Nitrifying Bacteria Products 101
There has been a litany of companies for the last 20 years, and ongoing, that package heterotroph and anaerobic bacteria and pass those off as bacteria that “cycle” an aquarium. These bacteria utilize organic compounds, predominantly formed by decomposing organic matter in an aquatic system. Since ammonia and nitrite are inorganic compounds, these bacteria are not the ones that perform bio-filtration in aquaria and therefore are hopeless to work as advertised. While anaerobic bacteria play an important role in aquaria, bio-filtration simply isn’t one of them.
The function of bio-filtration is performed by aerobic autotrophs, bacteria that utilize the inorganic compounds ammonia and nitrite.
Aerobic autotrophs are not nearly as easy to produce, package, and bring to market as anaerobic bacteria. That is why they are extremely rare. True nitrifying bacteria require a strict and heavily quality controlled manufacturing process. Therefore, the cheapest product with the least quality control liability is always chosen: Spore-forming anaerobic bacteria, and never mind that these aren’t even the bacteria that create the aquarium’s bio-filter. But there is a major effort out there to make you think they are!
The nitrifying bacteria market has suffered only from impostor products that use misdirection, double talk, and clever language of technicality. This is about to be explained and exposed.