The Good, the Bad, and the Not-So-Ugly Truths about Aquarium Bacteria
Most people think of bacteria as something that will make you and your pets sick. In reality, bacteria play a critical role in healthy fish, ecosystems, and well-balanced aquarium systems. Dr. Tim Hovanec, the founder of Dr. Tim's Aquatics, has been working in the aquarium and aquaculture field for decades. His graduate research revolutionized our understanding of biofilter bacteria, and over the years, he has designed numerous bacteria-based products that solve many common aquarium problems. Join us, as we discuss the good, the bad, and the not-so-ugly truths about aquarium bacteria with Dr. Tim.
Dr. Timothy A. Hovanec is the Founder of DrTim’s Aquatics, LLC. a leading provider of innovative Science Based Solutions™, including many 100% natural bacterial-based products like One and Only™ Live Nitrifying Bacteria, Eco-Balance™ Probiotic Bacteria and Waste-Away™ natural organic removing bacteria. These ‘green’ products, focusing on using natural strategies rather than chemicals, are available for all sectors of the aquarium industry. Previously, Dr. Hovanec was the head of R&D for Marineland Aquarium in charge of the biology, chemistry and microbial ecology laboratories that comprised Marineland Labs where he discovered many novel species of nitrifying bacteria leading to him discovering and developing BioSpira®. He was also responsible for overseeing the quality control of such products as Instant Ocean® sea salt. Other past positions include biologist and manager at an intensive striped bass aquaculture facility, consultant on various aquaculture projects, a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, and a university research assistant. He is currently also an Associate Faculty member at Saddleback College, CA. Dr. Hovanec holds over 13 U.S. and foreign patents and has authored numerous papers on aquatic microbiology, water quality and filtration techniques for closed system life-support systems . Dr. Hovanec regularly speaks at national and international conferences and is a member of numerous scientific organizations and writes popular articles on tropical fish for several magazines. He was previously the editor of SeaScope® magazine. Dr. Hovanec was the President of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), a Washington, D.C. based industry-lobbying group, for 5 years and has been a member of the Board since 1992. Dr. Hovanec has also served at the Co-chair and Program Chair for Marine Ornamentals a combined government-private industry scientific conference on marine tropical fish. Dr. Hovanec earned his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he investigated the phylogenetics of nitrifying bacteria in aquaria and Mono Lake, California. Dr. Hovanec was the first to demonstrate that bacteria of the phylum Nitrospira were the active nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in aquatic systems such as aquaria. His work on nitrifying bacteria has lead to the discovery of many new species of nitrifying bacteria in freshwater and saltwater systems. He has also conducted much research on topics such as ammonia excretion and toxicity in aquatic organisms, bio-filtration systems design, and fish feed formulations. Dr. Hovanec graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Biology after studying limnology at Uppsala University in Sweden. He also earned a M.S. in Biology from SDSU studying ammonia toxicity and ammonia excretion in striped bass.