Vitamin C


12 Mar 2008
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Cape Town
Is anyone dosing Vitamin C, and if so what brand are you using and how much are you dosing? Have you seen noticeable improvements in your corals?
yes , if i tell you i may not see tomorrow...

we mixed it into food and let it draw in for a hour or so. half a ml into frozens once a day for a few weeks.
Interesting topic,

I received an email from Planet Zoa the other day called "Zoa Myths" and Vitamin C was one of them,

Though studies have shown vitamin c within coral tissue, we should keep in mind that invertebrates can synthesize their own vitamin c as needed and no evidence exists that would suggest it can be passively absorbed from the water. We suggest a more reliable method of supplementation from the occasional feeding of finely powdered seaweed and/or selcon

Vitamin C and Zoas October 01 2013

Our customers often ask us where we stand on this issue, and we have always responded with an overwhelming word of caution. To briefly summarize for those unfamiliar with the concept, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) bound to a buffering agent (calcium or sodium) is added to the reef aquarium as a supplement for the purpose of promoting zoa health. Proponents have claimed reduced oxidative stress, resulting in enhanced immunity and overall vitality in polyps. The claims, though anecdotal, are not entirely without merit. Buffered ascorbate is a relatively benign substance to reef inhabitants, and further still can become a carbon food source for denitrifying bacteria. Which raises the question and first major criticism, that these anecdotal success stories are simply a result of the polyps reacting to improved water quality. Furthermore, ascorbate as a carbon source is inferior to other proven substances and presents unique challenges in dose calculation. A challenge that I can verify in my own experimentation. However, there is still the purported benefit of antioxidant capacity. Thus far my research has turned up not one study to prove integration of free form vitamin c into the reef organism. I've also yet to find any study regarding endogenous antioxidant levels, and whether zoanthids seek supplementation exogenously. Until a study is unearthed or a new study performed, we advise to err on the side of caution, and rely on scientifically justified means of achieving total polyp nirvana.
Interesting side note, humans, guinea pigs, and a few primates lack L-gulonolactone oxidase, rendering them incapable of producing vitamin C endogenously (internally). The entire rest of the animal kingdom possess this important genetic capability. The USDA recommends an adult 2 lb guinea pig be supplemented with 25 mg per day of vitamin C. The US RDA of the vitamin for adult humans to be 75-90 mg. That's about 1-2 percent of what's recommended for a guinea pig (adjusted for weight). Fortunately, humans have the ability to convert the oxidized form, DHAA, out of the cells and back into vitamin C in times of deficiency. A debate still rages on about how much dietary vitamin C is actually necessary. Curiously, DHAA crosses the blood brain barrier where it converts to vitamin C and performs its restorative magic as it easily crosses cell membranes. Maybe coral would more readily accept DHAA!! Hmm...I wonder if any reef supplements compliment this? Many land vegetables contain ascorbic acid oxidase, and enzyme which rapidly converts AA into DHAA. And though I havent found evidence for it, I suspect nori and spirulina sport this enzyme as well.

Planet Zoa - Vitamin C and Zoas
Thanks for that @Keeganp .
There seems to be a lot of chemical myths out there and i'm wondering if Vitamin C is one of them..hence the thread. Remember the whole Human Growth Hormone hoax from a while back (although i bet some still routinely dose and swear by it).
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No problem bud,

That email was actually the first time I heard about Vitamin C dosing and I was like,
Seriously now... People are dosing Vitamin C :eek:

And today is the second instance I came across Vitamin C.

But if it works for some, Then that's cool?

Maybe you should do some experimenting and let us know. :biggrin:

How would you test your water for it tho?
So you wouldn't be able to know if you're over dosing etc...

And there is no set amount to user per/L
Vitamin c dosing is mentioned more often that i realised. I came across this when looking into other carbon sources. Many people mention it but none give before/after shots, dosing instructions etc. Maybe they think if its good for them it must be good for their tank?

Wont be experimenting with it just yet, have a few other things i want to try first. Seeing as one cant test for vitamin c cheaply at home, youll have to watch how the inhabitants react to it..much like carbon dosing.
I was just curious and googled "Is there Vitamin C in Seawater"

Wikipedia brought this up.

Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a common enzymatic cofactor in mammals used in the synthesis of collagen. Ascorbate is a powerful reducing agent capable of rapidly scavenging a number of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Freshwater teleost fishes also require dietary vitamin C in their diet or they will get scurvy. The most widely recognized symptoms of vitamin C deficiency in fishes are scoliosis, lordosis and dark skin coloration. Freshwater salmonids also show impaired collagen formation, internal/fin hemorrhage, spinal curvature and increased mortality. If these fishes are housed in seawater with algae and phytoplankton, then vitamin supplementation seems to be less important, it is presumed because of the availability of other, more ancient, antioxidants in natural marine environment.[24]

Vitamin C - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(I am however sceptical of info on Wikipedia)
Ive been dosing for a few months and as I said in a previous thread - I have seen an improvement in my zoas. Not necessarily rapid growth but more so the health. I dose 1 - 500mg tablet 3 times a week and its been working. I do know my tank and how my inhabitants(coral/shrimp/fish) react when something is off in my tank by looking it. I personally havent tested for it and I dont think that I will ever test for Vit C. Ill have some before shots of my zoas somewhere and I will take some more over the weekend to show the improvement.
I just had a look at Seachem Vitality ingredients and it has

Ascorbic Acid (minimum) 0.5 mg /g

To add to that twist...
Did seachem add is specifically or is it because it comes from the Spirulina?
Or has it been added as a preservative?
To add to that twist...
Did seachem add is specifically or is it because it comes from the Spirulina?
Or has it been added as a preservative?

Good question.

Vitality™ is a comprehensive vitamin, amino acid, and trace element supplement developed to address nutritional requirements commonly associated with long term closed system housing of marine ornamental fish. Vitality™ contains ascorbic acid in a heavy base of spirulina and chlorella. Ascorbic acid is a cofactor in the hydroxylation of proline and lysine to components of procollagen, the precursor of collagen, necessary for the formation of connective tissues, scar tissue in wound repair, and bone matrix. * Both spirulina and chlorella contain a rich assortment of amino acids and vitamins. Vitality™ can be used on freshwater ornamental fish; however, it is specifically designed for marine fish.
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