Will a Cycle Develop Faster Without a Lid?

Sorg67

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Beneficial Bacteria is every where. In the water. In the air. In everything. On everything. It is attracted to food sources. Ammonia for starters, then nitrites. Put ammonia in a body of water, beneficial bacteria will be attracted, colonize on surfaces and expand to the extent of the food source.

The rate of growth would depend on initial colonization, subsequent colonization and growth conditions. So, if a substantial portion of the initial and subsequent colonization is coming from the air, it makes sense that maximizing exposure to air would increase colonization.

It seems likely to me that little initial colonization would come from water since it is usually from a sterilized source. Little it any from substrate or rocks. Maybe some from live plants.

Anyway, it seems that in most cased the initial and subsequent colonization would come from the air. Later in the cycle, colonization probably contributes little to growth. But early in the cycle, it would seem that colonization would contribute greatly. If you start out with 10 times the initial colony size they would would get to the necessary colony size much faster.

So the question is, would having the lid off the tank. Maybe even running a fan in the room supply a new tank with a greater initial and subsequent colonization? And thereby accelerate the cycle process.....
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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Thanks for reply. Perhaps impossible or at least difficult to know or test.

Just curious if it makes sense or seems plausible. Seems the initial bacteria must come from somewhere. Atmosphere seems the most likely source. Therefore, it seems that the more interchange with fresh atmosphere, the better.

In a closed system, you would have what your start with and would have to grow that. But, in an open system, you might be continually resupplied which might provide more “seed”.

Actually, I just had a thought. Air stones are commonly recommended. The rationale is oxygen, which may be true. But I wonder if the air also brings a continuous supply of new bacteria.
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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mattgirl said:
I don't have lids on any of my tanks
Is there any particular reason you do not have lids? I have lids on all but one of my tanks. I am wondered about dust and other airborne particulates potentially contaminating the tank. And there is considerably less evaporation with a lid.

OTOH - it is kind of cool to be able to observe the tank from the top. And you do not have to open the lid to feed.
 

Joshaeus

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I have no clue whether lidless tanks develop cycles faster. In the past I kept tanks with wire reptile lids (which would presumably experience similar rates of bacteria 'dropping in' from the air) and they cycled in the normal four week time frame. I have lately been dosing Seachem stability to a new tank I just finished cycling, and dosing stability daily did hasten the cycle considerably (though I'm still going to dose stability for a while longer to further boost bacteria populations in the tank). Dirted tanks probably have some of the desired bacteria lurking within the dirt, but the sizeable amount of ammonia present in most soils would compensate for that.
 

mattgirl

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Sorg67 said:
Is there any particular reason you do not have lids? I have lids on all but one of my tanks. I am wondered about dust and other airborne particulates potentially contaminating the tank. And there is considerably less evaporation with a lid.

OTOH - it is kind of cool to be able to observe the tank from the top. And you do not have to open the lid to feed.
I have frogbit and water lettuce floating in my tanks. It doesn't do as well being confined under a lid so I go lidless. I've never been concerned about anything airborn contaminating my tanks and it is easy to top off the evaporated water.

I don't have to lift a lid but do have to move or remove some of the floating plants to feed.
 

AvalancheDave

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It's probably from tap water. Dr. Tim mentions this in that .
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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AvalancheDave said:
It's probably from tap water. Dr. Tim mentions this in that .
I will watch the video again. I missed that.

So I guess some of the variability in cycle results experienced by different people would result from varying bacteria concentrations in source water.
 

AvalancheDave

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I listened to the entire video at 2X and didn't hear him say the bacteria came from tap water even though I remember him saying that.

Anyway, it's well known that nitrifying bacteria live in drinking water systems. There's no reason to think they don't eventually end up seeding our tanks if we have no other source of bacteria.

As proof of concept, a study on the growth of nitrifying bacteria in drinking water systems cycled their reactors by simply using dechlorinated tap water:

Dechlorinated Bozeman tap water (surface water source, no background ammonia, chlorinated) was treated biologically by passing through a granular activated carbon column followed by flow through a biologically active carbon (BAC) column and was provided as a separate, parallel influent. This served as the sole source of microorganisms, providing a continuous inoculum of indigenous organisms (104 CFU/mL of heterotrophic plate count (HPC)) to the reactors. This influent water will be called BAC water from here on. Aside from providing the inoculum for the reactors, the BAC water contained sufficient background phosphate for microbial growth at the organic carbon level used.

Of course, this isn't really necessary since if you know anything about bacteria they're very difficult to exclude. The strainer on your faucet isn't going to keep them out.
 

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AvalancheDave

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Sorg67 said:
So I guess some of the variability in cycle results experienced by different people would result from varying bacteria concentrations in source water.
Could be. I think the tap water systems that use chloramine have higher levels of nitrifying bacteria.
 

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