Studies have demonstrated that large-volume culture methods for sterile body fluids other than blood increase recovery compared to traditional plated-medium methods. BacT/Alert is a fully automated blood culture system for detecting bacteremia and fungemia. In this study, we compared culture in BacT/Alert standard aerobic and anaerobic bottles, BacT/Alert FAN aerobic and FAN anaerobic bottles, and culture on routine media for six specimen types, i.e., continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysate (CAPD), peritoneal, amniotic, pericardial, synovial, and pleural fluids. Specimen volumes were divided equally among the three arms of the study. A total of 1,157 specimens were tested, with 227 significant isolates recovered from 193 specimens. Recovery by method was as follows: standard bottles, 186 of 227 (82%); FAN bottles, 217 of 227 (96%); and routine culture, 184 of 227 (81%). The FAN bottles recovered significantly more gram-positive cocci (P < 0.001), Staphylococcus aureus (P = 0.003), coagulase-negative staphylococci (P = 0.008), gram-negative bacilli (P < 0.001), Enterobacteriaceae (P = 0.005), and total organisms (P < 0.001) than the routine culture. There were no significant differences in recovery between the standard bottles and the routine culture. The FAN aerobic bottle recovered significantly more gram-positive cocci (P < 0.001), S. aureus isolates (P < 0.001), coagulase-negative staphyococci (P = 0.003), and total organisms (P < 0.001) than the standard aerobic bottle, while the FAN anaerobic bottle recovered significantly more gram-positive cocci (P < 0.001), S. aureus isolates (P < 0.001), Enterobacteriaceae (P = 0.03), and total organisms (P < 0.001) than the standard anaerobic bottle. For specific specimen types, significantly more isolates were recovered from the FAN bottles compared to the routine culture for synovial (P < 0.001) and CAPD (P = 0.004) fluids. Overall, the FAN bottles were superior in performance to both the standard bottles and the routine culture for detection of microorganisms from the types of sterile body fluids included in this study.