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Bacteria boosters????

This is a discussion on Bacteria boosters???? within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; What do people think about using biological filter bacteria boosters? im about to set up a new 3 foot tank ...

Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 31st July 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bacteria boosters????

What do people think about using biological filter bacteria boosters?
im about to set up a new 3 foot tank for 2 axolotls, i have never cycled properly before so i need as much advice as possible.
I have a bacteria booster for my other tanks but i dunno if i should use it to help me cycle this one?
It works great on my other tanks. The first time i used it i was shocked at how clean and fresh it looked the next day when i woke up!



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Old 31st July 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bacteria boosters????

This is up to you. There is no absolute necessity for these. Some have experienced that most commercial products of this nature are not effective and hence a waste of money. Some felt that a particular product is effective but cannot conclusively prove so. Water clarity can be coincidental, such as from a good filter, regular water change and siphoning of detritus.

From a personal experience, i used bacterial boosters in the past. I found that there were some significant differences in terms of nitrogenous waste levels - sample of same tank water, one with and one without addition of bacterial boosters, different readings overnight.

I actually also looked at a product under the microscope and did some micriobiology procedures (hanging drop/ staining/ culturing on plates). There was definitely presence of live bacteria seen under 1000x magnification. (Did staining with methylene blue to stain dead vs live cells)

However, there is one consistent drawback. My axies ALWAYS without fail develop rather extensive skin shedding whenever i add these biological boosters. To me, anything that causes an adverse reaction in the axies regardless of efficacy in treating water qualty, is still defeating the purpose. I have since stopped using them.

I think these products are ok if used in tanks meant for fish, rather than for amphibians.



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Old 31st July 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bacteria boosters????

I read it is safer to put frozen fish food or a piece of cocktail shrimp into the water, and then remove it when ammonia is detected. Another way I have read is by introducing white cloud minnows (Tanichths albonubes) or guppies (Poecilia reticulata) into the tank, and then removing them before introducing your amphibians.

I got this information from the new book Newts and Salamanders by Devin Edmonds on page 19.

I hope this helps!
Critter Mom



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Old 31st July 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bacteria boosters????

You're setting up a rather large tank for a rather small number of axies. That means you'll have a lot of water volume when compared to the waste output of your axolotls. This advice is usually not what I give newbies, but you would be fine with not cycling your tank PROVIDED you do diligent water quality testing (daily) and frequent water changes (10-20% every few days, depending on your test results). I've found that using this method will often cycle a tank faster than using any sort of biological booster (of which only a few are actually worth your money in providing live bacteria).



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Old 31st July 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bacteria boosters????

I've always used filter media/a handful of gravel (you could wrap it up like a teabag for easy removal before introducing your axie) from an established and healthy fishtank. I realize not all axie owners actually have fish, but if you know anyone with a healthy tank, I'm sure you could borrow some manner of pourous media to cycle your tank with. (It's not like they'll have plans for a old filter cartridge, other than a trashcan, perhaps.) Make sure you don't let it dry out in transit, and again, if you have doubts about the health of the fish you're looking at, don't risk contamination; find another way.

Also, if your Axolotl is already in an established tank, you could try using all of that water (presuming it's of acceptable quality) in the new tank, and add water slowly over the next few days to fill the rest up.



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Old 31st July 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bacteria boosters????

They are a waste of money in my opinion.

I agree with Rayson, there seems to be a link to axolotl skin issues and "jug o' bacteria".


Personally, I use donor water from a known healthy tank when starting a new one, in addition to adding a pair of goldfish I bred for the purpose. I wouldn't go out to the pet store and buy a few fish just to cycle a tank though, pet store fish are notorious for carrying nasties.



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Old 31st July 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bacteria boosters????

I agree with the consensus. I've never gotten results from them before, though I have heard of people who have. I imagine it depends on the brand/age/quality of the product in question.

Like everyone else said, just use a bunch of stuff from a clean, healthy tank.



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