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View Full Version : Down sides of carbon dosing-SPS only tanks


ReefCowboy
06/24/2017, 09:51 PM
I get it carbon dosing can take too much no3-po4 from the water. If we reduce the dosing amount and keep it low but sufficient for color and stable, are there any other downfalls to carbon dosing?

Ive looked into a more natural way such as growing algae in a reactor, but it is just another big piece of equipment to manage, and finding the amount of algae(size of the reactor) to keep the nutrients low based on each tanks bioload is tricky IMO.

Any help would be appreciated

ClownNut
06/24/2017, 10:45 PM
personal i don't see much downside. it cost a little to run if you keep 0 0 for PO4 and no3. but you got that money back in form of less time spent cleaning your tank and less water change. also it takes sometime to dial it in.it keeps my tank extremely clean. I do does AF ABEV so i dont have any issues with pale corals.
refugium works if you have enough of growing surface same goes for algae reactor. and as you mention, it's a hard to judge how big you needed. plus the algae reactor, the cost to buy a good quality unit along with the work you need to keep the reactor running.
every method have its drawback, i think the carbon dosing for me is the less of all "evil".

ReefCowboy
06/25/2017, 09:06 AM
Agreed, what I wonder with reactors is, lets say you are on a schedule with loarge bioload feeding heavy. The chaeto is packing the reactor, so you remove 75% of it leaving a small patch of algae in there to grow back. For a few days until that algae grows back to what it was, the nitrate levels should rise as bioload works on the clock.

In my experience carbon can be dialed in to manage exactly how much nitrate will be present for acceptable levels for proper sps coloring. Algae would be hard to manage accurately.
I just dont know if there are other benefits of the so called "natural" filtration vs adding carbon.
Dosing however can be a PIA, and Im not sure how some here do it with a doser?

ClownNut
06/25/2017, 01:03 PM
believe it or not i have extremely good luck with BM doser. it's right on the dot for me.

jda
06/26/2017, 11:23 AM
Real live rock from the pacific is a very natural way to keep NO3 at near-zero levels. You can still have some issues with PO4 if you don't change enough water, but then you can handle this with just GFO which is not as dangerous since it cannot take anything to zero.

I have had SPS tanks for more than a decade and there is nothing wrong with LN tanks... ULN can be a problem, so take it easy and don't let the bacteria that you are growing strip the N and P too much. ...so no downside as long as you manage it well.

makers marc
07/01/2017, 05:52 PM
I can tell you a big downside. At some point you will dose a little more than you should and it will cause a bacteria bloom. Even if you have a huge skimmer and good flow, sometimes alot of white slime/bacteria will start growing on rocks or spread on surfaces.

This can be minimized if you have a large volume sump and you dose upstream, where the blooms can stay contained on sump filtration and rock.

biecacka
07/04/2017, 09:09 PM
I currently have some white slime in my sump. A few strands in my tank, so I'm going to cut my dose back a little. My n03 holds steady around 5-10. But I'd like to feed a little more for my fish, so I'm also co templating keeping my dose where it's at, and just feeding more. I just don't want anymore slime.

Corey

Paul n
07/10/2017, 01:13 PM
One thing a lot of people overlook with carbon dosing is that carbon comes in many forms. Most of us associate carbon dosing with things live vodka or sugar but household dust and pollen in the air are also carbon sources. Tanks aren't airtight for obvious reasons so these unwanted carbon sources invariably get in to your tank. When I was running my reef it was the time when the Triton method was just coming to the UK. I spoke to Easher? (If I recall correctly) about this and he confirmed it to be true, I personally believe that if you live in high pollen areas and you carbon dose you should reduce your dosing to accommodate during the summer months. You'll know if you're dosing too much by way of a carbon bloom on your glass

outssider
07/10/2017, 05:11 PM
One thing a lot of people overlook with carbon dosing is that carbon comes in many forms. Most of us associate carbon dosing with things live vodka or sugar but household dust and pollen in the air are also carbon sources. Tanks aren't airtight for obvious reasons so these unwanted carbon sources invariably get in to your tank. When I was running my reef it was the time when the Triton method was just coming to the UK. I spoke to Easher? (If I recall correctly) about this and he confirmed it to be true, I personally believe that if you live in high pollen areas and you carbon dose you should reduce your dosing to accommodate during the summer months. You'll know if you're dosing too much by way of a carbon bloom on your glass

I always thought dust was just fine dirt ??

I believe, in your last sentence, you mean bacterial bloom ??

Paul n
07/11/2017, 12:58 AM
Yes a carbon bloom is a bacterial bloom caused by an overdosing of a carbon source. Dust is made up of many different compounds, dead skin, food particles, pet skin/fur...you name it it goes in dust or dirt. I think the most important part from my statement above is the fact they are carbon sources which in the worst case scenario can crash your tank and a lot of people aren't aware of it.

JohnnyHildo
07/12/2017, 11:41 PM
i dosed aquaforest np pro and probio S for a while and the only issue i had with it is it worked a little too good and brought my nitrates down to completely undetectable which is not a good thing. i no longer carbon dose and just use gfo, skimming and reasonable feeding as my nutrient management scheme.

C.Eymann
07/13/2017, 05:11 AM
Real live rock from the pacific is a very natural way to keep NO3 at near-zero levels. You can still have some issues with PO4 if you don't change enough water, but then you can handle this with just GFO which is not as dangerous since it cannot take anything to zero.

I have had SPS tanks for more than a decade and there is nothing wrong with LN tanks... ULN can be a problem, so take it easy and don't let the bacteria that you are growing strip the N and P too much. ...so no downside as long as you manage it well.

+1, I know it's not super sustainable, but real live rock vs man made will have deep hypoxic zones in the pore structure that aid in denitrification. One of my BB SPS tanks used nothing but good real live rock and never had an NO3 problem. Last one I set up was a mix of both and I used a lot of non-porus Tonga branch and man made rock, so I had to start dosing vinegar through my Kalk reactor.

reefmutt
07/22/2017, 12:05 PM
my current tank had run high in nutrients since last october when i removed a dsb and cheato that wasn't growing. 40-50ppm n, .15-.2 ppm p.
6 weeks ago, i re introduced a cheato ball in a lit sump - not a reactor.
yesterday's check had n below 1 and p marginally lower at .13
this is after introducing (before christmas 2016) 5L AF Life biofil, 8L siporax and 12L. seachem matrix to absolutely no n reduction..
I have harvested the cheato 3 times with no nutrient spikes.. i think the key is keeping a critical mass of cheato when harvesting..
i believe that even if you have plenty of porous material to grow bacteria, it still needs some carbon to really be effective.. maybe copious feeding will be enough of a carbon input but i didn't see it in my system..
Personally, i don't see a down side to low carbon dosing.. carbon is constantly available in the ocean so the corals should be used to it..maybe even require it..
on a doser, carbon dosing can be very easy as long as weekly testing is followed..
but cheato is pretty easy as well..... however with n so low and p not as low, i have begun adding some cano3 to bump n and reduce p..
people will claim that cheato will absorb certain elements that the corals would require but i have not seen this to be an issue in all of years of using algae as a nutrient reducer. i do dose elements, however..
i guess either method can be very effective.
i have tried carbon dosing and can confirm that using too much can have serious consequences.. rtn, stn, pale unhappy corals..
But I would say low dosing is a very good option with few downsides...

2una
07/22/2017, 03:25 PM
this is after introducing (before christmas 2016) 5L AF Life biofil, 8L siporax and 12L. seachem matrix to absolutely no n reduction..


I feel that pain, i'm there also scratching my head what next

jda
07/23/2017, 09:27 AM
Chaeto needs to be pruned and water needs to be changed or iron added or it will stop growing. A pruned ball of chaeto will ususally take off more than the dense one just before it was pulled apart.

Nitrate should be no issue with tank that use aragonite sand. It should get enough anoxic zones in time to hand the N quite easily. Bare bottom can be harder. New tanks or new sand can be harder. This just leaves P that can be handled with water changes if they are done regularly and from the beginning (too often people see near-zero P and don't do water changes and let it bind up in the rocks unknowingly). Chaeto can also keep the P down if done well. GFO Is safer than organic carbon since it can only bind to equilibrium with the tankwater and will always leave some.

00101
07/30/2017, 11:02 PM
Yes a carbon bloom is a bacterial bloom caused by an overdosing of a carbon source. Dust is made up of many different compounds, dead skin, food particles, pet skin/fur...you name it it goes in dust or dirt. I think the most important part from my statement above is the fact they are carbon sources which in the worst case scenario can crash your tank and a lot of people aren't aware of it.

If your tank is on such a fine tight rope that a little more dust in the air can crash it, you should really be reconsidering your approach.