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    Thread: Do I have to buy nitrification bacteria or I can use soil for biofilter

    1. #1
      SimonW is offline Senior Member
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      Do I have to buy nitrification bacteria or I can use soil for biofilter

      Dear friends:

      I need to seed my biofilters, and I just wonder: Do I need to buy the nitrification bacteria seed, or I can just blend soil from different parts of my garden and use the extract as seed?

      THe nearest store is 1.5 hours away and they donīt have it at stock.

      Thank you so much for your advice!

      Simon

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      KOIAnon is offline Member
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      Tap water has enough nitrifying bacteria to seed a biofilter.

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      SimonW is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by KOIAnon View Post
      Tap water has enough nitrifying bacteria to seed a biofilter.
      Yes, and you have forgotten to mention that chlorine in the tape water is extra beneficial. :-)

      Joke aside. You really mean it?

    4. #4
      abuchi123's Avatar
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      If you don't have fish yet, adding ammonia will speed up the process. I am always suspicious of products that claim to contain beneficial bacteria. The bacteria needs oxygen to survive. If you already have fish, the water is already seeded.

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      icu2's Avatar
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      I'd second that... bottled ammonia made my water foamy so I switched to ammonium chloride
      but it works the same. You really don't need anything else but it and a little time.
      --Steve
      Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

      "I know what I have to do now. I got to keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise.
      Who knows what the tide could bring." --Tom Hanks in Cast Away

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      ricshaw is online now Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by SimonW View Post
      Dear friends:
      I need to seed my biofilters, and I just wonder: Do I need to buy the nitrification bacteria seed, or I can just blend soil from different parts of my garden and use the extract as seed?
      THe nearest store is 1.5 hours away and they donīt have it at stock.
      Thank you so much for your advice!
      Simon
      I used BOTH... a good(and expensive) brand of bottled bacteria and soil from my garden. The thing to remember is not ALL bottled bacteria is the same. Most is not the real stuff. My advice is to use patience and soil from your garden.


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      mplskoi is online now Supporting Member
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      I was once advised to take a whiz in the pond once a day to help start the bio process. Free source of ammonia!

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      Quote Originally Posted by mplskoi View Post
      I was once advised to take a whiz in the pond once a day to help start the bio process. Free source of ammonia!
      Urine is 95% water and 0.2% ammonia... you better get ready to drink a lot of tea!

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      SimonW is offline Senior Member
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      Thank you all so much for your advice!

      I will go with tape water (without chlorine added), probably also extracts from garden soil to be sure.

      I am still awaiting new pumps and air-pump. As soon as I get those I will start the water circulation for my new over-winter tanks. I have about 2 months for the bacteria to establish.

      By the way, I wonder if you think my set-ups are OK: I have one tank of 1 m3 and for that I have a compression filter (?) Pondteam Bioclear 5000 (for 5 m3 pond), and this tank is for about 100 1-2 inch fries. I have an other tank of 1.5 m3, and for that I have a Pondteam Bioclear 15000 (for 15 m3 pond), and it is for two 20-inch koi, four 12-inch koi and twenty 6-inch koi. I feel that it is quite crowed, but with oversized filters it is OK? If not OK I will cull the fries and let the least favorized koi stay in the outdoor pond.

      Interesting about urine. Urine contains urea, not ammonia, but I guess it decomposes readily to ammonia (therefore it stinks in WC). But I have already bought ammonium chloride!
      Last edited by SimonW; 09-22-2019 at 01:10 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by SimonW View Post
      Yes, and you have forgotten to mention that chlorine in the tape water is extra beneficial. :-)

      Joke aside. You really mean it?
      Yup.

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...43135402001690

      Name:  2019-09-22 13_45_34-Sci-Hub _ Occurrence of nitrifying bacteria and nitrification in Finnish dri.png
Views: 255
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      Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
      I used BOTH... a good(and expensive) brand of bottled bacteria and soil from my garden. The thing to remember is not ALL bottled bacteria is the same. Most is not the real stuff. My advice is to use patience and soil from your garden.
      Interested in a natural way......soil? Never heard of this, but like the idea! A lot? A little?
      TINA
      Indian Echo
      [URL="http://www.worldwidekoiclub.org/index.php"]

    12. #12
      ricshaw is online now Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by tnovak View Post
      Interested in a natural way......soil? Never heard of this, but like the idea! A lot? A little?
      I put a couple cups of good garden soil and a couple cups of compost in a 5 gallon bucket of pond water with an air stone. The next morning I strained the solids out of the water and poured the water into the pond.


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      Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
      I put a couple cups of good garden soil and a couple cups of compost in a 5 gallon bucket of pond water with an air stone. The next morning I strained the solids out of the water and poured the water into the pond.
      I don't see why this wouldn't work. Nitrifying bacteria is indigenous in soil and water. Nitrifying bacteria, nitrosomonas and nitrobacter, are solely responsible for nitrification in soil. In soil, you won't find many in the top layer exposed to light as they get destroyed by ultraviolet light. There is a abundance just underneath the top layer that is protected from light. In agriculture, nitrifying bacteria compete with plants for fertilizers. If I were to seed my pond with nitrifiers using soil I would make sure my bio-filter is large enough and mature enough to dilute, outcompete, and detoxify any pathogens and toxins that might come with the soil. The compose and the composing organics in the soil would provide a constant release of ammonia required for nitrobacter to reproduce in large numbers which is in contrast to occasional dosing of ammonium chloride where the cycle seem to hang at the nitrite stage. The nitrite stage seems to (and I've read this somewhere) require constant continuous low dose of ammonia to be overcome (faster, if at all) such as when fish is actually used instead of ammonium chloride to cycle a tank.
      Last edited by KoiRun; 09-25-2019 at 09:27 AM.
      Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ---- Marthe Troly-Curtin



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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiRun View Post
      I don't see why this wouldn't work. Nitrifying bacteria is indigenous in soil and water. Nitrifying bacteria, nitrosomonas and nitrobacter, are solely responsible for nitrification in soil. In soil, you won't find many in the top layer exposed to light as they get destroyed by ultraviolet light. There is a abundance just underneath the top layer that is protected from light. In agriculture, nitrifying bacteria compete with plants for fertilizers. If I were to seed my pond with nitrifiers using soil I would make sure my bio-filter is large enough and mature enough to dilute, outcompete, and detoxify any pathogens and toxins that might come with the soil. The compose and the composing organics in the soil would provide a constant release of ammonia required for nitrobacter to reproduce in large numbers which is in contrast to occasional dosing of ammonium chloride where the cycle seem to hang at the nitrite stage. The nitrite stage seems to (and I've read this somewhere) require constant continuous low dose of ammonia to be overcome (faster, if at all) such as when fish is actually used instead of ammonium chloride to cycle a tank.
      Very interesting indeed.

      I will cull 30 goldfishes of 6 inches, 5 koi of 15 inches, and 100 koi fries of 1 to 2 inches. And I have 2 new tanks that need to be cycled: One with 200 gallons and one with 400 g. If I am using the culled fishes as a constant low dose of ammonia supply, will they be enough?
      Last edited by SimonW; 09-25-2019 at 02:28 PM.

    15. #15
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiRun View Post
      I don't see why this wouldn't work. Nitrifying bacteria is indigenous in soil and water. Nitrifying bacteria, nitrosomonas and nitrobacter, are solely responsible for nitrification in soil. In soil, you won't find many in the top layer exposed to light as they get destroyed by ultraviolet light. There is a abundance just underneath the top layer that is protected from light. In agriculture, nitrifying bacteria compete with plants for fertilizers. If I were to seed my pond with nitrifiers using soil I would make sure my bio-filter is large enough and mature enough to dilute, outcompete, and detoxify any pathogens and toxins that might come with the soil. The compose and the composing organics in the soil would provide a constant release of ammonia required for nitrobacter to reproduce in large numbers which is in contrast to occasional dosing of ammonium chloride where the cycle seem to hang at the nitrite stage. The nitrite stage seems to (and I've read this somewhere) require constant continuous low dose of ammonia to be overcome (faster, if at all) such as when fish is actually used instead of ammonium chloride to cycle a tank.
      I never experienced an issue completing a cycle using ammonium chloride. I'd just go out and check the NH3 in the
      morning and if it was below 1ppm I'd add a little more to bring it up to 1-2ppm.
      --Steve
      Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

      "I know what I have to do now. I got to keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise.
      Who knows what the tide could bring." --Tom Hanks in Cast Away

    16. #16
      SimonW is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      I never experienced an issue completing a cycle using ammonium chloride. I'd just go out and check the NH3 in the
      morning and if it was below 1ppm I'd add a little more to bring it up to 1-2ppm.
      How many days did you have to do this until the biofilter was established? I want to know how much trouble I have ahead me! :-)

    17. #17
      KoiRun's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by SimonW View Post
      Very interesting indeed.

      I will cull 30 goldfishes of 6 inches, 5 koi of 15 inches, and 100 koi fries of 1 to 2 inches. And I have 2 new tanks that need to be cycled: One with 200 gallons and one with 400 g. If I am using the culled fishes as a constant low dose of ammonia supply, will they be enough?
      I just can't fathom so many fish as low dose ammonia supply. But whatever you're doing have some binder like Safe that could bind ammonia and nitrite while the filter/tank is cycling with fish in. Have a tight net over the tanks to prevent jumpers. Have plenty of aeration. Keep KH at 5 drops or greater.
      Last edited by KoiRun; 09-25-2019 at 02:41 PM.
      Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ---- Marthe Troly-Curtin



    18. #18
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by SimonW View Post
      How many days did you have to do this until the biofilter was established? I want to know how much trouble I have ahead me! :-)
      It's been a long time since I needed to do a fish-less cycle on a tank or pond but iirc it was about 4-5 weeks.
      If I was expecting a shipment of fish I'd try and have the tank set up a couple months ahead to give myself
      plenty of time.
      --Steve
      Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

      "I know what I have to do now. I got to keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise.
      Who knows what the tide could bring." --Tom Hanks in Cast Away

    19. #19
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      I recently set up a new pond and used Keeton Ki Nitrifier gel. In combination with a new shower filter , I had zero ammonia , and 0.05 nitrites within 2 weeks , and 0.02 nitrites at three weeks . It is not cheap , almost $200 including overnight shipping , but worked for Me in a situation where I needed to cycle ASAP.

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      Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
      I put a couple cups of good garden soil and a couple cups of compost in a 5 gallon bucket of pond water with an air stone. The next morning I strained the solids out of the water and poured the water into the pond.
      Thanks for the info! This will be helpful for when I get my pond re-do done!
      TINA
      Indian Echo
      [URL="http://www.worldwidekoiclub.org/index.php"]

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