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Old 12/15/2011, 06:22 AM   #1
Randy Holmes-Farley
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Bacteria from organic carbon dosing useful for NPS?

Question for you NPS folks.

Have any of you tried high levels of organic carbon dosing to see if the bacteria that result are useful for the various NPS creatures that you keep?

The reason I ask is that when dosing very high levels of vinegar (say, 400 mL/day in my 120 with about 250 gallons total volume), the tank was actually a bit hazy white with bacteria, and at more moderate levels (say 80 mL/day), I expect there is still a lot present in the water column.

While I do have quite extensive growth of cryptic sponges, I wondered how much is known about which organisms, if any, that you folks try to keep benefit from this sort of potential food (as opposed to phytoplankton, etc).

TIA


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Old 12/15/2011, 06:47 AM   #2
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As an additional thought, the vinegar I dose seems to promote a lot of bacterial growth on my GAC. When I rinse off my GAC (which runs in a canister filter) there is a lot of fluffy bacteria that are released. I wonder how that would be as a spot feeding of live food for any of these creatures. For those requiring really fine particles, they may be able to be run through a blender to break apart aggregates without killing the bacteria.


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Old 12/15/2011, 07:08 AM   #3
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Ive been thinking of setting up a reactor with some zeo rocks to accomplish this very thing for a little while. I figure if it is good for sps and sponges, it should work really well for the smaller polyped nps corals. I don't think it would be enough food in total, but would be a nice shot of live food once or twice a day.


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Old 12/15/2011, 12:12 PM   #4
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Hi Randy


first, I wait to seeing understood your question.

in my case, I could have verified that the whole bacterium that to accumulated in the glass recolectora of the skimmer, only I withdraw a part of the detritus.

I could have observed as the majority of the corals NP's after that one added for dripping residue that contains bacteria, immediately they start opening.

I do not omit to mention you that I add the product of Microbacter7, perhaps as a certain complement of the filtration.

now I am experimenting with BioPellets


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Old 12/15/2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Holmes-Farley View Post
As an additional thought, the vinegar I dose seems to promote a lot of bacterial growth on my GAC. When I rinse off my GAC (which runs in a canister filter) there is a lot of fluffy bacteria that are released. I wonder how that would be as a spot feeding of live food for any of these creatures. For those requiring really fine particles, they may be able to be run through a blender to break apart aggregates without killing the bacteria.
that is exactly what we do in Zeovit system

bacteria grow on Zelith, we shake zeolith to break the bacteria into finer sizes without killing them, which gets used by corals.

I dose carbon in my NPS tank, but dont think I qualify to answer your question they do open their polyps larger when I shake the zeovits though.


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Old 12/15/2011, 02:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allmost;

I dose carbon in my NPS tank, but dont think I qualify to answer your question they do open their polyps larger when I shake the zeovits though.
Yes, that's the issue. How useful is it for NPS and sponges, and by itself is it enough, even if the water is continually cloudy with bacteria as I had.


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Old 12/15/2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by coltrref View Post
Hi Randy


first, I wait to seeing understood your question.

in my case, I could have verified that the whole bacterium that to accumulated in the glass recolectora of the skimmer, only I withdraw a part of the detritus.

I could have observed as the majority of the corals NP's after that one added for dripping residue that contains bacteria, immediately they start opening.

I do not omit to mention you that I add the product of Microbacter7, perhaps as a certain complement of the filtration.

now I am experimenting with BioPellets
Thanks. Let us know what you find. I might guess that vinegar could be a better choice as things such as NPS and sponges may consume the acetate itself, and also it may drive suspended bacteria more than pellets do.


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Old 12/15/2011, 02:53 PM   #8
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Ive been thinking of setting up a reactor with some zeo rocks to accomplish this very thing for a little while. I figure if it is good for sps and sponges, it should work really well for the smaller polyped nps corals. I don't think it would be enough food in total, but would be a nice shot of live food once or twice a day.
Do you know if anyone has demonstrated that sponges benefit from it?


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Old 12/15/2011, 03:02 PM   #9
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Yes, that's the issue. How useful is it for NPS and sponges, and by itself is it enough, even if the water is continually cloudy with bacteria as I had.
well, sponges, it does feed. I can say almost surely they benefit from the "mulm"

but for example sun coral polyps dont, they still need more feeding to grow or even keep tissue, in my case.

not drawing any conclusions, just posting what I see

We need Murray Camp in here sharing his experience with this regards.


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Old 12/15/2011, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Holmes-Farley View Post
Do you know if anyone has demonstrated that sponges benefit from it?
may be, I cannot demonstrate it.

but in a rebasadero to created a cryptic zone, where several sponges and other beings have formed since I put the bacterium of the skimmer.

I will try to put pics further on.


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Old 12/15/2011, 03:46 PM   #11
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but for example sun coral polyps dont, they still need more feeding to grow or even keep tissue, in my case.
completely in agreement, the tubastreas would not survive with only the bacterioplankton, they need something much more "solid" and nutritional.


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Old 12/15/2011, 03:55 PM   #12
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Having used both heavy vodka dosing and solid "biopellet" strategies for controlling nutrients in dedicated azoox tanks, I have not witnessed a drastic difference between the two in terms of coral or sponge growth. Vodka dosing IME has had more negative effects in terms of biofilm formation on every surface. In extreme cases, I have seen bacteria biofilms choke out some corals, but that could be attributable to the corals dying from something else and thereby permitting the growth.

Ultimately, there is no question whether azoox corals (or otherwise) ingest the bacteria produced from vodka dosing. Anything that eats from the water column would have to. The real question is what bacteria it is ingesting. A tank that is cloudy from bacteria growth has a very high concentration of bacteria (perhaps on the order of tens of millions of CFU/mL), but we can only hope that the bacteria is at least benign. Since we don't know what particular bacteria is causing the cloudiness (likely multiple varieties but not necessarily) on any given day, we really don't know until it's too late. IMO, dosing at that level always felt like a ticking timebomb.


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Old 12/17/2011, 08:37 AM   #13
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Don't know if this is the appropriate place, but since we are talking about biopellets, has anyone observed a huge nitrate spike after using these? I had nitrate levels of 5-10 ppm and starting using NPX biopellets about 2.5 weeks ago. My nitrates shot up to 50 ppm in one day and I've been struggling to lower them ever since. The pellets looked like they had become cultured with bacteria as their movement began to slow dramatically in the reactor. Then after a few days, it appears that the biopellets are moving quickly again as if they had lost the culture and that's when the nitrate spike occurred. Anyone experience this before?


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Old 12/18/2011, 08:36 AM   #14
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Thanks for the comments, everyone.

FWIW, one of the reasons I prefer vinegar to vodka is that acetate appears more commonly taken up by creatures such as corals than does ethanol (at least I've seen substantially more reported cases). A second reason is that vodka seems to have a tendency to promote cyano while vinegar seems less prone to do so, at least in my tank and those of a number of others who have used both.

I've also never seen any surface films of bacteria in my system when dosing vinegar, even at super high doses, exce pt on my GAC in my canister filter when I clean it out.


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Old 12/18/2011, 08:39 AM   #15
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in case anyone in interested, I set up a small experiment with some large sponges and a tunicate which is described here:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2107130


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Old 12/19/2011, 10:47 PM   #16
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I have nothing of substantiative value to report but I put Reef Bugs and vodka in my 6 foot tall, 6 inch diameter tower for few weeks. It changes out about 2 gallons out of 8 per day, a quart every three hours.

I didn't see much change in the display tank but did have a white haze most of the time. The walls of the tower grew a tan-ish white film instead of the brown film that grows when I grow rotifers with phyto concentrate.

My sponges seemed to like the phyto more than the vodka. Is that something that others have observed or is that just coincidence. I guess that I should try the vinegar.



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Old 12/20/2011, 05:41 AM   #17
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What sort of tower?


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Old 12/20/2011, 07:00 AM   #18
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It/they are just big aerated clear plastic tubes that I use for growing plankton. They fit well along the wall in the garage, leaving room for the cars and are set up for the automatic feeding of six or more different cultures in towers and continuous feeding of the display tank.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...t=tower&page=4

When I took the rotifers off line, I though that I would try growing bacteria outside the tank in the tower and dose it back to the display tank instead of putting the carbon directly into the tank.



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Old 12/23/2011, 09:37 PM   #19
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A Little Rambling Here

Quote:
It/they are just big aerated clear plastic tubes that I use for growing plankton.
To answer your question more directly, a tower is a 6 foot tall plastic tube that is 6 inches in diameter and holds 7 or 8 gallons of water. About a quart of system water is pumped into the tower every 3 hours. That amount is gravity fed back to the display tank slowly through a 1/4" tube, taking with it part of the culture that is growing in the tower. This make for fairly steady state feeding of the display tank. Provisions are being made for 6 or more towers to create higher total feeding volumes and greater variety of live food for the NPS population in the display tank.

So you were using 400mL/day of vinegar and then cut back to 80? That is still a lot. I got cloudy water while using 5 or 10mL/day of vodka. Of course, I don't have any mechanical filtration at all. I have 130 gallons in the main tank and about 190 gallons total but I have no skimmer.

This brings me back to a question that many here have seen me ask before in other threads. A little back ground first. I use an Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) but with the greater use of bacteria, my nitrates have plummeted to a point that does not support growth in the ATS. This leaves the system with no effective filtration at all. Without algal growth, my phosphates are moderately high.

My question is, if I go with more vinegar, do you think that this phosphate issue will get worse or do bacteria start to consume phosphates once they get to a higher level?

Also, in a 7 or 8 gallon tower, what kind of concentration of vinegar do you think a culture can tolerate? When I run bacteria experiments I add Reef Bugs daily. Not to have higher populations of bacteria in total but rather to not have one type of bacteria become dominate. This might be faulty logic on several levels.

What are your thoughts?



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Old 12/24/2011, 07:50 AM   #20
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Interesting on the tower. Thanks for the explanation.

So you were using 400mL/day of vinegar and then cut back to 80? That is still a lot. I got cloudy water while using 5 or 10mL/day of vodka.

I've dosed up to 40 mL of vodka per day top my tank without cloudiness. But the difference may be the very large amounts of live rock I have in refugia (3 x 44 gallon brute cans full) providing lots of surfaces for bacteria. It also grows in my GAC/GFO canister. And I skim.

I use an Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) but with the greater use of bacteria, my nitrates have plummeted to a point that does not support growth in the ATS. This leaves the system with no effective filtration at all. Without algal growth, my phosphates are moderately high.

That's why a lot of folks use GFO when carbon dosing. Adding more organic does not usually solve this as it drive N lower and lower. Carbon dosing is an unbalanced method that takes out more N than the proportional amount of P.


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Old 12/24/2011, 08:57 AM   #21
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Randy, with 3x44gallon brute cans full of live rock in your system, do you worry about the buildup of organic waste and the resulting potential for buildup of large pockets of hydrogen sulfide? I'm guessing that there is not a ton of flow to keep waste from building up over time.


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Old 12/24/2011, 12:47 PM   #22
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There is not much flow, just a powerhead on top of each rock pile, but water enters at the bottom and exits the top of each refugium, and I've not seen any evidence of problems with it.


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Old 12/24/2011, 02:05 PM   #23
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I have looked into GFO and the lanthanums but I want to get the scrubber running again. I can shy away from bacteria or feed nitrates.

I added a 55 gallon sump in the garage full of coral rubble that is very porous. When I hooked it up, the nitrates started to slide. I think that I will take it off line, do a big water change and start growing algae again.

If I do decide to go back to growing bacteria in one of the towers, I will need to counter balance it with some form of nitrates that don't contain phosphates. In the passed, no matter how heavily I fed, my tank ran lean so I dosed caps full of fish emulsion fertilizer. I know that it sounds silly but everything seemed to like the arrangement.

Is there anything that you can think of that I can dose that just has nitrates in it?


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Old 12/30/2011, 05:11 PM   #24
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I read elsewhere that Potassium Nitrate will add nitrates to the system without adding to the phosphate load. Do you think that is an accurate statement idea?

I know that this is an atypical approach but I am determined to regain the confident that I get with a fully functional algal turf scrubber.

For me, nitrate supplementation might allow me to continue to pursue much heavier bacterial feeding.


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Old 12/30/2011, 07:43 PM   #25
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Yes, Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) will add only nitrate and not anything else. I dose KNO3 as a fertilizer in my freshwater planted tank system.


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