Nutrifin cycle looks like mould

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efirerobin

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I’m cycling a new tank and added in some nutrifin cycle to help with some good bacteria. I’ve used cycle many times in the past and have never seen anything strange but I just bought a new bottle and it came out with cloudy chucks almost looking like mould. Is this bottle bad? It was sealed and brand new just got it yesterday. Did I just not shake it enough or they change the formula?
 
Some pics of what came out of the bottle. Is it spoiled do I have to remove all the water and restart my cycling process
 

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No idea about the product but I would contact the company via phone or email. They might have changed something or had a bad batch.
 
Cycle is not a product choice I would make for bottled bacteria. It doesn't contain Nitrospira. So, I have never used it.

That said, I do use and have used Dr. Tim;'s One and Only. The forst step inusing this product is to shake the bottle. The reason for this is the living, but dormant, bacteria insude has been frown on a solid survace, The nitrifiers make a substance which allows them to attach themselves in colonies to solid surfaces. So, what is in the bottle are a lot of bacteria attached to very tiny surfaces.

Imagine what powder looks like, and that is the sort of grain size the bacteria are grown on before they go into the bottle. What then happens after they are bottles? They will sink down to the bottom and may sit there. So we need to shake the bottle before pouring it into a tank n order to get all the good stuff back into solutions so none is left behind.

As a result, when you pour the Dr. Tim's product into a tank, you see a white cloud in the water.

It could be whatever Cycle is using meamns it looks like what you saw. The bacteria need to be attached to something when they are grown and put into the bottle and when they come back out. On the other hand maybe there is a porblem with your bottle?

I trued to find a video of Cycle being added to a tank. I saw one by Nutrafin and it did not provide it. What it didprovide me was confirmation that I would never use this product even if it were given to me at no charge. They want one to use this product repeatedly. There is really only a need to use such a product once and if you are a person who care for their tank, it will do its job indeficinetely unless some exterior force cause you to wipe out the bacteria in a tank.

The companies who offer bacterial starter products which do not actually contain the bacteria which will end up in a tank even if you add the wrong ones at the start, do so because they have to compete and they can make money on it.

It took a number of decades for science to get to the level of knowledge it now has regadring cycling a tank and what is actually going on on the microscopic level. First, the discover of ammonia oxiding Archaea meant there was womething besides bacteria at work. Second, the Nitrospirsa bacteria which were thought to be the primary ones for vonverting nitrite to nitrate were discovered to be the "holy grail" of the process because they were found to be able to convert ammonia to nitrate on their own.

This second discovery had a big impact on the starter bacteria products, The reason was that the Nitrospira was discovered to be doing the nitrite to nitrate before the later discovery. So the initiail discovery of how to test for Nitrosira, culture it, bottle it etc, was patented. This meant that only specifci indivudlas and a corporate owner could use it.

The result iw that two products contain the right Nitrospira bacteria- Dr. Tim's one and Only and Terta with their Safe Start. Tetra is part of the pet division of Spectrum Brands. Spectrum also acquired Marineland which was where Dr. Timothy Hovanev was the chief scientist and discovered of the Nitrospira. So Marineland co-owned the patent. Spectrum chose to move the production of their product to be under the Tetra Brand name.

While Dr. H. and Tetra have moved in somewhat different directions, they still both use Nitrospira.

But, here is the more interesting part of this discussion. When Dr. H. et. al. did the research on the bacteria doing the nitrite to nitrate conversion, they did something unusual. They ran a series of tanks using Hagen's Cycle. This contained what were believed at the time to be the bacteria for nitrite, Nitrobacter winogradskyi. At the end of the research they could not find any Nitrobacter, they only found Nitrospira.

If you are the crazy curious typr person I am, you might do what I have done over the years and learn by reading the papers. It isn't exactly thrilling reading but it does keep us informed as to what is really at work in the microscopic workd of out tanks and filters.
Nitrospira-Like Bacteria Associated with Nitrite Oxidation in Freshwater Aquaria
 
Cycle is not a product choice I would make for bottled bacteria. It doesn't contain Nitrospira. So, I have never used it.

That said, I do use and have used Dr. Tim;'s One and Only. The forst step inusing this product is to shake the bottle. The reason for this is the living, but dormant, bacteria insude has been frown on a solid survace, The nitrifiers make a substance which allows them to attach themselves in colonies to solid surfaces. So, what is in the bottle are a lot of bacteria attached to very tiny surfaces.

Imagine what powder looks like, and that is the sort of grain size the bacteria are grown on before they go into the bottle. What then happens after they are bottles? They will sink down to the bottom and may sit there. So we need to shake the bottle before pouring it into a tank n order to get all the good stuff back into solutions so none is left behind.

As a result, when you pour the Dr. Tim's product into a tank, you see a white cloud in the water.

It could be whatever Cycle is using meamns it looks like what you saw. The bacteria need to be attached to something when they are grown and put into the bottle and when they come back out. On the other hand maybe there is a porblem with your bottle?

I trued to find a video of Cycle being added to a tank. I saw one by Nutrafin and it did not provide it. What it didprovide me was confirmation that I would never use this product even if it were given to me at no charge. They want one to use this product repeatedly. There is really only a need to use such a product once and if you are a person who care for their tank, it will do its job indeficinetely unless some exterior force cause you to wipe out the bacteria in a tank.

The companies who offer bacterial starter products which do not actually contain the bacteria which will end up in a tank even if you add the wrong ones at the start, do so because they have to compete and they can make money on it.

It took a number of decades for science to get to the level of knowledge it now has regadring cycling a tank and what is actually going on on the microscopic level. First, the discover of ammonia oxiding Archaea meant there was womething besides bacteria at work. Second, the Nitrospirsa bacteria which were thought to be the primary ones for vonverting nitrite to nitrate were discovered to be the "holy grail" of the process because they were found to be able to convert ammonia to nitrate on their own.

This second discovery had a big impact on the starter bacteria products, The reason was that the Nitrospira was discovered to be doing the nitrite to nitrate before the later discovery. So the initiail discovery of how to test for Nitrosira, culture it, bottle it etc, was patented. This meant that only specifci indivudlas and a corporate owner could use it.

The result iw that two products contain the right Nitrospira bacteria- Dr. Tim's one and Only and Terta with their Safe Start. Tetra is part of the pet division of Spectrum Brands. Spectrum also acquired Marineland which was where Dr. Timothy Hovanev was the chief scientist and discovered of the Nitrospira. So Marineland co-owned the patent. Spectrum chose to move the production of their product to be under the Tetra Brand name.

While Dr. H. and Tetra have moved in somewhat different directions, they still both use Nitrospira.

But, here is the more interesting part of this discussion. When Dr. H. et. al. did the research on the bacteria doing the nitrite to nitrate conversion, they did something unusual. They ran a series of tanks using Hagen's Cycle. This contained what were believed at the time to be the bacteria for nitrite, Nitrobacter winogradskyi. At the end of the research they could not find any Nitrobacter, they only found Nitrospira.

If you are the crazy curious typr person I am, you might do what I have done over the years and learn by reading the papers. It isn't exactly thrilling reading but it does keep us informed as to what is really at work in the microscopic workd of out tanks and filters.
Nitrospira-Like Bacteria Associated with Nitrite Oxidation in Freshwater Aquaria
Thank you for your reply, very helpful information. However I am in Canada and haven’t been able to find dr Tim’s anywhere. I have used nutrafin cycle for years when cycling tanks, not sure if it’s ever helped at all but I’ve never had it cause a problem or negative affect in anyway. Since I’ve never seen this in the product and am unsure if this is a formula change I will be discontinuing its use. I am unsure if I should empty all the water and restart my cycle if this product is defective or if it’s harmless
 
Hello efire. This doesn't look right to me. I think a change of product is in order. It won't take much work to vacuum out the old stuff and replace it with something easier to use. I've used API's "Quick Start" to prepare the water for fish several times with no problems. API is inexpensive and used with API's Tap Water Conditioner, you can enjoy your fish within 48 hours of setting up the tank.

10
 
API Quick Start doesn't contain Nitrospira either. The safety data sheet says it contains
nitrosomonas eutropha

nitrobacter winogradski
 
API Quick Start doesn't contain Nitrospira either. The safety data sheet says it contains
Hello. API's "Quick Start" detoxifies ammonia and nitrite. What remains is nitrate and that's removed by simply removing and replacing half the tank water a couple of times a week.

10
 
There is often a difference in what we think is happening on the mcrscopic level in our tanks and what is actually happening.

Unless one has a lab setting and some expensive equipment, cycling is a bit of a "crap shoot." The reason for this is we lack accurate information on some of the important water parameters or which type of bacteria may be in the water or air to seed our initial cycing. And even if we did know the straains, we would have no way to know how much of anything with which we are starting. The statement by 10 tanks about Cycle is not the case, sorry buddy. What appears below will explain it, or at least the science behind it.

10 Tanks. you can make me look pretty silly if you can find any research in the past decade or so which shows that the bacteria in FW aquariums which process nitrite to nitrate or ammonia straight to nitrite, and which will presist there over time, that are Nitrobacter starins. At the end of this post are several studies that are relevant here.

SO, all we are able to do is to measure a few of the relevant parameters with our hobby test kits. This means we really have no clue, day to day. What we can see is when we reach the range of results where we know things have happened and then what needs to happen next.

What happens when one chooses to use Cycle with the Nitrobacter instead of having Nitrospria? The first part is easy to grasp. Nitrobacter thrives on much higher concentrations of Nitrite than do Nitrospira. Which strain will dominate depends on how much nitrite is available (this depends on how much ammonia as well).

So, when we cycle whether with fish or fishlessly, ammonia builds up to a level it will normally never hit in an established tank. The problems happen if ammonia or nitrite gets too high. This effectively discourages the colonization of the baceria we ultimately have and encourages those that will not persist. If we add Nitrobacter, they are working on a nitrite situation that won't last very long. And, as the concentrations start to drop, those initial bacteria start to die off and to be replaced by the ones which can thrive in an aquarium. As a cycle progresss the concentration of excess ammonia or nitrite in the water drops. It eventually becomes low enough that it cannot support a thriving colony of Nitrobacter. Which is why they are generally gone and have been replaced by the Nitrospira.

So, in the end no matter what starter bacterial strains we have in a tank, the ones that will be there are the ones that should be and not those that cannot thrive there. The Nitrobacter in Cycle vanishes to be replaced by the Nitrospira. But, it appear to us as if the Cycle did the job. It is my feeling that cycle just delayed the result and one could have cycled faster and cheaper using something elese. Dr. Tim's is more money than Cycle because it contains the "right stuff."

But I hate to pay up so I do things a bit differently. I start with about half of the bacteria I need using Dr. Tim's product. Then I use cheap ammonium chloride to make the bacteria reproduce. I know under optimal conditions this would happen in well under 24 hours except that the bacteria in the bottle are dormant goin into the tank. They need ammonia to wake them up and go back to work. This can be a matter of hours but could not be more than a day. So, after I add the 1/2 bacteria dose into a tank with ammonia, I expect to be able to add a full fish load in anywhere from 1 to 3 days.

The way I know the tank is ready is simple. I add 2-3 ppm of Total Ammonia to the tank. If I can test 0/0 for ammonia and nitrite in 24 hours or less, the tank is cycled. I add the bacteria once. I keep the temp near 80F, or a tad higer, and I make sure that the KH of the tank reads several degrees the whole time.The bacteria take a lot of the inorganic carbon the need from the carbonates and bicarbonates that pretty much make up KH in our tanks. So I may add a bag of crushed coral to help hold up the KH.




Blackburne, R., Vadivelu, V.M., Yuan, Z. and Keller, J., 2007. Kinetic characterisation of an enriched Nitrospira culture with comparison to Nitrobacter. Water research, 41(14), pp.3033-3042.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0043135407000826

Abstract​

Nitrospira and Nitrobacter are nitrite-oxidising bacteria commonly identified in nitrogen removal wastewater treatment plants. Little is known about the growth parameters of Nitrospira or the effects of environmental conditions or inhibitory compounds on Nitrospira activity. These bacterial properties were investigated using an enriched Nitrospira culture and an enriched Nitrobacter culture or Nitrobacter literature values. Compared to Nitrobacter, Nitrospira was found to have a comparable optimal pH range (8.0–8.3); similar normalised activity–temperature relationship (0.44e0.055(T–15)) for temperatures between 15 and 30 °C and a similar oxygen half-saturation constant, KO (0.54±0.14 mg L−1). The major differences identified were that Nitrospira had a lower nitrite half-saturation constant, KS (0.9±0.07 mg NO2-N L−1); lower inhibition threshold concentrations for free ammonia (between 0.04 and 0.08 mg NH3-N L−1) and free nitrous acid (less than 0.03 mg HNO2-N L−1) and a higher yield (0.15±0.04 g VSS g N−1). Therefore, Nitrospira is more likely to dominate nitrite oxidation under conditions with low ammonium and nitrite concentrations, which would provide an advantage to them due to their lower KS value while avoiding any free ammonia or free nitrous acid inhibition.


Nowka, B., Daims, H. and Spieck, E., 2015. Comparison of oxidation kinetics of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria: nitrite availability as a key factor in niche differentiation. Applied and environmental microbiology, 81(2), pp.745-753.
https://journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/aem.02734-14

ABSTRACT

Nitrification has an immense impact on nitrogen cycling in natural ecosystems and in wastewater treatment plants. Mathematical models function as tools to capture the complexity of these biological systems, but kinetic parameters especially of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) are lacking because of a limited number of pure cultures until recently. In this study, we compared the nitrite oxidation kinetics of six pure cultures and one enrichment culture representing three genera of NOB (Nitrobacter, Nitrospira, Nitrotoga). With half-saturation constants (Km ) between 9 and 27 μM nitrite, Nitrospira bacteria are adapted to live under significant substrate limitation. Nitrobacter showed a wide range of lower substrate affinities, with Km values between 49 and 544 μM nitrite. However, the advantage of Nitrobacter emerged under excess nitrite supply, sustaining high maximum specific activities (V max) of 64 to 164 μmol nitrite/mg protein/h, contrary to the lower activities of Nitrospira of 18 to 48 μmol nitrite/mg protein/h. The V max (26 μmol nitrite/mg protein/h) and Km (58 μM nitrite) of “Candidatus Nitrotoga arctica” measured at a low temperature of 17°C suggest that Nitrotoga can advantageously compete with other NOB, especially in cold habitats. The kinetic parameters determined represent improved basis values for nitrifying models and will support predictions of community structure and nitrification rates in natural and engineered ecosystems.

edited for typo
 
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I always assumed at some point, that both are present alongside in nearly every established aquariums.
 
API's "Quick Start" detoxifies ammonia and nitrite. What remains is nitrate and that's removed by simply removing and replacing half the tank water a couple of times a week.
As TwoTankAmin has pointed out, API Quick Start does not contain the nitrite eating bacteria which grow in our fish tanks.
 
Hello. If you render the ammonia and nitrite nontoxic by using the "Quick Start" product, all that's left of the toxins that can harm your fish is nitrate. You keep nitrate in the 20 to 30 parts per million level by simply removing and replacing most of the tank water every three to four days and dosing the bacteria starter and tap water conditioner according to instructions every time you perform a water change. By doing this, you can keep a small number of fish completely healthy.

10
 
Quick Start does not contain the bacteria which grow in aquariums to turn nitrite into nitrate. It contains Nitrobacter, the species of bacteria which turn nitrite into nitrate which grow in waste treatment works where there is a very high nitrite level, much higher than that which occurs in aquariums.
The nitrite eating bacteria which are in Quick Start die because there is not enough nitrite in an aquarium and a different bacteria species grows, Nitrospira, which is present in low amounts in tap water, and is the bacteria species included in Dr Tim's One & Only and Tetra Safe Start.
 
Hello again. I'm only saying you can keep a small number of fish within 48 hours of setting up and filling a fish tank. The reason for the 48 hours is just to establish the water temperature. If you use the API bacteria inoculant and tap water conditioner and use it every three to four days when you change out most of the water, the nitrogen doesn't have time to rise before it's removed with the next water change.

10
 
Also, Quick Start claims it can be used for salt and fresh water, Dr. Hovanec has 3 products he offers: Fresh, Brackish, and Salt.

10 Tank I regularly set up and fully stock (sometime overstock) multiple tanks very rapidly and I do not need to use live plants. But I cycle filters most of the time. If I needed a 75 gallon fully stocked tank I can do that in 48 hours.

So you and I will set up a 75 ga.l tank. We will say it holds only 60 gallons of water. According to API we need to add 10 ml of Quick Start per 10 gallons, so we need to add 60 ml. There are 28.41 ml/ounce, so our dosage of Quick Start should be 2.11 ounces (they sell it in ounces). I will call your every 3 -4 days, 3.5 days so we have to add the Quick start twice a week or 104 times/year. So we will need 104 x 2.11 = 219.44 ounches. Maybe a couple of more in case we spill a little? Amazon has the largest 32 oz Quick Start on sale for $30.59 and we need 7 of them for $214.13. I am assuming free delivery.

And wait. you also need dechlor. I do not use dechlor. I can put my tap directly into tanks at temp. And I only change about 60% of my water weekly with very very few exceptions. In summer I have 28 tanks going which hold almost 1,100 gallons. The are spread out, not centralized. I think it would kill you to keep my tanks the way you keep suggesting one can do.

My 1,082 gallons needs 108.2 ml of Quick start per single dosing. But the summer tanks of 220 gals are only up for 5/12 year 30 I will subtract 129 gals. of the 220. that leaves 953 gals on average for 85.3 ml/ dose or 33.54 ounces. That means I will need 102 of those bottles and it will only cost me over $3,100/year. Now I do OK, but not that OK.

And here is the thing, you have a full load of Bacteria of the right kind in your tank despite what you are doing. You cannot fool mother nature. If you build it, they will come. ;)
 

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