PDA

View Full Version : Adverse effects of carbon dosing without a skimmer


niqiri
11/05/2010, 11:35 AM
I have two quarantine tanks that I have been attempting to cycle with raw shrimp. I have only used dry rock so naturally it has taken forever to see progress. Last night, on a whim I decided to add a small amount of sugar to the invertebrate qt and lo and behold, this morning ammonia was zero. Now I realize that normally people carbon dose AND skim their tanks, but I was wondering if I will experience any adverse effects if I do not skim my tank, besides mildly cloudy water. I was thinking that the bacteria might consume the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate but would then just die off from a lack of food and release it all back into the water column. Thoughts? Thanks.

Stuart60611
11/05/2010, 11:54 AM
I have two quarantine tanks that I have been attempting to cycle with raw shrimp. I have only used dry rock so naturally it has taken forever to see progress. Last night, on a whim I decided to add a small amount of sugar to the invertebrate qt and lo and behold, this morning ammonia was zero. Now I realize that normally people carbon dose AND skim their tanks, but I was wondering if I will experience any adverse effects if I do not skim my tank, besides mildly cloudy water. I was thinking that the bacteria might consume the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate but would then just die off from a lack of food and release it all back into the water column. Thoughts? Thanks.


You understand things correctly. Provided you add no additional sugar, the bacteria will die off and release the nutrients the bacteria consume back into the system. As such, without a skimmer, carbon dosing in the end does not work to reduce nutrients b/c the skimmer is the only way to export the bacteria and all the nutrients they consume. Now, what you could do is a large water change and probably export quite a bit of bacteria and the nutrients bound up in the bacteria. The other risk is without a skimmer you could suffocate livestock because the bacteria consume a lot of oxygen. As such, it also would not be a bad idea to put an airstone in the system or at least point a powerhead toward the surface to increase oxygen. I would be very concerned about potential suffocation in a small quarantine tank without a lot of low, nor filtration.

niqiri
11/07/2010, 11:42 AM
Any other thoughts?

reefgeezer
11/07/2010, 11:56 AM
The procedure is not advisable for the reasons mentioned above. Remember that anytime a nutrient is bound by algae, plants, bacteria, etc. it is still in the tank and will be returned unless the binding agent is physically removed.

In addition, by binding the ammonia before the denitifying bacteria break it down to nitrite, the denitrifying bacteria responsible for processing nitrites may not be cultured in a great enough population to support the animals when you put the in the QT. Patience.