Bacteria are single-celled, prokaryote microorganisms, one the most primitive forms of life known. Found in every known habitat on Earth, bacteria are the foundation of every ecosystem.
In the marine environment, bacteria are omnipresent, abundant in and on the substrate, surface and water column, in both aerobic and anaerobic zones as well as in symbiosis with higher order animals. Bacteria play a fundamental role in marine ecosystems, integral to many elemental cycles, the most familiar being the nitrogen cycle. Belonging to the genera Nitrosomonas, Nitrosococcus, Nitrobacter, and Nitrococcus, nitrifying bacteria form the basis of the reef system filtration. They are responsible for the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and nitrate, and can assist in the reduction of phosphates.
Anaerobic bacteria can produce noxious gases such as hydrogen sulphide in anoxic environments such as found in DSBs and denitrators. Denitrifying bacteria are most commonly associated with anaerobic environments but are also found in aerobic environments, carbon dosing is a method of promoting this process.
- Bacterial Counts in Reef Aquarium Water: Baseline Values and Modulation by Carbon Dosing, Protein Skimming, and Granular Activated Carbon Filtration by Ken Feldman, Allison Place, Sanjay Joshi and Gary White - Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine