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Old 02-01-2011, 12:32 PM   #1
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Cycling media question.

Hypothetical question in three parts:

a) We add bio-filtration media for the cycling bacteria to live on. The more we add, the more bacteria we can grow right?

b) What if the bio-media becomes saturated with bacteria? I'm assuming new bacteria can still grow, but it will be slow because of the crowding issue.

c) What if during the course of cycling the bio-media becomes saturated with ammonia oxidizing bacteria. Will that stall the cycle because the nitrite oxidizing bacteria have nowhere to live?

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Old 02-01-2011, 03:05 PM   #2
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a) Biomedia is simply a material with a lot of surface area per volume. If surface are is the limiting factor for your bacteria growth, then adding biomedia will allow larger bacteria colonies.

b) I don't think the biomedia will ever be completely full of bacteria in a tank that can support fish. There simply isn't enough ammonia available to sustain those kind of numbers of bacteria.

c) See answer b). On a slightly different note, I've been thinking about the nitrite stall many people see when cycling.

Here's a cycling scenario: I'm fishless cycling a new tank and I have some media from an established tank. Set up the tank, plug in the filter, pop in the media, and dose the ammonia. My ammonia-nitrite bacteria have an ample food source. What about the nitrite-nitrate bacteria? My theory is that you lose the majority of your nitrite-nitrate bacteria to starvation while you're waiting for the ammonia-nitrite bacteria population to grow to handle the ammonia load.

I'm wondering if the nitrite stall can be treated with more media from an established tank. Think of it as introducing the ammonia-nitrite bacteria with the first seeding and the nitrite-nitrate bacteria with the second seeding. If anyone reading this is setting up a tank, maybe they could try this and see if it works.
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