioned items.

Scott "Relli" McLaughlin

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