Effect of solid carbon dosing (biocubes) on in-tank bacteria populations?

Discussion in 'Chemical Filtration / Low Nutrient Systems - LNS' started by irie ivan, 4 Sep 2012.

  1. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Perhaps I think too much about these things........ Still struggling to put my thoughts into words.......
    With the advent of solid carbon dosing methodologies, (especially the likes of my new found favourite - Biocubes) I am trying to ascertain what effect (if any) this methodology would have on in-tank bacterial populaions.
    Lets consider that we are providing ultra premium real estate for bacteria to colonise, which will rapidly be populated, causing water column nutrient levels to drop.
    With regular vodka dosing or even zeolith based methods (which, in itself changes dynamics) we were still dealing with in-tank bacterial populations, vs. solid carbon substrates providing a very condensed area of optimal growth / nutrient removal....

    Thinking caps on....
     
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  3. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Well

    I went all out low nutrients to get rid of bryopsis. I added bio-cubes, pellet reactor and phosphate reactor. The bryopsis went the way of the dodo, but so did some of my precious zoas. Cant have it all i suppose
     
  4. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Ok, seeing as all of these new and old methods deal with bacteria in our systems, perhaps we should first identify some of the primary functions of bacteria in our systems in order to better understand exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it. We're pouring bottles of bacteria into our tanks, but do any of us really actually understand why?

    What is the purpose of having bacteria in our systems, what functions does it perform? In what types of environment does it thrive and how can we optimise growth/culture of this bacteria?

    Another question if I may, do any of these new methods encourage or promote mono-cultures? How would we know?
     
  5. irie ivan

    irie ivan Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Dean. The truth is we will never really know, we can just speculate, take educated guesses and perhaps figure it out together.
    What we do know is that bacteria take up nutrients, blah blah blah... Very valid point on how do we specifically target health , well being and procreation of ony those bacterial strains...... Hmmmmm, I thought thats why solid carbon methodologies were developed.....
    I do remember reading a scienctific article and posting about it years ago on how increased carbon changes the natural reef environment and influence bacterial counts on holobiont surfaces..... The concern at the time was that both the good and bad bac strains (potentially the ones "causing" RTN) also increased..... Again, thinking too hard..... gotta cut down on the herbal tea so early in the morning:whistling:

    Regarding mono cultures..... I highly doubt that monocultures are the operative word, as it is highly improbable, what is however probale is that we are providing conditions where certain strains will outcompete others...... I would rather call it reduced culture diversity...... Again... something we will never know..... Just dont have the resources to test it..... yet!
    Also, whether good or bad..... time will tell.... Guess its a matter of so far, so good.
    Quite tempted to derail into a whole monoculture debate, but too irie and dont feel like getting lynched today.....
     
  6. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    thinking cap on..
    Do you think it matters where they colonize? When liquid dosing, are you feeding bacteria in the water column or the ones colonizing liverock/substrate? Id say the latter, in which case is that any different to having them growing on cubes in the sump?
     
  7. crispin

    crispin

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    By adding bacteria you should be preventing the possibility of mono bacterial cultures (one strain dominating due to out competing other strains) as you are constantly reseeding your system with new strains (or more correctly new populations) of bacterial sources.

    i have often wondered along similar lines to what Irie Ivan is talking about, that being by supplying a perfect area for bacterial growth (carbon, flow and excess Nitrigen in various forms) to a solid carbon source reactor we maywell creating an area where in tank bacteria (for in LR and substrates in particular) are outcompeted due to not having the same availability for Carbon and N.

    Would we then eventually be reducing the biological filtration capasity of LR in favor of a reactor?
    Whats the effect if that reactor goes off line for a period (either removed or due to power loss) and we dont have the biological filtration in tank any more?
     
  8. crispin

    crispin

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    my understanding is that almost all the biological filtering happens within a collonised media (LR and substrate in particular) so carbon dosing feeds the bacteria in LR and Live sand. But the access the bacteria have to the Carbon source varies due to their position within the structures and some populations do far better than others.


    i dont think it makes any difference where you have the bacteria (in a reactor, on cubes or in LR) so long as ytou have a good enough population to handle the bioload getting thrown at it.

    What I am worrying about is if its worth having all eggs in one reactor by feeding solid carbon and does that outcompete the biofiltration of LR?
     
  9. irie ivan

    irie ivan Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    For sure.... Really believe we need them everywhere, dare I say it.... in balanced ratios.

    Nope, both.

    Thanks @crispin...
    Again, we are getting somewhere.... Well, at leat my mind is...
    I strongly believe there will always be sufficient Nitrogen, phosphorus, etc avail to keep bacterial colonies surviving in-tank, even if just enough to keep them beyond the dormant stage......
    However, to what degree the effeciency of biofilms are reduced is a big part of my question..
    And Yes... very valid point about a filtration module failure..... almost rings a bell from threads I have read...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Jayceew

    Jayceew

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    I would think we want to avoid as far as possible a mono bacterial culture to ensure a well balanced tank.(PaulB comes to mind as he adds live sea water a couple of times a year to prevent this).

    Do you think there is then a point for dosing multiple sources of bacteria also, instead of just sticking to one brand?

    I have always only used Special Blend after having great success with regards to Cyano which I struggled with on a previous tank.

    On the new tank Special Blend did nothing for the Cyano issue and I started dosing TLF Bactiv8 along with special blend and every now and then Stability. Cyan is almost gone now. Did the tank just need a different bactarial strain perhaps?
     
    Last edited: 4 Sep 2012
  11. irie ivan

    irie ivan Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Kaching!!

    Reality is, I dont think many of us even know the strains involved in the bottles we are dumping in, nor do we really know the strains involved inside our tanks..... Quite an ironic thought..... As imho, it is the backbone of our systems!!
     
  12. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    I am enjoying the redsea nopox because it feeds the bacteria wherever it is breaking down detris or nutrients. If most of your bacteria is focused in a reactor it gives detris etc time to allow seepage of crap into liverock? This is just a thought.
     
  13. irie ivan

    irie ivan Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    And an important thought at that... Although, the "seepage" of crap will in turn feed bacterial biofilms within the rock. But, IF bacterial density is reduced, to what degree is the balance between algae and bac influenced.
     
    Last edited: 4 Sep 2012
  14. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i dont think it matters where the bacteria are. When you carbon dosing you already pushing bacterial numbers to unnaturally high numbers and running your tank on a knife edge. I do agree that you need balance and probably wouldnt run a tank on reactors alone.
     
  15. Wes

    Wes

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    power failure and your bacteria is toast... another 3-4 weeks waiting for new bacteria to populate the pellets, unless of course you have battery backup or bio-cubes.
     
  16. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Imo if bac is less then algae and cyano have opportunity to get foothold? You are feeding eIther bacteria or algae or cyano with your detris. I prefer putting the carbon where the bacteria is not vice versa
     
    Last edited: 4 Sep 2012
  17. crispin

    crispin

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    hmmmmmm i dont quite agree with the thought that carbon dosing increases bacterial populations to unaturally high populations.

    My thoughts flow along the lines that we have a excess of Nitrogen due to the small nature of our systems and by adding Carbon we 'ballance' (very loosly associated word) the carbon:Nitrogen ratio so as to favor an increase in bacterial populations, closer to what would be naturally occuring if you ever found Nitrogen in the conerntrations as we do in our tanks.

    I think the key to carbon dosing is the fact we have excess Nitrogen (which is what we are trying to process and handle) and the bacteria use the increased C with the already present N and a population explosion occurs.
     
  18. KillerWhale

    KillerWhale

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    There will always be enough nutrients for bacteria in the LR and sand for this reason and try and imagine this with me here. When the fish take a crap, this falls on the sand, between rock etc...Bacteria start breaking that down into Ammonia / Nitrite / Nitrate / Phosphate. It takes a while for those nutrients to enter the filter to be completely broken down and then the pellets / cubes get hold of them and then convert that to biomass. Proof of this is from aglae growing on your glass even though you have cubes with 0ppm NO3 and GFH with 0ppm PO4. The algae will still grow on the glass... although slowly, but, it will still grow. Basically, they hijack the nutrients BEFORE it can be processed in the filter. Cubes / pellets will remove excessive nutrients so as to prohibit a massive algae outbreak which is what we are trying to achieve. However, to assume that there will never be any NO3 or PO4 in a system is a little naieve because for that to happen, you will need to throw 25lts pure bleach into a system to stop the nitrogen cycle. I think these carbon systems just keep things in line, however, the liquid versions now make the carbon source available at the source of the NO3 and PO4...this can cause some problems as these levels are now elevated at the source...anyone for a healthy helping of cyano? I am a firm believer in providing for those that I want must get and restricting those who must not get as a first line of defense. Liquid carbon makes the element of carbon immediately available while with pellets / cubes they must work to get the carbon out of the media. Alternatively I could be completely wrong and Elvis Presley is still alive...Ivan is feeling "Irie" and I have been dosing myself with my fish tank's vodka again!
     
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  19. KillerWhale

    KillerWhale

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    I must also add that I see many correct statements in this thread that I do agree with. Ivan sure has drawn the finest into this thread! I think what makes nature so beautiful is that it is able to manage and govern itself with laws. When these laws become corrupted by man (as is the case in our aquariums with excessive NO3 and PO4) we do need to step in and correct those boundaries again. What is nice about this method of manipulating Redfield's Ratio is that we can achieve these things with a degree of safety because the bacteria will not break thier own laws. This degree of safety is amlmost impossible to achieve through synthetic medias. I don't think there can really be a massive over-distortion of things here as they would simply limit themselves and thier production to what is available and no more than that. There is one variable with that theory and that is cyano, but, even that I think is a point of source issue
     
  20. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    i nvr read the comment but the answer to ur question is on advanced aquarist they done a test on carbon dosing and the effects
     
  21. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    on bac populations
     
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