Emulate Nature

kharmaguru

Premium Member
ULNS is ultra low nutrient system if you haven't googled it yet.

Never heard of that substrate sauce before but it seems to be another entry into the bacterial supplement catagory. I'm all for it if it adds more biodiversity and not just more nitrifiers which are already plentiful in a normal system.

The ceramic media is a fairly common addition these days with Cermedia marine pure blocks and brightwell xport biobricks being some of the first offerings. They're basically form-factored live rock imitations where endless inner galleries lead to stripped oxygen zones that support anaerobic denitrifiers. There was some talk of these products leaching something into the water - tin or aluminum, can't recall. Personally I have to dose nitrate as it is, so I won't be adding anything like that.
 

JohnL

RC Staff
Staff member
Admin
ULNS is ultra low nutrient system if you haven't googled it yet.

Never heard of that substrate sauce before but it seems to be another entry into the bacterial supplement catagory. I'm all for it if it adds more biodiversity and not just more nitrifiers which are already plentiful in a normal system.

The ceramic media is a fairly common addition these days with Cermedia marine pure blocks and brightwell xport biobricks being some of the first offerings. They're basically form-factored live rock imitations where endless inner galleries lead to stripped oxygen zones that support anaerobic denitrifiers. There was some talk of these products leaching something into the water - tin or aluminum, can't recall. Personally I have to dose nitrate as it is, so I won't be adding anything like that.

Thank you. I'll research the media.
 

Subsea

Premium Member
Honestly, I don't know what ulns are Patrict. I was intrigued by the de-nitrification properties. I really should do some more research. Do you see any drawbacks in adding to a newly setup tank?

Ultra low nutrient system, usually used with SPS systems.

I add ammonia to every mature system I own. I have little need for denitrification as I operate high nutrient systems.

Aside from money, I see no drawback. I would put in diver collected live rock, as the hitch hikers provide more interest to me. There are many more players in nutrient management than bacteria. I like how PaulB describes pico plankton and the microbial loop under the heading of MULM.


http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forum/index.php?threads/mulm-in-a-reef-tank.96965/

I think one of the most important, and least understood or mentioned things in a reef tank is "mulm". That stuff that grows in the dark portions of a tank if it is set up long enough. "Mulm" is a combination of algae, sponges, bacteria, pods, worms, detritus, poop and any thing else that can be propagated or grown in the dark. I realize most people would immediately get out the sponge, razor blade or grenade to remove it but there is a word I like to use to describe those people. That word is "wrong". Mulm is a natural product that you will find in the sea all over the world. Our tanks run on bacteria, algae and a food chain. Bacteria and a food chain are dependent on having a place to reproduce. Mulm is the perfect place. Rocks and glass are flat surfaces that are only two dimensional. Mulm makes these places three dimensional allowing much more space for bacteria and microscopic organisms to grow and do the macarana. (Then love to dance) Pods, which are needed for any small fish also need to eat and their numbers are directly related to how much food they can get their hands on (or whatever pods use to eat with) The more food, the more pods, the more pods, the easier to keep smaller fish. Larger fish such as copperbands and angels also eat pods.
Many people try to keep fish such as pipefish, mandarins or other dragonettes in a sterile tank and while feeding them a couple of times a day with tiger pods or some other expensive food. Those types of fish will not live for long in such a tank and they certainly won't spawn which I consider the "only" criteria to determine the state of health for any paired fish.
Mulm (after a while, maybe a few years) should grow on the back and sides of glass as well as under rocks.
Here in this picture of my clingfish, the mulm appears green. It is really brownish and that fish is on the side of my tank. I brightened up the picture and turned it sideways because it was in the dark and the fish was hard to see.
There is a thick layer of it on the back of my tank where my mandarins and pipefish like to hunt. My long spined urchin also grazes there most of the time as there is not much algae in my tank for him to eat. He is many years old as are the mandarins and pipefish and they are dependent on this food source.
A sterile tank IMO is the biggest problem we have keeping certain fish healthy.
Sterile is good in an operating room but very bad in a tank.
 
Last edited:

JohnL

RC Staff
Staff member
Admin
Ultra low nutrient system, usually used with SPS systems.

I add ammonia to every mature system I own. I have little need for denitrification as I operate high nutrient systems.

Aside from money, I see no drawback. I would put in diver collected live rock, as the hitch hikers provide more interest to me.

Thank Patrick. I'll be keeping sps and a few fish. I have aquacultured-live-rock from KP Aquatics coming this week.
 

Subsea

Premium Member
Subsea I don't want to hijack your thread Patrick. Should I split out my posts?

Please keep posting on this thread. I am all about learning & sharing information and good times.

I will soon start another thread, Nutrient Management by Old School Reefer, which will repeat & expound on some of these overlapping points.
 

JohnL

RC Staff
Staff member
Admin
Please keep posting on this thread. I am all about learning & sharing information and good times.

I will soon start another thread, Nutrient Management by Old School Reefer, which will repeat & expound on some of these overlapping points.

Excellent :thumbsup:
 

Subsea

Premium Member
ULNS is ultra low nutrient system if you haven't googled it yet.

Never heard of that substrate sauce before but it seems to be another entry into the bacterial supplement catagory. I'm all for it if it adds more biodiversity and not just more nitrifiers which are already plentiful in a normal system.

The ceramic media is a fairly common addition these days with Cermedia marine pure blocks and brightwell xport biobricks being some of the first offerings. They're basically form-factored live rock imitations where endless inner galleries lead to stripped oxygen zones that support anaerobic denitrifiers. There was some talk of these products leaching something into the water - tin or aluminum, can't recall. Personally I have to dose nitrate as it is, so I won't be adding anything like that.


In Reef Aquarium Volume 3: Science Art, and Technology by Julian Sprung & Charles Delbrick

“Close coupling” is the process in which nitrification & denitrification takes place in close proximity of each other. When I read that > 10 years ago, after shock & awe, my first thought was “I bet you can’t measure qualitatively who does more or less”. Conceivable, it could be a closed loop or better a positive feedback loop of bacteria multiplying.
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
In Reef Aquarium Volume 3: Science Art, and Technology by Julian Sprung & Charles Delbrick

“Close coupling” is the process in which nitrification & denitrification takes place in close proximity of each other. When I read that > 10 years ago, after shock & awe, my first thought was “I bet you can’t measure qualitatively who does more or less”. Conceivable, it could be a closed loop or better a positive feedback loop of bacteria multiplying.

Interesting. It makes sense that pseudomonas(?) would want to hang out with nitrobacter because it makes it's food and consumes that pesky oxygen but I have always believed that to be a transition point and the "close proximity" would be limited to said transition point where the oxygen was exhausted. We used to make long coils of tubing with excruciatingly slow drip rates as denitrifying filters when I kept African cichlids 35 years ago - the concept being the nitrifying bacteria would consume all the oxygen before the water left the tube and the denitrifiers would take over. Took some fiddling to get the coil length and the flow rate correct but they worked well once you did.

A question regarding my system but seems in line with your original post: I'm currently observing some kind of transistion in my aquarium where my copious amounts of caulerpa racemosa went sexual and disintegrated, other green pest algaes (bryopsis and parvocaulis parvulus) and coraline have all stalled, yet my PO4 is .04ppm and my NO3 is 5ppm and not dropping for a couple weeks. Add to that, I'm having a rebloom of chrysophytes that haven't been observable in my system for more than a year. I'm assuming that I have bottomed out something I don't test for and was curious what you thought the first thing might be to go? Iron? I've ordered an ICP test which I'm hoping will reveal something but I haven't received it yet. Btw, the racemosa has done this in the past but I found keeping it pruned cured the issue until now.
 

Subsea

Premium Member
Interesting. It makes sense that pseudomonas(?) would want to hang out with nitrobacter because it makes it's food and consumes that pesky oxygen but I have always believed that to be a transition point and the "close proximity" would be limited to said transition point where the oxygen was exhausted. We used to make long coils of tubing with excruciatingly slow drip rates as denitrifying filters when I kept African cichlids 35 years ago - the concept being the nitrifying bacteria would consume all the oxygen before the water left the tube and the denitrifiers would take over. Took some fiddling to get the coil length and the flow rate correct but they worked well once you did.

A question regarding my system but seems in line with your original post: I'm currently observing some kind of transistion in my aquarium where my copious amounts of caulerpa racemosa went sexual and disintegrated, other green pest algaes (bryopsis and parvocaulis parvulus) and coraline have all stalled, yet my PO4 is .04ppm and my NO3 is 5ppm and not dropping for a couple weeks. Add to that, I'm having a rebloom of chrysophytes that haven't been observable in my system for more than a year. I'm assuming that I have bottomed out something I don't test for and was curious what you thought the first thing might be to go? Iron? I've ordered an ICP test which I'm hoping will reveal something but I haven't received it yet. Btw, the racemosa has done this in the past but I found keeping it pruned cured the issue until now.

First, let’s address seaweed going sexual. When fast growing seaweed goes sexual, one or more nutrients bottomed out. I would add iron immediately and get some ChaetoGrow for your trace minerals. Because I don’t feed much, I dose ChaetoGrow & ammonia several times a week. If you want to maximize growth, then dose everyday.

Zero oxygen is not required for denitrification. Facultative bacteria perform both nitrification & denitrification depending on the oxygen gradient. The Jaubert Plenum had 6” dsb of crushed coral 1-2mm in diameter. This large size allowed reduced oxygen conditions to go deeper into sandbed and thereby extending nitrification & denitrification chemistry. The disadvantage of large size allowed detritus ingress that require a robust detrivore crew in sandbed.
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
First, let’s address seaweed going sexual. When fast growing seaweed goes sexual, one or more nutrients bottomed out. I would add iron immediately and get some ChaetoGrow for your trace minerals. Because I don’t feed much, I dose ChaetoGrow & ammonia several times a week. If you want to maximize growth, then dose everyday.

Zero oxygen is not required for denitrification. Facultative bacteria perform both nitrification & denitrification depending on the oxygen gradient. The Jaubert Plenum had 6” dsb of crushed coral 1-2mm in diameter. This large size allowed reduced oxygen conditions to go deeper into sandbed and thereby extending nitrification & denitrification chemistry. The disadvantage of large size allowed detritus ingress that require a robust detrivore crew in sandbed.

OK, that makes the close coupling make more sense. SInce nitrate is the waste product of the nitrifier, perhaps the relationship is bilateral after all. No one wants to swim in there own...:thumbdown

I see the ChaetoGrō contains iron, so I think I will start with that and see what happens, You mentioned Iron seperately, does ChaetoGrō not contain a sufficient amount in relation to the other included elements?
 

Subsea

Premium Member
10/19/2018, 08:22 AM
I doubt that you can overdose iron. That is according to Randy Holmes Farley. His article on Advanced Aquaria describes iron in a reef tank.

https://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/8/chemistry

Iron in Reef Tanks: How Much and What Form?
[Deciding how much iron to add is fairly easy because, in my experience, it doesn't seem to matter too much. Presumably, once you add enough to eliminate iron as a limiting nutrient, extra iron does not apparently cause harm (at least that I've detected in my tanks or heard of from others). I selected a dose of about 0.1 to 0.3 mL of a solution containing 5 g of iron (as 25 g of ferrous sulfate heptahydrate) in 250 mL of water containing 50.7 g of sodium citrate dihydrate. This liquid is dosed 2-3 times per week to my system with a total water volume of about 250 gallons. This iron(II) citrate has turned brown and cloudy since I first made up the bottle years ago, suggesting that it is oxidizing to iron(III) and some is precipitating from solution, but I still use it. Over the past 4 years, I've dosed nearly all of the 5 grams of actual iron to my tank.]

PS:
On a side note, the article describes iron storage mechanism that releases iron back to
plant, seaweed or coral when iron is low in water column. When I grew ornamental seaweed as a business, once while dosing iron to 55G monoculture of Gracilaria Hayi, instead of dosing 10ml of Seachem Iron, I spilled 250ml. The tank water turned a dull red preventing light penetration.. Each day the water cleared up more requiring 4 days to become crystal clear. At that time, G Hayi surface developed numerous bumps increasing thickness 4 fold and instead of slightly stiff became more rubbery. After 2 weeks, everything returned to normal.
 

Subsea

Premium Member
kharmaguru
Thank you for humor and wit:

They're one of my favourites. People do similar export methods with xenia and even aiptasia. I'm all for easier sustainable corals. You won't catch me being a stick head anytime soon.


OK, that makes the close coupling make more sense. SInce nitrate is the waste product of the nitrifier, perhaps the relationship is bilateral after all. No one wants to swim in there own...:thumbdown
 

Subsea

Premium Member
Cryptic Sponges are the third leg of natures filtration which involves biochemistry to recycle the photosynthetic exudates of coral & algae: Dissolved Organic Carbon. Coral DOC are mostly lipids & proteins and algae DOC is glucose which is carbon for the reef. If it were not for the algae grazers, coral reefs would be algae dominated.

Cryptic sponges consume both types of DOC as well as POC (Particulate Organic Carbon is the microbial loop) and produce DIC and detritus which becomes MULM which feeds the microbial loop. This is a positive feedback loop which completes recycling using bacteria, algae and cryptic sponges.
 

kfisc

Well-known member
I always naively felt a sense of achievement to see sponges growing early on simply because I thought they were a sign of healthy parameters and added great variety.
 

Misled

RC Mod
Staff member
RC Mod
I remember when I took my 54 down. Went to pick up an upper rock but couldn't get it to move. I thought this is a small rock, why can't I get it to move. Did some major pulling and twisting and finally got it to break loose. There were strings of white sponge attached all over it. They extended and connected to all the back rocks and basically held the rocks together. It became a lot of work taking all the rock apart.
 
Top