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Old 02/23/2010, 01:25 PM   #1
gkarakas
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The role of Vitamin C on coral growth

Dear Randy,
I found the following article which explains the effect of vitamin C on the cell-cell adhesion for xenia and the formation of skeletal organic matrix for montipora digiatata. It might be the explanation for the cure of Vitamin C for zoanthus species. I will be glad if you share your opinion.
link to the article
Thanks


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Old 02/23/2010, 02:42 PM   #2
HighlandReefer
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The article does offer information as to how ascorbic acid functions inside a coral. There is no doubt that coral need some ascorbic acid to survive. If my memory serves me correct, coral are capable of producing their own ascorbic acid. My question regarding adding ascorbic acid into the tank water is if it is actually necessary or perhaps overkill (meaning too much carbon source potential)?

Perhaps the ascorbic acid added is more beneficial as a carbon source and this is the reason why improvements are seen in some coral?


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Old 02/23/2010, 03:17 PM   #3
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Since coral synthesize their own ascorbic acid, is it possible for an intact ascorbic acid molecule to enter through the coral (meaning an entire coral organism) exterior membranes (from the water column) into the tissue areas where it is needed? The article is simply refering to an in vitro culturing system for coral cells and not a complete coral.


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Old 02/23/2010, 04:28 PM   #4
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Yes, that could be an important effect. Folks have made claims about the collagen related properties of vitamin C based on such studies. I agree that it shows that some corals can make some use of supplemental vitamin C, and that the effect may be positive and may extend to a reef tank.

But note that they did not test it in a reef tank environment with other foods and such available, and did not compare it to any other carbon additions (which is unlikely to cause the same effect, but there's no evidence I've seen one way or the other).

In any case, it is a fine thing to experiment with, at least for some folks. I'd be a bit wary of using it in a system with ORP-controlled ozone dues to its effects on ORP.

Pufferpunk makes some comments here on its utility:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...48&postcount=9


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Old 02/24/2010, 08:11 AM   #5
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The article reports the effect of extracellular vitamin C. I am sure their test culture produces vitamin c in control exeriment. What they observed is the effect of vitamin C dosed externally with 0.05 g VC/liter every other day.


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Old 02/24/2010, 08:29 AM   #6
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I assume the coral get their vitamine C from their symbiotic algae (correct me if I am wrong). This vit. C would somehow be transported to the areas it is needed for the processes described in the paper. I assume the tissues used in this experiment contain the tissues which need the vit. C for the described processes. Perhaps I am off base here?


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Old 02/24/2010, 08:41 AM   #7
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It is my understanding that algae are used commonly, to mass produce vit. C since they are so effective at producing it (much better than other methods)?


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Old 02/24/2010, 09:55 AM   #8
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I did read one article which I can't find, where they wanted to experiment with vit. C on bleached coral where the symbiotic algae had been expelled. One line of reason was to actually inject the vitamin C into the coral tissues to see if the coral could recuperate. This was a discussion & I have not seen any results from trying this. I see some possibilities with trying this method if the coral has bleached, especially enlight of the above article information.


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Old 02/24/2010, 10:41 AM   #9
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Perhaps my above statements are not clear. This diagram below depicts a simplified coral. If I am correct the vit. C needs to work its way from the water column into the skeletal base (base plate: at the bottom of the diagram) of the coral where the processes are occurring described in the article noted above. If I am correct, the symbiotic algae produce the vit. C and when they die, the coral absorb it into the surrounding tissues where it works its way to the skeletal base. My question is can an intact vit. C molecule go through the outer epidermal cell linings or the gut cell linings and enter into the areas where it can be transported. If this can occur, then adding vit. C to the water column could be beneficial. If not then I see it as having no potential value for the above processes. I believe the mesoglea contains the symbiotic algae.




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Old 02/24/2010, 01:00 PM   #10
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Thanks for questioning this isssue. I could not see the diagram. Clearly the effect of vitamin C on zoanthus species need more evidence while many of us do not observe any effect of vitamin C directly on sps growth rate and coloration except fortifying denitrification bacteria.
What is the similarity between the xenia and zoanthus species regarding the collagens and cell to cell adhesion? Are there any coral species that can synthesize Vitamin C?


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Old 02/24/2010, 01:14 PM   #11
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They state and I skimmed this part. Sorry.

"Cell cultures were comprised of ≈95% epithelium-like ectoderm or endoderm cells (the latter with or without zooxanthellae) ranging in size from 5 to 20 μm in diameter (Fig. 1), ≈1% nematocysts, ≈1% amoebocytes and <1% sensory nerve cells [supporting..."

If the vit. C passes through into the epithelium-like ectoderm then this may have answered what I had asked and vit. C can pass though the outer epidermis into the endoderm cells layer containing the xooanthellae.


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Old 02/24/2010, 01:26 PM   #12
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The only defense I have now:

Is that the symbiotic algae are great producers of vitamin C.

Man I feel foolish.

EDIT: I did end up reading quite a few articles on this subject, so it was not a complete loss.


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Old 02/26/2010, 03:24 PM   #13
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I'm very happy to see this being further investigated! I so wish a college student would take this up for their thesis.


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Old 02/27/2010, 12:16 PM   #14
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FWIW, I decided to experiment by adding 500 mg of ascorbic acid to my sump once a day for a while (as a whole tablet for now, maybe I'll dissolve it in water and add calcium hydroxide to it in the future) and we'll see if I notice anything different.


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Old 02/27/2010, 12:28 PM   #15
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You know how I feel about adding non-buffered tablets (with the fillers in there) but you're the chemistry king!


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Old 02/27/2010, 01:10 PM   #16
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Eventually, when I add the calcium hydroxide it will be more than buffered, and I'll let any solid settle out. The solids listed don't concern me. The pH did not drop much.


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Old 02/28/2010, 06:07 AM   #17
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You need to add some sps coral to your tank Randy for testing purposes.

Do you have any xoanthids?


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Old 02/28/2010, 06:55 AM   #18
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The only zooanthids I recognize as such in my tank are yellow polyps.


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Old 02/28/2010, 08:06 AM   #19
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An article that may be of some interest. I don't know anything about the author (high school student):

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13767413/JSHS-2009


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Old 02/28/2010, 11:16 AM   #20
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That one is linked somewhere, in my long VC thread.


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Old 02/28/2010, 03:20 PM   #21
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Well, that does not seem to have been a success.

I dosed a VC tablet to the sump yesterday, and within a few hours several anemones of different species closed up more than usual. One big H. crispa got smaller than I've seen it in a long time. RBTA's closed up, and a new gigantea also closed up. The gigantea was detached and shrunk this morning, but since it is new, that may not be related.

Figuring it might be coincidence, and since all were back to normal, except the gigantea, I dosed again this afternoon, with solution of calcium ascorbate. Now at late afternoon, the H. crispa is shrunk again, a second H. crispa seem to be detaching, and one of the RBTA's is shrunk (a second seems normal).

Everything else in the tank seems fine.

So while I do not know if this response related to the vitamin C, I think it prudent to not dose again for a substantial period and see if things get back to normal.


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Old 02/28/2010, 03:36 PM   #22
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Sorry to hear this Randy. Hopefully they recover.


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Old 02/28/2010, 06:42 PM   #23
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Darn, I was really hoping... If it helps at all, my RBTA was never affected by even doses as high as 50ppm.


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Old 03/01/2010, 07:36 AM   #24
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500 mg of ascorbic acid to my sump once a day for a while (as a whole tablet for now, maybe I'll dissolve it in water and add calcium hydroxide to it in the future) and we'll see if I notice anything different.

That doesn't seem to be a very large amount. Do you know what all the fillers are in this tablet?


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Old 03/01/2010, 08:21 AM   #25
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Mostly cellulose and a few related polymers. I allowed most of these to settle out of the second dose before using it. Less than 2% of silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol. Says it "may" contain talc or sodium lauryl sulfate. The talc would have settled out. No impact of any surfactants on my skimmer.

Anyway, we'll see what happens today with no dosing.


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