Years ago when I started to keep reef tanks the only bacteria on my radar were nitrifying bacteria. The goal after cycling a tank was to have a healthy population of this good guy bacteria. Nitrifying bacteria provide biological filtration and are responsible for breaking down organic waste in a reef tank. It was a pretty simple process to cycle a tank when live rock was readily available since the rock was already colonized with bacteria. All you had to do was add the rock to the tank and perform a few water changes. Along the way you test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate to determine when the cycle is complete. No bottled bacteria was necessary. Why Dose Other Bacteria Besides Nitrifying Bacteria? Fast forward to today.
Perhaps you have heard the saying that nothing good happens fast in a reef tank. It is so true. Patience is a key ingredient for success in this hobby, on a number of fronts. Avoid Instant Gratification Let’s start by talking about instant gratification. A “new” reef tank can look very sparse with a lot of open space. You scope out a beautiful mature reef and you want to get to the same happy place with your tank sooner rather than later. Big mistake. Instant gratification can be a killer in this hobby so the best tactic is to practice patience and take things slow. When you start a reef you begin the cycling process by adding rock and, in some cases, sand and bottled bacteria. You