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Re: Bacteria in new substrate

>Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2002 00:26:10 -0800
>From: "Rachel Sandage" <rachelsor at hotmail_com>
>Subject: RE: Bacteria in new substrate
>Sorry if this is an obvious newbie question, but I am very confused here.
>Whenever people have posted about using products like Cycle to quickly cycle
>an aquarium, several people always leap in and make the statement that the
>bacteria can't live in a bottle. But now I am reading that they can live in
>old, dried mulm or old, dried sponge filters. Do the bacteria in the bottle
>die from lack of air? Lack of food? And will the bacteria on a bio-wheel
>also survive if it is dried out?
>ps can anybody help me figure out how much CO2 is in my tank now that I have
>added phosphate?

I never would have said that bacteria in the bottle would die from lack of
air.  But I do think that buying bacteria in a bottle is throwing away your
money when there are all the species you need in mulm from another tank or
in a pinch of topsoil.  From what I have read, bacteria don't die from lack
of food.  They just "shut down" their metabolic pathways if food is not
available.  Bacteria in colonies on petri dishes last for years after they
have used up their food supply.  I would expect that the bacteria on a
bio-wheel would survive being dried out.

One way you could get a pretty good estimate of the CO2 in your new tank
with its phosphate addition would be to take two samples of water.  Test
the first one immediately and let the second stand open to the air for 12
to 24 hours.  and then test it.  The difference in the results would be the
difference between equilibrium with atmospheric air, which has 0.03 %
CO2---very little---and the actual tank water.  You can assume that if your
tank water were in equilibrium with the air the growth of your plants would
be CO2 limited.  You want your tank water to have 15 to 20 mg/l CO2 above
what it would have if it were in equilibrium with the air.

Paul Krombholz, in cool central Mississippi, with the word, snow, in our
forcasts for this week.  Best chance on wednesday.