Brown sand and Bio Media seeding question

Twillyg21

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Hello all!

About 7 weeks ago I consolidated my three reef tanks (75g, 65g, 125g) into one new system - Red Sea 3xl 900 - 240 gallon system. I started with live sand, and Carib sea live rock that was seeded for 3 months or so before my tank build. I also transferred a lot of my other bio media from the existing tanks.
Because of this, I was able to add all of my livestock after only 1 week! :)

Here’s my questions before I get too far into the weeds:

When seeding bio media with bacteria in a bucket for 24 hours, should I add anything as a carbon source (biofuel)?

And well I was contemplating that question, I thought about another:

Would Carbon dosing the bucket rapidly increase the bacteria populating process? - Vodka - for example.

@
Randy Holmes-Farley may (hopefully) have some thoughts about this.

Why am I wondering this?

I recently started getting brown sand - I had really hoped that I had skipped any “ugly” stage, and I mostly did. I decided to address this by adding the following:

2 Jars of Eco Pods (Algae Barn)
1 Jar 5280 Pods (Algae Barn)
1 Jar Poseidon’s feast pods (you guessed it, Algae Barn)
Oceanmagik Phytoplankton- 60ml a day to feed pods and help to balance the eco system
Increased my lighting in my refugium, which previously housed only 1 macro algae (caulerpa prolifera) and added sea lettuce, Red Ogo, and Pom Pom for a total of 4 Macros, all growing well
Added 3 sand sifting stars
Added a dual reactor with bio pellets on one side and Xport PO4 media on the other (to decrease phosphates- I’ll get to my levels in a moment.
I run a bag of carbon and also a bag of purigen too

And now I’m soaking 1/2 cubic foot of bio media in a Dr Tim’s one and only bacteria “bath” in a bucket with tank water and an air stone for oxygenation for the aerobic bacteria.

What does everyone think about adding a carbon source to the bucket?

Will it even make a difference in 24 hours?

Would adding Vodka, or other carbon dosing help, hurt, or do absolutely nothing to increase bacteria populations?


My tank is super stable (except the ugly brown sand) but HEAVILY stocked with about 22 fish, mostly medium and large in size, 1 derasa clam, 2 BTA’s, 1 lobster, 3 sand sifting stars, 4 tiger conches, 4 cleaner clams, 1 cleaner shrimp, and a heck ton of cuc (snails, crabs, etc) And I love LOVE to feed both my fish and corals. I feed 2 frozen cubes, 1 coral gumbo cube, a tiny daily dose of the following: Reef Roids, Benepets, and Coral Dust (I take the weekly dose recommendations for each, divide by 3, then devise by 7 for my daily amount) I also dose about 5 ml Brightwell Vitamarin C every other day (I soak the food in it :) ) as well as 5 ml of Brightwell Restor and 60 ml Oceanmagik live phyto a few times a week. I also feed a small amount of Neptune pellet food twice daily through an auto feeder to keep my Anthias happy!

For the last week or so, I started increasing my bacteria in the tank and I’ve been dosing 60ml diluted Microbacter 7 daily.

Today, I skipped the MB7 and dosed Dr Tim’s waste away at about 1/4 dose as this has worked for diatoms in the sand for me in the past.

My parameters are the following:

Salt: 35 ppt
PH: steady day and night between 8.2 -8.35
Temp: 77.5-78.5
Alk: 8.6
Cal: 460
Mg: 1330
—————All monitored and controlled by my Apex Triton and DOS pumps, using Red Sea A,B,C for KH,Cal,Mg - however I have yet to need to dose mg b/c of the AWC.

No3: fluctuates between 2-6 ppm
Po4: High at .13 ppm currently, down from .2 2 days ago when I increased my Xport Po4 media amount
ORP: 337

I have an AWC system that changes 6 gallons daily and I also do a 20% water change when I vacuum the sand -although I’ve been vacuuming the sand in between my weekly WC because I can’t stand the brown! When not doing a WC, I vacuum the sand with my returns on and have the hose run to a filter sock in my sump which I then discard.

I run a UV that is appropriately sized for my tank.

I also run an oversized skimmer that works great!

I run only LED lights and I have 4 Radions; 2 XR15 and 2 XR30

I run a 12 hour light cycle from 8am to 8pm and I recently (1 week ago) started acclimation mode to increase my light intensity by 2% daily for 2 weeks until I’m at 90% intensity. The brown sand had started before the change in lighting, and my corals and clam LOVE the increased intensity.

My FLO rating is 10 and I have 4 Neptune WAV pumps, and two Hydor 1600 gph pumps along my back wall to flush out the poop/food that would end up back there, and I have dual return pumps, Ecotech Vectra, and Neptune COR, both running 24/7 at 35%.

I have a 7 stage RODI system that includes for stages of DI (single and mixed)

I use a combo 50/50 salt mix of Red Sea Blue bucket and Red Sea Coral Pro - keeps my parameters EXACTLY where I want them

****I should note that right about the time that the brown sand showed up, I was experimenting with mixing Red Sea Coral Pro salt and IO sea salt at 50/50 ratio added while mixing in salt bins. I was attempting to see if I could “cut” the remaining Red Sea Coral Pro that I had still with a more economical salt to see if it could be done. I hated it and switched back about 1 week ago. I suspect either the mix of two salt brands, or possibly impurities in the IO salt that caused part of my sand issue.

Well, that’s about what I can think of to share, and about as much as you can stand reading ;) I’m sure by now, much like myself, you have forgotten the questions that I started this thread to explore!

If you want to know anything else, please ask!

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful answers!

-T

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Never Wash Another Nasty Filter Sock Again!

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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At no time does that reef tank need bottle bac added, nor extra surface area. But if you do that anyway, no harm. There’s nothing wrong with the system above to need more bacteria.
the blended tank uglies are expected as the new balance seats itself

if you add bacteria and new media, nothing you can test for changes.


if you were to install an entire row of canister filters along the back, same effect. Not harmful to run them, but zero benefit. The bottle bac won’t affect the trajectory of the uglies phase.
 
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Twillyg21

Twillyg21

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At no time does that reef tank need bottle bac added, nor extra surface area. But if you do that anyway, no harm. There’s nothing wrong with the system above to need more bacteria.
the blended tank uglies are expected as the new balance seats itself

if you add bacteria and new media, nothing you can test for changes.


if you were to install an entire row of canister filters along the back, same effect. Not harmful to run them, but zero benefit. The bottle bac won’t affect the trajectory of the uglies phase.
Thanks for your response! Wouldn’t the right type of bacteria eat the diatoms? (I.e Dr Tim’s waste away or Vibrant) That was my same line of thinking with the Eco Pods/Phyto. And doesn’t certain bacteria in our tanks filter/feed on both nitrates and phosphates? Thanks again!
 
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Twillyg21

Twillyg21

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I should add the disclaimer, I know my tank is fine - even though I had hoped to skip the ugly phase- my corals are doing awesome and so are my fish.

I am adding more media and seeding it with bacteria to increase my biological filtration and thus a healthier balanced tank. This also applies to my pod additions and increases. The extra macro algae b/c each algae has small differences in the type of nutrients absorbed and rate of absorption. And the sand stars are because I hope to never again see a diamond goby if I can help it :)

My question is will adding carbon to a bucket that has bio media being seeded with bottle bacteria be beneficial to bacteria growth even if only adding a carbon source for 24 hours?
***I went ahead and added the bio fuel as my thought is that adding a carbon source will increase the amount of bacteria that bind to nitrate and phosphate allowing it to be skimmed out. Same theory behind any carbon dosing.

anyone else have any thoughts?
 

germo

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I should add the disclaimer, I know my tank is fine - even though I had hoped to skip the ugly phase- my corals are doing awesome and so are my fish.

I am adding more media and seeding it with bacteria to increase my biological filtration and thus a healthier balanced tank. This also applies to my pod additions and increases. The extra macro algae b/c each algae has small differences in the type of nutrients absorbed and rate of absorption. And the sand stars are because I hope to never again see a diamond goby if I can help it :)

My question is will adding carbon to a bucket that has bio media being seeded with bottle bacteria be beneficial to bacteria growth even if only adding a carbon source for 24 hours?
***I went ahead and added the bio fuel as my thought is that adding a carbon source will increase the amount of bacteria that bind to nitrate and phosphate allowing it to be skimmed out. Same theory behind any carbon dosing.

anyone else have any thoughts?
How is it going I’m curious to know. Still no uglies or what? I am doing much the same on a smaller scale.
 
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Twillyg21

Twillyg21

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Still have a few spots of the uglies in the sand, but I skipped it completely on the rocks!

Tank is doing awesome!
 

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