Just started carbon dosing...

xtlosx

Just Reefin'
So it's been quite a while, and some of you may know the issues I have been facing in my 150G tank. I've had high phosphates (as evidence by the peristent cyano) and to overall keep nitrates low as well as bring phosphates down I have decided to start dosing carbon via vinegar. I start yesterday with a first dose, and will continue to update as I go forward. i was looking for a way to document the experience.

We are continuing to run GAC & GFO via a reactor while vinegar dosing... Pictures from day two. Notice the cyano. It comes back just as quickly as I can pull it out.

Will post some pictures from day two so I can document..
 

xtlosx

Just Reefin'
OK, some pictures from today.... This is what my tank has looked like for almost 2.5 months now solid.. although it has gotten better in the last few weeks. Carbon Dosing, GAC & GFO here we go.

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ali1

New member
U still get high phosphates with gfo? Ive beeb dosing vodka for some time now. Definately keeps nutrients low.
 

xtlosx

Just Reefin'
U still get high phosphates with gfo? Ive beeb dosing vodka for some time now. Definately keeps nutrients low.

Yes what you see I the pictures is how it is even since I have been running carbon and Gfo in a BrS reactor since the tank as setup. Hasn't ever changed much.
 

Bluecorals

New member
Hows your water from RO? are you sure two mp40's are enough for that tank length? I would increase that flow so that the cyano will not attach that easy and check your filters from RO looks like TDS is high
 

xtlosx

Just Reefin'
Hows your water from RO? are you sure two mp40's are enough for that tank length? I would increase that flow so that the cyano will not attach that easy and check your filters from RO looks like TDS is high

TDS is 0 and I change my resin , sediment and carbon block religiously. The TDS going into the resin is 3 coming out is 0.
 

cal_stir

Member
sometimes no matter how low you get the nutrients the cyano will out compete everything else for what is there, it is even said that the cyano is so complex that it can feed itself, sometimes you have to resort to something like chemiclean, if you have your nutrients in check, it will not come back, i have used it and it works, absolutely no ill effects, just follow the directions, your skimmer will overflow for a few days so keep it off and use airstones for oxygenation.
 

tangstank

Obsessed Reefer
I had annoying Phosphate issues in my 300G. I diluted 20ml of Lanthanum Chloride in 1G of RODI water & dripped 10 ML / Hour into a 10 Micron filter bag & this has been going on for a week. Phosphates levels dropped from 0.3 to 0 (Tested yesterday) & I lowered the drip to 10ML / 4 Hours yesterday.
I'm certainly happy with the results with no adverse effects to any fish (Lots of Tangs), SPS & Gigantea Anemone. Going forward I will test & adjust the dosing as required.
 

Timber77

New member
i think ur crazy, i would not add another variable till you get the cyano in check with gfo, source water. How old is your live rock, it could be leaching phosphates, if so maybe half of it and run gfo on it in a dark tank. This is all assuming your source water , salt , food etc are not the phosphate source. flow is not gonna help with that much cyan, most people get some kinda algae bloom when they add biopellets, carbon, vodka dosing etc. to me your just gonna compound whatever issue you already have.
 

taylor t

New member
That's a lot of cyno for not very many fish! Those anemone's are getting 3 squares a day?! J/K
Wish I could help, but have experienced the same frustration you are. :( Eventually it went away. Manual removal worked the best, but it comes back fast, and is a pain to keep up with. Best of luck, your tank looks great to me!

... DO NOT USE CHEMICLEAN with gigs... I will tell you from experience, mine did NOT like it. I used red slime remover, with gigs, no problems. Chemiclean almost killed my gigs. They are not the same, atleast my nems did not react the same.
 

xtlosx

Just Reefin'
sometimes no matter how low you get the nutrients the cyano will out compete everything else for what is there, it is even said that the cyano is so complex that it can feed itself, sometimes you have to resort to something like chemiclean, if you have your nutrients in check, it will not come back, i have used it and it works, absolutely no ill effects, just follow the directions, your skimmer will overflow for a few days so keep it off and use airstones for oxygenation.

Ya, well I'm not going to use anything like a chemi clean because of my gigs.. Taylor_t nailed it below.. these guys are my prize, and i can handle losing SPS in this whole debacle, but I'm not losing my Gigs, especially not my Giddani :)

I had annoying Phosphate issues in my 300G. I diluted 20ml of Lanthanum Chloride in 1G of RODI water & dripped 10 ML / Hour into a 10 Micron filter bag & this has been going on for a week. Phosphates levels dropped from 0.3 to 0 (Tested yesterday) & I lowered the drip to 10ML / 4 Hours yesterday.
I'm certainly happy with the results with no adverse effects to any fish (Lots of Tangs), SPS & Gigantea Anemone. Going forward I will test & adjust the dosing as required.

I have been told this, but just haven't done it.. I've decided to try carbon dosing because, if all else fails I can just stop carbon dosing. I'm going to give it a shot through the full regiment and see what happens. My skimmate is actually turning darker and nastier already and I'm only in day two.. I'm hopeful as the days go by and my doses of vinegar increase, it will help.

i think ur crazy, i would not add another variable till you get the cyano in check with gfo, source water. How old is your live rock, it could be leaching phosphates, if so maybe half of it and run gfo on it in a dark tank. This is all assuming your source water , salt , food etc are not the phosphate source. flow is not gonna help with that much cyan, most people get some kinda algae bloom when they add biopellets, carbon, vodka dosing etc. to me your just gonna compound whatever issue you already have.

I have been using GAC & GFO religiously for over 2.5-3 months now. The cost of switching it as often as i have with ZERO result isn't going to cut it. I feed about 1-2 cubes of frozen mysis daily, but recently even cut back to every other day. Source water is fine from a TDS perspective, haven't looked at chloramines yet, but like I have desired in a thread on here somewhere ad nausem.. This happened once, just not this bad and it lasted 1-2 months and overnight one day just burned out never to return. I moved the pillar my purple gig is on and almost overnight it slowly started to come back and happen until it has turned into this cyano mat almost everywhere. Although, when it happened the first time it didn't infest the sand, and at one point this time around, the entire sand was cyano. That is now slowly fading away.

If it is source water, feeding or anything else, it wouldn't have just randomly gone away because I have been using the same food, same dose, same source water, same salt, same everything. if I have excess nutrients, whether they be nitrates or phosphates, I don't get your rationale as to how this will compound, but we can respectfully disagree. I gave this situation about 3 months with just GFO & Carbon, heavy skimming and said after that time it's time for something else. I've been more than patient, trust me...

That's a lot of cyno for not very many fish! Those anemone's are getting 3 squares a day?! J/K
Wish I could help, but have experienced the same frustration you are. :( Eventually it went away. Manual removal worked the best, but it comes back fast, and is a pain to keep up with. Best of luck, your tank looks great to me!

... DO NOT USE CHEMICLEAN with gigs... I will tell you from experience, mine did NOT like it. I used red slime remover, with gigs, no problems. Chemiclean almost killed my gigs. They are not the same, atleast my nems did not react the same.

Trust me, I won't and do not plan on it. That's why I'm carbon dosing because I know this is something that won't affect a healthy gig(s). Next time you're in the area, come check it out, I promise you it won't be as nice as you think. It's getting better, slowly but surely... This weekend I actually finally... got a razor and scraped off all of the coraline on the glass. It built up for almost three months now and made it hard to see into the tank so I'm just now getting used to having a clean glass again. It kills me that there is coraline all over the glass, overflows, MP40s, front glass, everything, but just a few spots on the rocks... it's killing me. The water can't be that bad because otherwise coraline wouldn't be flourishing.. or at least I have been led to believe that.

BTW, I love your green gig and wish mine was shaggier.. I'll take the rarity of the hybid I have though I guess :)
 

taylor t

New member
BTW, I love your green gig and wish mine was shaggier.. I'll take the rarity of the hybid I have though I guess :)

Thanks! How about a close up of your green? It's a sweet one! I haven't seen and update on that guy in a while! (not always on here though, so maybe I missed it?)

Have you tried to switch what kind of frozen food you use? Just a thought...

One more thing... What is that on pillar #3? Can we have a close up of that too please? :)
 

taylor t

New member
And, what is it like with the stickyness of your "gigdonni"? Is it super sticky, where it's hard to remove from, like haddoni, or could a fish rip off tents and get away, like from a gig?
 

tangstank

Obsessed Reefer
I can certainly guarantee you, Carbon dosing will not eliminate our Red Slime or Cyano. In fact there have been situations where excessive Carbon dosing leads to Cyano outbreak.
This is just my understanding & what I have experience personally. I had to cut down Vinegar due to Cyano outbreak.
 

xtlosx

Just Reefin'
And, what is it like with the stickyness of your "gigdonni"? Is it super sticky, where it's hard to remove from, like haddoni, or could a fish rip off tents and get away, like from a gig?

There is no getting away sadly, so it's more haddoni in that respect. Couple months back my female of the yellow wrasse pair missed diving into the sand for bed, hit the top of the water, the glass, then about 1-1.5" into the gig... yea it was done. I wish i could take a video of the feeding reaction on this guy. It's nearly instantaneous. There is no hope once you hit 'em. I've seen the purple sting a wrasse, and my yellow tang below and they can easily get away with no ill effects.

Also, I will take some pictures tomorrow of the green and purple both. Purple had a lot of bald area, a large patch when I got 'em and tentacles are slowly appearing. Overall, they are both beautiful, just wish the green looked liked yours :) Just gives me a reason to keep my eye open for a blue once I solve my nutrient issues!

Pillar #3 has a huge todd's torch colony on top... It's supposedly a rare version of torch coral.. have had it for a long time and started out as one head, is now over 20.

I can certainly guarantee you, Carbon dosing will not eliminate our Red Slime or Cyano. In fact there have been situations where excessive Carbon dosing leads to Cyano outbreak.
This is just my understanding & what I have experience personally. I had to cut down Vinegar due to Cyano outbreak.

Well, this will be a good experiment to see how it works out. To be honest, there's almost no chance it can get worse with how it has been over the last few months. Vodka dosing leads to increased cyan at times, that's why I chose Vinegar dosing. This is as a result of work done by Randy Holmes Farley. I realize the ratio to nitrate:phosphate reduction is balanced more toward nitrates than phosphates, but carbon dosing has its benefits to reducing phosphate as well. From Randy's article at reef keeping.com

"Scientific research has found that cyanobacterial growth does not increase when dosing vinegar (acetate), where it was found that ethanol dosing will increase cyanobacterial growth. Cyanobacteria produce PHA to store energy when needed. PHA is an ingredient in some biopellets. So cyanobacteria can utilize some if not all of the biopellets. Hobbyists who have dosed vinegar have reported less cyanobacterial problems compared to dosing biopellets & ethanol. This was my experience as well."

Randy is our resident RC chemist, so I feel very comfortable taking his word for it, as well I've done a lot of research on the subject. Another excerpt about what I am thinking my tank needs, specifically my sand bed.. I'm sure I have nitrates in here as well as phosphates, so honestly dosing carbon via vinegar should help bring BOTH down over time.

"These process further reduce nitrate beyond their ordinary needs for nitrogen. This denitrification is the process that takes place inside of live rock and sand beds, and adding an appropriate organic carbon source that can penetrate these regions may spur the process."

In the end, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work and I try the red slime remover that Taylor_t has mentioned or something else. I figured that I'd at least try carbon dosing first.
 

tassod

New member
Just started getting cyano in my tank, its been a couple of weeks now. I siphoned most of it out today and one place I've neglected is my fuge, it was covered in there with cyano. So i cleaned that out also... so maybe take a look at that. Not that i have eliminated my problem, this is probably just the beginning for me with this battle. I also run carbon and GFO on my tank, i use TLF 550 reactors. I'm not going to stress over it though because I'm getting ready to upgrade to a bigger tank anyways. I've thought about carbon dosing and I read on another thread somewhere here about someone using a combination of vinegar and sugar to lower nitrates. I haven't tried this myself but do a search here on DSR method and you'll find it in the Large reef tanks section on a thread by glennf.
 

Timber77

New member
2-3 months of gfo is nothing if your rocks are loaded with phosphates it can take a year. How much gfo are you using and how often are you changing it..I have dual degrees in biology and chemistry and really think you should use water changes, toothbrush your rocks and let the gfo work it will but it might take a lot if your rocks are impacted with phosphates. or get new live rock, I would get or borrow a better skimmer till your cyano outbreak is over , and use filter socks when you scrub the rocks with a toothbrush. goal being to remove as much manually as you can.
 

xtlosx

Just Reefin'
2-3 months of gfo is nothing if your rocks are loaded with phosphates it can take a year. How much gfo are you using and how often are you changing it..I have dual degrees in biology and chemistry and really think you should use water changes, toothbrush your rocks and let the gfo work it will but it might take a lot if your rocks are impacted with phosphates. or get new live rock, I would get or borrow a better skimmer till your cyano outbreak is over , and use filter socks when you scrub the rocks with a toothbrush. goal being to remove as much manually as you can.

Have been running GFO and GAC continuously since december so not quite 2-3 months and changing it out when I feel it's exhausted. At times it has been weekly, sometimes it has been weeks depending on the nutrients in the tank. In the three days now of carbon dosing I haven't had to do anything to my glass where as before Sunday, I would have to scrape it almost daily. I've made the decision to carbon dose, so I am going to see it through. I really wasn't looking for a piling on thread, just wanted to journal my experience here.

On another note, to the other dosers here, what dosing pumps do you guys use or recommend for a single thing like in my case with vinegar? What's a reasonable dosing pump should this solve my issues and I wanted to continue dosing?
 
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Timber77

New member
was not trying to pile on you, the carbon dosing will help with nitrates, however it won't help with the phosphates that the cyano is feeding on. eventually the cyano will go away once it depletes its food source. Your gear in your signature is all top notch so flow, lighting,etc would not be the cause. one other suggestion would be to use more gfo per dose, and or try rowaphos but that gets expensive.
 

xtlosx

Just Reefin'
was not trying to pile on you, the carbon dosing will help with nitrates, however it won't help with the phosphates that the cyano is feeding on. eventually the cyano will go away once it depletes its food source. Your gear in your signature is all top notch so flow, lighting,etc would not be the cause. one other suggestion would be to use more gfo per dose, and or try rowaphos but that gets expensive.

I realize that carbon dosing is more weighted toward nitrate reduction vs phosphate reduction but at this point with the amount of time I have spent, money on BRS GFO & GAC, and everything else I am willing to give carbon dosing a try. I have given it 11 months or so before trying now.

I'm hoping with GFO & GAC in conjunction with reducing my nutrients overall will help. I really don't think I will need much, just need to "kick start" my tank. We'll see, this will be a good experience.
 
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