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Algae release "useful proteins, carbohydrates and metabolites."

Jose Mayo

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jzw

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hi everyone, i'm sharing this post that i just posted in another thread (https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/triton-core7-contains-aminos-and-other-good-stuff.365793/) as it's the same topic. i feel our experience is too important not to be here (and yes, we have chaeto and other macro algaes since the start, and i do feel idiotic quoting myself):

"ok... following up on this thread myself...

we're running triton core 7, bare bottom.

we've been testing zeros for nitrates and phosphates for months, and our sps frags have been pale, and chalices not as colorful as they should be. we were told our tank was too clean. i've heard rumors that triton systems, when run with light bio-load, are usually ULNS. as is ours. as is BRS's.

so following professional advice, i dosed a secret nitrate brew. yes, we trusted our 600 gallon system to 1 coral retailer here in Socal, lol. levels never got past detectable (nyos kit), but i strarted seeing some colors. (i also tried loudwolf, but that didn't seem to help.) since that professional (he's quite famous) was tight lipped about his secret sauce, and never revealed what his mystery nitrate mix was... and we'd run out of that gallon of brew eventually... we needed an alternative. so we tried red sea reef energy a & b.

within a day or 2, BAMO WHAMO!

we are still tesing zeros, but everything colored up fantastically... it was earth shattering. we're only dosing 25% of the instructed red sea dosage nightly, but i can't exaggerate the results, it was that good. we're super stoked on this core 7 / red sea reef energy a&b combo.

******
the only issue we're having is managing salinity. when we dose reef energies, i turn off my skimmer for the night. it makes my ATO go nuts, and i unpower it. each morning i turn the skimmer and ATO back on, but my salinity has been swinging in the range 1.0245 - 1.0265. any advice on that would be much appreciated.

******

other than the utterly stupid salinity issue, this combo solves our ULNS coloration problem -- and i assume triton's lack of aminos and vitamins -- regardless of that 'macro algae die off provides the necessary aminos' talk. i am pretty convinced now -- that's just marketing blab. i will also post our experiences into that giant aminos thread i mentioned to begin with.

hope this is helpful to anyone experiencing similar ULNS issues."



so in conclusion, for us,

Algae release "useful proteins, carbohydrates and metabolites."

yea... maybe "useful," but definitely not enough.

 
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Tony Thompson

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If I understand English and the American way of discussion (sometimes I´m not sure) - the thread was about if macro algae released anything that could be useful. That question is answered for me with the sited post.

Sincerely Lasse
Hi @Lasse I am following this discussion with much interest. Some excellent information from all sides. I found the comments made by @jack_aubry especially interesting and informative. When I read your comments "If I understand English and the American way of discussion (sometimes I´m not sure)" Lasse . I thoroughly understand that your comments were not in any way meant to be derogatory. I may even go as far as to propose that the definition is a major part of the discussion.

Just to clear up any ambiguity I have cited the Oxford Dictionary definition of the word `Useful`

"Able to be used for a practical purpose or in several ways."

In @Randy Holmes-Farley comments I also understand how the words intention and therefore the sentences comprehension, may vary.

British Informal "Very able or competent in a particular area."

I think the only person able to give positive conclusion on the intended context is the person who wrote the comment. In this case Triton.

That said, I also hope the debate continues. This forum in particular, is an excellent resource for inquisitive reefers like myself.

Best wishes.
 

Tony Thompson

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OK I am going to take a stab at this. First let me preface this by saying I have am a molecular/evolutionary biologist and I have never kept a reef tank. I have been researching and seriously planning a reef tank in the future, but as a semi-nomadic post-doc a large reef tank is not really in the cards at the moment. So my thoughts on this topic are from my knowledge of metabolism and available research of keeping a reef tank not from hands on experience..
Thanks for the excellent information @jack_aubry . I attempt to read as many journals and papers as time allows. However not being of an academic background I sometime find it difficult to digest and fully comprehend the information contained.

I found your comments very easy to follow, as a result I feel that I have gained a valuable amount of understanding with regards the subject. I look forward to further posts by yourself.

As you commented that you were contemplating setting up a reef tank yourself, I hope you decide to do so. Input from knowledgeable and articulate individuals such as yourself are greatly appreciated and very welcome in our great hobby.

Best wishes.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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@Randy Holmes-Farley , @Jose Mayo
It says the carbon produced by the algae could cause issues. Wouldn’t carbon dosing cause a similar problem?
Right from the start we worried that organic carbon dosing might cause the growth of undesirable bacteria.

I posted this as an answer to a question in 2004 from someone who had an issue with corals:

"I can hand wave all kinds of arguments about what might have happened. From a general bloom lowering oxygen to ethanol driving a pathogenic bacteria to harmful levels to ethanol driving zoox too much. Sure, there could have been something more complicated as well."

But over the years, there just hasn't seemed to be evidence that pathogenic bacteria are any bigger of an issue than the other drawbacks of organic dosing, such as excessively low nutrients, cyanobacteria, low O2, unsightly bacteria, etc.
 

Subsea

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I´ll turn the question upside down.

Why should not carbohydrates be useful for different microrganism and/or corals in an aquarium like mine that ´s constructed in a way to support biological processes? If you know that they are released and you know their biological importance in a living ecosystem - why can´t you claim that it can be useful ? Proteins that can be broken down to different aminoacids (by bacteria) - why should they not be useful as a nitrogen source for bacteria/corals. Instead of adding organic carbon (in this case carbohydrates) - the algae produce it - why can´t that been seen as useful?

From an ecological point of view - if you look at your aquarium from an ecological standpoint - its for me rather clear that this released compounds are usefully.

I do not know what Triton base their claim on - maybe @[email protected] can clarify that but for me it make sense that my system use this released compounds in the same way as the system use the outside produced compounds of the same group (carbohydrates and protein/aminoacids) that I can buy at my LFS.

I do not run a complete Triton system, but I see my fuge as an integrated part of my system – responsible for many different tasks – there the release of carbohydrates and protein/amino acids is one important thing for at least the microbial life in my aquarium. My prove for this is that we know what macro algae release these compounds and we know how organic carbon and proteins/amino acid works in an aquarium.

Sincerely Lasse
Thank you for hitting a home run with this post which was made in May. I just did see a August 2018 video update from BRStv on the use of Triton Method. While the narrator didn’t list DOC results, he mentioned that DOC leakage from macro could be beneficial. IMO, the proof is in the 160G SPS reef maintained by a 25G refugium with 1700 PAR.

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/vegetable-filters-triton-method.485812/
 

jack_aubry

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Thanks for the excellent information @jack_aubry . I attempt to read as many journals and papers as time allows. However not being of an academic background I sometime find it difficult to digest and fully comprehend the information contained.

I found your comments very easy to follow, as a result I feel that I have gained a valuable amount of understanding with regards the subject. I look forward to further posts by yourself.

As you commented that you were contemplating setting up a reef tank yourself, I hope you decide to do so. Input from knowledgeable and articulate individuals such as yourself are greatly appreciated and very welcome in our great hobby.

Best wishes.
Glad it was helpful
 

Lasse

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Subsea

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I do not subscribe to Triton Method, but I concur with their philosophy of using vegetable filters. I watched five videos from BRSTV on algae filtration. The first four were specific to nutrient input and nutrient levels in the water. The fifth test was coupled to a 2 year old fully stocked SPS tank. Test criteria with results and interpretations of those results was what most impressed me. I gathered that video was put together with BRS & World Wide Corals technical support. Pros & cons of evaluation and interpretation were discussed. This point convinced me to look into other BRS videos.

If the proof is in the pudding, than the spectacular 160G SPS tank should take “pudding of the year” award.
 
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Hans-Werner

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I have not read this complete thread but there where some questions about DOC over reef and if organic carbon dosing makes sense. Finally I agree that the proof is in the pudding but there is also a kind 0f operational blindness if you are not aware that things might go wrong in the way they do. My suggested reading is this article about the sugars released by algae in reefs and how these might cause the shift from coral dominated to algal dominated reefs. May most surprising is the easily degradable organic substances increase the bacterial degradation of DOC over reefs which finally results in lower DOC due to the realeased DOC.
 

Scrubber_steve

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I have not read this complete thread but there where some questions about DOC over reef and if organic carbon dosing makes sense. Finally I agree that the proof is in the pudding but there is also a kind 0f operational blindness if you are not aware that things might go wrong in the way they do. My suggested reading is this article about the sugars released by algae in reefs and how these might cause the shift from coral dominated to algal dominated reefs. May most surprising is the easily degradable organic substances increase the bacterial degradation of DOC over reefs which finally results in lower DOC due to the realeased DOC.
In regards to the argument your linked paper raises, read my comments in this thread.
 

Hans-Werner

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Notably, bacterioplankton growth rates and yields were uncorrelated with DOC release rates, emphasizing that these patterns in efficiency were not solely driven by the absolute quantity of cells produced, but also by the utilization of the DOM exuded.

Among the algae, Turbinaria exhibited relatively low bacterial cell yields and specific DOC removal rates, despite having relatively high rates of DOC release, translating into significantly reduced bacterial growth efficiency.

In contrast, Halimeda exhibited one of the lowest rates of DOC production and much lower DOC release ratios than the other organisms, but the produced DOC exhibited relatively high bacterial yields translating into significantly higher growth efficiencies than the other treatments.

These patterns in the efficiency of production and removal of DOC together suggest that Turbinaria has relatively low-quality DOC (i.e. low growth efficiency)
and Halimeda relatively high-quality DOC (i.e. high growth efficiency) compared with other benthic producers examined here.

We also note that Amansia appeared to produce large amounts of highly labile DOC with low bacterial growth efficiencies, suggesting selection for a highly inefficient community growing on the rapidly exuded compounds
Hello Steve,

sorry that I have not looked thorough enough but I didn´t find the article where you have taken this from. Was this the article Jose introduced a few postings above, posting # 203? I don´t think so.

I looked for the citations but wasn´t able to find them but I think I have read this article before. I think your conclusions include a misunderstanding. If I remember it right bacteria with low growth efficiency are the harmful bacteria which consume a lot of DOC and oxygen for very fast but inefficient growth. But they only grow when highly labile DOC is quite abundant and fast growth is an advantage over efficient growth. In contrast bacteria with high growth efficiencies are the oligotrophic "good" bacteria, that need little DOC and oxygen for their slow growth. These bacteria make the best use of the DOC available which means they are "efficient".
 

Lasse

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I have not read this complete thread but there where some questions about DOC over reef and if organic carbon dosing makes sense. Finally I agree that the proof is in the pudding but there is also a kind 0f operational blindness if you are not aware that things might go wrong in the way they do. My suggested reading is this article about the sugars released by algae in reefs and how these might cause the shift from coral dominated to algal dominated reefs. May most surprising is the easily degradable organic substances increase the bacterial degradation of DOC over reefs which finally results in lower DOC due to the realeased DOC.
The main factor in this article is that lower grazing pressure create more algae that release more "fast processing" DOC´s, hence a different and larger microbial biomass. In an aquaria - it will be a little different case because you can have a large algae grazing community in the DT, hence hinder an algae growth in that compartment. The article indicate that corals will decline because of microbial diseases and hence give space for algae growth. My experiences, however is that corals, in spite of good health, will be overgrowth of algae because of the algae´s faster growth and effective nutrient use. Experiments in the wild have show this relationship too. Parts of reefs have been isolated from grazers and algae take over have been fast afterwards.

IMO - we have a typical hen or egg situation here. Another thinkable pathway can be that algae, because of faster growth rates, competes out corals according space, less corals eating bacteria, more bacteria bringing down the DOC. The main question - IMO - is if algae expansion is created by more free space (because of dead corals) or if algae compete and take over space because faster and more effective nutrient uptake, hence kill the corals.

Regardless - I think the importance of grazing is obvious

Sincerely Lasse
 

Scrubber_steve

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Hello Steve,

sorry that I have not looked thorough enough but I didn´t find the article where you have taken this from. Was this the article Jose introduced a few postings above, posting # 203? I don´t think so.

I looked for the citations but wasn´t able to find them but I think I have read this article before. I think your conclusions include a misunderstanding. If I remember it right bacteria with low growth efficiency are the harmful bacteria which consume a lot of DOC and oxygen for very fast but inefficient growth. But they only grow when highly labile DOC is quite abundant and fast growth is an advantage over efficient growth. In contrast bacteria with high growth efficiencies are the oligotrophic "good" bacteria, that need little DOC and oxygen for their slow growth. These bacteria make the best use of the DOC available which means they are "efficient".
The faster metabolising algae such as ulva exude only around 5% to 7% of the carbon they fix as photosynthate. But they grow quickly. Compare these to the much slower growing fleshy algae that can exude 60%, 70% of their fixed carbon. It is these slower growing fleshy algae that are blamed for coral degradation, & only after a phase shift from coral to algae has occurred. This is how I understand it.

But, you suggested in your previous post to “reading is this article about the sugars released by algae in reefs and how these might cause the shift from coral dominated to algal dominated reefs.” But this isn’t the cause of the phase shift, & not all algae species are responsible. External forces are the cause for the phase shift. External forces facilitate the proliferation of macroalgae, especially through the reduction in the diversity & population of algae grazing fish & invertebrates as a consequence of disease or over fishing. And it is only when this occurs algae become a problem.

A healthy functioning coral reef cannot exist without algae. And on a healthy functioning coral reef, in the war for real estate between coral & algae, coral always wins.


To ponder on the question of whether or not Algae release "useful proteins, carbohydrates and metabolites." is fair enough. But to extrapolate the degradation of coral reefs via phase shifts attributable to external forces, to the use of algae filtration in an aquarium is a ridiculous proposition! And this has been my argument on this thread. Even if I did misunderstand the article you refered to, it would be incidental.

Cheers
 

Hans-Werner

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I do not completely agree with you. The authors emphasize the importance of the shift in the bacterial community towards copiotrophic species or strains that are potential pathogens. However I agree that the situation in reef aquaria may be a little bit different. In my eyes the main difference is not the separated DT and algae refugium but the skimming. I think skimming may remove much of the bacterial growth caused by the algal sugars and skimming supplies oxygen. Both may moderate the effects of the algal sugars.
 

Turbo's Aquatics

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This is a really interesting discussion...I thank you brainiacs on the subject for chiming in and hope it continues.

especially through the reduction in the diversity & population of algae grazing fish & invertebrates as a consequence of disease or over fishing.
And it is only when this occurs algae become a problem.
The article indicate that corals will decline because of microbial diseases and hence give space for algae growth
Lasse, have you seen this video? There are some extremely interesting things revealed in this video, off the top of my head was the results of the "coral death chamber" experiment where they subjected corals to a plethora (I like that word) of conditions like temp, pH, salinity, etc in order to try to kill it, but proximity to algae was essentially the only one that killed it off. The point made with the indonesian islands in proximity to population and the reduction of certain segments of fish category via commercial fishing activity is also made = grazer population reduced, algae takes over, corals die.
 

Scrubber_steve

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I do not completely agree with you. The authors emphasize the importance of the shift in the bacterial community towards copiotrophic species or strains that are potential pathogens.
And this is only an effect of external forcing
However I agree that the situation in reef aquaria may be a little bit different. In my eyes the main difference is not the separated DT and algae refugium but the skimming.
I think skimming may remove much of the bacterial growth caused by the algal sugars
I use a scrubber. I haven't used a skimmer in years.
and skimming supplies oxygen. Both may moderate the effects of the algal sugars.
Skimmers do not produce oxygen. They inject gasses into the water, whatever those gasses & their ratios happen to be in the air feeding the skimmer.
Only photosynthesis produces O2 by assimilating the C from CO2.

This is some sort of acro I have had in my tank now for 14 months, seemingly unaffected by my algae filtration & lack of a skimmer.
The two photos span a 6 month period.

upload_2018-12-5_2-54-9.png


upload_2018-12-5_2-55-39.png


upload_2018-12-5_2-56-12.png
 

Hans-Werner

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Thank you very much for this video, Floyd, I will view it completely this evening. It is a detailed explanation of the DDAM model also used in my "suggested reading".
 

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