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Old 04-28-2012, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dr. Tim's "One and Only" and Brightwell Aquatics Nitrifying Bacteria

The first time I tried Dr. Tim's OAO was in my first 10 gallon nano. While I had it loaded with plenty of LR and some dry, I decided to cycle it with Dr. Tim's and 2 ocellaris clowns. This went fine with the max spike of ammonia being 0.5ppm after a couple of days. Then - nothing. Ammonia went undetectable. Nitrite never spiked. I didn't bother checking nitrates.

I did something I consider pretty dumb. I fed a sparsely loaded tank an entire cube of gut-loaded mysis shrimp. I had no skimmer. My ammonia levels subsequently shot straight up within a day or so to toxic levels and a couple of fish were obviously burning up (fins dissolving, heavy breathing etc). I tried using Dr. Tim's in an attempt to quell the ammonia storm, but I guess it couldn't keep up. I decided not to wait any longer and do a 50% WC, then repeating with another WC to get it down to reasonable levels. This did the trick - though I don't know if the product played any part. I don't know how long it should take to "work"

Whether you view this as a "failure" of the product is up to you.

The second time I used it was to cycle a 95 gallon tank. I'd like to say it was "successful" here, but this tank was pretty much cycled already because of the CRAZY live rock I got from a local reefer (aka Radiata, not sure if he's on these forums). I added it more as a safeguard. The live rock I was sold was many years old

When I moved up to the 150, same deal - mostly as a backup.

But recently I set up a 20 gallon QT tank for some small tangs I bought online. The night before they were due to show up, I set up the tank with a heater and HOB filter housing simple sponge media. When the tangs arrived (this past tuesday) I started acclimation and dumped some Dr. Tim's in the tank. It clouded up the water a wee bit, but that's to be expected. There's 3 tangs and a Rainford goby in there, all added this past tuesday.

To measure ammonia, I'm using Seachem's AmmoniaAlert badges as they won't be skewed by the forthcoming Cupramine treatment I plan on giving them should they show any signs of disease.

While it's only been 5 days, I have been feeding the tank once a day. I also have been keeping nori in there, which has been breaking up and getting all over the tank (though the Tangs are cleaning that up.)

I'm not sure if it's too soon to tell if this stuff works, but thus far the ammo badge has been reading <0.02. No spike or anything yet - perhaps I'll never see one. If I do, I'll speak up

In my other 20 gallon QT that's currently being treated with Cupramine, ammonia is currently reading 0.05. I used Brightwell Aquatic's bacteria in a bottle for this particular tank - but weeks prior to copper being applied. I wanted to make sure the fish were comfy first.

The seachem badge also read <0.02 consistently UNTIL I started adding Cupramine (you dose a half dose to get to 0.25, wait 48 hours then dose the other half to get to 0.5ppm). To be fair, Cupramine's own instructions state that application will "stun" your Biofilter for a time when initially treating and will "pick up" later. That's likely why i'm getting the increased ammonia reading of 0.05ppm.

So I'm not going to say either way whether this stuff works or not. The optimist in me says, "Yep, it works", but realistically my situation hasn't exactly been a controlled study. But anecdotally, it looks like both Dr. Tim's AND Brightwell's bacteria products work as intended. The big wildcard for me was that "whoopsie" feeding.

Come to your own conclusion with all this. There are lots of people out there who consider these products mere "snake oil", but I keep an open mind. If these bacteria have existed for millions or even billions of years, I doubt sticking them in a bottle is going to be the worst thing they've ever been through.

-Karl - 150 XH mixed
-See what i'm screwing up in my tank this week.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I saw a video by Mr. TP where he interviewed the dr. that came up with these bacteria. I would definitely give it a try when setting up another tank.
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