Pond & Aquarium Bacteria

Common Aquaria Bacteria

Good Aquaria Bacteria 

Nitrosomonas Bacteria

Nitrosomonas can be found in water, soil and even on many surfaces that contain high levels of nitrogen compounds.  The bacterium thrives in temperatures between 20 and 30 deg. C and a pH range of 6.0 to 9.0

The bacterium has been shown to move spontaneously and actively consuming energy in this process which is gained through the oxidisation of ammonia.  It must consume large amounts of ammonia before cell division can occur which may take up to several days.  Nitrosomonas is photophobic (doesn't like light) and will generate a biofilm or clump together with other microbes to avoid light

Nitrobacter Bacteria 

Nitrobacer is also a rod shaped gram negative chemoautotorphic bacterium.  It shares common environmental requirements to Nitrosomonas and assists in the nitrification process by taking the nitrite produced by Nitrosomonas and further converting it into Nitrate.

While nitrate still remain to a certain extent toxic to aquatic fauna, the level of toxicity is radically reduced from that of the original ammonia content.


Other Aquaria Bacteria 

Heterotrophic Bacteria

Friend or foe?  The jury is still out on this one.  There are many forms of heterotrophic bacterium like Agrobacterium, Xanthomonas, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Escherichia, Rhizobium, etc

Heterotrophs require an organic source of food unlike autotrophs which can metabolize chemical elements.  So from that perspective heterotrophs in ponds and aquariums convert excess food and organic waste into ammonia for the autotrophs to consume.  Heteroptrophs can be either anaerobic living in aquaria substrate, or can also become water borne as aerobic bacteria.

When heterotrophs become water borne, they result in an algal bloom which is difficult to treat for a couple of reasons.  Firstly heterotrophs consume organic waste and generate ammonia which is why a water body flooded with heterotrophs becomes cloudy.  Secondly they reproduce as quickly as every 15 to 20 minutes.  The autotrophs which deal with the ammonia output breed far slower than this rate and can become quickly overwhelmed.