Should We Be Carbon dosing?

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Timfish

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so.. basically, Carbon feeds bacteria. Bacteria comes in all size and shapes - some are good, some are bad. when you dose carbon you basically are increasing DOC in the water. DOC doesn't differentiate if it feeds the good vs the bad bacteria.

there's actual new research that looked into algae growth that seem to show that its not "excess nutrient" that causes algae, but rather this cycle of algae ->releasing DOC/sugars via photosynthesys ->bad bacteria on coral surface eat the DOC -> localized O2 level drop due to bacteria ->coral suffocate and die - >local rotting coral flesh fuel more bacteria.

maybe i'm butchering the explanation but @Timfish is the first one that showed this to me with his links to direct research source. I have since stopped dosing carbon. I dose amino instead.

Kinda, yeah ;D but it is an incredibly complex subject. I'd add some forms of DOC promote autotrophic microbial processes beneficial to corals and some forms promote heterotrophic microbial processes that can be detrimental to corals.

I think you may have butchered it :) but I’m sure I would have also.

when you say you’re not dosing carbon, Aren’t amino acid a carbon source?!

Amino acids are organic nitrogen.

The problem I see with carbon dosing is no one can deterimine whether the microbial processes being promoted are benefiting nuisance algae or corals. Another unkown variable is many sponges and especially the cryptic species ubiquitous in reef systems are processing DOC 1000X faster than bacterioplankton. These sponges are differetnially prcessing DOC depending on the source and may benefit corals or may be part of feedback loops that promote nuisance algae. AquaBiomics tests might be of help but other wise there's no way to determine short term or long term what's happening. Here's a bunch of links. First is Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" While he doesn't touch on sponges his book and video are an excellent introduction to the subject. Then are some videos by scientists researching corals sponges and reef ecosystems most I think will find infromative. hen there's a whole slew of links to papers (some need to be purchased to read but the abstracts will still convey important info for those not inclined to by them). And I think it's important to point out research done at University of Texas in Austin has shown significant differences in immune system resilliancy at the genotype level, so the innate resistance of a clone line is also a factor in these equations.

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" This video compliments Rohwer's book of the same title (Paper back is ~$20, Kindle is ~$10), both deal with the conflicting roles of the different types of DOC in reef ecosystems. While there is overlap bewteen his book and the video both have information not covered by the other and together give a broader view of the complex relationships found in reef ecosystems

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)

DOC can be roughly seperated into three catagories, Labile, Semirefractory and Refractory. Most of the following papaers are looking mainly at Labile DOC. This will raise the hackles on some reefers but keep in mind Labile DOC and Carbon Dosing are pretty much synonamous. Jasper deGeoij's work shows cryptic sponges remove labile DOC about a thousand times faster than bacterioplankton. Included are links to some of the research showing what cryptic sponges are doing as well. Also, researchers seem to use DOM (Dissolved Organic Matter) and DOC (Dissolved Organic Carbon) interchangebly although for purists there may be important distinctions.

Indirect effects of algae on coral: algae‐mediated, microbe‐induced coral mortality

Influence of coral and algal exudates on microbially mediated reef metabolism.
Coral DOC improves oxygen (autotrophy), algae DOC reduces oxygen (heterotrophy).

Role of elevated organic carbon levels and microbial activity in coral mortality

Effects of Coral Reef Benthic Primary Producers on Dissolved Organic Carbon and Microbial Activity
Algae releases significantly more DOC into the water than coral.

Pathologies and mortality rates caused by organic carbon and nutrient stressors in three Caribbean coral species.
Starch and sugars (doc) caused coral death but not high nitrates, phosphates or ammonium.

Visualization of oxygen distribution patterns caused by coral and algae

Biological oxygen demand optode analysis of coral reef-associated microbial communities exposed to algal exudates
Exposure to exudates derived from turf algae stimulated higher oxygen drawdown by the coral-associated bacteria.

Microbial ecology: Algae feed a shift on coral reefs

Coral and macroalgal exudates vary in neutral sugar composition and differentially enrich reef bacterioplankton lineages.

Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching

Elevated ammonium delays the impairment of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis during labile carbon pollution
(here's an argument for maintaining heavy fish loads if you're carbon dosing)

Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton

Unseen players shape benthic competition on coral reefs.

Allelochemicals Produced by Brown Macroalgae of the Lobophora Genus Are Active against Coral Larvae and Associated Bacteria, Supporting Pathogenic Shifts to Vibrio Dominance.

Macroalgae decrease growth and alter microbial community structure of the reef-building coral, Porites astreoides.

Macroalgal extracts induce bacterial assemblage shifts and sublethal tissue stress in Caribbean corals.

Biophysical and physiological processes causing oxygen loss from coral reefs.

Global microbialization of coral reefs
DDAM Proven

Coral Reef Microorganisms in a Changing Climate, Fig 3

Ecosystem Microbiology of Coral Reefs: Linking Genomic, Metabolomic, and Biogeochemical Dynamics from Animal Symbioses to Reefscape Processes


Because sponges are essential players in the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycle(s) on reefs here's some links to research done with them.

Element cycling on tropical coral reefs.
This is Jasper de Geoij's ground breaking research on reef sponges. (The introduction is in Dutch but the content is in English.)

Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges

Differential recycling of coral and algal dissolved organic matter via the sponge loop.
Sponges treat DOC from algae differently than DOC from corals

Surviving in a Marine Desert The Sponge Loop Retains Resources Within Coral Reefs
Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen are quickly processed by sponges and released back into the reef food web in hours as carbon and nitrogen rich detritus.

Natural Diet of Coral-Excavating Sponges Consists Mainly of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC)

The Role of Marine Sponges in Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles of COral Reefs and Nearshore Environments.

And since we're discussing favorable and not so favorable bacteria here's a paper looking at how different corals and polyps are influencing the bacteria in the water column.
Aura-biomes are present in the water layer above coral reef benthic macro-organisms

And here's some stuff on phosphorus and nitrogen:

Ammonium Uptake by Symbiotic and Aposymbiotic Reef Corals

Amino acids a source of nitrogen for corals

Urea a source of nitrogen for corals

Diazotrpophs a source of nitrogen for corals

Context Dependant Effects of Nutrient Loading on the Coral-Algal Mutualism

An Experimental Mesocosm for Longterm Studies of Reef Corals

Phosphate Deficiency:
Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching:

Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont:

Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates

Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach (increasing phosphate increases growth)

High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata

Phosphorus metabolism of reef organisms with algal symbionts

 
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Cory

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So why not just dose less carbon? Or dose more N and P? Which one do you choose? Does it even matter?
I dose very little carbon sources but i try to maintain no3 and po4 to just barely detcable. If i read nothing i add some. I dose iron citrate wich has a carbon source. You need to watch ph when dosing carbon sources that would be my hold back on it. Too low ph kills and stunts coral growth.
 
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Reefology1

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Carbon deficiency comes about because food or a living organisms is consumed for two purposes: to generate energy and to build biomass. Making energy uses organic carbon but not nitrogen or phosphorous. Building biomass uses carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous.

A large portion of what an organism consumes goes to making energy, that is, the carbon is primarily used up. That is why nitrogen (e.g., nitrate) and phosphorous (mostly phosphate) tend to accumulate in the aquarium. The other waste product CO2 can escape.
If you keep an inventory of the food elements imported into the aquarium that are used versus left behind, N and P are alsways larger than C. When we carbon dose, the balance in the food inventory shifts.

Carbon dosing supplies bacteria the needed energy for growth and building biomass, resulting in the N and P in the aquarium being sopped up. This is regularly done in fish farms, though they use other carbon sources. In principle, fish food could be mixed with extra organic carbon to keep the carbon inventory high enough to consume all the nitrogen, though maybe not the phosphorous.

Make sense?
Makes great sense, thank you kind sir. @Dan_P I've noticed you started several threads on carbon dosing a few years back. Be warned, as I make my way through those, I may ask a few question to bring those threads to the surface.

Cheers!
 
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Reefology1

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Amino acids are organic nitrogen.

The problem I see with carbon dosing is no one can deterimine whether the microbial processes being promoted are benefiting nuisance algae or corals.
Thank you @Timfish for all the great links/info, enough to keep me busy for a while.

Does the quote above suggest you don't carbon dose? If so, how do you deal with excess N and P?
 

Timfish

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Thank you @Timfish for all the great links/info, enough to keep me busy for a while.

Does the quote above suggest you don't carbon dose? If so, how do you deal with excess N and P?

No, I don't use carbon dosing. I also won't use skimmers, initially I ddin't see them as necessary in the 90s but after reading Feldman's research showing they skew the microbial populations in aquaria I see them as detrimental to the long term success of keeping corals.

Water changes and GFO. I'd argue getting rid of the hydrophillic DOC that promotes pathogenic changes in coral microbiomes is a more important to remove than excess N and P and water changes is the best way to do insure it's removal IMO. It can't be removed by skimmers or GFO and Ozone has the risk of promoting microbial we don't want as it converts refractory DOC into forms more easily consumed by bacteria.


Here's some links to Feldman's research:

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 1

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 2

Elemental Analysis of Skimmate

Bacterial Counts in Reef Aquarium Water
 
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Dan_P

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Makes great sense, thank you kind sir. @Dan_P I've noticed you started several threads on carbon dosing a few years back. Be warned, as I make my way through those, I may ask a few question to bring those threads to the surface.

Cheers!
Happy to help. I will no doubt learn something from your questions.
 

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I tried to follow this thread, but may need someone to explain in more english terms. :)

I've been carbon dosing (vodka) about 4-5 months now. SInce I stopped doing water changes. I'm up to 11ml of vodka per day.

My tests show that Phosphates dropped significantly. However, nitrates are, at best being somewhat limited.

My ICP test showed phosphates at .04 (I'm very happy with this number).

My Hana Tester High range nitrate tester shows nitrates reaching 30. Week over week for the last 4 weeks they've been rising about 3-5 per week. And have finally hit the 31-32 mark. I don't know when corals will start to suffer. I noticed recession on one acro, but all other corals are doing great and even the one receeding is still doing amazingly good for nitrates over 30.

I guess, my question is, can carbon dosing fuel the bacteria that help to reduce nitrates if phosphates are limited?

I run a large sized skimmer (Rated at 500 gallons moderate load) and an algae turf scrubber, lights at max and running 22 out of 24 hours a day. I used to run it 16 hours a day and since going up to 22 hours a day I get double the production of hair algae in the scrubber. I have to clean it every 3 days now. After 4 days it starts to plug up both the primary and emergency drains. . .

Do I continue raising my carbon dosing to 12-15 ml per day. . . or more until nitrates start to fall or do I accept I'm limited on how much bacteria I can grow?
 

BradB

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Carbon dosing (sugar, vodka, etc) have been popular before, and while they have improved my testable parameters, I've never seen an improvement in how my tank looks.

Carbon + Nitrate + Phosphate = algae. Algae growth lowers all 3 in proportion to what it needs, water changes lower all of them in proportion to what is in the water, feeding raises all in proportion to what is in the food.

Most of my tanks accumulate phosphate and have low or no nitrate. There is no reason to dose carbon, as Nitrate is limiting algae growth.

I've had tanks accumulate Nitrate, either naturally over time, or with Nitrate dosing. Phosphate tends to stay low in these tanks, and Nitrate is not that harmful and well controlled with water changes.

In theory, if Nitrate and Phosphate are both higher than you want, Carbon dosing will lower them. But this is an unusual situation, and you probably are better off doing a water change.
 

Nano sapiens

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No, I don't use carbon dosing. I also won't use skimmers, initially I ddin't see them as necessary in the 90s but after reading Feldman's research showing they skew the microbial populations in aquaria I see them as detrimental to the long term success of keeping corals.

Water changes and GFO. I'd argue getting rid of the hydrophillic DOC that promotes pathogenic changes in coral microbiomes is a more important to remove than excess N and P and water changes is the best way to do insure it's removal IMO. It can't be removed by skimmers or GFO and Ozone has the risk of promoting microbial we don't want as it converts refractory DOC into forms more easily consumed by bacteria.

That is interesting as it basically mirrors how I have run my systems over the decades (no skimmer, no mechanical or chemical filtration, regular detritus removal/control and consistent water changes). I adopted this way of reefing long before I read Feldman's articles, but it was nice to see a scientific approach to the subject.
 
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Reefology1

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No, I don't use carbon dosing. I also won't use skimmers, initially I ddin't see them as necessary in the 90s but after reading Feldman's research showing they skew the microbial populations in aquaria I see them as detrimental to the long term success of keeping corals.

Water changes and GFO. I'd argue getting rid of the hydrophillic DOC that promotes pathogenic changes in coral microbiomes is a more important to remove than excess N and P and water changes is the best way to do insure it's removal IMO. It can't be removed by skimmers or GFO and Ozone has the risk of promoting microbial we don't want as it converts refractory DOC into forms more easily consumed by bacteria.


Here's some links to Feldman's research:

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 1

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 2

Elemental Analysis of Skimmate

Bacterial Counts in Reef Aquarium Water
Once again, thank you, I really appreciate the links.
Cheers
 
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Reefology1

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In theory, if Nitrate and Phosphate are both higher than you want, Carbon dosing will lower them. But this is an unusual situation, and you probably are better off doing a water change.
Sorry to put this so bluntly, but In my estimation, it’s the “least” unusual situation. It’s noted everywhere on this forum and the reason carbon dosing is so popular in the first place.

And, tell me again, specifically, why you do water changes?
 

Timfish

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That is interesting as it basically mirrors how I have run my systems over the decades (no skimmer, no mechanical or chemical filtration, regular detritus removal/control and consistent water changes). I adopted this way of reefing long before I read Feldman's articles, but it was nice to see a scientific approach to the subject.

Likewise. :D I realized back in hte 90s there wasn't a direct association between nitrates, phosphates and nuisance algae. (I also had a very brief but seminal conversation with the director of an infectious disease department of a local hospital, her comments about bacteria is what got me thinking holisticly about my systems.) What got me started in 2009 - 2010 into digging up what researchers were actually finding was the assertions I was seeing on the forums that phosphates had to be kept very low which contradicted what my experiences were. Besides research done in the 80s and 90s that was ignored showing reefs systems were not "ultra low nutrient systems" there was emerging research showing sugars or excess labile DOC palyed a huge role in degradation of reef ecosystems. And the stuff that's been found in the last few years has only hammered home the importance of having healthy microbial processes and the wrong types of DOC in our systems will guarentee failure at some point.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Carbon dosing (sugar, vodka, etc) have been popular before, and while they have improved my testable parameters, I've never seen an improvement in how my tank looks.

I have, and I dosed vinegar primarily for the benefit it provided since I didn't measure or care much about nutrient levels.

The benefit I value from it is to provide food for filter feeders such as sponges, which grew considerably mroe after I starting dosing viengar.
In theory, if Nitrate and Phosphate are both higher than you want, Carbon dosing will lower them. But this is an unusual situation, and you probably are better off doing a water change.

You really think elevated nutrients is an unusual situation?
 

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I tried to follow this thread, but may need someone to explain in more english terms. :)

I've been carbon dosing (vodka) about 4-5 months now. SInce I stopped doing water changes. I'm up to 11ml of vodka per day.

My tests show that Phosphates dropped significantly. However, nitrates are, at best being somewhat limited.

My ICP test showed phosphates at .04 (I'm very happy with this number).

My Hana Tester High range nitrate tester shows nitrates reaching 30. Week over week for the last 4 weeks they've been rising about 3-5 per week. And have finally hit the 31-32 mark. I don't know when corals will start to suffer. I noticed recession on one acro, but all other corals are doing great and even the one receeding is still doing amazingly good for nitrates over 30.

I guess, my question is, can carbon dosing fuel the bacteria that help to reduce nitrates if phosphates are limited?

I run a large sized skimmer (Rated at 500 gallons moderate load) and an algae turf scrubber, lights at max and running 22 out of 24 hours a day. I used to run it 16 hours a day and since going up to 22 hours a day I get double the production of hair algae in the scrubber. I have to clean it every 3 days now. After 4 days it starts to plug up both the primary and emergency drains. . .

Do I continue raising my carbon dosing to 12-15 ml per day. . . or more until nitrates start to fall or do I accept I'm limited on how much bacteria I can grow?
Here are couple ideas.

ICP values for phosphorous may not be reliable. Stick to measuring phosphate yourself. Your system could be phosphate depleted.

I have upper limit I use for vinegar dosing, 1 mL per gallon. My system starts to have visible bacteria growth and nitrate begins to nose dive. Phosphate will also start to be used up. I have dosed PO4 during this period. Vodka has very roughly 8 times more organic carbon per mL. My upper limit translates to 1/8 mL per gallon vodka. I see you have a 340 gallon system which means an upper limit of vodka about 40 mL. 11 mL could be too low to see much nitrate reduction.

Your algae scrubber capacity might be too small for the amount of nitrate generated by your system. I have no idea how these things are sized. I have about 2 square feet of Ulva which doubles in volume every 5-7 days for a 100 gallon system. My nitrates came down from 25 and are stuck at 7 ppm. How many square feet if algae do you have, roughly?
 

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Right let me clarify. My thought process is that when people say "carbon dosing" they use it as a form of no3/po4 export by promoting bacteria growth that would otherwise by "carbon limited" (something about Redfield ratio). Since now we have much more effective other methods of no3/po4 export, it seems carbon dosing is not worth the risk with the good bacteria/bad bacteria issue. Amino dosing to me is worth the risk of adding carbon bc its purpose is to introduce direct coral nutrition, esp for things thats hard for corals to come by naturally via photosynthesis or via capturing in an artificql reef tank setting.
I was under the impression that carbon dosing --> more bacteria -->Bacteria use N and P ---> Bacteria are skimmed out. Thus - N and P export.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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No, it creates a mess and can grow bacteria that is harmful.

What evidence do you have that it is "Harmful", and what harm is it supposed to cause?

It only creates a mess if you use it inappropriately, as can any additive.
 
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Reefology1

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I was under the impression that carbon dosing --> more bacteria -->Bacteria use N and P ---> Bacteria are skimmed out. Thus - N and P export.
Yes but only the bacteria in the water column that pass through the skimmer can be removed. He is referring to (what he calls) “bad bacteria” that are accumulating on coral tissue.
 

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What evidence do you have that it is "Harmful", and what harm is it supposed to cause?

It only creates a mess if you use it inappropriately, as can any additive.

When i started carbon dosing issues with STN and brown jelly began and continued. When i stopped, all of the issues stopped. Anecdotal, as is most everything in reefing, but the timing was spot on and didn't really do anything else different.

Do you have any reason to believe that, assuming STN and brown jelly is caused by bacteria, that carbon dosing would not feed such bacteria?

As to the mess and slime, that is what i experienced, which also what Jake Adams said about carbon dosing in one of his reefbuildrers/reef threarpy videos. He talked about slime even getting on his fish. He said it was messy and there are better ways to deal with the same issue. I agree.
 

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Kinda, yeah ;D but it is an incredibly complex subject. I'd add some forms of DOC promote autotrophic microbial processes beneficial to corals and some forms promote heterotrophic microbial processes that can be detrimental to corals.



Amino acids are organic nitrogen.

The problem I see with carbon dosing is no one can deterimine whether the microbial processes being promoted are benefiting nuisance algae or corals. Another unkown variable is many sponges and especially the cryptic species ubiquitous in reef systems are processing DOC 1000X faster than bacterioplankton. These sponges are differetnially prcessing DOC depending on the source and may benefit corals or may be part of feedback loops that promote nuisance algae. AquaBiomics tests might be of help but other wise there's no way to determine short term or long term what's happening. Here's a bunch of links. First is Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" While he doesn't touch on sponges his book and video are an excellent introduction to the subject. Then are some videos by scientists researching corals sponges and reef ecosystems most I think will find infromative. hen there's a whole slew of links to papers (some need to be purchased to read but the abstracts will still convey important info for those not inclined to by them). And I think it's important to point out research done at University of Texas in Austin has shown significant differences in immune system resilliancy at the genotype level, so the innate resistance of a clone line is also a factor in these equations.

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" This video compliments Rohwer's book of the same title (Paper back is ~$20, Kindle is ~$10), both deal with the conflicting roles of the different types of DOC in reef ecosystems. While there is overlap bewteen his book and the video both have information not covered by the other and together give a broader view of the complex relationships found in reef ecosystems

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)

DOC can be roughly seperated into three catagories, Labile, Semirefractory and Refractory. Most of the following papaers are looking mainly at Labile DOC. This will raise the hackles on some reefers but keep in mind Labile DOC and Carbon Dosing are pretty much synonamous. Jasper deGeoij's work shows cryptic sponges remove labile DOC about a thousand times faster than bacterioplankton. Included are links to some of the research showing what cryptic sponges are doing as well. Also, researchers seem to use DOM (Dissolved Organic Matter) and DOC (Dissolved Organic Carbon) interchangebly although for purists there may be important distinctions.

Indirect effects of algae on coral: algae‐mediated, microbe‐induced coral mortality

Influence of coral and algal exudates on microbially mediated reef metabolism.
Coral DOC improves oxygen (autotrophy), algae DOC reduces oxygen (heterotrophy).

Role of elevated organic carbon levels and microbial activity in coral mortality

Effects of Coral Reef Benthic Primary Producers on Dissolved Organic Carbon and Microbial Activity
Algae releases significantly more DOC into the water than coral.

Pathologies and mortality rates caused by organic carbon and nutrient stressors in three Caribbean coral species.
Starch and sugars (doc) caused coral death but not high nitrates, phosphates or ammonium.

Visualization of oxygen distribution patterns caused by coral and algae

Biological oxygen demand optode analysis of coral reef-associated microbial communities exposed to algal exudates
Exposure to exudates derived from turf algae stimulated higher oxygen drawdown by the coral-associated bacteria.

Microbial ecology: Algae feed a shift on coral reefs

Coral and macroalgal exudates vary in neutral sugar composition and differentially enrich reef bacterioplankton lineages.

Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching

Elevated ammonium delays the impairment of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis during labile carbon pollution
(here's an argument for maintaining heavy fish loads if you're carbon dosing)

Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton

Unseen players shape benthic competition on coral reefs.

Allelochemicals Produced by Brown Macroalgae of the Lobophora Genus Are Active against Coral Larvae and Associated Bacteria, Supporting Pathogenic Shifts to Vibrio Dominance.

Macroalgae decrease growth and alter microbial community structure of the reef-building coral, Porites astreoides.

Macroalgal extracts induce bacterial assemblage shifts and sublethal tissue stress in Caribbean corals.

Biophysical and physiological processes causing oxygen loss from coral reefs.

Global microbialization of coral reefs
DDAM Proven

Coral Reef Microorganisms in a Changing Climate, Fig 3

Ecosystem Microbiology of Coral Reefs: Linking Genomic, Metabolomic, and Biogeochemical Dynamics from Animal Symbioses to Reefscape Processes


Because sponges are essential players in the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycle(s) on reefs here's some links to research done with them.

Element cycling on tropical coral reefs.
This is Jasper de Geoij's ground breaking research on reef sponges. (The introduction is in Dutch but the content is in English.)

Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges

Differential recycling of coral and algal dissolved organic matter via the sponge loop.
Sponges treat DOC from algae differently than DOC from corals

Surviving in a Marine Desert The Sponge Loop Retains Resources Within Coral Reefs
Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen are quickly processed by sponges and released back into the reef food web in hours as carbon and nitrogen rich detritus.

Natural Diet of Coral-Excavating Sponges Consists Mainly of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC)

The Role of Marine Sponges in Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles of COral Reefs and Nearshore Environments.

And since we're discussing favorable and not so favorable bacteria here's a paper looking at how different corals and polyps are influencing the bacteria in the water column.
Aura-biomes are present in the water layer above coral reef benthic macro-organisms

And here's some stuff on phosphorus and nitrogen:

Ammonium Uptake by Symbiotic and Aposymbiotic Reef Corals

Amino acids a source of nitrogen for corals

Urea a source of nitrogen for corals

Diazotrpophs a source of nitrogen for corals

Context Dependant Effects of Nutrient Loading on the Coral-Algal Mutualism

An Experimental Mesocosm for Longterm Studies of Reef Corals

Phosphate Deficiency:
Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching:

Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont:

Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates

Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach (increasing phosphate increases growth)

High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata

Phosphorus metabolism of reef organisms with algal symbionts

Some of your papers are exactly why I dose organic carbon: organisms benefit from it. For example, sponges.

I've yet to see any published or unpublished evidence that acetate causes problems.

Since you are trying to build a case against organic carbon dosing, have you seen any such evidence for acetate?

IMO, to claim that some organic molecules are a problem so acetate is also a problem is no more satisfying than to claim that fish eat corals so should not be kept with corals. Both statements require more direct evidence to be useful.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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When i started carbon dosing issues with STN and brown jelly began and continued. When i stopped, all of the issues stopped. Anecdotal, as is most everything in reefing, but the timing was spot on and didn't really do anything else different.

Do you have any reason to believe that, assuming STN and brown jelly is caused by bacteria, that carbon dosing would not feed such bacteria?

As to the mess and slime, that is what i experienced, which also what Jake Adams said about carbon dosing in one of his reefbuildrers/reef threarpy videos. He talked about slime even getting on his fish. He said it was messy and there are better ways to deal with the same issue. I agree.

What did you dose?

Such effects are unusual, but certainly might be real and folks should not start or continue to dose if they already know they have a bacterial disease in the aquarium.

I dosed vinegar up to really massive doses, and at 410 mL a day to by 120 display (~350 gallons total), i did determine it was too much since the water because somewhat hazy and some organisms did not seem optimal (forget exactly what that was), but at 200 mL a day or less, those negative effects disappeared. I never saw any visible bacteria at event the high dose of 2 mL per gallon. 110 mL spread through the lit hours of the day was my standard dose for years.

Folks should NOT equate all organic molecules. I chose acetate because it is consumed by a great many organisms. It is probably the single highest concentration organic molecule in the ocean, at least in turns of turnover, because so many creatures use it. Thus, it is unlikely to drive only a few species.
 
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