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View Full Version : Vodka dosing and me!


Duc1098
06/06/2012, 08:02 PM
Hi all,

So over the last 2-3 months I have had an increase in cyanobacteria. I have read a lot that the cyano is fueled by nutrients in the water. I have tested my parameters and have always come back with 0's for nitrates, nitrites and phosphates but I am learning that the cyano could be masking my results by depleting it before it has a chance to show up on and test. I was wondering if anyone has had similar experiences and if vodka dosing would work for me. I am also looking at improving the colors of my SPS corals as well.

On a side note, knowing that I need good skimming in order to do vodka dosing in the first place, I have a ASM G4X skimmer with the Sedra 15000 pump that I think should be enough. However, currently it takes about 3-4 weeks to fill the cup which I am thinking is a bit to long. Does this infact seem like a long time? I just adjusted the water level in the cup to see if that will help. Thanks for the advice in advance!

tmz
06/06/2012, 08:44 PM
I use two 4xx skimmers with 1500s on the 600 gallon system. Funky skimate about 3/4 cup needs to be dumped every 3 to 4 days from each.. Been dosing vodka and vinegar at 26 ml vokda and 64 ml vinegar per day for 3.5 years. Don't know about direct color results for sps . Mine were colorful before and certainly haven't lost any. I suspect the food web is richer with the extra bacteria, though. I have no cyano. PO4 at ,.04 and NO3 at abour .2ppm. Heavy feeding for over 40 fish.

Randy Holmes-Farley
06/07/2012, 06:02 AM
Vodka or vinegar might be a fine plan, but generally I'd try to go after cyano by exporting more phosphate, and GFO is a good way to do that. The problem is that it is possible for cyano to consume the added organics, potentially making that problem worse.

tmz
06/07/2012, 09:29 AM
Cyano showed up early in the process but hasn't been around for a long time ,; very little ,maybe a few quarter sized patches.I can recall over the past couple of years. The vodka/vinegar keeps PO4 in th sub .07 range( per hanah 713) in my tank and gfo takes it down the rest of the way with only a monthly change. The main reason I started organic carbon dosing was for nitrate which holds now at right around 0.2ppm.

If phosphate reduction is the goal , gfo is a more direct approach with less potential for unwanted reactions.

GeorgeMonnatJr
06/07/2012, 09:55 AM
Tom, what is your vinegar-equivalent dosage in ml / gallon? Randy posted his limit is about 2 ml / gallon, and I'm having cyano problems at about 0.6 ml / gallon.

Randy Holmes-Farley
06/07/2012, 10:05 AM
FWIW, I'm presently happy dosing about 0.5 mL vinegar per total system gallon. :)

tmz
06/07/2012, 11:14 AM
26 ml of vodka and 64 ml of vinegar per day for 600gallons. That would equal 272 of vinegar or 0.45ml per gallon. I can go 10 or 20 % higher but more than that gets visable stringy bacteria in places I don't want them to be. Tanks are different though in many ways. Nutreint inputs, surface areas, gac use, gfo use, refguia, bioload and so on so it's difficult to extrapolate an optimal level for your tank

Duc1098
06/07/2012, 11:36 AM
So basically what I am gathering is I should not be dosing an organic carbon source to minimize nutrients to rid my tank of cyano??? I have read that the organic carbon will "attract" the nutrients and needs to be taken out via skimming. If it is not taken out by skimming or water changes it stands more of a chance to be taken up by cyano, right? I must say that my water change regime is less then stellar so I figure I should start there and get on a more structured scheduled. I think I will start with a 25% wc and move to a weekly 10% wc after that until i see signs of decreasing cyano. Up until now I have always used my N's/P test to set wc criteria and have added Kent Marine trace elements and Coral-vite in between changes. The problem with this approach is that my N's/P have always read 0.0 with seachem test kits. I am coming to find out that this may not be a good approach.

StacieRocks
06/07/2012, 12:30 PM
i had cyano and tried lights out for 3 days. after that the cyano came back. i sucked it up with a hose, moved my powerheads around to get better flow throughout the tank and have not had any cyano for over 2 weeks now.

Randy Holmes-Farley
06/07/2012, 12:46 PM
So basically what I am gathering is I should not be dosing an organic carbon source to minimize nutrients to rid my tank of cyano??? I have read that the organic carbon will "attract" the nutrients and needs to be taken out via skimming. If it is not taken out by skimming or water changes it stands more of a chance to be taken up by cyano, right? I must say that my water change regime is less then stellar so I figure I should start there and get on a more structured scheduled. I think I will start with a 25% wc and move to a weekly 10% wc after that until i see signs of decreasing cyano. Up until now I have always used my N's/P test to set wc criteria and have added Kent Marine trace elements and Coral-vite in between changes. The problem with this approach is that my N's/P have always read 0.0 with seachem test kits. I am coming to find out that this may not be a good approach.

Cyanobacteria is a type of bacteria, and it may consume the organic that you add just like the other bacteria that you hope will consume the organics and be skimmed out. So there is the potential to spur cyano with organic carbon dosing.

So it is not clear that organic carbon dosing is the best way to deal with cyano, IMO. :)

bhuddafunk
06/07/2012, 01:17 PM
About 7 months ago I dosed Hydrogen Peroxide for about 7 days with a 5 day blackout on my tank and it cleared up my cyano (which hasn't returned yet), upon completing the blackout and dosing I immediately started running a phosban reactor. I believe I dosed about 1 ml per 10 gallons which was about 7ml a day in my case. There were no noticeable side effects to the corals or fish.

Decadence
06/07/2012, 01:46 PM
I dose 1ml a day in a 20 long with about 10 gallons of water in a 15 gallon sump. I used to have a pretty bad cyano problem which was definitely being fueled by my vodka dosing so I stepped down my vodka and added chaeto to my sump with 24 hour lighting for a few weeks. When I upped my vodka again after ridding the tank of cyano, the chaeto started to die off. I dose 0.5ml at noon and 0.5ml at 8pm. I have 19 species of SPS and great polyp extension. Even when I couldn't detect any phosphate or nitrate, the cyano was still growing very slowly, it was just a very weak, string, bland-colored red cyano.

tmz
06/07/2012, 02:02 PM
Most cyano bacteria is photosynthetic and produces much of it's own organics. The bacteria that perform dentirification and take up some PO4 in the process are non photosynthetic relying on external sources of organics. So dosing organics helps these bacteria . Nonetheless, cyano may still be advantaged by extra organics. Cyano can't make phosphate so reducing it is a primary target for control.Dosing helps reduce it as the bacteria use it and nitrate Gfo directly targets inorganic phosphate removal. Many including me use both.

Duc1098
06/07/2012, 08:03 PM
Bhuddafunk, wouldn't Hydrogen Peroxide kill the good bacteria as well?

So I unplugged the light tonight and going to try a 3-4 day blockout with a 25% wc this weekend. If anything it will help the good bacteria since it reproduces better without light. We'll see how it goes.

Buzz1329
06/07/2012, 08:45 PM
You can take a horse to the water
but you can't make him drink
Oh no, oh no, oh no

bertoni
06/07/2012, 10:28 PM
We don't know what peroxide might kill. If enough of it is dosed, it'll certainly kill bacteria, but in the smaller doses, it might be reacting primarily with organics in the water column, for example.

Duc1098
07/13/2012, 08:06 AM
So I did 4 days without lights with very little effect and I am coming to the conclusion that it may not be cyano that I am dealing with. Everything that I have read was that it comes of easily with a turkey baster or siphoning which this does not. I started vodka dosing and am about to finish up my 3rd week and I am currently dosing 3.5ml/day. So far I have gotten pretty good results as far as the coral is concerned with no effects on what I thought may be cyano. The colors do appear to be better on most of the corals with the exception of my Pokerstars Monti and my Purple/Green ORA Acro. On the monti I have great polyp extension but what is supposed to be blue skin is more brown with a couple of areas having great blue coloration. This monti is a coral that I have typically never had issues with. The Acro has great purple coloration at the tips but absolutely no green on the older growth and the polyps appear to be white, which they are supposed to be green. I have since moved the Acro from the top of the tank to about the middle of the tank to see how it responds. Any thoughts?

bertoni
07/13/2012, 08:10 AM
I guess I would keep with the dosing for a while to see what it might do with a bit longer run. I'm not sure why the pest isn't going away, but I don't know what it is, either. Some GFO might be a reasonable idea to try at some point.

Duc1098
07/13/2012, 08:23 AM
I gonna need to look into this GFO a little bit more. I have briefly read on it in the past but never bothered to look into further. I am currently running a nu-clear carbon canister with seven pounds of carbon and I mix two different types of carbon. Most of it is just activated carbon and I add 32oz of the Magnavore PURA complete that I change out every 6-months.