For many years, pet stores have had to warn customers about not adding too many fish to a tank at one time, especially a new tank. The problem is bacteria – not bad ones that can infect fish or people, but good ones that help break down waste products. In the aquarium, fish release both waste and good bacteria into the water. The bacteria need to live on a surface, thus gravel on the bottom and wheels, sponges, and other media in the filter become covered with this “good” bacteria. Obviously new tanks don’t have any bacteria yet, so only a small amount of fish can be added at first to let the good bacteria get established, which is called cycling the tank.
This cycle can take three to four weeks until the bacteria population is high enough to keep up with the waste products being released in the water, and during this time fish can get stressed as some waste will hit very high levels before being broken down. After the tank has cycled, new fish may be added but again only in small amounts with a three to four week waiting period in-between as the bacteria must catch up again with the higher amount of waste in the water. But what happens if too many fish are added at once and the bacteria cannot keep up? The waste will increase to dangerous levels, overly stressing the fish and causing sickness or even death. But BIO-Spira by Marineland gives aquarium owners the instant gratification of adding all the fish that the tank can hold all at once. It is the only product on the market that contains all the real, living bacteria that will reduce waste products right away!
In the 1990’s, it was proven that the bacteria that had been for sale in pet stores for years to help tanks get their cycle started was not the bacteria actually found in fish tanks. Even if this bacteria was used, aquarium owners still could not add too many fish at once to their tank, although this “bacteria” did help a little as it came with nutrients that the real bacteria could use to grow. But once research proved that products being sold were not the real bacteria, the search was on to find the real ones, and that took several years for Marineland to accomplish. Now the real bacteria found in BIO-Spira is available for both freshwater and saltwater tanks so no one has to take their time to add fish to their aquarium anymore.
BIO-Spira actually contains two types of bacteria. One type breaks down ammonia, which is the very toxic part of fish waste, into nitrites. Another type of bacteria breaks the nitrites down into nitrates which are still toxic but not as much as nitrites or ammonia. In a new tank, ammonia can reach a dangerous level within days after introducing the fish. This is why, before BIO-Spira, only a small amount of fish could be added at first, and then no more fish could be added for three to four weeks. Aquarium owners had to be patient people! But with BIO-Spira, time is not a problem as this product’s bacteria will break down ammonia (and the nitrites produced from this) within twenty four hours. No more waiting!
Because bacteria in the aquarium need to feed on ammonia and nitrites, BIO-Spira should be added when the fish are added to the aquarium, and not before. The tank’s water should have a water conditioner, such as BIO-Safe, added first because BIO-Spira is alive and can be killed off by chlorine and other chemicals in tap water just like fish. It is also best to keep BIO-Spira in the refrigerator before use as this will keep the bacteria alive longer. BIO-Spira for freshwater comes in two sizes, with the small one treating up to 30 gallons of water, and the large size treating 90 gallons. Saltwater BIO-Spira comes in one size that treats up to 55 gallons. BIO-Spira cannot be overdosed, so adding extra will not hurt the fish, and it is a good idea especially in new tanks.
BIO-Spira is not only a great product to use in new tanks, but for tanks that are months or years old that need more bacteria added due to some change that will effect the bacteria population already in the tank. This can include adding new fish, especially if a lot of new fish are being added (although never go above the tank’s capacity), a large water change due to a move or other factor, getting a new filter, or treating the tank with medication that kills both bad and good bacteria. With this product, fish will never be stressed by high levels of ammonia or nitrite which means less disease and fish loss. And BIO-Spira is the only product on the market with the real bacteria!