Are there now any "bacteria boosting" products available that aren't snake oil?

xxBarneyxx

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So back in the day there was a bunch of products that claimed to give you a jump start to your bacteria colonies. All of them were very extensively tested by the community and shown to not do anything at all.

10+ years later and I'm wondering if any of the current products have actually been community tested and verified or if it is still all just snake oil? Anything that works better then just grabbing a bit of media from an established tank?

Ideally would be great to see some actual testing that has been done if its available?
 

Slaphppy7

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So back in the day there was a bunch of products that claimed to give you a jump start to your bacteria colonies. All of them were very extensively tested by the community and shown to not do anything at all.

10+ years later and I'm wondering if any of the current products have actually been community tested and verified or if it is still all just snake oil? Anything that works better then just grabbing a bit of media from an established tank?

Ideally would be great to see some actual testing that has been done if its available?
I wouldn't have any idea, would never spend $ on something I can get for free, any time, and anywhere

It would be like buying air to breathe...
 

wasmewasntit

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On the odd occasion that I need to get an aquarium up and sorted relatively fast (such as a high number of successful breeding sessions, especially the pesky Cories), I have always used an Evolution Aqua bomb.

I don't use sponges in my filters. I use minimal ceramics (enough to give a single layer on the bottom of the Turbo) and then I fill the can up with mixed mats that are cut in small irregular shapes that allow the Turbo to act like a moving bed filter (ammonia, carbon and phosphate mats) with a layer of floss on top (in the past I have always used mats cut to size and found that they tended to clog too fast, hence changing to irregular shapes). So using any of that media is not really ideal to kickstart a new aquarium.

I have used the EA bombs on every aquarium as a starter for several years and multiple aquariums. If the need for the aquarium is urgent I will add the EA balls every day for about a week.

So far my average time from set up to running the full cycle of ammonia (I use fish food to introduce that), nitrite and then losing the ammonia and nitrites and gaining nitrates has been 14 to 21 days. Each time I have done it this way I have not lost any fish and once I get the correct levels I use my cut mats, ceramics and floss inside the Turbo. I have not experienced any aquarium crashes when jump starting with the EA bombs and balls. Whether others have had similar experience to mine, I do not know, but insofar as the EA bombs and balls, they work for me.
 

PheonixKingZ

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It definitely does work. I had my suspicions when I first heard of "bottled bacteria", and thought I would never spend my money of it.

Well... I did, and it worked out perfect for me. I cycled my 29g sw tank in just 4 days using bottled bacteria.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I wouldn't have any idea, would never spend $ on something I can get for free, any time, and anywhere

It would be like buying air to breathe...
People buy water by the bucketload. :p

I found this, but there's nothing scientifically useful from the reviews. There's also very little, if any, actual reasoning behind the assessments given. This is fairly typical of the standard of reviews, with an almost total lack of any scientific credibility.
I have found that negative reviews abound, but these are often from people who clearly didn't know the first thing about cycling a tank and even less about basic science.
The positive reviews seem to be distrusted, simply because. (Perhaps too many haters don't know science and, as a consequence, distrust it).

I have good science degrees and understand bacteria, which is why I was bemused, upon joining this forum, and being told that only Dr. Tim's product worked and that he had even placed a copyright/patent of the species of bacteria used, which was, apparently, the only one that would do the job. This statement was made with absolute certainty.
Given the variety of bacteria on the planet and the relative ease with which these can be cultivated, I did find that ludicrous and, as I've discovered, there are now quite a few bottled bacteria products that genuinely work.
I'm not sure how things work, Stateside, but here in the UK we have a Trade Descriptions Act, which essentially means that a product must do what it says on the tin.

Researching back, there were anxieties about the shelf life of the products and I'm sure, back then, these were well founded. However, I'd struggle to believe that progress hadn't been made over the last decade to cultivate hardier bacteria.
I also appreciate that modern bacterial products are now supplied with the necessary components for that bacteria's survival, both in the bottle and the tank.

Proper scientific validation would be appreciated in this corner, if only to strengthen my argument for their usage.
My own experiences have been very positive.
Previously, when setting up a tank, I've experienced set-backs, delays and hiccoughs in the process.
As I've recorded in my Journal, I had no set-backs whatsoever in setting up two tanks, which I actually found a little unnerving.

The only difference between my previous experiences and my more recent was the use of the Microbe-Lift products.
 

Ch4rlie

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There are actually only two product that I know have worked in the past, Dr Tim's One & Only Nitrfying Bacteria and Tetras Safe Start.

Having said that, this really depends on a number of variables.

- How the bottled bacteria is transported to LFS or online retailer. Transportation vehicle/truck are either articulated or not and temperature does have an effect on bottled bacteria. Imagine transporting a batch of bottles of BB from a hot area or country to a cold area / country and the large changes in temperature will have an effect, no question.

- How the BB is stored at LFS or warehouse, again temperature plays a part, cool and shaded areas are best but if displayed in direct sunlight in window displays then this will effect BB.

- How long the BB has been stored in bottles, this can vary greatly depending on the BB production but if stored too long and the bacterias starved of ammonia for say over 6 months then surely there will be some definite die offs.

These are just to name a few variables that can affect BB in bottles but some of course do work without any issues whilst others won't.

No guarantees imho when comes to BB in bottles regardless of brand.
 

PheonixKingZ

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There are actually only two product that I know have worked in the past, Dr Tim's One & Only Nitrfying Bacteria and Tetras Safe Start.

Having said that, this really depends on a number of variables.

- How the bottled bacteria is transported to LFS or online retailer. Transportation vehicle/truck are either articulated or not and temperature does have an effect on bottled bacteria. Imagine transporting a batch of bottles of BB from a hot area or country to a cold area / country and the large changes in temperature will have an effect, no question.

- How the BB is stored at LFS or warehouse, again temperature plays a part, cool and shaded areas are best but if displayed in direct sunlight in window displays then this will effect BB.

- How long the BB has been stored in bottles, this can vary greatly depending on the BB production but if stored too long and the bacterias starved of ammonia for say over 6 months then surely there will be some definite die offs.

These are just to name a few variables that can affect BB in bottles but some of course do work without any issues whilst others won't.

No guarantees imho when comes to BB in bottles regardless of brand.
Doctor Tim’s is a good brand - I would buy that over Tetra brand any day.

—-

Make sure to check the expiration date on the bottle, before you open it. If it’s already expired, then ship it back to the seller or return it to the store.
 
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Microbe - Lift is the most scammy useless line of products ever lol
 

DoubleDutch

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Doctor Tim’s is a good brand - I would buy that over Tetra brand any day.

—-

Make sure to check the expiration date on the bottle, before you open it. If it’s already expired, then ship it back to the seller or return it to the store.
This is the same stuff.
Dr.Tim Hovanec sold / shared his patent with Tetra.

A lot of bacterial starters don't contain the right bacteria. One and Only and TSS at least do.
 

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