Aquaponic Gardening

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Has anyone tried using ATM Colony Professional Grade Nitrifying Bacteria? I have been cycling my system for 3 weeks now and ammonia is at 1PPM but zero nitrites and nitrates. I was considering buying this product to bring in the bacteria. My setup is in an office building in a highly urban area. I am concerned that our friendly bacteria would have to make an awful long journey into my system.

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In general it takes about 6 weeks to cycle naturally.  If you spend the money on bottled bacteria, it might take you as little as say, half a dozen weeks.

Problem with bottled bacteria is that the bacteria we want for our aquaponics systems is aerobic but anything you seal in a bottle and sit on a store shelf isn't going to remain in an aerobic condition for long so if you are lucky, maybe the bottled bacteria won't do any harm other than costing you extra money.

Do you know anyone with a healty aquarium?  Beg them for their filter squeezings.

Good points, TC. I went to my local nursery this afternoon because I heard they had a commercial aquaponics setup. Well, they did, until they were infected with fungus and the whole system crashed. They recommended I get this bottled product.

I could go to Aqua World and beg them for some of their filter squeezings. Does it matter which tank I get it from?



you just want to make sure if you get anything from some one else that their fish/plants are healthy and you don't want anything from a tank that has gotten new fish in the past 6 weeks (you don't want to accidentially bring something like ick with the filter squeezings or something.)  And you don't want filter squeezings from tanks where they use aquarium medications.

What sort of fungus were they infected with?  Was it some sort of fish disease? or a fungus that attacked the plants?

I've never before heard of a fungus "crashing a whole system".  Most fish diseases that people call fungus are actually bacterial infections but I guess people think they look like fungus so that is what they mistakenly call it.  Plant fungal disease I suppose could cause enough damage to a crop to cause a nursery to take drastic measures and spray chemicals which could kill off the bio-filter and/or fish and cause a system to crash but it isn't the fungus itself that would cause such a crash.

The man at the nursery claimed it was a plant fungus but I never saw it. His advice: get very famillar with all the beneficial bacteria and fungus that's out there. Specificially, he said check out "trigadermic" fungii killers

Thanks for the advice.

Hello Mark,

You seem to have gotten some very misinformed help with your question. Here's the facts, better late than never I guess.

Yes Colony works very, very well.  The previous poster responding to you is very wrong on many fronts.  1.) Importing true nitrifying bacteria is no less natural than any other way.  No matter where they are they are grown and cultured all the same.  So whether you bring in a few on media or a ton of them in a bottle there is no difference.  2.)  Aerobic nitrifying bacteria go dormant in an oxygen-free environment.  They can survive this way for almost a year.  This is not to be confused with spore bacteria which can last years, but are not nitrifying bacteria.  So, no oxygen being in the bottle is exactly why this is possible.  If that environment was aerobic, and with no food, they would be dead in a few weeks.

You will have amazing luck with this product!  I know I have!

You just have to know that you're getting the real thing as there are many fakes.

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