Carbon or Vodka/Sugar dosing

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Nico Kortenbout, 22 Jul 2010.

  1. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout

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    Hi there

    I am still a relative newbie at Marine tanks. I will psot a thread soon with pics of my setup but I would like to know more about Carbon dosing. I have read on various threads about dosing with Vodca and/or Sugar. I have a 250L display tank and a 50L sump. How and why do you dose with Vodca or Sugar. I have also read about the new NP Bio Pellets from Marco at the Waterboy. Is this a better option?

    Thanks very much.
     
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  3. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    It depends on what you want to achieve. Personally I would go for the NP bio pellets as it is a much safer option. With carbon dosing in the form of sugar/vinegar/vodka there is a lot that can go wrong and fast. Do you have a dsb?
     
  4. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout Thread Starter

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    Hi Manic
    Thanks for the advice :thumbup: I dont have a DSB. My sand is only about 4cm deep in the display tank. I have about 30 kg of live rock in the display tank and about 15 kg in the sump. I will be adding about another 10 kg to the display tank. I am trying to lower my nitrates which are really high (about 200ppm). I do water changes regularly (weekly) of about 10%.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jul 2010
  5. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Hi Nico! Since you are new to marines, i suggest staying away from bacteria and carbon source dosing until you become a little more experienced and you have a system that requires Ultra Low Nutrients. These methods were designed for ULNS but more advanced reefers have begun using it by halving the dosages in normal Lps/softies systems.

    For now I suggest sticking to LR,DSB and a decent skimmer for filtration. :)
     
  6. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout Thread Starter

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    Thanks Mekaeel. I have been battling to get my Nitrates down. I am using a Tunze DOC Skimmer 9021 and total about 45 kgs of live rock. I will try adding more live roack to the system (about another 10kgs).
     
  7. jaybeepee

    jaybeepee

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    What stock do u have in the tank? sounds like something is pushing your nitrates up quite quickly?
     
  8. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout Thread Starter

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    I have:
    Fish:
    1 Large (Dark Red) Clown
    1 Blue Damsel
    1 Coral Beauty
    Nennies:
    2 (They are quite small, short tentacles.) Was having problems getting them to eat and they were starving, but thanks to Anemone they are on the mend.
    Corals:
    1 tree coral (very small)
    1 Torch coral (medium size)
    1 Rock with zoanthids

    This is it. Other than the live rock. The system is 2 months old ( I know its a bit new for the nennies, but I had a meltdown in the nano tank and had to move them). I am also having trouble with Diatome and Hair Algae.
     
  9. sandlewood

    sandlewood

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    Hi Nico. I would suggest hooking up a DSB to sort out your nitrates. You can do this via a remote DSB if you don't have the space in your sump just using a plastic container and some playsand. There are plenty of threads on this in the forum - check it out:)
     
  10. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    You need to find out why the nitrates are so high.
    1 - test kit accurate and not expired?
    2 - got big crushed coral as substrate?
    3 - bio balls or ceramic rings?
    4 - feeding too much?
    5 - type salt used?
    6 - using RO water with TDS of 5 or less?

    There might be more factors, but start with these.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  11. crispin

    crispin

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    i see tobes posted from a mobile device and thus didnt expand on his thoughts there, and as you say you are relativley new to marines ive added a little to tobes post, i hope you dont mind tobes.

    Just a personal note from my own tank. I have been battling nitrates for a while, which i know was fueled by excess nutrient in my LR. After a couple of years reefing ive read alot about carbon source dosing and how to do it, but while reading ive also heard all about how fast and how BADLY things can go wrong. I did dose vodca in my tank for around a week but that went badly south fairly quickly and i pulled the plug on the experiment. I had massive cyano bloom, which i dodnt really stress about that much. the diatoms and cyano where undoutadly disgusting to look at but i knew that cyano will also consume nitrates fairly rapidly, as will benificial bacteria which i was trying to grow too. It worked out well for me in the end, but i would NOT suggest doing this unless you have a number of years experience and are willing to have your tank go a long way south before righting the ship. there are better ways to sort nitrates out and finding out WHY you have them (those ideas from tobes will help) is your first step. I knew why i had them and it was only after i knew that, that i started carbon source dosing. I think a far better way to consume nitrates on a long term is via a remote deep sand bed, especially as this will give you added diversity to your system, greater water vollume and happy pods = happy fish:)
     
  12. crispin

    crispin

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    Nico another thing i noticed is you say your tank is only two months old. I cycled my tank for 4 months, then battled nitrates untill month 7/8 before carbon dosing as a last resort.

    its only now, month 10 of my tank that I have stability in my water. I think a fair deal of your nitrate problems are simply a case of the tank being too younge and the biological systems not running full steam yet.

    Maybe add a ATS to the system (cheap and easy to do) and let that kick in for two months, add a RDSB too and by the time you are a couple of months down the line the tank will be far happier and you can start adding live stock:)
     
  13. Monti

    Monti

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    Damn- thats a hell of a long cycle. Probably out of most reefers attention span.

    I must admit, whilst the NP pellets look interesting, Im still not really that sold on them. Want to see results before saying they are better than old school carbon dosing... Also, I know the tank guys are using as a reference, but bear in mind that even in his tank, there is more to it than just NP Pellets.

    Any form of carbon dosing (including NP Pellets) shoudl always be done with caution and by someone with experience. Minute swings in parameters in a low nutrient tank will bugger up your corals. I also dont really see the point in going for LNS tanks in anything but a SPS tank.
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2010
  14. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout Thread Starter

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    Wow, This is fantastic info :thumbup:. Thanks Tobes, Crispin and Monti. I will add a remote deep sand bed to the system, but as it stands in my lounge, this will take some planning :smartass:. I have some ideas about how it can be done after Manic and Sandlewood suggested the idea of a remote DSB.

    Feeding too much could be the issue as I have been trying to target feed the nennies and corals daily after the disasterous house move. I feed with a recipe I found on this forum:
    Seafood Mix from P'nP
    Extra mucsle meet
    Nori seaweed
    Marine Mix from LFS
    All this blended in a blender wtih tank water and refrozen. The fish go nuts for it. I feed a 1 or 2 cm cube of this dissolved in tank water each evening through a feeder tube i made from a 60ml syringe and air tubing directly to the nennies and coral. The remainder gets suspended and eaten by the fish. The tank is clear of food in about 4 or 5 minutes.

    By the way, what is an ATS?
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2010
  15. crispin

    crispin

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    Hmmm that sounds like a likely reason for the increased Nitrates, simply too much food, especilaly as some of those particles will be small and i think getting trapped and breaking down. I would slow the feeding down and instead of feeding such fine food to the nennies, id go with a small piece of hake or shrimp once every 3-4days to be honest. Remeber that nennies rely far more on light for their food production (around 80%) than they do on anything you feed them.

    and ATS stands for Algae Turf Scrubber. lots of threads about them so I wont duplicate here, but have a search for them, i think this would be a good step forward for you. :)
     
  16. Monti

    Monti

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    Too much food. Start looking as flakes or pellets (Ocean nutrition is good)... and if you want to do frozen food as well as a supplement a few times a week, again the Ocean nutrition is good.
     
  17. TheWaterboy

    TheWaterboy Sponsor

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    nico.....those seafood mixes from pnp can be fuel to your proplem......
    remember they freeze the stuff with tap water ......even if you thaw it out and rinse it, you still adding some rubbish in the water.

    i know there is a particular brand of frozen foods that is loaded with po4.....

    when i see you again , we can make a plan to sort your problem out

    i would take the advise from crispin, tobes, sandlewood and monti;)
     
  18. crispin

    crispin

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    omega one is better;) lol just kidding both are good brands, but i agree with monti, flake food for the fish and some bigger pieces of meaty foods less regularly to the nennies will help your nitrates a long way. Also time, that tank is still younge and it needs to mature its biological systems a bit.
     
  19. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout Thread Starter

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    Awesome guys, thanks so much for the info :bigthumbup:. I will implement some changes starting now ;). Marco I will come to see you next week.
     
  20. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Very well put! Thank you!
     
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