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Real-time VIBRANT Review - Week 8 (12th dose)

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seabass

The turf algae has been notably reduced.  Now it looks more like moss than turf.  I'm half tempted to take a toothbrush to it, but there are mini brittle stars all over the 100 gallon, and RFAs all over the 40 (so I won't).

 

Also, there are patches of what I believe is bryopsis in the 100 gallon tank.  I think it's going to take Vibrant the longest to get rid of this; so I'm thinking that I will manually remove as much bryopsis as I can.

 

There's still a long way to go.  But all in all, I think you can notice that it's making a difference.  I'm definitely glad I did this.  Finally, more salt is on the way.

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seabass

Before I forget, I just wanted to note that I haven't been using mechanical filtration in either tank (just protein skimmers).  Although, I can see that there might be benefits to having mechanical filters (potentially catching, and removing, some of the broken down material).

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seabass

Test day:

 

40 Gallon 11/01/20 10/23/20 10/17/20 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 11.2 dKH 12.1 dKH 14.1 dKH 15.7 dKH >16 dKH
Phosphorus: 3 ppb* 8 ppb 4 ppb 6 ppb 0 ppb
Nitrate : 0.2 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm
           
100 Gallon 11/01/20 10/23/20 10/17/20 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 11.0 dKH 11.8 dKH 12.3 dKH 12.5 dKH 13.1 dKH
Phosphorus: 13 ppb** 17 ppb 23 ppb 17 ppb 3 ppb
Nitrate: 2.5 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 0.2 ppm 0.0 ppm

 

* 0.009 ppm phosphate

** 0.040 ppm phosphate

 

I finished off my expired phosphorus reagent packets, and have started using the new reagents.  I'm alright with the 100 gallon tank's current phosphate level, but I'm a little concerned about the 40 gallon's level staying low.  I could dose if I have to, but really don't wish to go down that road.

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seabass

Week 5: Sixth dose today.

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seabass

I'm continuing to clean the sand bed.  I should have taken a picture, as the waste water from siphoning the sand beds has been very muddy looking.  Cyano seems to be present but not really out of control.

 

 

On a side note, while I don't like to propagate rumors, I've read on another site, that some people suspect Vibrant contains an algaecide (like dimethyliminoethylene dichloride, ethoxylate), similar to what is used in products like API AlgaeFix or Fritz Algae Clean Out.  While this might be speculation, there was mention of a lab's assay (although no lab report was provided).  Instead they would have you compare the shelf life and dosing instructions of Vibrant to algaecides and other bottled bacteria cultures.

 

The manufacturer doesn't provide specifics about their bacteria blend, but sticks to their claims that Vibrant is a dormant bacteria culture with amino acids and a preservative (as printed on the label).  Ingredients per Vibrant's label:

  • 95% Cultured Bacteria Blend
  • 1% Amino Acids (Aspartic Acid)
  • 0.5% Vinegar
  • 3.5% Other Ingredients (listed as "3.5% RO/DI Water" on the Underwater Creations website)

Adding filtered water to a cultured bacteria blend (which should already contain water) doesn't make as much sense as adding dimethyliminoethylene dichloride, ethoxylate; and 3.5% would be just about the right percentage.

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seabass

Note: The last three times, on the day after dosing Vibrant, I've been dosing DrTim's Waste-Away (two capfulls in the 100 gallon, and one capfull in the 40).  I plan on doing this until I run out; then I plan to use the Waste-Away gels which I previously purchased.  I don't anticipate this directly affecting the algae, but I hope that it assists in cleaning up the waste.  I had these products prior to my decision to use Vibrant, and this was not part of my original Vibrant dosing plan.

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seabass

It was a day early, but more water changes today.  I also finished off the rest of the Waste-Away liquid.  I'll dose another round of Vibrant tomorrow.  Next week (after the next water change) I'll hang the Waste-Away gels.  I'll try to get more pics before the end of the week.

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farkwar

I dose Vibrant every day

 

And was kind of worried about it killing chaetomorpha in my new Tunze reactor

 

I just opened my new algae reactor, my chaeto had doubled in size

 

I am not going to worry about the chaeto and Vibrant anymore

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seabass
3 hours ago, farkwar said:

I dose Vibrant every day

From what the manufacturer has stated, it's best to dose the full 1 ml per 10 gallons, all at once, versus breaking the doses up into daily portions.  But how has this been working for you?

 

Supposedly, it takes three days before Vibrant loses effectiveness.  Therefore, dosing full doses more than twice a week isn't recommended.  In fact, it's recommended to stick to dosing once a week if possible, only ramping up to twice weekly when dealing with tougher algae.

 

3 hours ago, farkwar said:

I am not going to worry about the chaeto and Vibrant anymore

How long have you been dosing?  From what I've read, it can take several weeks before it melts chaeto, but it eventually should.  I've also read that dosing every other week (maintenance dosing) will not affect it.

 

While I have removed most of the decorative macro from my tanks, there is enough left for me to monitor how it has been affecting them.  So far, after 5 weeks of dosing, the decorative macro is still intact.  However, they say that it tends to work on easier to break down algae first, then it moves onto harder to treat varieties (I'm not sure that I understand the mechanism here).

 

Although I haven't read this, based on what I've observed, I can see the potential to treat pest algae while keeping macroalgae in the display; so long as you can time it so that you either discontinue use (or switch to a maintenance dose) early enough.  I also wonder if your smaller daily doses is what's protecting your chaeto.

 

@farkwar, while I'm directly addressing your post, my response is also aimed at providing information to others following along.  I feel that you are probably already aware of most of this.

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farkwar

Dosing the Vibrant alone was not satisfactory with solving my algae problem

 

I have this brown sludge algae which I have never encountered before, it grows on the surfaces of corals.  And in the mucus skin layer of zoanthids

 

Combined with several other known anti algae methods, have helped contain the algae problem

 

Total water volume is 32 gallons, minus rock etc al

 

Dosing is about 10 drops per day

 

We know it is a bacteria that is effective agent.  And does not reproduce in salt water. Doubtful that it is a freshwater bacteria(hypertonicity would be toxic to most), most likely a brackish water microorganism

 

The algae came in on this product.  Which explains why it is no longer available

 

Screenshot_20201105-031544_Firefox.jpg

 

Until it is identified, I am calling it Merkin Sludge Algae

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seabass
1 hour ago, farkwar said:

This is what it looks like unchecked.

Likely chrysophytes (golden algae).  I believe it's another of those low nutrient pests.

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farkwar
3 hours ago, seabass said:

Likely chrysophytes (golden algae).  I believe it's another of those low nutrient pests.

Maybe

 

Doing a image search, those are dinophlagallates

 

It's the color of dinos, definitely

 

But has few of the other characteristics of regular dinos, those I am used to

 

I think I saw a vid of Meleev who called it "plating algae", it's not that

 

It gets more rampant the more I feed the tank. Not the other way around

 

Merkin Sludge Algae

 

Maybe I will buy a microscope

 

Yup, that's a good idea.  I'll let you know

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farkwar

Ordered microscope

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seabass

Yesterday was dose 7 (week 5) of Vibrant.  Meanwhile, daily nitrate dosing continues.  At this time, I don't plan on dosing phosphate unless it zeros out, as I'm concerned that it will bind to the rock and substrate (creating problems down the road).

 

In theory, the algae should be releasing its nutrients back into the water as it breaks down.  I'm not sure if the carbon/preservative in Vibrant is causing the nutrient uptake, or if it's some other process.  It could just be that nitrate was a limiting factor, and that it's presence is now allowing more uptake of phosphorus.

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seabass

40 Gallon:

110620a.jpg

The red grape is holding on fairly well.

 

110620b.jpg

Flatworms seem unaffected.

 

110620c.jpg

Frag rack in the display.

 

110620d.jpg

Cyano.

 

110620e.jpg

 

110620f.jpg

As the light cycle continues, a light film of cyano seems to cover the remaining algae on the rock.

 

100 Gallon:

110620g.jpg

Cyano in the 100 gallon tank.

 

110620h.jpg

The algae on the top is holding on better than most of the other types.  I haven't positively identified it, but I'm calling it bryopsis.

 

110620i.jpg

Superman montipora on an algae infested rock.  I will likely just frag off this coral, and toss the rock.

 

110620j.jpg

The caulerpa is also still holding up fairly well.

 

110620k.jpg

The red grape in this tank looks a little more shriveled.

 

110620l.jpg

The hair algae on the back (which I haven't tried to remove yet), has noticeably declined.

 

110620m.jpg

This rock is full of hydroids and glass ball anemones.  I'll likely frag these corals off this rock as well.

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debbeach13

Thanks for the updates and pictures. Your better than I would be. I would be scrapping and scrubbing.

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farkwar

Microscope hasn't come in yet

 

Doing some reading on reef boards on chrysophates

 

1) They are freshwater normally

2) Those in reef tanks don't have flagella

3) Vibrant seems to be effective in killing it

4) Seems to be associated with dry rock reef tanks, some say the dry rock contains silica

5) Silica based, and a 24 hour exposure to GFO removes a lot of silica from the tank

6) Obviously have chlorophyll (which kind?)

7) Reefers report that it doesn't harm coral. It certainly is a problem for zoanthids in my zoa tank.

8 ) H2O2 does not have much of an effect on it

 

Regarding the dry rock. I have never had a reef tank not develop coralline algae on the rocks. My Nano is dry rock based.  And over a year(started summer '19), there are still no signs of coralline algae growing on the rocks. Some on the glass. 

 

I am moving the Nano over to an RS 170.  Plan was to just move all the rock and animals over.  This info puts a hold on that. The chrysophates,  if that's what they are, are going to be moved over, it is on the animals. But makes me want to get some of the Florida Live Rock as base, and just nuke all the hitchhikers in a hypertonic (SG 1.040) salt water per KP Aquatics suggestion.

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seabass
3 hours ago, farkwar said:

Regarding the dry rock. I have never had a reef tank not develop coralline algae on the rocks. My Nano is dry rock based.  And over a year(started summer '19), there are still no signs of coralline algae growing on the rocks. Some on the glass.

I almost think it's due to a film or algae on the rock.  The glass is likely providing a cleaner surface for the coralline to calcify onto.  I'm noticing more coralline on my rocks as the algae loses ground.  My rocks also started off dry.

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seabass

Test day:

 

40 Gallon 11/09/20 11/01/20 10/23/20 10/17/20 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 11.3 dKH 11.2 dKH 12.1 dKH 14.1 dKH 15.7 dKH >16 dKH
Phosphorus: 4 ppb* 3 ppb 8 ppb 4 ppb 6 ppb 0 ppb
Nitrate : 2.5 ppm 0.2 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm
             
100 Gallon 11/09/20 11/01/20 10/23/20 10/17/20 10/12/20 10/03/20
Alkalinity: 11.5 dKH 11.0 dKH 11.8 dKH 12.3 dKH 12.5 dKH 13.1 dKH
Phosphorus: 10 ppb** 13 ppb 17 ppb 23 ppb 17 ppb 3 ppb
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm 2.5 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 0.2 ppm 0.0 ppm

 

* 0.012 ppm phosphate

** 0.031 ppm phosphate

 

I'd like the phosphate level in the 40 gallon to be at least twice as high as it is.  You'd think that the release of nutrients from the breakdown of algae would raise phosphate more than it has.  I'm currently dosing nitrate, but I'm still considering whether or not to start dosing phosphate.

 

Hopefully I'll get my water changes and Vibrant dosing done tomorrow.

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farkwar

What is the rationale for dosing nitrates and phosphates liquids, when feeding more coral food accomplishes this?

 

I still don't understand this

 

 

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seabass
23 hours ago, farkwar said:

What is the rationale for dosing nitrates and phosphates liquids, when feeding more coral food accomplishes this?

I don't see lack of food as being a current issue for these tanks; however, excess organics, and the resulting cyano, are.  So while increased feeding would increase nutrients, it would also add more organics.  Eventually, I might have enough coral to justify more feeding; but for now, dosing is a cleaner option (plus it's easier to control how much of each are added).

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Tired

Feeding more coral food is a good way to add a bit more nitrates and phosphates to a tank under normal circumstances. Vibrant isn't a normal circumstance. Feeding enough to drastically up nitrates and phosphates will waste food and possibly wind up with something just rotting.

 

(Also there's the important bit about organics.)

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seabass

Week 6: Water changes and dose #8 occurred today.

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