View Full Version : Two carbon sources.. is it ok?

09/17/2017, 03:14 PM
Just wondering if someone could give an explanation for this..?

I have pellets in a reactor turning over in my sump and I have lots of Gha..which doesn't seem to be clearing..

I was advised to use nopox also concurrently with the pellets.. ive also heard this is a no no..

Could someone clarify if it's ok to use two carbon sources along side each other, and if not why.. what does two lots of carbon do when working together?

Thanks for your input..

09/17/2017, 03:25 PM
I would imagine you don't want to strip your tank off nutrients too fast, might shock your tank. Why do you want to use 2 carbon source? Are you just trying to get rid of the problem over night? Reef tank is all about stability, anything changes should be gradual.. stability = happy tank

09/17/2017, 04:08 PM
2 carbon sources can be used just fine..
Some mix vinegar + vodka + sugar even
Nopox is thought to be 2 also... ethanol and acetic acid
one goes through more steps to breakdown so there is some believe that it might work better with some bacterial strains vs the other I believe or something like that..

I personally found biopellets to be much harder to get working properly (consistent flow rate seemed to be difficult to achieve/maintain) and it took months when I tried to even see any benefit at all..
Liquid carbon dosing was just much easier and faster working for me in the past..

I personally would just say ditch the biopellets and dose vinegar.

But yes its not magic and not an overnight cure either and may not work well if you are phosphate limited,etc...

09/17/2017, 10:29 PM
Mixing two carbon sources is fine as long as the system can handle the total dose. Since there's still hair algae growing, your tank probably will tolerate some NoPOx. The tank might just need a bit more time, though. How long has the pellet reactor been running?

09/17/2017, 11:56 PM
Thanks for the responses so far..

I have bacto pellets by TM which have been running about 2 months; I'm yet to see any effectiveness since adding them.
I was adding 10 ml of nopox up until last week, my nitrate was 12 (which would be considerably higher if there was no algae.)

I only have 3 frags at present which have suffered some issue that I'm just starting to bottom out.
In terms off stripping things too fast, it would be of no real consequence if these corals didn't make it, most look terrible.

I wanted to out compete the Gha, I've just put a Sea hard in to aid the removal, my main objective is to see the nutrients in the water without seeing the Gha..

09/18/2017, 03:36 AM
I run bio pellets, some vinegar mixed in kalkwasser and aqua forest products to try and lower my nitrates. Nothing has succeeded yet.

09/18/2017, 03:38 PM
I'm not sure what a sea hard is, but the NOPOx probably is fine. The pellets might take longer to do much, although I'm not sure why. A number of people have reported that they take a while to have an effect. Given that the corals are doing poorly, I'd keep up with the NOPOx.

09/18/2017, 03:44 PM
I assumed "Sea Hare"

09/18/2017, 05:32 PM
Ah, good guess! :)

09/19/2017, 02:25 PM
Yes sea hare, I got one on Sunday,

it's not really interested in my algea at the moment not sure how effective these are..

I ran bio pearls some time back and they seem to work pretty quick.. once hey took hold the Gha went in no time at all.

I was wondering if one carbon source was cancelling the other one out..?
These have took a lot longer and as said above I'm not seeing anything right now which says hey are working.

09/19/2017, 03:43 PM
I was doing carbon dosing and basically got stuck at 10 and it stayed their until I started feeding more..
Not sure if being phosphate limited (I read 0 phosphate) was the problem..
Some have had good luck reducing nitrates again after they started dosing some phosphates..

09/19/2017, 05:06 PM
The carbon sources won't cancel each other. They will feed slightly different bacterial populations, most likely, but the end result will be about the same for a given amount of organic carbon consumed.

09/24/2017, 02:45 PM
I’ve got a fair amount of Gha which I pick by hand, it usually takes a month to regrow.

One thing I was trying to understand was the effect it was having in terms of free nutrient in the water ( the stuff which we can test for) and the nutrient which are being banked (unknowing to us) by the Gha on a daily basis.
If it takes a month to regrow then the two carbon sources which are being used are not outcompeting it as a whole, I kind of get that..

I will state that though; whilst I’m saying they aren’t outcompeting it, I’m getting a lot of loose die off and fine algae matter floating about.

There are filter wool strips on my powerheads which collect the algae as the water is pushed through, so I know something is happening as far as its dying off goes.

nitrate is 4ppm and po4is 0.03mg/ l or 0.092 mg/l po3-4 so relatively low..

I’m finding that on some days, an orange tinge colour to the top of my sand, it’s not detectable by camera but I can definitely see the discolouration.

Am I going to hard and causing a cyano/ Dino problem..?

Do I need to reduce dosage..? I’m in fear of crashing it too low.. but at the same time feeding the tank and loosing the reign on my Gha fight.


09/24/2017, 11:26 PM
Given that the nitrate has dropped from 12 to 4 ppm, I'd personally considering backing off on the dosing a bit, maybe 25%, and see what happens. Generally, going slowly should be fine at this point, and will lower the risk of troubles.

09/24/2017, 11:58 PM
Thank you Jonathan I’ll shallow off on the nopox for a week or two.

09/25/2017, 03:05 PM
You're welcome. Good luck!

09/26/2017, 01:01 PM
Had a change of circumstances here since posting above about cooling the nopox off.

I’m getting continued Gha die off, but since sloping the nopox off, I’m now seeing a orange tinge to my sand.

Any reason wh this would happen..

Ps I recently changed 250 of 350 litres (tank water) and replaced it with nsw...I first noticed it since then..

09/26/2017, 02:46 PM
Okay, I would guess that the GHA is not taking up enough nutrients to keep the microbe bloom at bay. I'd consider moving the NOPOx back up to its previous level, and then increase it very slowly (maybe 25% per week) to see whether that can keep microbes under control. You might just be seeing a transitional phase (hopefully), though. You could stop feeding for a few days, as well. The animals all will be fine.