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Questions & Answers


Our MICROBE-LIFT bacterial products can be kept for at least one year without refrigeration if stored properly (except for Nite-Out II, which must be placed in the refrigerator after opening).

The MICROBE-LIFT® products do not work if pesticides or chemical algae killers are used. Please turn off UV lamps and ozone devices for 3 to 5 days for best results.

MICROBE-LIFT® is 100% harmless to humans, animals and plants. It is neither toxic nor pathogenic (disease-causing).

No. Shake the MICROBE-LIFT® products before use and simply pour it into your aquarium.

MICROBE-LIFT® products contain photosynthetic, aerobic, facultative anaerobic, anaerobic and chemosynthetic bacteria that eliminate most aquarium issues such as high ammonia and nitrite levels, indigestible debris, algae growth, organic bottom sludge and foul odours. Photosynthetic bacteria reduce turbid water by flocculating and settling organic and inorganic debris.

MICROBE-LIFT® contains photosynthetic bacteria that are helpful for achieving an ecological balance in the aquarium. These bacteria use sunlight as an energy source and perform the work of aerobic heterotrophic bacteria. Ecologically speaking, the photosynthetic bacteria occupy the same space as the algae and compete with them by depriving them of their food and sunlight. The photosynthetic bacteria are also the reason for the characteristic purple/red colour of the product. We do not add any artificial colouring to the product. Just like all photosynthetic organisms, photosynthetic bacteria need pigment material to absorb sunlight. Green plants contain the pigment material chlorophyll, which provides the green colour. The pigment material in photosynthetic bacteria that produces the purple/red colour is carotenes. At the beginning of cultivation, the liquid is still clear. Exposed to sunlight for a few days, the colour turns purple/red as the bacteria convert this natural pigment. 

There are several key differences that make MICROBE-LIFT® superior to other bacterial products. Some examples:

Ecological Laboratories Inc. is itself the manufacturer of MICROBE-LIFT®. Many other companies do not produce their bacteria themselves, but buy them from large companies that produce so-called "standard bacteria" in large quantities and are then sold under different labels. Most of these products contain only aerobic heterotrophic and facultatively anaerobic bacteria. Although these bacteria are suitable for the aquarium, they cannot restore the ecological balance in the same way that aerobic heterotrophic, facultatively anaerobic, photosynthetic, anaerobic and chemosynthetic organisms from MICROBE-LIFT® can.

MICROBE-LIFT® bacteria are grown in the bottle in which they are sold. This is because the organisms grow interdependently: that is called an “ecosystem in a bottle”. They are bred together because they will also do the work together in your aquarium. Most bacteria from the major manufacturers are grown as individual species in large tanks, or yeast-based if they are dry products. After that, the products are packaged, regardless of how they will react in the aquarium

MICROBE-LIFT® is so versatile that it does the same thing that would normally require 3 or 4 different products from other manufacturers. Although the price is a bit higher than other products, MICROBE-LIFT® may end up being cheaper than other products because of its concentration and effectiveness.

Use directly in the aquarium according to the dosage instructions.


The gentle cold pressing process ensures that both nutrients and vitamins are optimally preserved during production – as they are not attacked by high temperatures.

The feed is also better tolerated thanks to the cold pressing and the special production process – as it does not swell in the fish's stomach (soft granules).

Since Phos-Out 4 granules also absorbs phosphate, silicate, heavy metals (e.g. copper) and yellow substances from the water in the aquarium, no general statement can be made here as to the time after which the granulate should be replaced. Here it is important to measure the substances to be absorbed and if the value does not fall further or rises again, the Phos-Out 4 should be changed. Depending on how much of the individual substances is present in the aquarium, this time varies from aquarium to aquarium.

Since Sili-Out 2 absorbs phosphate, barium, arsenic, chromium and yellow substances from the water in the aquarium in addition to silicate, no general statement can be made here as to the time after which the granules should be replaced. Here it is important to measure the substances to be absorbed and if the value does not fall further or rises again, the Sili-Out 2 should be changed. Depending on how much of the individual substances is present in the aquarium, this time varies from aquarium to aquarium.

With our products MICROBE-LIFT pH-Increase or pH-Decrease you can raise or lower the pH value in the aquarium, depending on what is necessary in your aquarium. If you have reached a pH value or if there is a pH value that is close to the corresponding ideal value, use our MICROBE-LIFT pH buffer (8.2 for sea water and 6.5 or 8.5 for fresh water) to stabilize the value. Our MICROBE-LIFT pH buffer can also automatically compensate for minor deviations from the ideal value, e.g. B. at a pH value of 8.0 to the ideal value of 8.2 in saltwater aquariums.

When using the MICROBE-LIFT system, we recommend a weekly water change of 10 - 20%.

For this we recommend the use of our MICROBE-LIFT Gel Filter in freshwater aquariums as well as in seawater aquariums. This applies a biological bacterial film to the filter or the filter medium, which immediately becomes biologically active. Beneficial bacteria can settle in this bacterial film in a targeted and effective manner, meaning cleaning intervals can be significantly extended and the performance of the filter increased. The combination with our products MICROBE-LIFT Special Blend and Nite-Out II is ideal, as these contain a large number of effective, beneficial bacteria for the breakdown of organic waste in the aquarium, which can settle in the bacterial film.

No, our MICROBE-LIFT Phos-Out 4 liquid is free of lanthanum and works on a polymer basis.

The pH value should be measured in the aquarium during the day, as it usually drops a little at night.

In principle, there is nothing wrong with dosing the MICROBE-LIFT bacterial products with a dosing pump. However, this should have a back suction so that no residues remain in the corresponding hoses. Furthermore, it also applies here that you should only dose Special Blend, Thera P and Nite-Out II from the original bottle.

Yes, the presence of nitrite can affect and increase the results of a "home" nitrate test, but you can find conversion charts online so you can see how much the nitrate test will increase at which nitrite level, and how much the "adjusted" nitrate level in the aquarium is.

Tap water is often used in freshwater aquariums. However, since this usually contains substances that are harmful to fish, such as nitrite, chlorine/chloramines, etc., it should be made safe for use in the aquarium using MICROBE-LIFT Xtreme water conditioner before use. Xtreme artificially ages the water and prevents a dangerous increase in ammonium/ammonia and nitrite. Furthermore, it removes chlorine/chloramines and heavy metals and protects the mucous membrane and gills of the fish.

Yes, heavy metals in saltwater and freshwater aquariums ensure that bacteria almost completely stop important biological processes such as nitrification (conversion of ammonium/ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate) and denitrification (conversion of nitrate into nitrogen).

Yes, phosphate (PO4) is an essential energy source for bacteria in every saltwater aquarium and in every freshwater aquarium. If bacteria have no or too little phosphate (PO4) available in the aquarium, they largely stop important biological processes such as nitrification (conversion of ammonium/ammonia into nitrite and then into nitrate) or denitrification (conversion of nitrate into nitrogen).

Note that bacteria necessarily need a certain amount of phosphate as an energy source in order to carry out important biological processes (such as denitrification NO3 nitrate –> N2 nitrogen) in the aquarium.

Since NO3PO4 Control increases the growth and performance of the bacteria in the aquarium, the phosphate requirement naturally increases too.

Therefore, measure the phosphate value regularly (at least once a day) and add Basic P if necessary.

Imagine the following:
You’re a nitrate-degrading bacterium and find yourself in an aquarium. There’s a huge mountain of nitrate. While you’re trying to break it down, new nitrate is constantly being added – as is usual in any aquarium. As a result – even if you work with maximum efficiency – you’ll never be able to break down the entire mountain of nitrate.

This is exactly the problem faced by the bacteria present in your aquarium! NO3PO4 Control acts like an energy drink for your bacteria and ensures significantly enhanced performance and reproduction during use.

This means that even the additional workload is no problem and is quickly broken down!

Bacterial products

In general, you should stick to the dosage information for our products. Since the tip on Special Blend says that you can calculate the specified dosage up to x1.5 in saltwater aquariums, it can happen that you dose a milliliter or two more. A slight overdose shouldn't normally be a problem and just isn't necessary as the amounts in our dosages are perfectly adequate.

If you significantly overdose on Special Blend, the only thing that can happen is that you will trigger a bacterial bloom in the aquarium. However, this can usually be remedied quickly with a large water change and a UV clarifier.

As the name suggests, Nite-Out II starter bacteria are used to start a saltwater or freshwater aquarium. It contains nitrifying bacteria that convert ammonium/ammonia into nitrite and then into nitrate. Nite-Out II should be dosed daily from the first day of an aquarium until the ammonium/ammonia and nitrite levels are within an acceptable range for the fish. Since as soon as you use fish, the values ​​​​of course increase again. In this case, you should continue with the daily dosage until these values ​​are also within a range that the fish can tolerate. We then recommend dosing Nite-Out II after larger water changes or when restocking with animals.

The dosing quantity of our MICROBE-LIFT Gel Filter depends on the filter medium to which you want to dose. The filter or filter medium should be evenly wetted with the gel filter in lines or a "zigzag" pattern. A full-surface application should be avoided!

The color of the liquid is not a quality feature and therefore has no effect on it. Special Blend contains i.a. photosynthetic bacteria that use light. If Special Blend is stored in a dark place or in the cardboard packaging, the color of the liquid may lighten and become clearer as the photosynthetic bacteria slow down their activity in the dark. However, as soon as you bring the liquid to a light source or dose it into your aquarium, the bacteria immediately become active and fully productive again.

Since Special Blend takes care of the optimal water biology and TheraP the optimal animal biology in every saltwater and freshwater aquarium, both products together form the ideal biological basis for every aquarium.

Substrate Cleaner contains naturally imitated mangrove mud and the bacterial cultures found in it. Depending on the degree of contamination of the aquarium, the water becomes brownish and cloudy to varying degrees. This is completely harmless and usually disappears after 24-72 hours. The time of turbidity also decreases with regular use.

With the exception of our MICROBE-LIFT NO3PO4 Control, you can also use any of our products together with our Substrate Cleaner. Since NO3PO4 Control contains liquid carbon sources for "pushing" bacteria, we recommend not using our MICROBE-LIFT Substrate Cleaner during use in order to avoid an excess of bacteria in the substrate.

Furthermore, we recommend using granulate-based phosphate absorbers during the turbidity phase, e.g. B. to take our Phos-Out 4 and Sili-Out 2 out of the aquarium and only put them back in after they have become cloudy. Here, too, the Substrate Cleaner would attempt to dissolve bound phosphate, as with any phosphate deposits in the aquarium, although not everything, of course.

Since Aqua Balance contains bacteria in spore form, it is only suitable for running aquariums to improve nitrate breakdown there. To start a saltwater or freshwater aquarium, we recommend our products MICROBE-LIFT Special Blend and Nite-Out II.

No, as both products are "ecosystems in a bottle" and everything that is in the bottle or stuck to the inside of the bottle is important for effectiveness and shelf life. Therefore, Special Blend and TheraP may only be dosed from the original bottles or gallons.

This can be determined relatively easily by the smell of the two products. If a bottle has the familiar sulphur-like odor or no odor, it is acceptable. If a bottle takes on an odor reminiscent of burnt rubber, it should no longer be used.

You will find information on starting dosages and maintenance dosages on both products. The starting dosages refer to the first doses of the respective product. These should also be dosed first in running aquariums so that there is a sufficient base of the beneficial bacteria contained in the aquarium.

Since both products contain a large number of different beneficial bacterial cultures in a ratio that has been perfected over decades, it is important to adjust this ratio again and again by means of maintenance dosages every 14 days. This ensures that there is always an optimal number of useful bacterial cultures in the aquarium.

Often the use of Artemiss or Herbtana in marine aquariums causes skimmers to “boil over”. This is completely normal and harmless. 

The skimmer should definitely continue to run because of the oxy­gen supply (possibly without a foam pot). After use, it regulates itself again within a short time.

Special Blend can be dosed at any time of the day. However, if you want to make the start in your aquarium a little easier for the bacteria in Special Blend, we recommend dosing in the morning, as this allows the photosynthetic bacteria contained to use the full light phase straight away.

In principle, Special Blend and TheraP can also be dosed at the same time, but it is also the same when adding bacteria as is always the case in the aquarium: Anything that is more constant is gentler. We therefore recommend leaving a gap of 2-3 days between the starting doses and when you have reached the maintenance doses (every 14 days) of both products, simply alternate dosing on a weekly basis.

MICROBE-LIFT® Special Blend – ‘Nitrate reducer and cyano-killer’

This product deals with the first and last stage of nitrification. It contains microorganisms that break down coarse waste materials such as proteins, fats, detritus to make it easier for the traditional filter bacteria (Nitrosomonas sp., Nitrobacter sp. and Nitrospira sp.) to break down these substances. It allows them to work much more effectively. It also contains facultative aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that primarily break down nitrate into harmless nitrogen in oxygen-poor zones – particularly effective in DSB systems, but also in normal aquarium systems with living rocks. Furthermore, it contains photosynthetically activated purple sulphur bacteria, which are mainly used in the initial phase after dosing to suppress cyanobacteria.

Does MICROBE-LIFT Special Blend also help against cyanobacteria? And if so, why?

Cyanobacteria have a negative impact by destroying the settlement area for filter bacteria and inhibiting their growth. In order for sand grains and surfaces of the living rock to be re-colonised with filter bacteria, the cyanobacteria must first be eliminated. This is accomplished by the purple sulphur bacteria. They disappear after some time and thus make room for filter bacteria, which are added a few days later by the second MICROBE-LIFT product: Nite-Out II. As purple sulphur bacteria live photosynthetically, they are a serious competitor to cyanobacteria, especially during the day, and inhibit them until filter bacteria have grown back. They do not compete with filter bacteria because they carry out photosynthesis like zooxanthellae.

MICROBE-LIFT® Nite-Out II – ‘The traditional filter bacteria’

This product supplies the traditional filter bacteria (Nitrosomonas sp., Nitrobacter sp., Nitrospira sp.). It contains additional subspecies of these strains and has been designed to promote growth of natural filter bacterial grass, which guarantees fast decomposition of ammonium and nitrite. This helps considerably shorten the start-up phase of a newly set-up aquarium or to reduce fish losses during transport and aquarium relocation or conversion measures. Works immediately and reliably! Remains active down to 4 °C! (optimum temperature from 13 °C). Therefore, also suitable for cold water aquariums (Atlantic, Mediterranean, etc.).

The bacteria act immediately when used without first ‘waking up’ – unlike products based on trace elements. It is odourless and safe to use.

It is also important to test the pH value first and whether there is enough carbonate hardness. The CH value must always be at least 3 dH°. This is extremely important because the nitrifying bacteria consume it as fuel. Seven parts carbonate hardness are consumed for one part ammonium! Without good CH values, nitrification is also not possible! To increase the CH value, you can use the MICROBE-LIFT CH-Booster until you reach a value of at least 3–6 dH°.

MICROBE-LIFT Substrate Cleaner – ‘Silt, Detritus and PO4 Removal’

Contains natural brackish water silt from mangrove zones, which contains natural cellulose, mud, phosphate-binding iron oxides and special detritus-degrading and PO4-binding filter bacteria. The mud component is somewhat related to Miracle Mud in terms of consistency. With proper dosing, the water in the aquarium immediately becomes dark brown and turbid, then light brown and clear. The next day (at the latest, however, on the third day), it turns crystal clear and usually contains much less PO4. Coarser substrate becomes cleaner and detritus gradually disappears – especially in the gamma corners.

Recommended for use with all other MICROBE-LIFT bacteria and enzyme products.

MICROBE-LIFT Thera P – ‘therapeutic fish agent’

MICROBE-LIFT Thera P stimulates the immune system of the fish through probiotic bacterial strains which settle in the intestinal tract of the fish and thus ensure a healthy intestinal flora. Freshly imported fish (especially surgeonfish and some sensitive gobies), which are often weakened by the long transport route and/or have a severely damaged intestinal flora due to antibiotics, can be treated successfully with MICROBE-LIFT Thera P. Reduces downtimes to a minimum. Moreover, the entire aquarium environment is biologically stabilised, as it still contains approx. 50% of the product MICROBE-LIFT Special Blend, which reduces waste products, food residues and nitrate. It has long been a product used in fish farming in the USA. In this country it is recommended by seahorse and discus breeders. Due to the dual mode of action, it is especially recommended for breeding or retailer tanks, where many animals collide in a short time in a confined space. It also contains an herbal anti-stress agent and other selected bacteria, which in turn eat pathogenic germs or inhibit their reproduction.

Note: As it also contains a little bit of ‘Special Blend’, it may smell a little like hydrogen sulphide. It can be used prophylactically to prevent many diseases. Some aquarium enthusiasts have treated powder-blue surgeonfish with it for a week during their acclimatisation in their reef aquarium. The surgeonfish have now been in the aquariums for a year without ever having had any spots or other complaints. They are well fed. No UV system or ozone was used during the acclimatisation or later. This is quite a remarkable result for us, as most of these surgeonfish in the retailer’s tank were known to have had spots – despite UV exposure.

Seahorse breeders are amazed at the low loss rate of their seahorse youngsters when they are using MICROBE-LIFT Thera P.

Imagine the following:
You’re a nitrate-degrading bacterium and find yourself in an aquarium. There’s a huge mountain of nitrate. While you’re trying to break it down, new nitrate is constantly being added – as is usual in any aquarium. As a result – even if you work with maximum efficiency – you’ll never be able to break down the entire mountain of nitrate.

This is exactly the problem faced by the bacteria present in your aquarium! NO3PO4 Control acts like an energy drink for your bacteria and ensures significantly enhanced performance and reproduction during use.

This means that even the additional workload is no problem and is quickly broken down!

Among other ingredients, Special Blend contains photosynthetic bacteria cultures, which are also present in nature in every body of water. This makes sure the aquarium is as close to nature as possible. 

Plants and corals need light for their growth and optimal health – but they can only utilise part of the light spectrum provided by aquarium lighting. 

The photosynthetic bacteria in Special Blend help the plants and corals to absorb a very large part of the remaining and normally unused light spectrum. 

Besides this, Special Blend also ensures that plants can better utilise fertiliser. This leads to significantly improved, healthy growth and more magnificent plants and corals. 

Thanks to its unique composition, Special Blend forms its own biological ecosystem in the bottle – which is why it must only be kept in the original bottle and not decanted. 

The suspended matter contained in the bottle as well as the particles adhering to the bottle wall are completely natural and harmless (biofilm). They can be safely dosed into the aquarium.

There may also be variations in the colour, smell and appearance of the bottles – but this doesn’t affect the high quality standard.

Nonsulfur purple bacteria (Photosynthetic bacteria):
Rhodopseudomonas sp.
– Break down partially toxic halogenated carboxylic acids.
Rhodospirillum rubrum – Fix the nitrogen that comes from nitrate degradation and thus compete against cyanobacteria, which can also fix nitrogen. Very good for preventing red cyano deposits on the substrate and furnishings.

Purple sulfur bacteria (Photosynthetic bacteria):
Thiobacillus thiooxidans
– Convert the dreaded and toxic hydrogen sulfide into the less dangerous sulfuric acid, which is no longer a problem if the carbonate hardness in the aquarium is sufficient.
Thiobacillus denitrificans – Reduce nitrate resulting from nitrification to molecular nitrogen (gas). This, in combination with the above Nitrogen-fixing bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum created a cycle that makes it difficult for the cyanobacteria to get any nitrogen source.
Thiobacillus thioparus – Break down dangerous organic sulfur compounds such as carbon disulphide, methanethiol, dimethyl sulphide and dimethyl disulphide before they can form toxic hydrogen sulphide gas from any acids in the aquarium.

Pseudomonas: Pseudomonas citronellolis - Breaks down fats, phospholipids, oils and other toxic hydrocarbon compounds. Plasticizers are also partly converted into less dangerous compounds. Phosphates are temporarily bound in the bacteria and thus partially removed from the aquarium system.

Alcaligenes: Alcaligenes Obligat aerob - Break down nitrate under anaerobic conditions.

Flavobacterium: Flavobacter aquatile Flavobacter oceanosedimentum - Come from the oceanic sedimentary layer. Need nitrogen compounds for their growth.

Nitrobacter: Nitrobacter winogradski - Oxidize nitrite to nitrate. Classic nitrifier.

Nitrosomonas: Nitrosomonas europaea - Oxidize ammonium to nitrite. Classic nitrifier.

Nitrococcus: Nitrococcus mobilis - Oxidize nitrite to nitrate. Classic nitrifier.

Comamonas: Comamonas testosterona - Acts as a stimulant in water purification (see Bioaugmentation) Bioaugmentation is used to convert chlorinated ethenes to ethylenes and chlorides, which are harmless.

Bacillus: Bacillus pumilus - Protect plants and animals in the aquarium from fungus. Effectively break down plant residues before they can become a threat to plants and fish in the aquarium as fungal foci.

Clostridia: Clostridium nitrophenolicum - Specifically break down phenols (e.g. yellow substances) and nitrophenols. This makes the water much clearer (almost as if it were filtered with activated carbon).

One of the ingredients in Special Blend is purple sulphur bacteria – an active agent ensuring that dangerous hydrogen sulphide (which forms in the substrate) is broken down in the aquarium. This is why Special Blend has its unmistakable sulphur-like odour – although any smell disappears completely after dosing in the water.

Important: If the smell changes to one reminiscent of burnt rubber, Special Blend should no longer be used.

Solving problems

Here we recommend using our MICROBE-LIFT Algaway algae remover. In general, we recommend the use of our MICROBE-LIFT Special Blend in every aquarium, which, among other things, ensures ideal biological water quality and natural competition against algae formation.

Cyanobacteria are basically present in every aquarium. Through appropriate influences, these become active and visibly attach themselves to the settlement areas. Please note that there can be no guarantee for successfully combating cyanobacteria in the aquarium, as cyanobacteria can have a variety of causes. However, over the past few decades, a biological solution using a dosage of MICROBE-LIFT Special Blend and Nite-Out II has proven to be very effective and sustainable in many cases.

You can find detailed instructions at: Instructions for cyanobacteria

It is therefore important to identify and eliminate them.

To do this, you should first look into the aquarium and its inhabitants. Corals also get used to high nitrate values ​​over time and can be healthy and vital even with the same. If your corals do not show any obvious problems despite a too high nitrate value, we recommend a gentle and slow reduction so that the corals can get used to the lower nitrate value. However, if problems with your corals become noticeable and you have the impression that your corals do not tolerate the high value well, we recommend reducing the nitrate value more quickly.

For effective and sustainable nitrate reduction in every saltwater and freshwater aquarium, we recommend our products MICROBE-LIFT Special Blend and, if necessary, NO3PO4 Control.

If a bacterial bloom occurs in your aquarium, we recommend carrying out one or more major water changes as required and, if possible, switching on a UV clarifier.

In the case of very high nitrate levels (NO3) in saltwater or freshwater aquariums, we recommend using MICROBE-LIFT Special Blend (contains, among other things, denitrifying bacteria for converting nitrate into nitrogen) and NO3PO4 Control carbon sources. Since even very effective bacteria such as those contained in MICROBE-LIFT Special Blend reach their maximum performance at very high nitrate values, they must be pushed for a certain time using NO3PO4 Control. This stimulates you to multiply and become even more efficient. This makes it possible to break down even very high nitrate levels in a very short time. Always make sure that bacteria need phosphate as an energy source and therefore ensure that there is an adequate supply of phosphate in the aquarium.

In order to lower the phosphate value (PO4 value) in any saltwater or freshwater aquarium, there is the option of using MICROBE-LIFT Phos-Out 4 iron hydroxide granules or Phos-Out 4 liquid on a polymer basis. With Phos-Out 4 ganules you have a constant phosphate absorption over a longer period of time and with Phos-Out 4 liquid a fast, immediate reduction. Depending on the desired effect, you can choose between the two products.

If the deficiency symptoms mentioned above can be ruled out, reduced plant growth can also be due to a lack of CO2. Keep an eye on the CO2 value, as CO2 forms the cornerstone of photosynthesis and is therefore directly responsible for cell growth. CO2 fertilization is therefore important for healthy plant growth.

Our carbon fertilizer Bio-CO2 improves the absorption and utilization of all important nutrients such as e.g. B. Plant fertilizer. Bio-CO2 promotes healthy plant growth through optimized nutrient uptake and intensifies the colourfulness. At the same time, it prevents the growth of unwanted algae.

A lack of nitrate in your aquarium will result in pale, whitish or yellow discoloration of older leaves and reduced growth of new plants. A sign can also be the increased occurrence of brush algae.

The optimal nitrate content in a freshwater aquarium is 5 – 10 mg/L. To effectively prevent a nitrate deficiency, use our nitrate fertilizer Plants N. This is free of phosphate, prevents nitrate deficiency over the long term and supports metabolic processes.

A phosphate deficiency is shown by very slow plant growth, reduced shoot tips and discoloration of the plant leaves. The otherwise bright green usually turns very dark to violet. A phosphate deficiency can be identified particularly well in stem plants, as they usually grow very quickly.

The optimal phosphate content in a freshwater aquarium is 0.1 – 0.25 mg/L. To increase the PO4 value, use our phosphate fertilizer Plants P. This is nitrate-free, prevents a phosphate deficiency in the long term and supports metabolic processes.

Holey plants and dying leaf tissue (necrosis) are typical signs of a potassium deficiency. Initially, these can only be recognized as dark spots with yellow edges, later the necrosis appears over a large area. The growth of new leaves can also be inhibited.

The optimum potassium content in a freshwater aquarium is 5 - 10 mg/L. To effectively prevent a potassium deficiency, use our potassium fertilizer Plants K. This is free of nitrate and phosphate, prevents a potassium deficiency in the long term and supports lush plant growth.

Since iron cannot be transferred within a plant, acute iron deficiency first manifests itself in young leaves. Their shoot tips usually remain only light green or turn light yellow, pink or white. In addition, the plants stop growing and eventually die.

The optimal iron content in a freshwater aquarium is 0.1 – 0.2 mg/L. Our iron fertilizer Plants FE can help with iron deficiency. This is free of nitrate and phosphate, prevents iron deficiency in the long term and supports lush plant growth.

Saltwater aquarium

Yes, if it is degreased, clean and dry.

Yes, you should only spray off the transport-related abrasion and then you can use the ARKA Aquatics myReef-Rocks in the aquarium immediately.

Our ARKA Aquatics myReef-Rocks are made of aragonite rock, a fossil natural reef rock. It is obtained from a petrified reef, which is now on land. This means that there is no damage to the world's oceans and you get a very porous rock for natural reef structures.

Since many of our products are produced in the USA, some batches may have to be colored so that they can also be filled into transparent gallons. However, this has no influence on the quality or effectiveness of the product and is absolutely harmless for every aquarium.

Yes. Our MICROBE-LIFT Coral Active is used to give your corals another "push" in terms of growth, colorfulness and health. The elements contained are coordinated in such a way that they are quickly absorbed and effectively used up by corals. It can therefore be used in addition to a coral supply system such as our MICROBE-LIFT BASIC-System or our All-In-One.


Since both our MICROBE-LIFT All-In-One and our BASIC-System are independent complete coral care systems, both products should be used individually depending on the needs of the respective aquarium. A combination and thus a double coral supply makes no sense.

In principle, All-In-One is suitable for all aquarium sizes with a stock of soft corals and/or LPS corals and a small proportion of SPS corals. As a rule, it is often used in aquariums with a size of up to 250 liters and the corresponding stock. In addition, we recommend a weekly water change of 10-20% with our MICROBE-LIFT MICROBE-LIFT Premium Reef Salt or Organic Active Salt.

If required, it can be supplemented with individual elements from our MICROBE-LIFT seawater series.

The alternative is our MICROBE-LIFT BASIC-System.


For this we recommend using our MICROBE-LIFT Coralline. Thanks to its specially developed recipe, this ensures rapid growth of red lime algae in the aquarium.

Tip: For even faster growth, take a stone covered with red calcareous algae and scrape the red calcareous algae off it in front of a flow pump in your aquarium. In combination with our Coralline, this ensures magnificent coralline algae in every saltwater aquarium.

No, since our MICROBE-LIFT plankton is preserved and highly concentrated plankton, it can also be kept for a long time without refrigeration.

The calcium value should ideally be between 380 - 450 mg/L.

The magnesium value in the saltwater aquarium should ideally be between 1280 - 1380 mg/L.

If you mix our MICROBE-LIFT BASICs for coral supply, the correspondingly calculated amount of BASIC 1, BASIC 2 or BASIC 3 must be filled with osmosis water until a total of one liter of liquid is produced or, converted, several liters, depending on how much the BASIC salt has calculated.

We recommend a ratio of 1 (calcium) to 3 (magnesium).

We recommend using our MICROBE-LIFT Premium Reef Salt. It is suitable both for starting a saltwater aquarium and for long-term care. It contains all important elements such as calcium, magnesium, carbonates and much more. In a well stocked running aquarium you can also switch to our MICROBE-LIFT Organic Active. However, this should not be used to start an aquarium due to the contained organic components for more growth and colourfulness, as these could remain unused in the aquarium due to the usually low coral population.

Freshwater aquarium

No, ARKA Aquatics myScape-Rocks Dragon do not affect the water parameters in the aquarium.

Our ARKA Aquatics myScape-Rocks Seiryu mini landscapes can harden the water slightly, but this is harmless even for shrimp if the water is changed regularly.

Use in cichlid aquariums is possible.

Yes, after thoroughly washing off transport-related residues, our myScape Rocks can be used immediately in any freshwater aquarium or terrarium.

Our ARKA AQUATICS myScape-Rocks Dragon dragon rocks are natural clay rocks.

Yes, our MICROBE-LIFT Plants Green is ideal as a basic supply for the plants in any freshwater aquarium and can be supplemented with our MICROBE-LIFT single fertilizers (iron, nitrate, phosphate, potassium) as required.

After dosing, the bacteria contained in Bio-CO2 produce usable CO2 for plants thanks to a biological process from the humic acid also contained.

Please note: The CO2 that can be utilised by the bacteria for the plants cannot be measured by via continuous CO2 tests.

Technical products

Yes, our ARKA myAQUA® 1900 resin filter can be screwed on and the resin inside can be replaced.

Yes, this is basically possible without any problems. Make sure, however, that the reactor is so full of the respective filter medium that it flows well through it, but is not turbulent, otherwise abrasion would occur.

To do this, the carbon filter C2 installed in the ARKA myAQUA® 1900 reverse osmosis system is replaced with the ARKA myAQUA® 1900 resin filter, which is available separately. Thanks to the quick-change system, this is easy to do and the system remains the same in size and appearance.

Test the TDS/EC value and other water values of the osmosis water regularly to determine if a filter or the membrane needs to be changed. In addition, the system has a time-controlled reminder function and indicates to you by red illumination of the status LEDs as well as an acoustic signal that a filter change is recommended due to the duration of use since the last reset of the filter or membrane. Please note that the reminder function can only work correctly if the system is permanently connected to the power supply.

If you want to continue using the filter or membrane despite the system reminding you, reset the filter status as described below.

Since stagnant water can become contaminated after some time, we generally recommend changing the filter or membrane after the following periods of time from the first use: filter = 6-12 months | membrane = 12-24 months. The actual service life of the components depends on the quality of the source water (e.g. water hardness) and the amount of osmosis water produced.

Often the use of Artemiss or Herbtana in marine aquariums causes skimmers to “boil over”. This is completely normal and harmless. 

The skimmer should definitely continue to run because of the oxy­gen supply (possibly without a foam pot). After use, it regulates itself again within a short time.


We manufacture our ARKA Aquatics reef ceramics completely by hand in our own production and from 100% natural raw materials. Therefore, each reef ceramic is unique, safe to use and ideally suited for unique reef structures in any marine aquarium. 

Our ARKA Aquatics reef ceramics contain only natural raw materials, which ensure a uniquely porous structure that is ideal for beneficial bacteria. Our reef ceramics are therefore also free of harmful substances and ideally suited for any seawater aquarium.

Since our ARKA Aquatics reef ceramics are purely handcrafted reef ceramics and their size also changes slightly during the drying and firing process, all our dimensions given here are to be understood as approximate dimensions. Of course, the difference is within an acceptable range and not too big.

Thanks to its highly porous structure, our ARKA Aquatics reef ceramic is ideal as a settlement area for beneficial bacteria. Our reef ceramics can also be lightly and not extensively coated with our MICROBE-LIFT Gel Filter in order to further accelerate the biological activity.

We manufacture our ARKA Aquatics reef ceramics in our own reef ceramic production at our company headquarters according to the highest quality standards.

Place the reef ceramic in a suitable container (preferably food-safe) that does not release anything into the water and fill it with sufficient osmosis water. Use a flow pump to ensure a sufficient flow of water. Now add MICROBE-LIFT Sili-Out 2 silicate absorber in the filter bag supplied. As the ARKA Aquatics reef ceramic does not necessarily have to be watered, the duration of watering depends on the possibilities of each user. We recommend changing both the water and the MICROBE-LIFT Sili-Out 2 used after a few days.

Our ARKA Aquatics reef ceramics do not necessarily have to be soaked before use, rinsing off the abrasion caused by transport is sufficient. However, if you have the time and opportunity to water, you can further minimize the silicate input that is never completely avoidable and normal with reef ceramics.

Since reef ceramic matrix – like large parts of the earth's surface – consists of silicon and this reacts with oxygen to form silicate, a reef ceramic will always initially release some silicate into the water. 

However, this release is very low in our reef ceramics and can optionally be further reduced by soaking in combination with a silicate absorber (e.g. MICROBE-LIFT Sili-Out 2).