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Beneficial Bacteria In Your Aquarium – The What, The Why and The How

Aqueon blog beneficial bacteria in your aquarium

What Are Beneficial Bacteria?


A healthy, balanced aquarium relies on beneficial bacteria to break down fish waste, dead plant material and other organic debris that accumulate in the tank.  They keep the water crystal clear and prevent toxic ammonia and nitrite from accumulating.  These bacteria live in the filter media and on solid surfaces in the aquarium, such as gravel, rocks, plants and decorations, but it takes time to get them established.  

Why Are Beneficial Bacteria Important?

Newly set up aquariums sometimes experience dangerous spikes in ammonia and nitrite from fish waste due to a lack of these bacteria.  This happens when more fish or food are added than the existing bacteria can process.  Ammonia is released by fish as waste and is broken down by beneficial “nitrifying” bacteria to nitrite and then nitrate, in what is known as the Nitrogen Cycle.  Both ammonia and nitrite are highly toxic to fish.  It’s important to add fish gradually to new aquariums and feed sparingly at first to give beneficial bacteria time to colonize the tank and filter.  
In established aquariums, accumulation of solid fish waste, uneaten food, dead plant material and other organic debris can cause a deterioration in water quality and a drop in pH.  This is especially true in tanks containing goldfish, large cichlids, piranhas and other predatory fish.  

How Does Aqueon® PURE Help?

Aqueon® PURE offers a safe, convenient way to introduce live beneficial bacteria to get new aquariums started.  In mature tanks it supplements these bacteria and adds enzymes to help break down organic sludge and aid in maintaining crystal clear water.  Unlike many bacteria supplements that require measuring and may take time to work, Aqueon® PURE spheres are pre-measured, ready-to-use, and cannot be overdosed.  Blister packaging has a place for marking dosing dates on the inside flap to aid as a friendly reminder of last application.

PURE is not a replacement for regular water changes and filter maintenance but it is an effective part of a sound weekly maintenance program for freshwater aquariums.  
Things to Know About Aqueon® PURE:

  1. Contains Live Beneficial Bacteria and Enzymes
  2. Helps safely start up new aquariums
  3. Reduces Ammonia and Nitrite in new aquariums
  4. Helps maintain crystal clear water
  5. Helps reduce sludge build-up in older aquariums
  6. Safe to use in all Freshwater aquariums
  7. Cannot be overdosed
  8. Ball size varies for different sized aquariums, but potency of each sphere is consistent
  9. Broken or torn balls are no less effective; broken pieces offer additional surface area for water contact with bacteria and enzymes
  10. Balls do not dissolve but do shrink over time; small pieces can be siphoned out
  11. Condensation inside blister-pack is normal
  12. Wash hands after handling. (Blister packaging eliminates the need to handle PURE.)
  13. Not for human consumption

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