Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Of course I have another question after reading the blog post you recommended.

New question 4-8-14


Never a problem to hear from you. I welcome any further thoughts or direction you may have. Your blog is outstanding! Of course I have another question after reading the blog post you recommended. If I understand it correctly you said 90 percent of bacteria in filters are heterotrophs that are capable of assimilatory denitrification in aerobic conditions with the end product being ammonia. As opposed to the autotrophs the usual bacteria associated with the nitrogen cycle that does this in anaerobic conditions. I am assuming the E. coli and some of their congeners facultative anaerobes come from fecal waste from the fish in the aquarium and in the case of ponds fish and other animals. Any further thoughts or comments?

Thanks again,

Name Withheld

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Kevin,

I hope you don't mind another few questions to help clarify things. Assuming what I said in the previous email is correct. Is it the same facultative anaerobic heterotrophs from the Enterobacteriaceae family that improve water quality by Dissimilatory nitrate reduction and by usage of organic carbon compounds such as carbohydrates, organic alcohols, amino acids and fatty acids in anoxic conditions and add to eutrophication in aerobic conditions by assimilatory nitrate reduction? Are these bacteria in aerobic conditions the main bacterial cause of poor water quality along with the Nitrobacteriaceae forming nitrate. Is it correct that the Nitrobacteriaceae are not involved in either form of denitrification? Do the heterotrophic facultative anaerobes use organic compounds during assimilatory and Dissimilatory denitrification?

Thanks Again, Name Withheld
Sent from my iPhone

[Ed: If someone writes me and I think his or her questions are interesting and/or knowledgeable enough for the rest of us to read I will place them on my blog, although I will respect their confidentiality in doing so if they ask.]

Photo taken by Kevin from an AFS.

Hi _______,

I will try and address your questions in parts if you don’t mind. Quote: “90 percent of bacteria in filters are heterotrophs that are capable of assimilatory denitrification in aerobic conditions with the end product being ammonia.”

Ninety percent of the bacteria in our filters and ponds are heterotrophic, but that does not mean that they all have the capabilities or ability in a reduction process to facilitate nitrates into nitrogen gas (N2) or nitrates into NH3. Some heterotrophic bacteria can take Nitrates and in a reduction process reduce it into Nitrites and no further, while others can take the Nitrites and further reduce it into Ammonia (NH3). But these undesirable bacteria are not what hobbyist are looking for but many manufactures seem to think are okay to make their products out of.

However, most reductive heterotrophic bacteria are in the anaerobic class of bacteria and live in the anaerobic zone of a filter and they have the capabilities to reduce Nitrates into ammonia and no further. Tricking the hobbyist in believing that they now have a dinitrogen filter or a reduction filter with the capabilities of making N2 but this is not true. Ammonia is a lot more toxic to our animals than nitrates so assimilatory denitrification or any bacteria that have reduction capabilities should be avoided if at all possible by knowing what you’re inoculating your pond with up front. Obligated anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria that die in the presence of oxygen have the ability to do assimilatory denitrification and still fall under the class of heterotrophic bacteria and use anaerobic fermentative reaction pathways. Then you also have Aerotoerant bacteria that do not require oxygen and metabolize their energy anaerobically. They will not die in the presence of oxygen and fall under heterotrophic bacteria.

Now autotrophic bacteria like Microaerophile bacteria used in the breaking down of inorganic compounds, like in the nitrogen cycle, only makes another byproduct that either heterotrophic bacteria can use as a foodsource or chemotrophic bacteria use as a foodsource using inorganic or organic compounds as its energy source. The autotrophic bacterium that is used in the Nitrogen cycle (Nitrobacteriaceae) do not have the capabilities to facilitate Nitrates into N2, that takes a specialized bacteria to do this and they fall into the respiratory heterotrophic or facultative anaerobic class of bacteria not the Nitrobacteriaceae class of bacteria. Facultative anaerobes can generate fermentation and behave as respiratory heterotrophs and live in the anoxic zone of your BCB. They make better use of phosphorous and only trace amounts of phosphates unlike Nitrobacteriaceae bacteria.

Enterobacteriaceae mainly falls under gram-negative germs and enterobacteria are found in the intestines also gram-negative containing LPS and not so much our ponds as a free bacterium. They also disrupt the bacterial cell envelope by not being recognized by the immune system of their host. They must be inoculated or introduced through a host or bottles of bacteria and freeze-dried bacteria cultures made up of Salmonella and Escherichia Coli that I talk about in my blog and live in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

These bacteria play an insignificant part in water quality unlike Nitrobacteriaceae that play a major function in water quality and the degradation of it as well and have the ability to turn our ponds/aquariums eutrophic aiding in eutrophication of our ponds.  Where natural systems may take hundreds or thousands of years to become eutrophic our ponds only take months to do the same because of Nitrates and improper use of phosphates and not having the right bacteria to utilize these byproducts. You also must realize that if you do not have a pond filter that uses ion displacement, and this is very important, like the AFS then those excessive ions will build up in solution and add to its water decline too.

The AFS is design to lessen or eradicate those byproducts that degrade water quality and take it to a new level of ion clarity in a closed system. Not perfect, but as good as it gets without the cost of very elaborate and/or costly equipment. Somewhere in  this entire mumble jumble is the answer to your questions if you can decipher it.

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