Dosing mb7 adding nutrients

p1u5h13r4m24

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When battling algaes in a reef tank many suggest to use a bacteria product such as MB7 to out compete the algae. Another form of action would be to rebalance the nutrients to the red field ratio and allow bacteria a chance to feed and grow to out compete the algae.
I may be wrong on this, but this is how I’m understanding it. I have used bacteria before to successfully out compete cyano/dinos, however my nutrient levels dropped very low. A month after stopping the bacteria the algae came right back and I believe it was from nutrients being low and out of balance.

Scenario 1: so is the idea to keep dosing nutrients to keep nutrients balanced while dosing bacteria? I am assuming in this scenario the bacteria levels will eventually grow higher than the algae levels and they can out compete the algae regardless of there being enough nutrients for both.

scenerio 2: dose the bacteria and not any nutrients so that the bacterias starve out the algaes of nutrients? The problem would then be unbalanced nutrients at the end and a possible relapse?

I can’t seem to find a clear answer and in short what I’m asking is. Do you dose nutrients while dosing mb7, because dosing mb7 is essentially carbon dosing and will lower nutrient levels.

thanks in advance!
 
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p1u5h13r4m24

p1u5h13r4m24

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It would be hard for me to tell you, I can only see it affecting coral if the nutrients were to have a rapid fluctuation or if it where to fully depleted the nutrients available in the tank. With coral is difficult as there is a vast amount of parameters fluctuations that can affect them, not just nutrients.
Regarding the fish could of been again several different factors happening, would be wrong from my side to speculate without further info.
Hey so it’s been 5 days and 1 10% water change since I started the activated carbon. My water was definitely yellow and I believe it still is. I’m seeing the most success I’ve had in the last month battling my issues. Cyano is almost all gone, gha is almost all gone and Dino’s is less every day. One problem I noticed today is my nitrates are 1/2 ppm and my phos is .04. I’m afraid to dose nitrate because everything is working so well and my nitrates are already too low for my dkh (8.6).
im hoping that the GAC removes enough carbon that N reverses and starts to go up at some point, however I understand dosing bacteria will be driving those numbers down.
I am making progress, just want to make sure I don’t starve out my other corals. Just wanted to give use an update!
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hey so it’s been 5 days and 1 10% water change since I started the activated carbon. My water was definitely yellow and I believe it still is. I’m seeing the most success I’ve had in the last month battling my issues. Cyano is almost all gone, gha is almost all gone and Dino’s is less every day. One problem I noticed today is my nitrates are 1/2 ppm and my phos is .04. I’m afraid to dose nitrate because everything is working so well and my nitrates are already too low for my dkh (8.6).
im hoping that the GAC removes enough carbon that N reverses and starts to go up at some point, however I understand dosing bacteria will be driving those numbers down.
I am making progress, just want to make sure I don’t starve out my other corals. Just wanted to give use an update!

I would not assume the carbon export will do anything significant for nitrate, up or down.

But it's far more likely to take nitrate down than up, IMO, by exporting organics containing N before they break down to nitrate.
 
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p1u5h13r4m24

p1u5h13r4m24

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I would not assume the carbon export will do anything significant for nitrate, up or down.

But it's far more likely to take nitrate down than up, IMO, by exporting organics containing N before they break down to
I would not assume the carbon export will do anything significant for nitrate, up or down.

But it's far more likely to take nitrate down than up, IMO, by exporting organics containing N before they break down to nitrate.
I decided to dose .5ppm of Neonitro to prevent nitrates from dropping too far. I do feel like I’m moving in the right direction with the DOC removal and the bacteria dosing. Hopefully in another few days the bacteria really starts out competing the dinos as the other issues seems to be just about gone.
 
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sixty_reefer

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I decided to dose .5ppm of Neonitro to prevent nitrates from dropping too far. I do feel like I’m moving in the right direction with the DOC removal and the bacteria dosing. Hopefully in another few days the bacteria really starts out competing the dinos as the other issues seems to be just about gone.
Other thing you could look into is your sand bed, over time the sand bed can became a sink hole for trapped organics, probably worth to give it a good clean during the next water change.
 
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p1u5h13r4m24

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Other thing you could look into is your sand bed, over time the sand bed can became a sink hole for trapped organics, probably worth to give it a good clean during the next water change.
I did a wc yesterday, but I didn’t get too deep into the sand bed. I used an airline tube to suck up whatever algaes I could. The water in the bucket was clear so I decided to take the GAC out as I didn’t want to strip out too much. I did read it can remove some beneficial trace elements as well? Anyway almost all Dino’s are gone today everything is looking great! I think I’m going to run GAC once a month for about a week and I will work on the sand bed. I have the protein skimmer offline also as I’m still battling low nutrients 2-3ppm nitrate and I got 0 on my ulr phos reader today. I do have phos that I could dose, but I’m going to retest things tomorrow and see how things are looking. Otherwise I’m really happy with the progress I’m just deciding how I can keep doing what I’m doing, without stripping the nutrients out.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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I did a wc yesterday, but I didn’t get too deep into the sand bed. I used an airline tube to suck up whatever algaes I could. The water in the bucket was clear so I decided to take the GAC out as I didn’t want to strip out too much. I did read it can remove some beneficial trace elements as well? Anyway almost all Dino’s are gone today everything is looking great! I think I’m going to run GAC once a month for about a week and I will work on the sand bed. I have the protein skimmer offline also as I’m still battling low nutrients 2-3ppm nitrate and I got 0 on my ulr phos reader today. I do have phos that I could dose, but I’m going to retest things tomorrow and see how things are looking. Otherwise I’m really happy with the progress I’m just deciding how I can keep doing what I’m doing, without stripping the nutrients out.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding of GAC and trace elements, and I do not think there is evidence that GAC binds most bare trace elements from seawater, but many trace elements are bound to organic matter and many of those organics will bind to GAC.
 
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p1u5h13r4m24

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There’s a lot of misunderstanding of GAC and trace elements, and I do not think there is evidence that GAC binds most bare trace elements from seawater, but many trace elements are bound to organic matter and many of those organics will bind to GAC.
So you’re suggesting by using GAC to remove organic matter It could be possible to remove trace elements as well. I just remember I stopped using GAC about 3 years ago because I thought I noticed some negative affects. Oddly enough I never had dinos or algae issues until I stopped using GAC
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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So you’re suggesting by using GAC to remove organic matter It could be possible to remove trace elements as well. I just remember I stopped using GAC about 3 years ago because I thought I noticed some negative affects. Oddly enough I never had dinos or algae issues until I stopped using GAC

It's possible for some (like copper) and less likely for others, such as vanadium. But in general I do not think it the main way that these are removed from the water.
 
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p1u5h13r4m24

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It's possible for some (like copper) and less likely for others, such as vanadium. But in general I do not think it the main way that these are removed from the water.
Another question I have is about the difference between DOC and nitrate. Since I’m having a tough time keeping phos and nitrate up i now believe it’s because , one I am dosing mb7 for the algae but also I may have an excess of DOC. Sixty reefer suggested vacuuming or fluffing the sand bed to remove DOC, but I’m afraid that’s also going to lower my nitrate/phos which I’m trying to keep up. I also have a sponge filter which may be a month or two since I cleaned. However I left it so I could built nitrates, but now I’m thinking it’s full of DOC.
Thanks!
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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IMO, concerns about DOC lowering being a problem nutrient wise are totally unfounded, unless you are dosing readily metabolized organics such as vodka or vinegar.

I don’t really understand how one expects dosing mb7 to deter algae without lowering nutrients (if it helps algae at all, that would be why, IMO).
 
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p1u5h13r4m24

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IMO, concerns about DOC lowering being a problem nutrient wise are totally unfounded, unless you are dosing readily metabolized organics such as vodka or vinegar.

I don’t really understand how one expects dosing mb7 to deter algae without lowering nutrients (if it helps algae at all, that would be why, IMO).
Well my p and n are both very low and I’m trying to make sure I keep enough that the corals don’t starve.
as for my thinking behind the correlation between DOC and nutrients would be for example people refer to dirty sand beds and dirty sponges filters as “nitrate factories” what makes them nitrate factories? If they are loaded with DOC wouldn’t that be feeding bacteria that than lower nitrate and phos? But you’re saying you don’t think there’s a correlation between DOC essentially feedeing bacteria that would then cause n & p to naturally drop?
however I believe the main reason n&p are dropping is because the bacteria dosing. If I just dose back in what is being consumed every day with neophos and Neonitro I can keep my nutrients from bottoming out and starving corals.
 
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I have a simular problem. I also have difficulty keeping nitrates up. I've been dosing sodium nitrate for a long time. After some time nitrates would start to decline again. I would up the dosing. Over time, I was dosing 70 ml daily to keep nitrates at 2 ppm. Bacteria numbers would grow to consume nitrates. So I stopped dosing nitrates and started to slowly removed live rock to remove some bacteria. Over a months time, I remove probably over 50 lbs of live rock. Half full big Brite garbage can. Nitrates is still dropping. This morning it's at 0.31 ppm using Hanna low range color meter. Dosing nitrates seems to make bacteria multiply. I do have some cyano in the tank and in the sump. Area sectioned of for frags. It has some sand where most of the cyano is. I'm with you. Water changes to help with cyano, but lowers nitrates. I've been reefing since 2005. Never had to battle high or low nutrients until now. I'm following along hoping your experience will help me. Wish you the best.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Well my p and n are both very low and I’m trying to make sure I keep enough that the corals don’t starve.
as for my thinking behind the correlation between DOC and nutrients would be for example people refer to dirty sand beds and dirty sponges filters as “nitrate factories” what makes them nitrate factories? If they are loaded with DOC wouldn’t that be feeding bacteria that than lower nitrate and phos? But you’re saying you don’t think there’s a correlation between DOC essentially feedeing bacteria that would then cause n & p to naturally drop?
however I believe the main reason n&p are dropping is because the bacteria dosing. If I just dose back in what is being consumed every day with neophos and Neonitro I can keep my nutrients from bottoming out and starving corals.

The dirty sand bed comment relates to organics that contain n and p accumulating there and breaking down to release ammonia/nitrate and phosphate.
 
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p1u5h13r4m24

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The dirty sand bed comment relates to organics that contain n and p accumulating there and breaking down to release ammonia/
The dirty sand bed comment relates to organics that contain n and p accumulating there and breaking down to release ammonia/nitrate and phosphate.
After they are broke down and release ammonia/nitrate and phosphate and there is still detritus left in the sponge, would it than just be DOC?
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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After they are broke down and release ammonia/nitrate and phosphate and there is still detritus left in the sponge, would it than just be DOC?

No, the organic is metabolized to release the n and p. It does not just remove those. The stuff that remains contains lots of stuff still, include C, N, and P.
 
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p1u5h13r4m24

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No, the organic is metabolized to release the n and p. It does not just remove those. The stuff that remains contains lots of stuff still, include C, N, and P.
So if I understand this correctly, as long as there is detritus in a sump or sponge, maybe a sand bed, it would consiste of c n & p which would not be released in watercolumn so it won’t show on tests, however it can be metabolized to release c n&p?
If that’s right that’s a big eye opener for me ha!
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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So if I understand this correctly, as long as there is detritus in a sump or sponge, maybe a sand bed, it would consiste of c n & p which would not be released in watercolumn so it won’t show on tests, however it can be metabolized to release c n&p?
If that’s right that’s a big eye opener for me ha!

Yes, detritus can be an ongoing source of n and p, which is why many folks vacuum it up. I let it accumulate in my sump.
 
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p1u5h13r4m24

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Yes, detritus can be an ongoing source of n and p, which is why many folks vacuum it up. I let it accumulate in my sump.
Yes, detritus can be an ongoing source of n and p, which is why many folks vacuum it up. I let it accumulate in my sump.
You mean detritus would be an ongoing source of N & P for bacterias; but since it’s not in the water column the N and P wouldn’t be benefiting the corals? Or in other words if I remove detritus I shouldn’t see a drop on my n & p on my test kits. Also leaving detritus in my tank will really only benefit maybe nitrifying bacteria or possible unwanted algaes/bacterias. My theory of “I’m gonna leave my filter get dirty so my corals have food” has been wrong and could possibly be contributing to the cyano/Dinos and why I’m struggling to keep nutrients in the water column
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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You mean detritus would be an ongoing source of N & P for bacterias; but since it’s not in the water column the N and P wouldn’t be benefiting the corals? Or in other words if I remove detritus I shouldn’t see a drop on my n & p on my test kits. Also leaving detritus in my tank will really only benefit maybe nitrifying bacteria or possible unwanted algaes/bacterias. My theory of “I’m gonna leave my filter get dirty so my corals have food” has been wrong and could possibly be contributing to the cyano/Dinos and why I’m struggling to keep nutrients in the water column

Bacteria that consume detritus will be a source of nitrate and phosphate to the aquarium water column, just like fish eating fish food.

All heterotrophic organisms (from bacteria to people to whales) take in organics and excrete excess N and P and CO2.
 
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