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davej
09-05-2014, 07:22 PM
I am in the process of setting up a new tank, a 60 gallon solana cube.
I will be running a vertex omega skimmer in a roughly 20 gallon sump.
I will be heavy on the zoas with a few LPS as well.
I was reading thru a thread on reef2reef by a guy name Jourdy, and he has had great sucess with bio-pellets.
I have built a chamber for a refugium in my sump originaly to put chaeto in there, but have been reading up on bio-pellet lately.
Being a new build would I be better served with refugium of reactor?
Please post your reasons for your decision as well.

Craigdillman
09-05-2014, 07:36 PM
This all depends on what your goals are and what it plans for the tank are

Are you keeping some mandrins or fish needing pod population? Get the fuge
Are you more worried about nutrient export or nitrates and phosphates get the pellets
Using the fuge as sole nutrient export won't work either unless your cheato is he size of your DT it helps but can't be the sole nutrient export

So it all depends on what your doing with the tank
Both will work givin the circumstances

My 2 cents

straightrazorguy
09-05-2014, 08:54 PM
....I have both. I started out with the refugium. I love the pods and all the critters that thrive in the predation-free environment. But, as far as bacteria population and nutrient reduction, the biopellet is more effective. So, I added the biopellet reactor later and kept my refugium. My tank is thriving, and my copperband is nice and fat.

davej
09-05-2014, 09:00 PM
This all depends on what your goals are and what it plans for the tank are


My goal is to have beautiful happy zoas.
something like this (Hope its ok to borrow link to his picture)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y232/revhtree/R2R%20Site%20Images/1780930_654031687967315_800470553_o_zpsea77913f.jp g

iceman86
09-06-2014, 12:59 AM
Chaeto to grow pods
Reactor for nutrient export
Your sump is way too small to have enough chaeto for nutrient export. Reactor is less maintenance too. If you end up running both, be careful not to strip your system of nutrients or your chaeto will die.

davej
09-06-2014, 05:14 AM
Your sump is way too small to have enough chaeto for nutrient export.



Just to clear it up my sump is 24 x 24 15



I fiured the 20 gallons is the axctual volume of the water in the sump.

Refugium is 6 X 18 12"

Here is a picture without water, refugium is up front
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/09/06/uzu5u8es.jpg

reefwars
09-06-2014, 01:56 PM
Personally I would use a soluable carbon source like vinegar or vodka or mox of both instead of pellets.

With pellets there really is no control , you run the risk of the pellets failing if the reactor fails and not to mention they take up space , smell and are expensive.

If space is available I would combine a few different export methods .

Macro algae , GAC /gfo , carbon dosing , skimming etc.

my zoanthid systems are vinegar dosed and that keeps nitrates undetectable and po4 is also undetectable on a Hanna phosphorous.

With po4 so low the beauty is I can cut my carbon doses down if I need to or raise as I need to.

Between vodka , pellets and vinegar I've noticed that the zoanthids respond very well to the acetic acid and growth and colors couldn't be better.

davej
09-06-2014, 02:27 PM
Personally I would use a soluable carbon source like vinegar or vodka or mox of both instead of pellets.

With pellets there really is no control , you run the risk of the pellets failing if the reactor fails and not to mention they take up space , smell and are expensive.

If space is available I would combine a few different export methods .

Macro algae , GAC /gfo , carbon dosing , skimming etc.

my zoanthid systems are vinegar dosed and that keeps nitrates undetectable and po4 is also undetectable on a Hanna phosphorous.

With po4 so low the beauty is I can cut my carbon doses down if I need to or raise as I need to.

Between vodka , pellets and vinegar I've noticed that the zoanthids respond very well to the acetic acid and growth and colors couldn't be better.

Can you recommend any good write ups on vinegar dosing?
Any advantage or disadvantage between vinegar and vodka?

iceman86
09-06-2014, 02:36 PM
http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/current-issue/article/116-vinegar-dosing-methodology-for-the-marine-aquarium

Some people tend to get cyano with vodka

reefwars
09-06-2014, 02:55 PM
Here is an incredible thread explaining what carbon dosing is and does.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2134105


Here is a link to the directions for vinegar or vodka

http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/current-issue/article/116-vinegar-dosing-methodology-for-the-marine-aquarium

No advantages by using either as they end up in the same path it's just vodka takes a extra step to get there.

Some people report less cyano using vinegar , some end up using a lot with big tanks so go with vodka or a mix of both.

Vinegar has an immediate effect of ph drop , so it's recommended to spread it out over the course of a day if you have to us a lot . In my home system of 200g I dose 72ml of vinegar as soon as the lights come on . To offset the ph drop I also time my doser to dose soda ash. I don't get much of a drop in ph on this tank.

A while back I switched out the bio pellets on a 500g reef , I was having issues with chalices , a lot of acros and the list goes on. Finally I decided to pull the pellets and switch it out to vinegar , it took one month for the vinegar to completely do what the pellets were doing . I immediately saw better results in all sps and all lps........my issues were gone in one month. The dose for this tank is big though at 475ml a day so it has to be broke down and dosed over a photo period.


Now the chart above shows a 16 week dosing schedule , most people do it on a 4 week chart like this.

0.1 ml per gallon for 7 days(week 1 )
0.2 ml per gallon for 7 days (week 2)
0.3 ml per gallon for 7 days (week 3 )
0.4 ml per gallon for 7 days (week4)

Whether you decide to go above 0.4 ml per gallon will depend on your bioload and nutrients as well method removed.

Randy's personal guideline for vinegar is 15ml per 100g


Keep in mind that vodka is 8x stronger than vinegar , so one of the reasons I chose vinegar over vodka is because the dose is a little less potent per ml added.

Before going head on do some research on it all. Bio pellets are also a form of carbon dosing :)

You have to monitor nitrates and phosphates , keep your skimmer cup cleaned regularly and cosistency is the key to bacterial growth and export.

Before doing any of the above your system should be brought down to at least average reef conditions as far as nitrates and phosphates go . Either being off the chart is going to be hard to work with as there is a ratio of how bacteria take in and use nutrients.

None of this interferes with your calcium and alkalinity dosing schedule .

Good luck

davej
09-06-2014, 04:12 PM
Do I need to take anything into consideration,in regards to vinegar dosing, with the fact that this is a new setup. Rock is well established and cycled.
Rock came from an established tank, and has been in spare tank for a couple of months. Sand will be brand new caribsea Fiji pink.
Once tank is settled I will be moving zoa's out of
RSM 130D.

On Another tangent might as well ask it here. I had fairly high phosphate in my existing tank. Upwards of 4ppm (Hanna meter) so I started running rowaphos to bring phosphate down. All of a sudden after bringing levels down I had an outbreak of green algae, never had a spec of it for almost a year. But was worried high phosphate was making zoa's unhappy. Phosphates were brought down to 0.02 over a couple of weeks, any insight as to why I had the algae outbreak?

reefwars
09-06-2014, 04:42 PM
Do I need to take anything into consideration,in regards to vinegar dosing, with the fact that this is a new setup. Rock is well established and cycled.
Rock came from an established tank, and has been in spare tank for a couple of months. Sand will be brand new caribsea Fiji pink.
Once tank is settled I will be moving zoa's out of
RSM 130D.

On Another tangent might as well ask it here. I had fairly high phosphate in my existing tank. Upwards of 4ppm (Hanna meter) so I started running rowaphos to bring phosphate down. All of a sudden after bringing levels down I had an outbreak of green algae, never had a spec of it for almost a year. But was worried high phosphate was making zoa's unhappy. Phosphates were brought down to 0.02 over a couple of weeks, any insight as to why I had the algae outbreak?

if its a new setup i would wait until the first fish foods are added before starting. other than that youll be fineas c/n and p are limiting factors in bacterial growth.i

ts hard to say as for the algae , algae also uses nitrates as well and other things including iron.

bryopsisi has been know to do quite well in low po4 envioroments as well some other macro algaes.


not sure why at 4ppm you werent getting algae but i have known plenty of tanks with high po4 and no algae issues , the consensus is that is if algae isnt an issue then po4 isnt a huge concern that needs to be fixed overnight. in fact if po4 becomes too limiting then corals begin to suffer.

sudden drops or rises however in po4 tend to cause harm to hard corals and even zoanthids.

davej
09-06-2014, 05:02 PM
Algae wasn't an issue but zoa's were clamping up and unhappy.
I was afraid that high phosphate was causing this. That was why I went down the road of reducing my phosphate levels. I never had a spec of visible green algae for a year. It was only after I lowered the levels to 0.04 levels that I had an outbreak of algae. I also added some new cuc to help out.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/09/07/zevavegu.jpg

reefmandan
10-01-2014, 07:32 PM
Something to consider as well is that certain algaes thrive under specific N:P ratios, and so if bringing the PO4 down brought that ratio to within an appropriate range for a certain algae, it has the potential to thrive.

davej
11-24-2014, 08:28 PM
Now the chart above shows a 16 week dosing schedule , most people do it on a 4 week chart like this.

0.1 ml per gallon for 7 days(week 1 )
0.2 ml per gallon for 7 days (week 2)
0.3 ml per gallon for 7 days (week 3 )
0.4 ml per gallon for 7 days (week4)

Whether you decide to go above 0.4 ml per gallon will depend on your bioload and nutrients as well method removed.

Randy's personal guideline for vinegar is 15ml per 100g




Denny a question for you.
I have been dosing vinegar on the 4 week schedule like you suggested.
Really happy with how things are looking.
Have been at 0.4 ml for about 3-4 weeks so far.
Phosphates read near zero to zero but nitrates hover around 10 ppm.
Don't have a large bio load and I think I feed fairly light.
Running an omega 150 for a skimmer and cant seem to get a good dark skimmate out of it always seems to skim fairly wet weak tea colored fluid.
Could this be a factor?
Could it just be too much skimmer for my setup?
Should I bump the vinegar up a little more?
What level do you settle in at on a daily basis?
Is it the 0.4 or different?

reefwars
11-24-2014, 09:58 PM
Denny a question for you.
I have been dosing vinegar on the 4 week schedule like you suggested.
Really happy with how things are looking.
Have been at 0.4 ml for about 3-4 weeks so far.
Phosphates read near zero to zero but nitrates hover around 10 ppm.
Don't have a large bio load and I think I feed fairly light.
Running an omega 150 for a skimmer and cant seem to get a good dark skimmate out of it always seems to skim fairly wet weak tea colored fluid.
Could this be a factor?
Could it just be too much skimmer for my setup?
Should I bump the vinegar up a little more?
What level do you settle in at on a daily basis?
Is it the 0.4 or different?

If there's no signs of stress then you can go higher for sure , once nitrates drop to zero you can always slowly cut back , just watch your ph and if you need to spread your dose out.

If phosphates are too low you can always feed a little more or cut out gfo if running it:)

Your skimmer is most likely a factor , skimmate should be dark almost black you'll know when it's working , I don't think that skimmer is overpowered fwiw but still you should be able to tune it to do it so there's an issue there IMO .

Keep an eye out for the signs of too much like white films on the glass or cloudy water and keep an eye on your livestock :)

I've made it to 1ml per gallon on setups and on average about 0.4 ml per gallon so the numbers can vary from system to system but you can fine tune it and it's a little forgiving;)

Once you find your mainatance dose it's pretty set and forget :)

davej
11-25-2014, 01:39 AM
If there's no signs of stress then you can go higher for sure , once nitrates drop to zero you can always slowly cut back , just watch your ph and if you need to spread your dose out.

If phosphates are too low you can always feed a little more or cut out gfo if running it:)

Your skimmer is most likely a factor , skimmate should be dark almost black you'll know when it's working , I don't think that skimmer is overpowered fwiw but still you should be able to tune it to do it so there's an issue there IMO .

Keep an eye out for the signs of too much like white films on the glass or cloudy water and keep an eye on your livestock :)

I've made it to 1ml per gallon on setups and on average about 0.4 ml per gallon so the numbers can vary from system to system but you can fine tune it and it's a little forgiving;)

Once you find your mainatance dose it's pretty set and forget :)

Ok cool, just bumped it up to .5 to see how it goes
I am dosing over a 5 hour period with 10 equal doses, definitely have some white film in the sump where it is being dosed but main tank and water still nice and clear. will work on skimmer output

reefaddik
11-25-2014, 04:07 AM
Here is a couple pics of my refugium set up in my basement below my display. It's the way to go hands down.

hfp75
11-25-2014, 05:47 AM
Do both... put the refugium before the pellet reactor. that way there is nutrients for the algaes (from the nutrient rich return tank water)... then run it through a biopellet reactor and aim the return from the reactor to the intake of the skimmer. DONE!

This way you will have some chaeto/caulerpa and all the critters that are good - not practical to export all the nutrients this way but a few. Use the Pellet reactor to get rid of the bulk of the nutrients... probably leaving a bit of PO4 and then in the last chamber run a small pump 300 gph through a TLF150 with Rowa (just gate it back for the right flow)..... your return water (to the tank) should be very clean....

Start with 1/2 of what is recommended for the biopellets and see what happens to your nutrient levels (give it a few weeks for bacteria to grow).... remember that some NO3 and PO4 is not bad.... I keep my NO3 @ < 10 (average 5) and my PO4 at <.1

I am using this method... everything is happy and I dont need to fuss with dosing anything.... super easy and simple - reactor is always running. Bacteria grows & dies off of the pellets as nutrients allow, it is like a shock absorber.... and you don't need to mess with it.... it just runs - with vodka and sugar you are always messing with the dosing and it can be a PITA...

Just my opinion....

trilinearmipmap
11-25-2014, 05:58 AM
Biopellets = flavour of the week a few years ago. I have read enough tales of disaster with biopellets. Might work for some, too complicated and expensive for me.

The combination of skimmer + fuge has worked well for years for many including myself. Multiple benefits of a system like this. Low to no cost. Less potential for disaster. Pods = extra benefit.

To keep a reef long term you need a low maintenance low-worry solution. Due to extreme workload I have not even looked in my bucket fuge for several months. A couple of days ago removed a huge clump (1/2) of the chaeto. Takes care of itself.

Anyway just my opinion.

reefwars
11-25-2014, 02:32 PM
Biopellets = flavour of the week a few years ago. I have read enough tales of disaster with biopellets. Might work for some, too complicated and expensive for me.

The combination of skimmer + fuge has worked well for years for many including myself. Multiple benefits of a system like this. Low to no cost. Less potential for disaster. Pods = extra benefit.

To keep a reef long term you need a low maintenance low-worry solution. Due to extreme workload I have not even looked in my bucket fuge for several months. A couple of days ago removed a huge clump (1/2) of the chaeto. Takes care of itself.

Anyway just my opinion.



Macro algae= poor form of nutrient export

Bacteria = efficient form of nutrient export


Biopellets is just another form of carbon dosing for any one to say its a flavor of the month obviously do not understand how it works , or hasnt been Around since that month ......it's not a magical plastic that can turn on you in a heart beat its a biological process involving bacteria and with a little chemistry is easily maintained ;)


Some of the greatest reef minds in the world acknowledge bacteria as
THE most important part of a ecosystem , so why wouldn't anyone want to expand their knowledge on what they can do and put them to work?


It's hard......actually no it's not lol set up a doser and follow a routine it's actually pretty easy and there's no guess work unlike growing algae or putting your hopes into a skimmer alone (I assume you read the skimmer thread right as it also happened in that month)

A successful reef can happen many ways but there is always room for improvement ;)


We advance in this hobby year after year and while some people will tell you the earth is flat and to just take their word for it ....or.....you can go out and find the facts your self and maybe you'll discover the world isn't so flat after all;)

Aquattro
11-25-2014, 03:09 PM
My opinion is choose neither, until such time as you determine you need something. Keep in mind, that pic you posted was not the result of choosing a bio-pellet option. It's careful husbandry tied to lighting, flow, feeding, stocking,etc. You need to get it all right to get that tank. If you find a couple months in that you can't control nutrients, then look at options to deal with it. Carbon dosing is a good option.

davej
11-25-2014, 05:14 PM
That is why I love being able to tap the vast knowledge of the forum community. I did some research, thought about going along a certain path, asked the question and was directed down a different path. One that I was unaware of. I have the refugium half full of live rock rubble, it is in here that I inject the vinegar with a doser while lights are on in main tank. I have pods growing great in there as well. Decided not to go the Macro algae route for now, but haven't ruled it out completely.
Last night I changed dosing to .5 ml per gallon so we will have to see how that goes.

Masonjames
11-25-2014, 05:35 PM
My opinion is choose neither, until such time as you determine you need something. Keep in mind, that pic you posted was not the result of choosing a bio-pellet option. It's careful husbandry tied to lighting, flow, feeding, stocking,etc. You need to get it all right to get that tank. If you find a couple months in that you can't control nutrients, then look at options to deal with it. Carbon dosing is a good option.


I agree with brad. I myself would tell you to first focus your attention, time and ivestments into the system on implementing and understanding sound husbandry practices prior to doing anything else. Do your due diligence with your husbandry choices and responsibilities and you will be so far ahead of the game. There are many tools a person can implement to aid in success but if you can retrain your idea of thought to that of you are the most effective tool at your disposal and invest into becoming so, questions like these you may be able to answer for yourself without even having to ask yourself. As Denny pointed out, bacterial processes are the foundation of a working system. Understand it at its core and learn to be able to control and tweak those proccesses first with your husbandry practices and choices. Then you can look for further tools to help aid you as you feel you need. Get the basics right first, and everything will fall into place. No amount of equipment, media, dosing etc will ensure success. But everyone who invests in sound husbandry practices and all that this entitles will most certainly be successful. And an individual's ideals of there dream tank becomes a much more realistic opportunity. You are your tanks key to success, or you are your tanks shortcoming, despite any equip, dosing, etc etc.

That is a beautiful tank to aspire towards : )

The Guy
11-26-2014, 09:31 AM
I'm running a CPR medium sized HOB refugium on a 33 gallon nano tank, got live rock rubble and hydroton balls in the bottom couple of inches and cheato for pods to grow in. I have one male scooter blennie in the tank so he gets all the pods produced. I have no sump on this system and am using an Eheim classic 2217 canister filter filled with Eheim media mixed with hydroton balls as my bio filtration. My skimmer is a Fluval Sea in tank and is collecting nice dark skimate, which is surprizing me as I have never had much luck with these intank units before this one. I got it as part of a trade for some frags and thought I would try it, surprize works great.