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dingodan87
11/12/2016, 09:20 PM
Im interested in documenting bacteria levels within my water column as i am trying to keep alot of "impossible" corals and inverts that are believed to be bacteriovores. From research ive noticed that the areas these creatures thrive in the wild have bacterioplankton levels 4 times the amount of typical reef zone areas so id like to give it an honest attempt to replicate that and see results. Popular methods for counting bacteria populations require microscopes in the 1000 to 50000 dollar range...so...any other methods??

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Joey_bananas420
11/15/2016, 12:15 PM
Not sure how to test for the bacteria but I also have thought about this similar idea. I was thinking of a good way to increase bacterial plankton would be to use a bio pellet reactor but instead of having the output from the reactor plumbed into a skimmer have it return to your display tank. I know you want to pull that mulm out to reduce nitrates but if you have already low nitrates through other means of filtration I believe this would provide lots of coral food while removing the dosing aspect of adding coral food to your system. I'm just not sure how much bacterial plankton corals actually eat or which species or how much. Just an idea. I currently have two outputs on my BP reactor one plumes to skimmer other just dumps into my return pump section of my sump. So far nitrates at steady .02 - undetectable hasn't caused any problems in the 3 months I have been running it this way. So I would also like to hear any other easy testing methods to see if I am increasing bacteria population or not.

Timfish
11/15/2016, 06:47 PM
It's much more complicated than corals just eating bacteria. Feldmann et al, discusses bacteria counts in aquaria here (you'll have to ditch your skimmer):

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2011/3/aafeature

Forest Rohwer's book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" is an excellent introduction to the the coral holobiont, the roles DOC has depending on it's source and relationships between corals, algae and microbes.

dingodan87
11/17/2016, 03:23 PM
It's much more complicated than corals just eating bacteria. Feldmann et al, discusses bacteria counts in aquaria here (you'll have to ditch your skimmer):

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2011/3/aafeature

Forest Rohwer's book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" is an excellent introduction to the the coral holobiont, the roles DOC has depending on it's source and relationships between corals, algae and microbes.
Read that. Seemed that skimming doesnt remove as much as we thought. Im only reluctant to remove skimming because i feed so much food for the nps i get a full skimmer cup daily.

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Timfish
11/17/2016, 06:51 PM
How do you know the stuff in the cup isn't an important part of the nutrient cycle in reef systems? Besides Rohwer's book, Feldman has some good research on carbon in reef tanks and de Goeij has shown cryptic sponges are using DOC and converting it into HCO3 for corals. Here's the links for de Goeij and Feldman, et al, research.

de Goeij's initial research on cryptic sponges:
http://www.rug.nl/research/portal/files/14555035/13completethesis.pdf

Granular Activated Carbon Pt 1
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/1/aafeature1

Granular Activated Carbon Pt 2
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/2/aafeature1

Total Organic Carbon Pt 1
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/8/aafeature3

Total Organic Carbon Pt 2
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/9/aafeature2

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 1
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2009/1/aafeature2

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 2
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/1/aafeature

Skimmate Analysis
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/2/aafeature

Joey_bananas420
11/17/2016, 07:44 PM
Wow thanks for all the links lots of good reading in between jobs at work.

dingodan87
11/18/2016, 02:25 AM
I know skimming removes alot of food but it also removes alot of waste which may or may not be utilized as a food source as fast as it is being produced. My original intent was to go skimmerless with algae turf scrubbing as my main source of filtration. It worked suprisingly well but still wasnt good enough in my opinion. I decided to change my outlook and have my drain plumbed directly to the skimmer and inscrease feedings and carbon dosing to compensate. I have a slow display to sump turnover rate so food stays in the display for a bit longer and gets removed once it leaves...out with the old in with the new.. also before adding the skimmer my detritus buildup in the display was insane

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dingodan87
11/18/2016, 02:29 AM
Part of what fueled my decision to change is that all successful nps reefs i came across either used heavy skimming or large water dilution. I wanted to start feeding more and didnt think my system would handle it

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dingodan87
11/18/2016, 02:50 AM
I did find a test kit for water born bacteria but i dont know it's merit and it's expensive..$175 for 6 tests. Currently i dose vit c and vinegar and have tons of white sponge growth but very little growth on the colorful sponges. With so many methods of carbon dosing itsso hard to know which is best for the purpose of a bacterial food source. I do strongly believe that a key element missing in unsuccessful nps reefs may be bacterioplankton, but how to get the right type and amount is unknown as far as i have read

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Breadman03
11/18/2016, 08:06 AM
I believe that the Dymico filter is something you should look into. There's also a thread on a DIY version here (http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2597877).

dingodan87
11/18/2016, 12:18 PM
Amazing. Wish i found this when i was planning my system this is exactly what i wanted to do with my 30g overhead refugium but couldnt find any methods for "super charging" it like they do here. I think with my apex i could easily convert my refugium in to one of these. Thanks!!

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dingodan87
11/18/2016, 12:36 PM
With one of these i could give the skimmerless attempt another shot i suppose. Will still be handy to have it ready to go for emergency. Better late than never

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huig
11/18/2016, 12:53 PM
You can use yeast as substitute for bacterioplankton. Some public aquariums do this.

SantaMonica
11/18/2016, 08:06 PM
I know skimming removes alot of food but it also removes alot of waste which may or may not be utilized as a food source as fast as it is being produced

Keep in mind that corals on real reefs do not have their food supply separated out for them; they already know what to eat and what not to, within the mix of reef snow that falls on them.

Timfish
11/19/2016, 12:19 PM
. . . Dymico filter is something you should look into . . .

Sorry, I looked at this and am not impressed. It's only looking a a small part of the nitrogen cycle on reefs and in our aquaria. It may work fine for systems that don't have corals but in a reef system it's pretty much irrelevant as corals are already dealing with both organic and inorganic parts of the nitrogen cycle. Part of the coral holobiont is also fixing nitrogen into nitrates for corals. Just to reiterate, Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the microbial seas" is an excellent place to start to get a better understanding of how corals are interacting with microbes to utilize all forms of nitrogen, phosphate and the roles of DOC.

dingodan87
11/19/2016, 03:21 PM
Sorry, I looked at this and am not impressed. It's only looking a a small part of the nitrogen cycle on reefs and in our aquaria. It may work fine for systems that don't have corals but in a reef system it's pretty much irrelevant as corals are already dealing with both organic and inorganic parts of the nitrogen cycle. Part of the coral holobiont is also fixing nitrogen into nitrates for corals. Just to reiterate, Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the microbial seas" is an excellent place to start to get a better understanding of how corals are interacting with microbes to utilize all forms of nitrogen, phosphate and the roles of DOC.
Can you elaborate? What exactly is it you dont like about it? What would you propose is a better alternative? You cant argue that it would be non beneficial to create more micro plankton if these thing do as they say they do. As far as "no water changes" etc id say thats a bit far fetched especially for nps systems. Also attractive but hard to believe some of the species they claim to keep with these filters. Regardless anything i can do to increase microbial life im all for. On that topic looking at my refugium yesterday its thick with plankton life to the naked eye...nervous to replace it with something that may or may not be better.

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Timfish
11/20/2016, 08:44 AM
Can you elaborate? What exactly is it you dont like about it? What would you propose is a better alternative? You cant argue that it would be non beneficial to create more micro plankton if these thing do as they say they do. As far as "no water changes" etc id say thats a bit far fetched especially for nps systems. Also attractive but hard to believe some of the species they claim to keep with these filters. Regardless anything i can do to increase microbial life im all for. On that topic looking at my refugium yesterday its thick with plankton life to the naked eye...nervous to replace it with something that may or may not be better.

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To reiterate I would suggest you get a copy of Dr. Rohwer's book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" as it introduces in a very readable manner how DOCs and not the inorganic forms of nitrogen and phosphate affects the microbial populations either promoting beneficial or pathogenic types and pushes a reef ecosystem to become more or less eutrophic (nutrient enriched). As I understand the DiMyCo website their filter is looking at only the inorganic portion of the nitrogen cycle in the most simplistic circle or form that's been touted for freshwater tanks for decades. It totally ignores what's happening with organic forms of nitrogen like amino acids and urea that are being produced and/or added in food and supplements. It also does not take into account that corals, and algae, are actively scavenging ammonia excreted by fish from their gills for food before it can be broken down into nitrates. Additionally as part of the coral holobiont are cyanobacteria fixing nitrogen gas into nitrates the additional anerobic section doesn't make sense to me. A much better diagram of the nitrogen cycle showing the multiple paths of assimilation and dissimilation, excretion and mineralization can be found on pg 255 of Delbeek and Sprung's "The Reef Aquarium" Vol III.

dingodan87
11/20/2016, 11:11 AM
To reiterate I would suggest you get a copy of Dr. Rohwer's book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" as it introduces in a very readable manner how DOCs and not the inorganic forms of nitrogen and phosphate affects the microbial populations either promoting beneficial or pathogenic types and pushes a reef ecosystem to become more or less eutrophic (nutrient enriched). As I understand the DiMyCo website their filter is looking at only the inorganic portion of the nitrogen cycle in the most simplistic circle or form that's been touted for freshwater tanks for decades. It totally ignores what's happening with organic forms of nitrogen like amino acids and urea that are being produced and/or added in food and supplements. It also does not take into account that corals, and algae, are actively scavenging ammonia excreted by fish from their gills for food before it can be broken down into nitrates. Additionally as part of the coral holobiont are cyanobacteria fixing nitrogen gas into nitrates the additional anerobic section doesn't make sense to me. A much better diagram of the nitrogen cycle showing the multiple paths of assimilation and dissimilation, excretion and mineralization can be found on pg 255 of Delbeek and Sprung's "The Reef Aquarium" Vol III.
Ok maybe ill have to order it to understand better. Given your knowledge how would you plan to achieve a bacteria and plankton enriched environment in a closed system? Keeping in mind that the feedings of phytoplankton and other supplimental food are far beyond a typical reef aquarium

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Timfish
11/20/2016, 01:31 PM
Not having anyway to test the microbial populations in my systems I'll have to take Feldman's research on faith that my systems without skimmers are closer to wild populations than systems with skimmers. From experience I know having nuisance algae problems is not caused by PO4 and nitrate and can be corrected without changing thier levels. The research on DOC and the coral holobiont by many researchers, Rohwer's book is a very good introduction, is the only science I've found that offers an explanation why this is so. And I know from experience my systems without skimmers are more resilient and should outlive me.

dingodan87
11/20/2016, 03:30 PM
When i added my skimmer it solved my detritus issue which is what i wanted it to do.. but i also lost my flame scallop ive had for over a year..not sure if coincidence or not since the death was followed so shortly but its a theory. I turned my skimmer off and set it to kick on if orp falls drastically while continuing to increase carbon dosing (indicating bacteria bloom). Im still considering converting my refugium into a diy dymico, but what im unclear about is exactly what benefits it provides beyond already having a vibrant refugium and carbon dosing. Something to do with dynamically controlling the reactors bacteria efficiency/population at peak levels but more information would be nice

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SantaMonica
11/20/2016, 08:41 PM
You'll find a boat load of studies on these types of things here:

http://Reefbase.org/resource_center/publication/main.aspx

jason2459
11/21/2016, 09:45 AM
Not having anyway to test the microbial populations in my systems I'll have to take Feldman's research on faith that my systems without skimmers are closer to wild populations than systems with skimmers. From experience I know having nuisance algae problems is not caused by PO4 and nitrate and can be corrected without changing thier levels. The research on DOC and the coral holobiont by many researchers, Rohwer's book is a very good introduction, is the only science I've found that offers an explanation why this is so. And I know from experience my systems without skimmers are more resilient and should outlive me.

I still haven't been convinced that a skimmer is anywhere near efficient enough to be detrimental to our tiny closed systems. You do have a great looking tank. A good data point. PaulB also has a great looking very long running tank that has outlasted some with a skimmer on it. Another good data point. Glennf has a great looking tank that's been running a while and does no water changes but uses heavy mechanical filtration and a skimmer. Another good data point.

So many ways to do things in this hobby.

If anything, I did read that book btw and thanks it was great, my skimmer helps with pH and aeration which was one of the major concerns the book covers with our oceans. I'm glad it's not a very efficient mechanical filtration. I feel it's just right for our systems.

dingodan87
11/21/2016, 01:07 PM
With my large ats skimmerless setup i really had no nitrates despite heavy feedings. The ats if sized and maintained properly is very efficient at stablizing ph and removing nitrate (though phosphate will need extra help).. the great advantage adding the skimmer gave me was removal or prevention of heavy detritus. If i continue to give skimmerless another shot ill need to figure out a good way of removing detritus (already have high flow and stir sand bed). Some sort of settling tank? The tests done have me convinced skimming does remove a large amount of bacterioplankton

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jason2459
11/21/2016, 01:09 PM
I don't touch my detritus and let it build up like mud in my sump. It becomes food and home for many organisms. My skimmer doesn't prevent that from happening at all.

dingodan87
11/21/2016, 03:23 PM
You underestimate the amount of detritus i dealt with

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Nano sapiens
11/21/2016, 04:15 PM
If someone does come up with an inexpensive, reliable way to estimate the bacterial count in a reef tank's water column they could have the next reef 'hit' :)

From reading the few articles that deal with this topic (like Ken Feldman's) of interest is not only the mechanical removal of bacteria, but also the intense bacterial predation in the typical reef tank. In order to keep bacteria in higher concentration, it would seem that a simple flow through system with minimal live rock and live sand would be helpful in keeping counts higher (live rock efficiently removes microrganisms primarily via its resident periphyton and live sand via advection into the substrate...which is not so desireable in this case).

Thinking off the top of my head, if the system has reduced flow and is fed continuously with very fine nutrients in suspension to keep the bacteria continuously reproducing in the water column, I would imagine that a 4X (or greater) than normal bacterial concentration would be achievable. Keeping it there could be achieved with regular water changes that are just sufficient to keep the bacteria levels stable (experimentation would be needed to determine the correct water change amount/frequency).

Like Timfish, I don't run skimmers (or any mechanical/chemical filtration) for the same basic reasons and this approach has stood the test of time in many reef tanks (30+ years and three tanks later, in my case). Although it may seem paradoxical, the simplest well-maintained systems tend to be the most robust.

SantaMonica
11/21/2016, 09:05 PM
Also as some may know, algae produce glucose, which is a direct food for microbes/bacteria.

jason2459
11/22/2016, 09:41 AM
photosynthate


Keep in mind we don't have an ocean with the diversity of the food web they can carry. Using the book suggested above they show some study that photosynthate increases DOC which could impact corals with out enough grazers up the food chain. The study showed increased inorganic nutrients did not impact the corals but increased organics did.

A skimmer will not remove inorganics directly but algae like an algae scrubber can. A skimmer will help remove the DOCs. I see the two as a good complement to each other. But as mentioned by others in support for no skimmers and myself skimmers are not that efficient. Which to me is good and leaves plenty for microbes.

djbon
11/25/2016, 09:16 AM
My tank is producing bacteria plankton naturally, and I can see it clearly every morning in a form of hazy and dusty translucent microbs in the water column. I did took a video footage of the event as per attachment.

http://vid1233.photobucket.com/albums/ff398/djbon73/Mobile%20Uploads/WP_20160910_07_29_32_Pro_zpskjttkj3z.mp4

dingodan87
11/27/2016, 01:32 AM
My tank is producing bacteria plankton naturally, and I can see it clearly every morning in a form of hazy and dusty translucent microbs in the water column. I did took a video footage of the event as per attachment.

http://vid1233.photobucket.com/albums/ff398/djbon73/Mobile%20Uploads/WP_20160910_07_29_32_Pro_zpskjttkj3z.mp4
Doing anything special?? Carbon dosing? Feeding? Supplementing?

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djbon
11/27/2016, 07:14 PM
Doing anything special?? Carbon dosing? Feeding? Supplementing?

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Nothing special. I designed and built my own reactor, basically its a bacteria driven reactor to consume NO3 & PO4. The by product after maturity is bacteria plankton, which happens after 5th week of running. Its a bonus for me as I no longer spot feed my LPS and sun coral except occasional gonio powder to feed my clam and goniopora.

dingodan87
11/27/2016, 07:33 PM
Nothing special. I designed and built my own reactor, basically its a bacteria driven reactor to consume NO3 & PO4. The by product after maturity is bacteria plankton, which happens after 5th week of running. Its a bonus for me as I no longer spot feed my LPS and sun coral except occasional gonio powder to feed my clam and goniopora.
Similar to dymico filter? Im thinking of converting my refugium into one

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djbon
11/27/2016, 07:58 PM
Similar to dymico filter? Im thinking of converting my refugium into one

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Not really. I do have a build thread at DIY section.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2587610

SantaMonica
11/27/2016, 11:31 PM
I'm a big fan of having enough food in the water to feed corals without having to spot feed. Especially for sun's and other nps.

djbon
11/28/2016, 05:08 AM
Naturally occuring food for corals is available round the clock. I just had a 2 days plankton bloom. Wish i have mandarin

jason2459
11/28/2016, 11:54 PM
Keep in mind not all bacteria is good bacteria. And even to much of a good thing can be bad.

dingodan87
11/29/2016, 09:44 AM
Keep in mind not all bacteria is good bacteria. And even to much of a good thing can be bad.
Think thats why some people also dose bacteria cultures.. jury still seems to be out on those from what i know

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Joey_bananas420
11/29/2016, 04:49 PM
You underestimate the amount of detritus i dealt with

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Lol if it's piling up like that I suggest more power heads or more strategic placement of the ones you have. If you keep that junk in suspension it will be eatin or removed by other means of filtration. Skimmer efeciently removes it but it also effecoently removes a lot of beneficial things as well. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that maybe I should run my skimmer half as much. Starting to think 24/7 might not be the way to go anymore. But I can't see going skimmerless completely.

dingodan87
11/29/2016, 06:32 PM
Lol if it's piling up like that I suggest more power heads or more strategic placement of the ones you have. If you keep that junk in suspension it will be eatin or removed by other means of filtration. Skimmer efeciently removes it but it also effecoently removes a lot of beneficial things as well. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that maybe I should run my skimmer half as much. Starting to think 24/7 might not be the way to go anymore. But I can't see going skimmerless completely.
Ive messed around with placement alot. the way i have it now is the best i can do but to really get all the dead spots id have to fill my tank with powerheads. I just added a 25g dilution tank. Basically a 25g water storage container that the tank overflows directly to. The input is near the bottom of the resevior and it overflows into my sump. I put a drain with a valve on the bottom. Cone shaped would be ideal but this is what i had to work with. After 1 day i can see tons of detritus settled on the bottom of the resevior. Grab a bucket and open the valve to suck it out. Problem solved. Now planning my diy dymico filter

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Joey_bananas420
11/29/2016, 08:03 PM
Ive messed around with placement alot. the way i have it now is the best i can do but to really get all the dead spots id have to fill my tank with powerheads. I just added a 25g dilution tank. Basically a 25g water storage container that the tank overflows directly to. The input is near the bottom of the resevior and it overflows into my sump. I put a drain with a valve on the bottom. Cone shaped would be ideal but this is what i had to work with. After 1 day i can see tons of detritus settled on the bottom of the resevior. Grab a bucket and open the valve to suck it out. Problem solved. Now planning my diy dymico filter

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Awesome would love to see some pics of your take on the diy Dymico

Joey_bananas420
11/29/2016, 08:07 PM
Also I hear the gyre by maxspect is supposed to do a good job at eliminating all dead spots in the tank. Don't know how true this is I never owned one but I have heard good things from fellow reefers.

jason2459
11/29/2016, 08:21 PM
I've got two gyres(150/250's) and they do a wonderful job. I'm terrible at trying to figure out powerhead placements and the gyres eliminated that problem easily. I have one horizontal at one end 2" from the top at 100%. The other gyre vertical on the opposite side on the back corner alternating 4 times a day with the lunar cycle running at 100%. Then I have a return pointing in the same direction as the horizontal gyre pushing about 1400gph.

dingodan87
11/29/2016, 08:47 PM
I have a gyre and an mp40. I would have gotten 2 gyres had i known theyre awesome but they do have issues communicating with apex sometimes

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djbon
11/29/2016, 09:00 PM
Lol if it's piling up like that I suggest more power heads or more strategic placement of the ones you have. If you keep that junk in suspension it will be eatin or removed by other means of filtration. Skimmer efeciently removes it but it also effecoently removes a lot of beneficial things as well. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that maybe I should run my skimmer half as much. Starting to think 24/7 might not be the way to go anymore. But I can't see going skimmerless completely.

I used to run my skimmer 24/7 but now has been down to 9 hours per day. It runs from midnight till 9am in the morning to aerate the water column.

jason2459
11/29/2016, 11:00 PM
If you want to do the least impact to your micro fauna you'd want to shut it down at night. That's when the life in the tank really begins. I personally don't believe a skimmer to have any kind of meaningful impact to it. Starving a tank would have a greater impact.

If one is really concerned and still wants to run a skimmer supposedly a venturi injection type skimmer has less impact then a needle wheel. I would imagine an airstone type skimmer to be the least impact. I used to run an airstone skimmer and it did well. Currently running a skimmer with a mazzei venturi injector.

dingodan87
12/03/2016, 10:25 AM
Im wondering if running the skimmer just a few hours a day to "purge" the system would be beneficial. As far as harming the bacteria population this comes back to not being able to test for it. Many people say clean water is more important than food for nps corals. That goes beyond just keeping nitrates and phosphates low does it not. What is the defenition of "clean water" its a little vauge

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jason2459
12/03/2016, 08:22 PM
A skimmer will not significantly impact bacterial or planktonic population.

Get a microscope. Easy to check.

dingodan87
12/03/2016, 08:50 PM
A skimmer will not significantly impact bacterial or planktonic population.

Get a microscope. Easy to check.
Studies have shown skimmers can have a massive impact on bacteria in a column of water in just a few hours, though they seem to stop removing it at a certain point suggesting some strains of bacteria are not removed by skimming. Also microscopes are not cheap at least not the ones that are worth using for bacterial count

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dingodan87
12/03/2016, 08:53 PM
My original thought process was that carbon dosing along side skimming would even things out..still dont know if thats true or not

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jason2459
12/03/2016, 09:00 PM
Studies have shown skimmers can have a massive impact on bacteria in a column of water in just a few hours, though they seem to stop removing it at a certain point suggesting some strains of bacteria are not removed by skimming. Also microscopes are not cheap at least not the ones that are worth using for bacterial count

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Most of the bacteria you don't want will be in the water column.

Bacteria will grow faster then the skimmer can remove them. Skimmers are not that efficient.

jason2459
12/03/2016, 09:05 PM
Microscopes that can see bacteria aren't that expensive. Viruses are a different story as they are smaller.

dingodan87
12/03/2016, 09:08 PM
Most of the bacteria you don't want will be in the water column.

Bacteria will grow faster then the skimmer can remove them. Skimmers are not that efficient.
Im no marine biologist but its my personal opinion that high water born bacteria content could be beneficial to many nps coral but specifically sponges and tunicates. Its commonly believed to be a staple of their diet and marine bacteria studies have shown very high levels in places these animals thrive

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dingodan87
12/03/2016, 09:08 PM
Most of the bacteria you don't want will be in the water column.

Bacteria will grow faster then the skimmer can remove them. Skimmers are not that efficient.
What are you basing this off of?

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jason2459
12/03/2016, 09:09 PM
What are you basing this off of?

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Amazon and personal experience

dingodan87
12/03/2016, 09:10 PM
Microscopes that can see bacteria aren't that expensive. Viruses are a different story as they are smaller.
Can you give more detail / examples

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jason2459
12/03/2016, 09:12 PM
Can you give more detail / examples

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http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2567904

dingodan87
12/03/2016, 09:13 PM
Amazon and personal experience
Amazon? What did you experience?

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jason2459
12/03/2016, 09:14 PM
Amazon? What did you experience?

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Link above

dingodan87
12/03/2016, 09:16 PM
Dont mean to come across rude i just need more detail on accounts that are controversial to studies i have read performed by marine biologists. Dont mistake my curiosity for disbelief

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jason2459
12/03/2016, 09:21 PM
Im no marine biologist but its my personal opinion that high water born bacteria content could be beneficial to many nps coral but specifically sponges and tunicates. Its commonly believed to be a staple of their diet and marine bacteria studies have shown very high levels in places these animals thrive

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Well, using the book mentioned earlier high bacterial counts does not indicate a healthy reef in fact just the opposite.

Most heterotrophs will be in the water column. This would include those that are pathogenic to corals and fish and humans.

And again, a skimmer will not significantly reduce their counts. It will help aerate the water with oxygen the bacteria has consumed.

I am a big fan of carbon dosing especially with vinegar even if mixed with vodka like nopox or what many others like TMZ (person on this forum) has been doing for many years before that product came out. I like the acetic acid as it is a direct food source for many organisms like corals and bacteria.

If you want to feed your sponges do water changes and let your DI get near exhaustion as they will love the silica. The saltmix and water will have plenty in it.

jason2459
12/03/2016, 09:31 PM
And to add I highly encourage everyone to get a microscope. They can be useful but more importantly a lot of fun. My kids love the exploration and not just with aquarium water.

bif24701
12/03/2016, 09:57 PM
And to add I highly encourage everyone to get a microscope. They can be useful but more importantly a lot of fun. My kids love the exploration and not just with aquarium water.



Jason, have you taken a look into MicroBactor-7?


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dingodan87
12/03/2016, 10:04 PM
And to add I highly encourage everyone to get a microscope. They can be useful but more importantly a lot of fun. My kids love the exploration and not just with aquarium water.
Any specific types/criterea?

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jason2459
12/03/2016, 10:05 PM
Jason, have you taken a look into MicroBactor-7?


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Yep, just after looking at some pulsing xenia which was fascinating.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=24785930

jason2459
12/03/2016, 10:11 PM
Any specific types/criterea?

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Amscope or Omax on Amazon are decent and budget friendly. Could always look for a used one.

What ever the budget allows really.

This is the setup I got
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BPJJ70I/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I used to have a really basic one not that powerful until it broke. I'm really pleased with that one I got to replace it. Looking at other options for it like phase contrast and eventually a higher resolution camera.

Timfish
12/04/2016, 08:53 AM
A skimmer will not significantly impact bacterial or planktonic population.

Get a microscope. Easy to check.

Quoting from Feldman's research (http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2011/3/aafeature) on bacterial counts in aquaria "Aquaria subjected to active filtration via skimming present water column bacteria populations that are approximately 1/10 of those observed on natural reefs."

You may be seeing a lot in a microscope but when researchers actually quantify what's going on compared to what's found on reefs and in skimmerless systems there's a profound difference. Skimmers are also removing only those bugs that have hydrophobic qualities. Since the mid '80s skimmers have been touted as needed for a reef system but no one actually looked at what they were doing. We now have the science showing skimmers are impacting both the populations and species diversity of the microbes in our aquariums.

As I stated before Rohwer's book and de Geoij's thesis work are just starting points for learning about the roles of microbes and DOC in reef systems. When we look at the types and roles of DOC on reefs and skimmers are most likely removing only labile forms that sponges need to make DIC (Dissolved Inorganic Carbon aka HCO3 aka alkalinity) which is needed by corals to build their skeletons and leaving the refractory forms that are only used by heterotrophic bacteria it seems to me the writing is on the wall as far as skimmers are concerned.

jason2459
12/04/2016, 09:35 AM
I don't believe skimmers are required. I also don't see anything saying they hurt.

The reseach found has shown both data points are valid. So, basically anyone can find something to back up their argument. You state counter points yourself.

And in the end I agree more reseach would be useful.


Heck one advanced aquarist article just recently shows UV is useless against bacteria in our aquariums. If that is not generating enough impact a skimmer certainly won't.

SantaMonica
12/04/2016, 03:26 PM
This may have been linked to before, but just in case...

Advanced Aquarist Feature Article for December 2013: Coral Feeding: An Overview
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2013/12/aafeature


The picture in the article shows that in the 1000 litre test tank:

98% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 2 coral colonies
71% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 40 coral colonies
92% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 2 coral colonies, when skimming is cut in half
55% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 40 coral colonies, when skimming is cut in half


"This trade-off between food availability and water quality can be circumvented by using plankton-saving filtration systems"

"Corals are able to feed on a wide range of particulate organic matter, which includes live organisms and their residues and excrements (detritus)."

"...bacteria [...] can be a major source of nitrogen."

"...when dry fish-feed or phytoplankton cultures are added to an aquarium, a part of this quickly ends up in the collection cup of the skimmer.

"...mechanical filters (which can include biofilters and sand filters) result in a significant waste of food."

"Detritus is a collective term for organic particles that arise from feces, leftover food and decaying organisms. Detrital matter is common on coral reefs and in the aquarium, and slowly settles on the bottom as sediment. This sediment contains bacteria, protozoa, microscopic invertebrates, microalgae and organic material. These sedimentary sources can all serve as coral nutrients when suspended, especially for species growing in turbid waters. Experiments have revealed that many scleractinian corals can ingest and assimilate detritus which is trapped in coral mucus. Although stony corals may ingest detritus *when* it is available, several gorgonians have been found to *primarily* feed on suspended detritus."

"Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important food source for many corals. [...] scleractinian corals take up dissolved glucose from the water. [algae produces glucose] More ecologically relevant, corals can also absorb amino acids and urea from the seawater"

dingodan87
12/04/2016, 04:45 PM
The thing is when it comes to nps the concentration of food and detrital matter in a closed system could be much higher than nature. Skimmerless seems to have hany benefits on regular systems but are those benefits surpased in such a heavily fed system. Could skimming more or less even things out? I havent yet seen a study that focuses on a heavily fed tank.

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