View Full Version : Carbon Source Dosing After Tank Crash

09/30/2010, 08:24 AM
I have been dosing vodka for the better part of 6 months, I had a pretty heavily stocked 46 gallon sps dominated tank. 2 weeks ago my tank semi-crashed due to palyotoxins, when in an attempt to make room for about 20 new sps I ripped off about 100 palys not thinking and they poisoned my tank...I lost 95% of all my full colonies. I say semi crashed because I believe my rockwork and sand made it through partially alive...although alot of the stuff on the rockwork died, I still have sponges and tubeworms alive on the rock work, and in the sand.

So at this point I am re-building, throughout this whole process I've continued my vodka/zeobak combo dosing...because of the crash and the loss of livestock I believe I am getting new tank syndrome....my sand bed has had algae outbreaks for about a week now...a yellow/green crust on the sand bed (not dinos or cyano), my question to the chemistry/carbon dosing guys is, is my vodka/zeobak dosing still beneficial to the tank to get rid of nutrients/re-build my bacteria? I dose 4ml of vodka daily and 2 drops of zeobak every other day. I've seen alot of info on vodka dosing online, but not much on vodka dosing after a tank crash.

Also its probably worth noting that I still do have livestock in the tank that made it through the crash, I have a gbta, 2 clown, a tomini, 4 blue green chromis, and a bunch of hermits....

thanks in advance.

09/30/2010, 08:29 AM
What are your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & phosphate levels?

09/30/2010, 08:41 AM
no ammonia test kit but no gill flapping, livestock in tank is more than happy at this point. p04 was .10 with a hanna prior to crash, p04 test kids are horribly inaccurate so...i'd go with .10 or over nitrate reading 0 a few days ago, nitrite reading 0 a few days ago.

09/30/2010, 08:54 AM
A big concern with any tank crash is ammonia levels increasing from decaying organisms in your tank. Ammonia levels above 0.2 ppm are very toxic in a reef tank which would cause gill damage showing signs with heavy fish breathing. Lower levels of ammonia, say around 0.1 ppm can cause slow poisoning which may not show signs for quite a period of time. I would check your ammonia in your situation to be safe. ;)

It appears your vodka dosing is maintaining your nitrate level which is good. Once your nitrate level drops to zero, you don't have to dose as much vodka. I would continue dosing vodka to maintain nitrate levels.

Your phosphate level is high and should be reduced to below 0.03 ppm. Above this level phosphate can cause problems for coral. I would run GFO to reduce your phosphate level. The GFO will become saturated very quickly at your phosphate level and will need to be changed at least weekly until your level drops below 0.03 ppm. AFter that you may be able to discontiune using the GFO if your phosphate level does not rise. If the phosphate level rises after reduced to zero reading, then you will need to use GFO to maintain the level, perhaps replacing it twice to once per month.

I would run GAC to help remove the toxins produced by your coral, Do regular water changes and continuing to run GAC is a good idea as the coral toxins are always being produced in yoru tank.

09/30/2010, 09:08 AM
yah....the GFO is on order from bulk reef supply now. And my nutrient reduction efforts will continue till they're all reading 0....

my concern is dosing the vodka/zeobak without any bacteria to absorb it...after the crash the water was super cloudy to the point that I couldn't see anything in the tank, I'm assuming that that is the bacteria in the water dieing....so will the vodka dosing poison my tank/livestock slowly by not being absorbed...that is my biggest concern.

I'm trying to avoid a cycle (dont want to remove my fish livestock) on this tank but i think its failing....I've removed any dead livestock...all the dead corals, all of the dead snail/crabs...taken out about 1/2 of the sand bed and cleaned it up to this point to remove the dead organism-tube worms etc from the tank...I removed the rock that had the palys on them in the first place, removed a large sponge that had encrusted a rock...so any type of large nitrate producing decaying matter has been removed...been doing water changed about every 3 days for the past 2 weeks, but I feel like the new water may be introducing p04 into the tank. I had to switch to IO reef crystals salt during the crash because unfortunately my LFS was not open that day and I ran out of the salt i was using, the only store that was open had the IO...any idea if the reef crystals is known for introducing p04?

09/30/2010, 09:18 AM
I wouldn't worry about the bacteria surviving your tank crash. They will survive and with no problems. Bacteria are the ultimate competitors. ;)

As far as using Reef Crystals instead of regualr IO, the major difference is the vitamins added, which are carbon sources like your vodka. I don't believe enough vitamins are added to cause problems since so many hobbists use the RC while dosing vodka without problems. However my preference is IO over RC since I don't like having unknown organics added to my tank.:)

09/30/2010, 09:37 AM
anyone else have any p04 issues with the reef crystals?

Thanks for the advice/help cliff...it is appreciated.

09/30/2010, 03:37 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your problems!

I agree that the vodka dosing is unlikely to cause any problems. I'd concentrate on doing some water changes and running a lot of carbon, to remove whatever might be left of the palytoxins and other remnants of the die-off.

10/04/2010, 10:42 AM
yah john thats what I did...its been about 2 weeks, i'm still running about twice the amount of carbon as i normally do....did 100% water change in 5-10 gallon increments...

Tank looks ready to put my leftover livestock back in...just concerned about the p04 still.

10/04/2010, 03:07 PM
Okay, sounds like you did the right things. :)