Carbon dosing, do you do it?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by sfsuphysics, May 5, 2015.


What do you do?

  1. Dose vinegar

  2. Dose vodka

  3. Use biopellets

  4. Other (specify)

  5. Nothing

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Out of curiosity what I saw was $10 for 1.75 liters, how is that on the range of prices I should look for?

    I did go to the Grocery Outlet also but that store is more about whatever crap other stores couldn't sell, so I can't be too picky with brands :D
  2. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    IIR I'll check the price on Kirkland today. Website says it's 'pure American made Vodka'. :) One could hope that's just ethanol and water.

    OK, I'm back. Kirkland, aka Costco, vodka is $14/1.75l. Of course you do have to buy a six pack!

    J/K! :D
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  3. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Like I said I'm not a drinker, so I don't know what booze should cost, the last time I bought vodka was when Safeway did have their brand of vodka, lovely charcoal filtered no frilly stuff, and I was in my young twenties going to a party so I didn't know any better, I think at the time it was quite a bit cheaper than what I saw :D
  4. Jruga

    Jruga Guest

    Funny this topic should come up... I just asked about this last weekend while I was out at CAReef :)

    I wanted to drop my nitrates below 5ppm to see if I could improve the color and growth of my SPS. And reading this article: carbon dosing seemed like the way to go (in addition to removing lots of fish, doing lots of water changes).

    I've been dosing 10ml/per day of distilled white vinegar in a 60 gallon (in line with what the article suggests). So far the results have been been good... my nitrates are solidly below 5ppm, though not quite down below 2ppm... yet. I may try slightly increasing the dosage.

    I also notice some other changes. My skimmate has increased, presumably because there's more nitrifying bacteria to remove floating around in the sump. My alkalinity dropped slightly... was holding at 10dKh... now hovers around 9.5dKh... may try slightly increasing the alk dosage.

    The corals are looking great! Better than I've been able to get them in a long time. My montiporas were the first to respond, both with intensified color and a small amount of visible growth. My acros were slower to respond, but the colors have intensified (but not brightened - may need more light). I'm also seeing much more polyp extension that I have in the past (may have something to do with them having less nitrates in the tank to feed the zooxanthelle).

    Anyways... overall, I'm a fan of carbon dosing so far. Though I've never heard or seen anything on the long term impact of carbon dosing (e.g. does it have other side effects? does it have long term permanent impacts on nitrates? etc...)

    I may try adding Microbactr7 to see if that has a further impact. But I'll wait for another couple weeks to make sure my results are stable first.
  5. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    I will admit that I don't test for nitrates (or anything) and none of the tanks in my care are SPS dominant.
    But I am religeous about my water changes...large and often.
  6. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Mike $10 for 1.75L is a great price, I paid something around $12-14 last time.

    Good thing Vodka works since I almost never drink it, if sayyy bourbon was required for the tank I'd find myself often stealing my reef tank's carbon sourse haha
    wpeterson and jonmos75 like this.
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    hehe... "one of the tank, one for me"
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Ok drunk fishies coming up!

    I am a bit sad though, guys in front of me with a case of Corona and check stand lady asks for ID, I pull up with Vodka, diet Pepsi, and tortillas and I don't even get a second glance... *sigh*
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well seems to be work with the addition of vodka, I actually reduced my vinegar addition by 50% (100mL a day) and without going beyond the initial dosage require of vodka (2mL) I started to see results, initially red slime stuff on the sand in the fuge, but a water change to suck it out and it hasn't been back.

    Now I'm using the API test kit for nitrate, and it's fine for the money it costs (it's cheap) but damnit if they don't have different shades of orange that tell you where it is, and the scale isn't linear either, it goes from 0 to 5 to 10 to 20 to 40 , 80, 160. Oh well better than nothing I guess, and it tells me there are still nitrates in the tank, which I can deal with rather than having a fancy digital scale to give me an "exact" answer but then ends up costing me 5x more to test.

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