How do the true nitrifying bacteria stay alive in the bottle? What do they eat?
There are many factors that effect the performance of aerobic autotrophs. Alkalinity, pH, and temperature can effect their performance. Being aerobic, oxygen has the most profound effect. The life of these bacteria can be manipulated greatly by oxygen.
When aerobic autotrophs are deprived of oxygen, they don’t just die like a human being would. They instead go into a state of hybernation much like a bear, slowing their metabolims drastically. This allows them to survive for extended periods of time in an anaerobic environment, although not able to consume ammonia and nitrite.
Autotrophs can survive approximately eight months in this state, feeding off of their own nutritional reserves. So the fact is they do not eat in the bottle. They don’t require it. Therefore, a product like ATM Colony will contain actual, living true nitrifying bacteria for its expected shelf life.
The only thing that will kill these bacteria between bottling and application is an introduction of a toxic chemical into the bottle by a third party, or that the bottle reaches extreme temperatures.
Now, the following is going to seem unbelievable but it is true. Some companies, in attempt to compete with true nitrifying bacteria with their anaerobic and heterotroph bacteria, actually attempt to warn hobbyists away from aerobic autotrophs! Their talking point on this is that due to their temperature limitations, true nitrifying bacteria cannot survive shipping in some parts of the world.
This is another example of telling 50% of half the truth. While this claim may have been true in the 1800’s, we know today that even fish are successfully shipped every day around the world with even tighter environmental restriction than bacteria ever dreamed of.
These are the kind of attempts at deception that hobbyists have been forced to endure for way too long.