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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all ... I'm very very very new to planted aquarium (3 weeks old). I have a newbie question, and hoping all the gurus out there could shed some light on this. I own a very small aquarium with 8 tetras in it. I just bought a java fern today (attached to driftwood) and banana plant (attached to a stone). I dont use Co2 and my substrate is just gravel.

Just a lil background on how my tank is set up.

Anyway my question is that before I bought the plants i was using a nitrifying bacteria solution which was recommended by my supplier. it is suppose to take care of the algae and fend of the fishy water tank smell. I remember reading from somewhere and that if i have plants in my aquarium I might not need the solution at all. Can anyone confirm that?

I am not really worried about algae because in addition to the tetras i have 2 more suckermouth totos (if identified them correctly).

Thanks in advance
 

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The bacteria is really to start your tank cycling. It will take the ammonia that is given off by fish wastes, rotting plants, and convert it into nutrients that the plants can use. It grows on the hardscape in your tank - gravel, filters, pipes, plant surfaces, etc. It will occur naturally if you add nothing, but it takes longer to grow to a sufficient amount for you tank. SO, people add some. My understanding is that unless it is kept refrigerated or is in a tank it dies. There are many products out there sold as this bacteria that don't work - at least that is what I have been reading. The best thing you can do is get some mulm (dirty crud from filter or gravel) and put it into your filter and tank. It has this bacteria.

The way it keeps the algae away is that it helps give your plants the correct type of ammonia they can use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Tex Gal... I'm not sure if i understand correctly, please correct me if i'm wrong. So the solution actually helps the plant by converting toxic into nutrients for easier absorption?

Have you came across, Nitrifying bacteria purifier manufactured by some folks in China ... gosh it doesnt even have a brand.

On another note, since this is just a normal tank should I even bother getting some liquid fertilizers for my plants or they should do well without it?
 

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The El Natural approach says that your plants will use the nutrients from the fish food and waste as well as the soil. There are sticky threads at the top of the list of thread of the El Natural forum that will help you understand this approach. Click on the link below and see the first 4 links called stikies. Read those and you will understand more.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/el-natural/
 

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Unless you purchased Bio-spira or another refrigerated bacteria product, (IME and from what I've read) you might as well just poured water in the tank - as those products as shown to have no benefit to the aquarium.
 

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Read up a bit about the nitrogen cycle in aquariums. Essentially, harmful fish waste products are broken down by beneficial bacteria in to less harmful substances. Ammonia and nitrites are harmful waste products, and they are converted to nitrates.

In non-planted aquariums, you must perform weekly water changes to remove nitrates from the water. If you do not, they will build up over time and can cause a number of unhealthy issues for your tank.

In a planted aquarium, plants utilize the nitrates and "remove" them from the tank for you. However, aquarium plants are not a substitute for weekly water changes!

I agree with evercl92, the product sold to you is most likely expensive garbage. Even if it is a genuine product rather than the all-too-common scams out there, there is no need to continually dump bacteria in to your tank after you already have it cycled in any case.

Get yourself a comprehensive freshwater liquid test kit, it is infinitely more valuable than that bottle of "bacteria." To get rid of algae, it is important to identify the type of algae you have first. Different algae is treated in different ways, however I never recommend using chemicals or buying a fish to treat algae. Most can be erradicated by changing tank maintenance patterns, photo periods and nutrient balances.

Since you mentioned you have algae and a "smelly" tank, I am assuming you are not doing enough water changes. What size tank do you have? What are the exact inhabitants (describe them if you only know them by their "petstore" names)? What is your tank maintenance schedule?
 

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Anyway my question is that before I bought the plants i was using a nitrifying bacteria solution which was recommended by my supplier. it is suppose to take care of the algae and fend of the fishy water tank smell. I remember reading from somewhere and that if i have plants in my aquarium I might not need the solution at all. Can anyone confirm that?

I am not really worried about algae because in addition to the tetras i have 2 more suckermouth totos (if identified them correctly).

Thanks in advance
As others have said, this stuff is not really beneficial. Just something to waste your money on. Nitrifying bacteria will develop on their own and convert harmful Nitrogen (ammonia and nitrite) to less harmful nitrate.

Just because you have an oto suckermouth ( I assume you mean Otocinlcus) does not mean you don't ahve to worry about algae! They are not the answer to algae problems, you need to be concerned about preventing algae in the first place, not having algae eaters solve problems once they happen. Otocinclus only eat a few type of algae and do not even touch the worst of the problems. Preventing algae is a balance of light, fertilizer, CO2 (if you use that), filtration, water current, etc. I suggest reading up on all of these issues and to get a better understanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@evercl92
- thanks for the info. maybe you are right, the solution smells weird anyway. lol

@Ashk
- thanks for the info. I shall read up more on the nitrogen cycling process. well i actually do not have any algae in my tank. That was what I have been told by my supplier that i needed the solution to fend off algae and the smelly water in the tank. I change my 20-30% (depending of clarity)of the water in my tank every saturday or sunday. I'm not too sure about the size though, my girlfriend threw away the box but I can fit it perfectly on top of a coffee table. i guess it is those small nano aquariums. Large enough to put a java fern and a rock. I have a total of 10 fishies, 8 Neon Tetras and two algae eaters (i cant remember the name but it looks identical to Oto).
Additionally I am using a bio-wheel filter with those small little balls :S

@helgymatt
- thanks for the info. I guess i was again mislead by my supplier. he told me to get two of these and I wouldnt worry about algae ... grr. I seriously think i need to get Diana's book ... but its hard to locate here. I totally agree with you and that balance is utmost importance to fend off algae and diseases.
 
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