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Old 01/12/2018, 05:06 PM   #79
Belgian Anthias
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Belgium
Posts: 595

When one messes with nature assuming nothing can go wrong one may expect disaster.
It is good to know what is happening while manipulating nature to prevent something may go wrong and what to do when it expectedly or unexpectedly goes wrong. That is why we do research. To know how nature works to be able NOT to mess with it but use nature into our favour.

Before adding supplemental organic carbon to a live support system some questions needed answers.

During carbohydrate dosing:
What happens to the carrying capacity of the system?
What happens to the established biological balance ?
What happens to the nitrification and denitrification capacity installed in the system?
What changes within live rock during carbohydrate dosing? In DSB and other biofilters?

And most important:
What may happen to an aquarium system in which the nitrate level is kept in balance using carbohydrates when for some reason dosing is stopped or interrupted?

Are the imposed changes of no significance? Can the changes have consequences? Can they create a dangerous situation or even be disastrous?

Are the taken risks accountable for the results

How much carbohydrates must be used to lower the nitrate level?
A simple question when all parameters are taken into account. How to determine the parameters needed?

We where able to answer all the above questions with the exception of the last one.

We know that keeping on a high C:N ratio will shift the carrying capacity to heterotropic ammonia reduction.
When organic carbon doses are based on the nitrate level one has no control over the C:N ratio and in a situation where the shift is completed the carrying capacity of the system will become dependable of the carbohydrate supplements. For me such situation is a threat for the continuity of the system and is best avoided ?

My conclusion:

As the C:N ratio in the aquarium is not controlled by the way dosing is done for the moment, carbohydrate dosing is not without risk.

Compared with the possible influence of the nitrate level on the system, the influence on the system by recycling some of this nitrate by carbon dosing is huge and may create a most undesirable situation.
Is it worth the drastic changes induced by carbohydrate supplements to the installed biological balance and carrying capacity of the system just for reducing some nitrate?

Belgian Anthias

Current Tank Info: BBS: BADES Biofilm System. An aqua-system in wich the nitrogen cycle is closed by removing the daily nitrate production daily, every day, by incorporation of BADES (Biological Anaerobe Denitrification using Elemental Sulphur.)
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