I read over some studies again and the ones that are growing bacteria in a lab rather than directly in the aquarium grow them in a phosphorus buffered solution. I wasn't clear if there is anything else in the solution besides phosphorous. We may get lucky and find that "other stuff" is irrelevant.
I have a question for how I can do the tests on the distilled water tanks. We assume that we get our initial AOB colony from the "leftovers" that are not killed in the tap water. I won't have that. How do I get a tiny bit of AOB over there without compromising the test?
Other notes. Remember the bucket I mentioned a few days ago and that I split it up. The sponge filter and driftwood left the bucket and moved to a tank. The bucket retained a HOB
. I did a 100% water change on the bucket when I made these changes and dosed new ammonia, which cleared to nitrIte. So what you say - well the interesting part is I checked pH today and some time in the last 54 hours there was a complete and total pH crash. 6.0 or lower. I think pH crash is a huge risk with soft water and something that needs to be emphasized more strongly.
As to the experiment, I think we need to establish our parameters and hand them out. I am sure we have lost one or two people by now.
So water change : sounds like that's still a yes. OK
We can get started at least on the initial instructions. So we want them to dose to 5ppm and maintain 5ppm until they see nitrates, then drop to 2ppm daily?
Initial addition of pinch flake food
Maintain pH above 7.0 at all times (or do we request 7.5 via baking soda?)
no lights, if possible
preferred for consistency? if possible?