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Here's some possibly informative piece on bacteria:
http://www.fritzpet.com/nitrifying_bacteria_lab.html

The bacteria that I have use is the Fritz Zyme #7, but it seems that the #700 maybe a better choice. I don't kow if there is overkill when adding bacteria to a newly set up tank, but next time I will try #700:
http://www.fritzpet.com/fritzzyme7_main.html
http://www.fritzpet.com/turbo700_main.html

Also the "Disolved Oxygen" section in the first link below should be of interest to us. From what I understand organics readily accept and give away Iron and are very much a dynamic storage for Iron - plants as well as algae can readily use it although measurable iron maybe 0 according to our tests:
http://www.fritzpet.com/article_preferencesofnit.html
http://www.fritzpet.com/zyme360.html

--Nikolay
 

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With Fritz industries, the retailer buys direct from the manufacturer and there's no distributor. Costs to the retailer are nearly half on the same water test kit from Fritz than they'd pay for a test kit from anyone else. This means that to offer the same product, margins can be almost doubled. The hobbyist wins because they get a comparable or superior product cheaper; but the retailer has a better margin.
Sooner means fresher? It seems this source is easier to reach than others such as Dupla.

Another Texas-based supplier. What is it with this hobby?

Niko, a side question - have you found any other sources of pumice apart from your dental supplier?

Andrew Cribb
 

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Nitrifying bacteria always seem come from somewhere and get established in a new tank. However, the process may take three or four weeks before the tank is ready for a full fish load. Adding bacterial cultures is one way of speeding the process up.

I wonder if you have to buy the cultures. Soil is said to have a huge variety of bacteria. I have often wondered if you could add the necessary bacteria by adding a teaspoon of topsoil to a glass baking dish along with about an inch of water and three or four pieces of dried dog food or cat food. Let the food decay in the water for about a week and then pour the water in the tank. After a week, most of the food that can be quickly decayed is gone, and what is left over is more resistant to decay and will have a low biological oxygen demand. The water will be full of bacteria that came from the soil, including, I would think, nitrifying bacteria.
 
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