SeaChem Stability Q&A with Seachem Tech Support!

jetajockey

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As promised, here it is, taken from the seachem support forum. Here's the link to the thread that this is taken from.
http://www.seachem.com/support/forums/showthread.php?p=8064#post8064

Seachem Stability Q&A
Hello,
I'm a member of a very large aquarist forum (www.fishlore.com) and we often have the topic of bacteria boosters brought up. That being said, I wanted to give you the opportunity to answer the questions yourself.

Okay, here goes:

I know that you cannot reveal the specific types of bacteria in your product, however, it is widely circulated that your product contains "terrestrial" bacteria that drowns or dies off, and also it is claimed that the bacteria in your product actually starve off the actual beneficial bacteria. They evidence this by stating that the directions ask that the consumer re-dose during water changes.

1. So, is your product a 'non-aquatic' form? Does it drown, or die off in the tank?
1a. Thanks to BioSpira/TSS marketing, consumers believe that there are only 4 or 5 types of bacteria that are responsible for the nitrogen cycle. So if a product doesn't explicitly claim that it contains nitrobacters, nitrosomonas, nitrospira, etc, then it's passed off as snake oil. Do you have a response to this?

2. Does it starve off the beneficial bacteria?

3. Dosing with water changes is recommended, why? The general consensus is that the aerobic bacteria responsible for the nitrifying process is not free floating but rather adheres onto hard surfaces, primarily in the filter area (greatest oxygen content).

4. Most often in our forum, TSS is recommended over Stability. However, TSS is not readily available at most LFS and ends up being an ordered-in product. I've had mixed results with both TSS and Stability, so I am attempting to stay neutral to both. Your product is readily available at most large LFS, This is a great benefit to the consumer, but do you have anything that can help get people to choose your product over TSS? Any type of hard data or testing that shows Stability's performance?

There are thousands of people who browse the forum daily so I was hoping for a comprehensive response to post over there to give Stability a voice of its own. Everyone over there promotes and pushes Prime as a water conditioner, so I'm torn to see so much faith in one of your products and little in another.

Thanks for your time!
-David (jetajockey)

Re: Seachem Stability Q&A
Hello David,

Thank you so much for your post and for allowing us to answer some of your questions concerning Stability. We appreciate the opportunity to do so, rather than just assuming that it is inferior to other similar products. While you’re correct that the information regarding the types and names of the bacteria used in Stability is proprietary information, I will try and address your questions as specifically as possible.

1. Please be assured that the strains of bacteria used in Stability are cultured specifically for the purpose of consuming nitrogenous waste to effectively reduce these pollutants present in water. As an aquatics-based company, all of Seachem’s products were developed solely for use in an aquatic setting. The notion that only limited species of bacteria, such as nitrobacter, nitrosomonas, and nitrospira are capable of facilitating the nitrogen cycle is simply false; there are numerous other species that are also capable of nitrification and denitrification. Stability contains a synergistic blend of aerobic, anaerobic, and facultative bacteria which facilitate the breakdown of waste organics, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Most denitrifying bacteria are facultative aerobes, which prefer to use oxygen as their terminal electron acceptors, but can also utilize nitrate in an anaerobic environment. The potential for die-off of bacteria does exist with any bacterial supplement; however, providing a suitable biological media, such as Matrix, with plenty of surface area, both internal and external, will minimize any die-off.

2. Stability does not starve off beneficial bacteria; it contains beneficial bacteria.

3. Again, providing a sufficient biological media with maximum surface area will minimize the loss of beneficial bacterial colonies during the water change process; but inevitably, there will be some loss when water is changed. Since one cannot overdo it on beneficial bacteria, we recommend adding Stability as a part of one’s routine maintenance simply to replace any potentially lost colonies. Thus our recommendation to dose Stability after changing out water. As a side note, it’s not a bad idea to add Stability after treating for a bacterial infection in fish, as inevitably some of the beneficial bacteria will be killed off with the use of antibiotics.

4. Though to my knowledge, there is no publicly- available data that was compiled by Seachem comparing Stability to other competing bacterial supplements, here are some of the major benefits of using Stabiliity:

The spore-like form is a characteristic of the bacteria being used and allows us to keep a more viable product for longer. Because of this, there is no need for refrigeration as with competing products, as the bacteria do not become fully active until dosed to the aquarium. This also allows for a longer shelf life (4 years) than one will get with other bacterial supplements. Stability is one of the most, if not the most, concentrated bacterial supplement available on the market. The bacterial concentration in Stability is 26.4 million cfu/mL, that is, colony-forming units/mL. Another one of the benefits of using this product is the environmental tolerance. Because of this environmental tolerance, the bacterial colonies can sustain themselves much more efficiently when exposed to stressful conditions. In these scenarios, the bacteria contained within Stability would certainly out-compete other bacteria that are not quite as enduring.

Again, thank you for taking the time to pose these questions, and we hope to have given you a more clear picture of how and why Stability works to rapidly establish the biofilter
 

Lucy

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Thank you jetajockey for following up and posting this most informative q & a.

The problem I have with this product (as well as most bacterial additives) is:
we recommend adding Stability as a part of one’s routine maintenance simply to replace any potentially lost colonies. Thus our recommendation to dose Stability after changing out water.
 
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jetajockey

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Well my intention wasn't to get everyone's opinion of Stability, but rather just to give Seachem an opportunity to defend their product from the criticisms that occur here. Everyone I know here is a major advocate for using Prime, another Seachem product, yet many criticize Stability. This is valid and warranted if people have personal experience with the product, but repeating conjectural hearsay with no factual validation just spreads misinformation.

I would say that I object paying for what occurs naturally also, but the truth is I don't. I pay a water bill monthly and it rains here 3 to 4 days out of the week.

It's more of a matter of convenience, and products like TSS/Stability should actually be more respected by the privately owned LFS than they currently are. (all the LFS i've dealt with treat them like some sort of mermaid magic)

Most first time fishkeepers walk out of the pet store with a fish tank in one hand and a bag of fish in the other. These products, if working as advertised, can and do help those who otherwise would have possibly been discouraged at the hobby after wiping out their entire stock.

So hopefully we can get more facts about these products compiled, more testing and proof on their effectiveness, not only to help us but more importantly to help those who are just starting off in the hobby.
 

Shawnie

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yes ty for the time jetajockey!!! the same type of discussion went on when lucy and I did the TSS Q & A with tech support as well....so discussions are great! then we can get everyones experience with products

I think we(I) recommend to not use stability, as the cycling process is soooo very important for new/current members, and failure isnt fun for anyone in this process.........and I have personally attempted using it to cycle and a week after not using it on a tank cycling, I crashed hard.....I then tried cycle, same results....thats when I joined fishlore and found other ways......back then, it was bio spira that did it for me in 7 days .....lucy's statement, as well as any statement like that with a cycling product, makes us all leary and not trusting of the product.....

we advocate prime, as we have/do use it and it DOES work...(or so the condition of my face say it does LOL) so I personally will continue to recommend.....

everyones choice on what to use on their tanks, is respected and certainly always will be their choice..... I know I wont/dont recommend anything like stability,cycle, easy balance, stress zyme etc, because ive used them and they failed....even with the tech support, I still dont think its capable of cycling a tank
 

Jaysee

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jetajockey said:
I would say that I object paying for what occurs naturally also, but the truth is I don't. I pay a water bill monthly and it rains here 3 to 4 days out of the week.
Well, plants and animals grow naturally too.... A better comparison would be going out and buying bags of ice rather than fix the ice machine in the freezer.

My issue is that using products like that prevent people from learning the fundamentals of the hobby. It's really not hard to learn the mechanics of fishkeeping, and tanks are healthier and more stable without the use of such products. Having viable, natural bacteria and preserving it is the foundation of successful fishkeeping, and there's no way around that.

The difference between TSS and the others is that TSS calls for a one time use. I personally would never recommend someone use TSS if they are deciding between a fish in and a fishless cycle. However, for those that get fish before learning better, TSS seems to be the answer.
 

jdhef

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I have a problem with the statement:

"Again, providing a sufficient biological media with maximum surface area will minimize the loss of beneficial bacterial colonies during the water change process; but inevitably, there will be some loss when water is changed."

I've had my 36 gallon tank set up for two years now, and do 40% water changes every Sunday morning. That's roughly 104 water changes so far, and I have never lost my bacterial colony.

So why is it that the bacteria in Stablility suffers "lost colonies" due to water changes? Like jetajocky wrote in his post, the bacteria isn't free floating, it lives in the filter media.
 

Kunsthure

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I'd like to know if there's a similar problem with Prime (or any chloramine-neutralizing water conditioner for that matter) killing off the BB in Stability like it does with TSS.

I'd need to do more research on this, but I wonder about the statement:
The notion that only limited species of bacteria, such as nitrobacter, nitrosomonas, and nitrospira are capable of facilitating the nitrogen cycle is simply false; there are numerous other species that are also capable of nitrification and denitrification.
. I've only ever seen mention of those three specific bacteria in relation to our nitrogen cycle.

But thanks for taking the time, jetajockey!

-Lisa
 
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jetajockey

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I think that has a lot to do with dr hovanek (biospira, the predecessor to tss) and his promotional claims for his product. There is a reason why tss is one of the best, though, since it most definitely works for many. Its still not as fast or efficient as the old biospira and other similar live products (refrigerated, overnight shipping, $$$, plus after all that not really knowing if the bacteria survived storage and transit). When they do work, they literally cycle tanks overnight, but it will cost you.
 

jdhef

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I have used both Bop-Spira and TSS in the past. I don't remember Bio-Spira cycling any faster, but I may have waited a week before testing. So in actuallity it could have cycled overnight, but since I didn't test I didn't know. In theory, since Bio-Spira was not in a spore form that needs to "wake up" one would think it should cycle as fast as putting used media in a tank (i.e. instantly)
 
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jetajockey

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right, if the stuff works as advertised it should be colonized in 24 hours. This applies to basically all of the 'refrigerated' bacteria products that i've found so far, they all seem to be extracts taken right out of an established biofilter, the only downside is the cost and guesswork as to the handling/age of the product.
 
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