A lot more slime sheets with vinegar dosing vs pellets?

FlyPenFly

SPS Killer
Has anyone noticed that's run both that there's quite a bit more slime and filter clogging with vinegar dosing as opposed to running a pellet reactor?

Both seem equally effective from my tank readings in terms of nitrate control and some phosphate control but vinegar dosing has been a lot messier in keeping a clean sump. The slime especially seems to love to build up in my baffles, mesh filter sock, powerhead and return pump intakes.

This alone has me considering going back to biopellets because of the added maintenance.
 

TropTrea

New member
This sounds like a loosing system for me. Vinegar is an acid so it lower the pH of the water. To compensate for the reduction you now need to increase you alkilinity addatives. I'm not a strong believer of adding more and more chemicals to a system when things can be brought under control naturaly. So question 1 is if you have a refugium that consumes your exces nitrogen based compounds? Secondly do you have aproperly sized protein skimmer to remove the proteins that would eventual decompose? Finaly are you doing regular water changes?
 

Osteoclast

New member
Well, in any event I suspect the phenomenon is dose dependant. I would decrease the vinegar additive and observe. Bacterial collections are known to increase.
 

FlyPenFly

SPS Killer
I'm starting to suspect it's a particular weakness of vinegar dosing. I've never noticed this sort of bacteria and slime sludge build up on biopellet dosing.
 

TropTrea

New member
Why do both? Keep it simple. I use vinegar only.

If you continue to dose with vineger the pH will go down. If it goes down too far then the tank is going to eventualy go sour. Alkilinty dosing is very common as with corals which re growing they are consuming both the alkilinity in the water as as the calcium. I dose alkilinity on a daily bases just to maintain the alkilinity level from the coral growth. Now your adding another new factor namely an acid that bonds with the alkilinity and neutralizes it.

So the question is how often are you measuring your tank peramiters especialy alkilinity, pH, and calcium? Secondly how are keeping them in balance? An alternate method but very expensive one is making frequent high percentage water changes.
 

Osteoclast

New member
Dennis B,

I misread the OPs initial installment and thought he was dosing vinegar in addition to using biopellets. I know there are individuals that dose multiple carbon sources ie vinegar + vodka so wanted clarity. I myself dose soda ash, CaCl, and use Kalk in my top off water. My vinegar dosing helps nutrient transport via skim mate produced (standard theory discussed elsewhere). I have seen increased water cloudiness with higher doses of vinegar.
 

FlyPenFly

SPS Killer
If you continue to dose with vineger the pH will go down. If it goes down too far then the tank is going to eventualy go sour. Alkilinty dosing is very common as with corals which re growing they are consuming both the alkilinity in the water as as the calcium. I dose alkilinity on a daily bases just to maintain the alkilinity level from the coral growth. Now your adding another new factor namely an acid that bonds with the alkilinity and neutralizes it.

So the question is how often are you measuring your tank peramiters especialy alkilinity, pH, and calcium? Secondly how are keeping them in balance? An alternate method but very expensive one is making frequent high percentage water changes.

ph is fine and monitored on a calibrated Apex sensor and MAC is maintained with a doser. Alk is measured twice a day with hanna when I'm dialing in my doser rates or refill my 3 part. These are all things I already know very well.

Whatever bacterial life cycle is used with vinegar seems to be different than with bio pellets. I don't buy the argument that biopellet bacteria live mostly in the reactor since advanced aquarist has done their study in water column and reactor effluent bacteria. That said, biopellet carbon seems to encourage a different sort of bacterial life than vinegar dosing.
 
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reefgeezer

New member
I've dosed vinegar for a long time. The bacterial colonies can grow on any surface. It seems like filter socks and DT glass are their favorite spot.

My system is around 90 gal with the sump. I dose about 40 ml/day in 4 doses of 10 ml now that the nutrients are low. Adding more results in bacterial colonies growing on the DT glass and in the sump. I also had to stop using 24/7 filter socks. Even at the low dose, they clog in about 24 hours.

If your nitrates are very low, maybe you could try reducing the amount you are dosing & see if the bacteria colonies behave without the nutrients rising.
 

FlyPenFly

SPS Killer
I think I'm actually just going to switch back to biopellets. Since I'm using an aquarium controller, risk will be fine.
 

TropTrea

New member
I found this interesting in the amounts to add
http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index...ar-dosing-methodology-for-the-marine-aquarium

I would be curious if you are adding more or less than is listed on this chart
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=165684

That is a very interesting chart. Looking at it when you start the dosage is very small cpresponds eith a ml per gallon ratio very nicely. But when you get to week 16 the comparison between a 100 gallon and a 25 gallon tank is only half. So on a ml per gallon bases the 25 gallon tank is getting 2.46 ml per gallon while the 100 gallon is getting only 0.124 ml per gallon.

Can someone explain why you can virtualy use the same amount fror a smaller tnk as for a larger tank after a while?
 

SnowRaven

New member
That is a very interesting chart. Looking at it when you start the dosage is very small cpresponds eith a ml per gallon ratio very nicely. But when you get to week 16 the comparison between a 100 gallon and a 25 gallon tank is only half. So on a ml per gallon bases the 25 gallon tank is getting 2.46 ml per gallon while the 100 gallon is getting only 0.124 ml per gallon.

Can someone explain why you can virtualy use the same amount fror a smaller tnk as for a larger tank after a while?

Read the article and it derives this from a study on Vodka Dosing
 

bertoni

Premium Member
Vinegar is an organic acid, so its effects on pH and alkalinity are very temporary. It can fuel bacterial blooms, though, and does so fairly often. For any given tank, bio-pellets might be a better solution. That's hard to predict. Different tanks react differently.
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
The bacterial cascading is more extensive with the pellets which are polymers(polysacharides. In the end it all goes to acetate and passes through acetic acid along the way.

In an oversimplified version acetogenisis looks like this:

Polymers (carbohydrates) degrade via bacterial activity to monomers(sugars)

which in turn are degraded via various pathways including fermentation to ethanol ,

the ethanol (vodka) is oxidized to acetic acid(vinegar) which becomes acetate.

Acetate adds to the alkalinity and makes up for the early loss in the process with a net effect of zero in the end.

Utimately it all goes to acetate.

Viinegar and/or vodka avoid the polymers and monomers and the bacterial activity that degrades them. Polysaccharides/polymers and monomers/ sugars have been reported to cause recission and browning and linked to coral mortality in two studies. I my case early on sugar dosing at very small doses was followed by serious difficulty for some corals.
My strong preference is for vodka and/or vinegar.

Many also report cyano issues with biopellets and or vodka and less with vinegar. The experinces with cyano vary. It wasn't too long ago that folks were switching off to vinegar since anecdotal reports indicated it was much less likely to encourage cyano.

I suspect the cyano results form a change in nutrient and organic levels in the tank edging out some cyno competiors early on. Over time cyano abates as th new lower nutrient biology of teh tank is established .

Ive been dosing vodka and vinegar for 5 years and have no visible cyano; nor has there been any significant amount in that time except during the first month or two of dosing.
Some prefer the pellets and reactor set ups .I find it easier to control the actual dose with soluble organics which I can measure and add and choose to avoid the plymers and monomers.
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
This sounds like a loosing system for me. Vinegar is an acid so it lower the pH of the water. To compensate for the reduction you now need to increase you lkalinity addatives. I'm not a strong believer of adding more and more chemicals to a system when things can be brought under control naturaly. So question 1 is if you have a refugium that consumes your exces nitrogen based compounds? Secondly do you have a properly sized protein skimmer to remove the proteins that would eventual decompose? Finaly are you doing regular water changes?

Yes, I do all those things and a few others. I think anyone who has passed reefing 101 has or is using them. It was not enough for my tanks.
I've had success for a long time dosing organic carbon to feed bacteria. Culturing bacteria this way and exporting them via skimming along with the phosphate and and nitrogen and other elements they take up works very well( the bacteria fit the ampipathic profile for effective skimming well) for my high bio load systems in managing PO4 and NO3,etc. .It also provides bacteria that help the natural food web.ime. and acetate which is useful for living things . It may not be for everyone but is by no means unnatural or even chemical in the sense you seem mean it; it is just food. Algae produces organic carbon too,btw, and exudes it along with toxic allelopathic compounds .Trouble is most of that is useless to bacteria since it is highly refractory and often yellows the water or just hangs around clogging stuff up.It also takes a lot of space , light and harvesting and is difficult to keep it gwoing when low nuteints are achieved.

BTW. adding extra akainity to raise pH is a very bad idea.It leaves you with high alkalinity an just about the same low pH as CO2 from the air eqiulibrates with teh water.
 
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