Jump to content
Coral Vue Hydros

Vibrant Liquid Aquarium Cleaner review


Recommended Posts

I put the Waste-Away gels in today.


Again, I had purchased these prior to my decision to dose Vibrant.  I thought about waiting to use them after I was done dosing Vibrant, but that might be a bit longer, and I didn't want them to go to "waste".


111120b.jpg  111120c.jpg


Even though I decided to add Waste-Away, without knowing more about the bacterial strains in Vibrant, I wouldn't necessarily recommend for everyone to use it along with Vibrant.  Might the Waste-Away help deal with the excess organics?  Assuming Vibrant is indeed bacterial, could the bacterial strains work against, or with each other?  Will one product out compete the other?  Do they contain the same strains of bacteria, and potentially run the risk of overdosing this component?  These are questions that I considered.  I guess we'll see if there are any obvious negative results in doing this.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

The red grape is maybe looking slightly affected (but still going strong in the 40 gallon tank).  For some reason, it's less happy in the 100 gallon tank.


You can see that the sand bed is getting very thin in spots.


The "bryopsis" is now looking weaker.  In both tanks, I notice that cyano often starts to cover algae as it's breaking down.


  • Like 3
Link to comment

This morning, prior to the lights coming on, I noticed that both tanks are experiencing a mild bacterial bloom (the water is hazy, not cloudy).  Also, both skimmers are producing more skimmate.  I'll check on it over lunch; hopefully it'll start to resolve itself soon or I might have to remove the Waste-Away gels.


It's amazing just how much detritus is being produced in my tanks.  I especially notice it in my 40 gallon tank (the tank that started with the most algae).  I think we can assume that it's coming from the breakdown of algae.


Since the Waste-Away bacteria feeds on organics, it's imaginable that the bacterial bloom has more to do with the level of organics in the tanks than with an interaction between Waste-Away and Vibrant.


The thing about the Waste-Away gels, is that (besides picking a size) you can't control the dosage as easily as liquid doses.  The gels might be better off used in other applications.  Tomorrow is another water change day; maybe that will help a little.

Link to comment

While likely not unmanageable, I've decided to remove the Waste-Away gels from both tanks.  Pics taken with tank lights off.

111320a.jpg  111320b.jpg

The 40 gallon tank is a little more hazy, and its skimmer is producing tons of skimmate; while the 100 gallon is less of a concern.


I figure that the skimmer might be removing more Vibrant (and potential critical nutrients) while decreasing oxygen levels.  Anyway, this is a variable that I'm not willing to contend with at this time.  I figure that I will dose liquid Waste-Away (to deal with the additional organics) after I'm done with the Vibrant treatments.  In the meantime, I guess I'll rely on water changes to deal with the export of organics.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

The 9th dose of Vibrant (2nd of week 6) today.


Also, water changes today.


The water change, plus removal of the Waste-Away gels has settled the skimmers down a bit.  The 100 gallon tank is now clear, and the 40 gallon tank is looking better.  I anticipate things will be back to normal tomorrow.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

The bacterial blooms are over, and the 40 gallon tank's skimmer has finally got back to normal.  I guess no harm, no foul.  It probably even helped lessen the dissolved organics in the water.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I know you are doing an experiment, multivariate tho (smile)


But me, I would take all the equipment out. And soak in vinegar, and get all that crap off them.  I have two gyres to do this weekend.


I was worried about Vibrant and my chaeto reactor.  Stopped doing for a couple days.  Then resumed.  My chaetomorpha is growing just fine


I did put a drop of Vibrant under the microscope.  I didn't see anything that looked like anything, except dust artifacts.   I have been dosing KZ blue bottles in my tanks for a long time, I am not concerned about placebos. I don't think I would put up a system without Zeovit.  And now Vibrant, it's in a blue bottle with dropper to match my KZ stuff.  Six months ago I wanted to toss the tank in the dump.  It's looking pretty good now


I realized this morning. That many reefers just need something fiddley to do with their tanks. Some it is obsessive testing(not me), for me it KZ droppers. I get a little dopamine hit after all of the drops have gone in

  • Like 1
Link to comment
12 minutes ago, farkwar said:

I would take all the equipment out. And soak in vinegar, and get all that crap off them.

That stuff on the heater in the 40 is all calcified.  It was already previously soaked in vinegar and vigorously brushed.  I might try soaking it longer, or maybe even try a stronger acid.  I do foresee these tanks looking close to pristine in the future.


17 minutes ago, farkwar said:

I know you are doing an experiment, multivariate tho

Yeah, more of a review than an experiment.  It's certainly uncontrolled and relatively poorly documented to be considered an experiment.  But I did want to post more photo evidence than I saw when I was researching it.


The addition of Waste-Away does confuse things a bit.  But I'm fairly confident that it affected organics more than the live algae.  I think people following along can pretty much ignore the affects of Waste-Away when determining whether or not Vibrant was effective in getting rid of the algae in each of these two tanks.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

One thing I've noticed is that my clownfish have continued breeding.  However, the viability of the eggs seems to have gone way down.  While I can't be sure of the reason, I'm attributing it to dosing Vibrant.  However, I'm not planning on raising any fry at this time, so I'm not terribly troubled by this.

Link to comment

FYI, the 40 gallon's skimmer is currently filling in about 2 hours (versus less than 10 minute when there was a visible bacterial bloom).  It's an AquaC Remora, with the o-ring that adjusts the neck height removed, so that it skims as wet as possible.  Normally it takes more like a week to fill.  When it's going crazy, I usually just remove the cap overnight.


The skimmer on the 100 gallon is much more adjustable, but since I've been adjusting it, it's hard to judge just how much more skimmate it's producing.  However, I feel that it is currently producing more skimmate than usual.  It's currently set so that it fills halfway up in a day.

Link to comment

Test day:


40 Gallon 11/15/20 11/09/20 11/01/20 10/23/20 10/17/20 10/12/20
Alkalinity: 11.5 dKH 11.3 dKH 11.2 dKH 12.1 dKH 14.1 dKH 15.7 dKH
Phosphorus: 9 ppb* 4 ppb 3 ppb 8 ppb 4 ppb 6 ppb
Nitrate : 2.0 ppm 2.5 ppm 0.2 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm 0.0 ppm
100 Gallon 11/15/20 11/09/20 11/01/20 10/23/20 10/17/20 10/12/20
Alkalinity: 10.9 dKH 11.5 dKH 11.0 dKH 11.8 dKH 12.3 dKH 12.5 dKH
Phosphorus: 8 ppb** 10 ppb 13 ppb 17 ppb 23 ppb 17 ppb
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm 5.0 ppm 2.5 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 0.2 ppm


* 0.028 ppm phosphate

** 0.024 ppm phosphate

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Week 7: Water changes, and dose 10 of Vibrant today.


The patchy appearance of the top of this rock (in my 100 gallon tank) is kind of interesting.


  • Like 1
Link to comment

Looking back over the pictures, i definitely see substantial changes.  I'll try to get some before, and now, pics for comparison.


I've put a lot of work into these two tanks, trying to clean them up.  This has not been a matter of dosing and just watching the algae go away.  If you think about it, the algae contains large amounts of organics.  Releasing these organics into the systems, as they are breaking down, creates an unusual situation that the tanks are not accustomed to.


It didn't help that the systems were basically left un-maintained for such a long period of time.  I kind of long for the days when I just topped off the water, dumped food in them, and emptied the skimmers like once a week.


Initially, I noted an apparent increase in pods, but now I see there is actually less.  I'm sure that's at least partially due to my lack of dumping quarts of phyto into the tanks on a weekly basis.  I have dosed some phyto, but it feels weird dosing phytoplankton when there is a product in the tank trying to destroy it.


Still, as the tank landscapes continue to change, I'm thinking that I should start changing how I treat these tanks.  As I watch them get cleaner, I have to fight the instinct to make them more sterile.  I want them full of life, and not just free of algae.


In a way, I'm looking forward to stopping the use of Vibrant.  Not that I feel like it hasn't been working, but more due to the dwindling diversity that I've noticed.  Despite my previous statements to the contrary, I think I'm going to start feeding coral food.  Also, I think I'll dose more phyto on water change days.


Daily nitrate dosing continues, but I haven't dosed phosphate.  I'm watching phosphate closely, but feel reluctant about dosing something that can bind to the rocks and sand.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
On 11/14/2020 at 7:12 AM, seabass said:

The bacterial blooms are over, and the 40 gallon tank's skimmer has finally got back to normal.  I guess no harm, no foul.  It probably even helped lessen the dissolved organics in the water.

What are your observations on your coralline algae?


Is it unchanged, more, or less than starting Vibrant

  • Like 1
Link to comment
4 hours ago, farkwar said:

What are your observations on your coralline algae?   Is it unchanged, more, or less than starting Vibrant

Definitely more.  I'll post some pics soon.


There were already some well established areas of coralline, but freeing up some clean rock seems rock seems to have helped it spread.  On this point, I won't necessarily rule out Waste-Away's assist in removing various films covering the rock.  I'm not sure about that, but I can tell you that Vibrant hasn't attacked the coralline.  I should add "at this point", but that has been most other people's experience too.


I will add that both of these tanks started with elevated alkalinity levels.  I've since been attempting to stabilize each at 11 dKH.  Not that this level of alkalinity is necessary for coralline growth (it was just the level that Reef Crystals was mixing to).


I have more noticeable coralline growth on the 100 gallon tanks's acrylic walls than on the glass walls of the 40.  I'm not sure if it's because I've been wiping them down more often or if it's just spreading more.  I currently have more coralline growing on the walls of the 100 gallon than I did prior to dosing Vibrant.  I attribute that to parameter stability (and possibly water changes replenishing trace elements which were previously depleted, and maybe even dosing nitrate).  But in any case, Vibrant doesn't seem to inhibit its growth.

  • Like 4
Link to comment

Great thread! I also started dosing vibrant in my 20 gallon nano before moving it over to a 25 gallon at home. 

I've noticed that it kicked the algae back quite considerably in a couple of weeks.

That combined with a 100% waterchange during the move, feeding only frozen foods eliminated most of the algae. 

Haven't seen any side-affects yet 



  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
On 11/5/2020 at 5:12 AM, farkwar said:

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

After additional reading, I'm even more concerned that the unspecified "3.5% Other Ingredients" listed on the bottle is potentially dimethyliminoethylene dichloride, ethoxylate (the algaecide used in products like API AlgaeFix).  I've even contemplated discontinuing its use, but decided that this product might still be the best solution to rid my tanks of algae.  However, I don't plan on continuing maintenance doses once I'm satisfied that the algae is gone.


Besides the unsupported claim of a supposed lab assay (posted about on another site), I'm also skeptical about the make up of the ingredients due to the following (which could be considered speculation, or circumstantial and anecdotal evidence):

  • I'm unsure of the purpose of adding 3.5% of RO/DI water (which their website states is the other ingredients in Vibrant).  On the other hand, AlgaeFix uses 4.5% dimethyliminoethylene dichloride, ethoxylate by weight, which is close to the percentage of the "Other Ingredients" as listed on the Vibrant label.
  • The dosing amounts (and intervals) seem consistent with a 3.5% dose of dimethyliminoethylene dichloride, ethoxylate.
  • Lack of impact from extreme heat and cold during shipping "feels" more consistent with a chemical based product than with a live (although dormant) bacteria culture.
  • Lack of reports of bacterial blooms, and lack of excessive protein skimmer skimmate production seem inconsistent with dosing bacteria.
  • Reef, saltwater, and freshwater formulas of Vibrant are interchangeable, just like AlgaeFix; they simply have different labels.  Plus, freshwater shrimp seem to be negatively affected by both products.
  • Unlike DrTim's Aquatics, the story behind the creation of Vibrant (rooted in aquarium maintenance) seems more inline with utilizing and/or combining existing products, than with having expertise in bacteriology (identifying, isolating, culturing, and stabilizing bacteria strains).

I realize that the above statements prove nothing; but still wanted to share this "possibility", so that people trying to decide whether to buy this product could make the best decision for their own reef tanks.  I'm simply skeptical that the main algae fighting component is bacteria; however, I believe that the ingredients which are listed on the label might be essentially accurate.

  • Like 3
  • Wow 1
Link to comment

More water changes today, and dose 11 (week 7) of Vibrant.  I'd guess that I'm changing roughly 25 gallons of water each time (between the two tanks).

  • Like 4
Link to comment

I feel that I've lost a lot of biodiversity and tank maturity.  Sponges have melted away, micro brittle stars have disappeared, and the pod populations are way down.  However, corals, fish, crabs, and snails still seem alright.  I'm thinking that I'm going to have to rebuild diversity after all this is over.  IDK, maybe that's one of the reasons that some reefers experience a dino bloom after treatment is over. :unsure:


But I'm so far into it at this point.  Some damage has been done, and some progress has been made.  The plan is to continue dosing until I'm pretty sure that all the pest algae has been eliminated, then try to rebuild the fauna.  At this point, I feel that dosing Vibrant is a good last ditch solution to a bad pest algae outbreak.  However, there are probably better preventive options, as well as other methods for dealing with minor algae issues.

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Create New...