Carbon Dosing

rugerjr

I recently started carbon dosing my reef tank with brightwel aquatics potion. I’m interested to see what people use. Ive heard of people using vodka but I really don’t want that In my home. I’ve heard of people using sugar, though a lot less common. And the is that new brand out that is a tad expensive but is said to work well. What has anybody here used and how much. I haven’t been really measuring it. Just been squirting in an approximate amount at night. It seems to be working as my skimmer is skimming quite a bit more this week. I really don’t care if your respond is critical of me. I just wan to hear what you have to say. Critical or constructive. Thanks guys.
 

coralbandit

I have dosed both vodka and vinegar.
Both easy and very cheap.
 

ryanr

Hi, welcome to Fishlore

Never really heard of sugar on its own, but VSV (Vodka/Sugar/Vinegar) is a common form of carbon dosing.

I used Red Sea's NO3-PO4:X, which in reality, is just a bottled VSV mix, and worked quite well, up to a point. I'm not sure what happened, but it stopped 'working'. Maybe it went off (it is a reaction after all), I dunno, but I ended up switching to Bio-pellets, and that was "set and forget" pretty much.

Carbon dosing works by promoting a different bacteria that helps control nitrate and phosphate, and as you've experienced, breaks it down into something the skimmer can extract (hence higher production of skimmate), and thus lower nutrients in the system. My LFS actually has NO3-PO4:X on an auto doser for their SPS tank. (ohhh, and it makes the skimmate smell even worse than it already was LOL)

My only caution is to be careful with dosing rates, and watch your corals and water clarity for signs of a bacteria bloom. Too much too quickly can be harmful, but it is a proven method, and done right (monitoring nutrient levels), is quite an effective method.

EDIT: FWIW, I would not do a refugium again for nutrient control, not after the success of bio-pellets, and liquid carbon dosing. So effective IMO - but you do need a skimmer for this method to be effective.
 
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rugerjr

Hi, welcome to Fishlore

Never really heard of sugar on its own, but VSV (Vodka/Sugar/Vinegar) is a common form of carbon dosing.

I used Red Sea's NO3-PO4:X, which in reality, is just a bottled VSV mix, and worked quite well, up to a point. I'm not sure what happened, but it stopped 'working'. Maybe it went off (it is a reaction after all), I dunno, but I ended up switching to Bio-pellets, and that was "set and forget" pretty much.

Carbon dosing works by promoting a different bacteria that helps control nitrate and phosphate, and as you've experienced, breaks it down into something the skimmer can extract (hence higher production of skimmate), and thus lower nutrients in the system. My LFS actually has NO3-PO4:X on an auto doser for their SPS tank. (ohhh, and it makes the skimmate smell even worse than it already was LOL)

My only caution is to be careful with dosing rates, and watch your corals and water clarity for signs of a bacteria bloom. Too much too quickly can be harmful, but it is a proven method, and done right (monitoring nutrient levels), is quite an effective method.

EDIT: FWIW, I would not do a refugium again for nutrient control, not after the success of bio-pellets, and liquid carbon dosing. So effective IMO - but you do need a skimmer for this method to be effective.

Thanks man! I have a really nice Skimz skimmer that I’ve been running about a year. It’s pulling quite a bit more like you mentioned it would. I’ve never really had a algae problem in this tank. Just not much growth in the corals I want to grow. But I do have a little ball of hair algae on a snail and one on my Duncan rock. But the tank seems to really like the changes since starting the dosing. I bought a pellet reactor but it won’t fluidize. So I’m waiting on my refund to buy a new one.
 
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