Mature/active bacteria colony = Gold

Bacteria colony. Image from

If you keep multiple tanks, nothing is more valuable than a mature/active nitrifying bacteria colony. Good quality bacteria is like gold. The type of filter doesn’t matter that much, the type of heater doesn’t matter that much, the lighting doesn’t matter than much. What matters are solid and growing colonies of bacteria. Like your fish, these organisms don’t care whether your filter is a sponge, a canister, a sump, etc. They also don’t care what kind of lighting you’re using nor what brand of heater. Ammonia and nitrite will kill your fish just as easily and quickly as anything else. Nothing will more efficiently and effectively control ammonia and nitrite as the nitrifying bacteria that should be thriving in your tank.

  • If you don’t have a quarantine/hospital tank set up and you need to medically treat your show tank, you could lose your colony. Medication will often kill the good bacteria as well as the stuff you’re trying to kill.
  • If you need to set up a new tank real quick, having some mature bacteria to seed the new set-up will save you loads of time and headache.
  • If your sole bacteria colony is not mature, you can kill it or cripple it easier than you think.

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