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What is it[edit]

Heterotrophic is usually used in reference to a type of bacteria and its food source.

A heterotroph is an organism that requires organic substrates to get its carbon for growth and development.

Heterotrophic bacteria is often seen during the first week of a new aquarium tank being set up as an excess of organic material causes the water to turn milky white briefly. See NTS (New Tank Syndrome).

This type of bacteria is often sold in liquid form and is used to consume the waste products of fish, uneaten food and plant debris (Mulm).

It is naturally in soil and so Walstad type tanks have these.