Dr.Tims Pearls VS BRS bio pellets

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by proreefer, Nov 9, 2011.

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  1. m2434

    m2434 Giant Squid

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    No, LOL, not saying that. I'm saying carbon dosing is very useful, but presents risk, and can cause more problems if not used carefully. I try not to make recommendations too much, some, but generally, I believe more in just pointing out known risks and benefits and letting other decide what to do...

    It's definitely clear that our tanks don't get enough food. The ability to feed more is great. Also, an added benefit is that the pathway for much of that food, is shifted from algae growth, which is useless to corals, to bacteria, which is a major diet component for a good number of corals. So, there are definitely significant benefits.

    The downside, is even BP, is a source of organic carbon, and as such provides inherent risks. Really about 4 that I tend to think of (maybe more that I don't).

    1) Bacterial blooms - excess bacteria can suck the O2 out of the water and kill livestock.

    2) Cyano bacteria - cyano is generally presumed to be autotrophic, but has actually been shown to have heterotrophic modes in some cases. Also, cyano can form complex relationships with bacteria and can trade byproducts. So, even if it isn't a heterotrophic strain of cyano, it may utilize heterotrophy indirectly via heterotrophic bacteria.

    3) Organic carbon can dive coral associated bacteria as well. Some of this may be pathonogenic in itself, others may be symbiotic, but still, if the coral looses control over the population, this can disrupt symbiosis. In some cases, it even appears that this bacteria can grow fast enough to take enough O2 directly out of the corals tissue, to starve the coral of oxygen.

    4) Corals starve to death due to low nutrients. When you consider the low nutrient levels in the ocean, this idea seems somewhat implausible at first glance, but seems to be a common belief in the hobby. If we look at it closely, in nature there are very, very low nutrient levels, probably lower than we could achieve in our systems regardless of filtration. However, we are also low in food. In nature, corals seem to make up for this lack of dissolved nutrients via heterotrophic feeding. It seems in some cases, corals, in our systems may be making up for this lack of food, via the dissolved nutrients. If we reduce these, but do not add additional food input, it does seem that corals sometimes starve to death.

    5) Burnt tips due to alk. People often report that the tips of their corals STN when there is high alk, along with carbon dosing. I suspect this is related to #4. My hypothesis, is due to the decreased nutrients, corals skeleton tend to grow faster. If there is insufficient food, the skeletal growth outpaces tissue growth and the tissue is relatively thin and prone to pathogens and possible stressors. I've never seen this issue in my tanks, but I feed a ton. From others I have spoken to, I feel that there is a trend in this regard.

    Now as I said, I think there are significant benefits and to me, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. Plus I am very aware of the risks, so, tend to go extremely slow and cautiously. That said, a lot of people do have issues with carbon dosing.

    I think more so these days with BP. I don't necessarily think there is anything inherently wrong with BP (although I should note, some people think that sugars, specifically as a carbon source are problematic. I did have issues dosing sugars and stopped. Unlike vinegar for example, BP break down into simple sugars. So, some people think that may be an issue. I don't know if that is true though). However, people think BP is safer than other sources of carbon and do not use BP properly. For one, it's commonly believed that all of the carbon remains in the pellets, and doesn't enter the tank. So, in theory many of the issue above would not be an issue. However, BP would not be expected to cause bacterial blooms if that was the case, they very commonly do. Also, you would not get cyano as a result, but people commonly do. And for that matter, you wouldn't see the other negative effects listed above, but, people commonly do. I like the idea of BP though, but it's still a more advanced method and as for my recommendation of the day :) should be treated as such.
     
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  3. nanomania

    nanomania Vagabond Butterfly

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    well iv had huge cayno problems when i dose vodka. i just bot TLF NP bio pellets, but reading this im afraid to use it. im not being able to buy SPS coz my nitrates are always on the higher side. my softies and LPS are doing good. do you think denitrator (sulphur) used with gfo will do the job then? or should i try using BP? cayno killed my monticap.
     
  4. saltyfresh

    saltyfresh Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    Not to bash on a product but I used the npx pellets then switched to ecobak pellets and can I say OMG what a difreance they work so much better. I had small cyno to and now it is gone.
     
  5. nanomania

    nanomania Vagabond Butterfly

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    so should i try using TLF or no? and what are the views on denitrator.
     
  6. saltyfresh

    saltyfresh Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    I still have some left so I use some. If u can return them I would do that. If not use them. They just do as good as a job in my opinion
     
  7. proreefer

    proreefer Feather Star

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  9. m2434

    m2434 Giant Squid

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  10. saltyfresh

    saltyfresh Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    To me bio pellets are less risk full I guess you could say but it is also easy for my, I believe that vodka/carbon doesing will be more affective not reasonable for me IMO
     
  11. mati_L

    mati_L Fire Shrimp

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    i am also doing research on BP because i rather not dose vodka daily, and well i first got interested when i saw a thread by someone this forum who did testing with vodka, bp, biofuel, and hmm not sure oh GFO but it opened our eyes that BP was working very well and actually removed the algae growth from rocks suffering from the other testing tanks. At the moment i am trying to think of what pelletes to buy , TLF are cheap for the 200ml, DRTim's are 31 with the discount and shipping but then there is BRS and ecobak so im not sure. If oyu havent seen the thread, then take a look..great information

    http://www.3reef.com/forums/water-chemistry/carbon-dosing-method-testing-started-107232.html
     
  12. proreefer

    proreefer Feather Star

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    hi mati i to am looking very hard at them, now m makes sense with his caution, i understand there may be little control of them as to the amount of carbon they release into the tank, to much can be bad to little will not help. being there's no test that i know of that will read carbon yet. just the removal of nitrates can be achieved through cheaper and safer means but , i'm sure the answer will come.:):)