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seabass

Real-time VIBRANT Review - 4th Dose

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seabass

I did testing today (10/12/20):

 

40 Gallon 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 15.7 dKH >16 dKH
Phosphorus: 6 ppb* 0 ppb
Nitrate: 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm
     
100 Gallon 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 12.5 dKH 13.1 dKH
Phosphorus: 17 ppb** 3 ppb
Nitrate: 0.2 ppm 0.0 ppm

 

* Phosphorus of 6 ppb = 0.018 ppm of phosphate.

** Phosphorus of 17 ppb = 0.052 ppm of phosphate.

 

I didn't get my water change done yesterday, so I didn't dose Vibrant today.  Hopefully I'll get both done tomorrow.

 

Also, I have some calcium nitrate from AquariumFertilizer.com that I think I'll start dosing.  I'd be happier with nitrate closer to 2 to 5 ppm.

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seabass

So I did complete my water changes and Vibrant dosing today.  Dose 2 - Week 2

 

I still have much work to do on both sand beds, but I'm limiting my water changes to just prior to dosing.  I suppose that means I can perform additional water changes once I start dosing twice a week (in week four).

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seabass

Some pics from today:

 

100 Gallon:

101520c.jpg

 

You can see that the rock, where I scraped off the bubble algae, is still clean and white.

101520d.jpg

 

101520e.jpg

 

A couple of heavily covered rocks.

101520f.jpg

 

101520g.jpg

 

40 Gallon:

101520h.jpg

 

101520i.jpg

 

101520j.jpg

 

101520k.jpg

 

101520l.jpg

 

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DSFIRSTSLTWATER

I love seeing the baby rock flower nems!!

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seabass

More testing today, 10/17/20:

 

40 Gallon 10/17/20 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 14.1 dKH 15.7 dKH >16 dKH
Phosphorus: 4 ppb* 6 ppb 0 ppb
Nitrate: 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm
       
100 Gallon 10/17/20 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 12.3 dKH 12.5 dKH 13.1 dKH
Phosphorus: 23 ppb** 17 ppb 3 ppb
Nitrate: 1.0 ppm 0.2 ppm 0.0 ppm

 

* 0.012 ppm phosphate

** 0.067 ppm phosphate

 

I haven't dosed any nutrients yet.  I'm guessing that the nutrient increase in the 100 gallon could be due to disruptions in the sand bed.  I should be able to get in another water change this weekend, so that I can dose Vibrant on Monday.

 

Also note that I've been trying to slowly bring down alkalinity, so I don't believe that Vibrant has caused these declines.

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seabass

I did water changes and dosed Vibrant today (week 3).  Here's the resulting carnage (from the water change) in my 100 gallon tank.

101920a.jpg

 

The sand bed is still very dirty. :blush:

101920b.jpg

 

I'm kind of looking forward to next week, when I'll be performing two water changes, as I switch to dosing Vibrant twice a week (with water changes prior to each dosing).  Once I finally get the tank cleaned up, I'll revert back to doing weekly water changes, even though I'll continue dosing Vibrant twice weekly.

 

One might suspect that changes could be due to the increased maintenance.  And while I'm pretty sure that it will impact the tank and corals, I'm equally sure that maintenance wouldn't fully rid either of these tanks of algae.

 

Again, I would probably recommend deep cleaning your tank prior to dosing Vibrant.  However, obviously, I didn't do this myself.  I guess I got a little ahead of myself.

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Pjanssen
13 hours ago, seabass said:

One might suspect that changes could be due to the increased maintenance.  And while I'm pretty sure that it will impact the tank and corals, I'm equally sure that maintenance wouldn't fully rid either of these tanks of algae.

Great write up so far.  Just want to mention that I'm pretty good about regular maintenance, usually doing water changes at least bi weekly and often weekly, and I'm still battling a pretty bad algae outbreak. I think I tend to overfeed though. Going to order some vibrant and give it a try. You think it will kill Macros?

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seabass
1 hour ago, Pjanssen said:

You think it will kill Macros?

Unfortunately, yes.  But how effective could it really be if it didn't.

 

To save them, I put the macros in another tank until treatment was completed.  But ended up converting that holding tank into another cardinalfish nursery.

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seabass

Here's the 100 gallon late last week:

 

And the 40 gallon tank:

 

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seabass

A couple more notes going forward:

  • I'll start to dose Vibrant twice a week.  And until I get the sand bed clean, I'll do water changes prior to each dose (then back to weekly water changes).
  • I recently switched to RO (with 3 TDS product water) over RO/DI to save money; but I don't foresee any other benefit from the removal of the DI stage.
  • I also plan to use up my remaining bottle of DrTim's Waste-Away (a bacterial supplement), and use the Waste-Away gels, which I purchased previously.

 

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seabass

Another testing day:

 

40 Gallon 10/23/20 10/17/20 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 12.1 dKH 14.1 dKH 15.7 dKH >16 dKH
Phosphorus: 8 ppb* 4 ppb 6 ppb 0 ppb
Nitrate: 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm
         
100 Gallon 10/23/20 10/17/20 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 11.8 dKH 12.3 dKH 12.5 dKH 13.1 dKH
Phosphorus: 17 ppb** 23 ppb 17 ppb 3 ppb
Nitrate: 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 0.2 ppm 0.0 ppm

 

* 0.024 ppm phosphate

** 0.052 ppm phosphate

 

Note: My target for alkalinity is 11.0 dKH.

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seabass

I did a water change on both tanks yesterday.  But I plan on doing another one this weekend (maybe today) because my 100 gallon tank is experiencing additional cyano.  I'm going through so much more salt these days.

 

As I stated before, I feel that cyano is primarily due to organics (in the sand bed, on the rocks, and dissolved in the water column).  Dosing Vibrant breaks down algae and produces lots of organics which are trying to be broken down by bacteria.  Cyano grows on top of the sand bed because it's photosynthetic and cannot grow in the dark.

 

The more I get into this, the more I see this process, of breakdown and increased organics, playing out.  Maintenance while dosing seems critical.  And if I could have a do-over, I would have done a deep clean prior to dosing Vibrant.  I feel that I'm playing catch up for past neglected maintenance, while also dealing with the additional organics being generated by the breakdown of algae.

 

As far as algae is concerned, I really feel that Vibrant has taken it's toll on the algae.  And while algae is still very much still present, there are notable changes in both tanks.  If the tanks looked like they do now, I probably wouldn't feel the need to dose Vibrant.  However, both of these tanks still have a Looonngg way to go in order to be algae free.

 

I'll continue to post pics (hopefully weekly).  The turf algae is starting to look more like moss (much shorter).  I also believe that as the bacteria continue to work on the algae, the more effective the existing cleanup crew becomes.

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seabass

I had a weird thing happen in my 100 gallon tank today.  After I finished my water change, I dosed a small amount of Waste-Away.  A few minutes later and my skimmer cup was full of water.  I ended up skimming out more than 5 gallons of water before it stopped.

 

I did the exact same thing in the 40 gallon tank, but with no reaction from its skimmer.  I'm not sure, but I believe the skimmer's reaction might have been triggered from disturbing the sand bed (along with the Waste-Away).  I doubt that anything is wrong, but just thought I'd note this unusual reaction.

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seabass

Also, I'm debating whether I should shorten the light cycle (primarily to help limit cyano, but maybe it will also help the general fight against algae).  Currently, the light cycle (for both tanks) is 7 hours of T5s.  I'm considering, shortening it down to 6 hours.

 

I'm making slow progress on cleaning up the sand bed.  So I'm even thinking about doing one more water change today, before I start dosing Vibrant twice a week (starting on Monday).  I think as long as there is algae in the tank, I will continue to do a water change each time prior to dosing more Vibrant.  I think it's important to keep up on all the organics being released.

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seabass

I ended up shortening the light cycle to six (versus seven) hours.  I also need to change my T5 bulbs over both tanks (chances are that the spectrums have shifted, in the favor of algae).  I'll provide an update if/when I get new bulbs (I'm looking for a sale if possible).

 

Also, I performed three water changes over the last three days (in each tank).  I still have work to do on the sand beds of both tanks.  Tomorrow will be the fourth week, and the first week of dosing twice a week.  I think you will start noticing some effects in the pics this week.

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DSFIRSTSLTWATER

I'm loving the updates. You've gotten way more technical than I ever did and it's awesome. The sand bed issues I'm so glad I don't have to deal with lol. I will say bare bottom was way harder to get started initially though.

 

Keep up the great progress 😊

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seabass
43 minutes ago, DSFIRSTSLTWATER said:

The sand bed issues I'm so glad I don't have to deal with lol. I will say bare bottom was way harder to get started initially though.

The 100 gallon tank now has patches of no sand.  I don't want to siphon it all out as I feel there is beneficial micro-fauna in it.  But I should have plenty of sand to add more, so I've been tossing it.

 

My 40 gallon tank's sand bed is peppered with baby rock flower anemones, so I have to be more careful in there.  However, I feel that this bed isn't nearly as bad as the other tank's substrate.

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DSFIRSTSLTWATER
40 minutes ago, seabass said:

The 100 gallon tank now has patches of no sand.  I don't want to siphon it all out as I feel there is beneficial micro-fauna in it.  But I should have plenty of sand to add more, so I've been tossing it.

 

My 40 gallon tank's sand bed is peppered with baby rock flower anemones, so I have to be more careful in there.  However, I feel that this bed isn't nearly as bad as the other tank's substrate.

That's right! So many babies in that tank :happydance:

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seabass

As more algae clears, it seems to make the coralline more pronounced.  In the 40gal:

102620c.jpg

 

In the 100gal:

102620d.jpg

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seabass

I think it's time to start nitrate dosing.  Awhile ago, I purchased a pound of dry calcium nitrate (CaNO3) from Planted Aquarium Fertilizer.

102720a.jpg

 

I think I worked out a dosing procedure (if anybody wishes to check my math).

102720b.jpg

Using the Rotala Butterfly nutrient dosing calculator above, I came up with the following:

  • Given the calculator's result, I should need 0.005 tsp (1/200th of a tsp) of dry nitrate to raise nitrate by 0.9 ppm in 10 gallons of water.
  • If I add 1 tsp of calcium nitrate to 6 oz (177 ml) of water, and I want to dose 1/200 of that, then I would need to dose 0.9 ml of that solution.
  • So dosing 1 ml of the solution into 10 gallons of tank water, should raise nitrate by approximately 1 ppm.

My plan is to raise nitrate by no more than 1 ppm each day.  So I'll do a sanity check by test dosing 4 ml of the solution into the 40 gallon tank first (and then re-test it).

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seabass
On 10/25/2020 at 10:58 PM, seabass said:

I also need to change my T5 bulbs over both tanks (chances are that the spectrums have shifted, in the favor of algae).  I'll provide an update if/when I get new bulbs (I'm looking for a sale if possible).

I actually forgot about it, but I purchased T5 bulbs during the Drs. Foster & Smith clearance (going out of business) sale.  These bulbs wouldn't be my first choice, but they should be fine.  Now I'm just trying to figure out when I put the old bulbs in. 🤔

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seabass

Holy crap, according to my records, the bulbs I'm using are well over 2 years old.  Looks like I'm changing bulbs tomorrow.

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