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  1. Real-time review using Vibrant, by Underwater Creations, Inc. This thread will not document a controlled scientific experiment by any means, but will be a real-time look at the treatment of two separate tanks of mine (a 40 gallon, and a 100 gallon with 40 gallon sump). I don't see Vibrant as a quick fix that will show results after only a few doses; but instead, I anticipate the process will take months. My main goal is to clear my tank of unwanted algae; so I'll likely be doing some manual removal and increased maintenance (potentially affecting the results). But in the end, I'd like this thread to demonstrate how this product affects both of these tanks. Also, keep in mind that every tank is different, so your mileage may vary. Available Reviews: This is not a new product by any means, and I've seen a number of positive videos like: Others have reported that it didn't work for them (like these reviews from respected Nano-Reef members, HarryPotter and Sancho). There is even a Vibrant thread (that was started by the manufacturer, on another site) that's 300+ pages long. But while reviewers may have gotten mixed results, I am looking forward to seeing if this helps either of my tanks. In this thread, I plan on sharing my real-time experience with using Vibrant, posting: opinions, impressions, relevant information, and pictures whenever possible. If you would like additional information or pictures, be sure to let me know. My Past Unsuccessful Attempts Using Other Methods: I'm not unlike everyone else in this hobby that has fought algae issues at one time or another. I've certainly tried manual removal, more herbivores, and nutrient restriction. I've even tried more radical approaches like hydrogen peroxide. Here's an attempt that I made using manual removal, rock scraping, and multiple hydrogen peroxide treatments. This FTS was taken in January 2016: The bag contains the algae which I manually removed. After two weeks of manual removal and multiple peroxide treatments, the improvements where undeniable. However, the closeup shows remnants of stubborn algae. I continued additional treatments, making even more progress; however, I eventually lost this battle and ended up fragging the remaining livestock off of the rocks. I'm sure a lot of you can sympathize. I'd hate to think about how many corals (and $$$) I've lost due to algae problems. Current Tanks Being Treated: Both of these are mature tanks with notable algae problems. Also, I've just completed a DrTim's Re-Fresh and Waste-Away regiment on the 40gal consisting of: Day 1: Wrap tank in black plastic. Turn off lights. Dose Re-Fresh. Day 2: Dose Re-Fresh. Day 3: Dose Re-Fresh. Day 4: Remove black plastic. Restart light cycle. Remove organic material. Add a 1/4 dose of Waste-Away. Day 5: Add a 1/4 dose of Waste-Away. Day 6: Add a 1/4 dose (or more) of Waste-Away. Day 7: Add a 1/4 dose (or more) of Waste-Away. Day 8: Add a 1/4 dose (or more) of Waste-Away. Day 9: Partial water change. The 100gal is currently on Day 6 of this same program. The 40gal utilizes a HOB skimmer, while the 100gal has an in-sump skimmer. For dosing purposes, I figure the 100gal tank, with its sump, has a total water volume of about 120 gallons. Here's the 40 gallon tank, taken on 9/21/20: And the 100 gallon tank, taken on 8/13/20: Note that both tanks have a good amount of decorative macroalgae. Obviously that's not the problem that I'm trying to solve. I will be removing the macro prior to dosing (taking some new pics to be used as a reference). Anticipated Potential Issues: Some people have reported large cyano blooms, loss of macroalgae, SPS tissue necrosis, and other losses. I speculate that SPS tissue loss could be due to a combination of low nutrient levels along with intense lighting and higher than NSW alkalinity levels. So I will attempt to monitor nutrient levels (and alkalinity) even though I don't keep acropora or other more difficult SPS corals. It is also recommended to maintain regular maintenance and not to overdose. As this video warns, at 2:19 into the video, overdosing Vibrant may cause a relatively rapid increase in organics: In addition, Underwater Creations states, "It can make your aquarium look so clean that you will think you can skip your regular routine aquarium maintenance of filter changes and water changes. We highly recommend that you do not skip this but that you use Vibrant in conjunction with your normal aquarium routine for a happy vibrant aquarium." I feel that this disclaimer is to encourage people to continue to export organics (including the additional organics caused by the breakdown of algae). I have stated in a number of threads, that I believe that the number one contributor of cyano is organics in the system (detritus on the rock and within the sand bed, as well as dissolved organics in the water column). Considering the potential amount of organics resulting from the breakdown of a large mass of algae, you can easily imagine why people have reported cyano blooms after dosing Vibrant. In addition, the breakdown of algae will also release substances which were previously taken up by the algae. It's possible that some of the negative effects, which have been reported, are due to the release of these potentially harmful substances. Treatment Plan: My plan is to dose the recommended amount twice weekly, on Mondays and Thursdays (with water changes prior to dosing). And while Underwater Creations indicates that there is no need to discontinue skimming after dosing, I plan to temporarily adjust each skimmer so that aeration is not interrupted but nothing is actually skimmed out of the system (as recommended with DrTim's bacterial products) for a few hours just after dosing. EDIT: I'll start with weekly dosing for three weeks, then switch to dosing twice a week starting on week four. Also, I ultimately decided not to disrupt skimming right after dosing. One 16oz bottle should be enough to treat both systems; but I purchased two just in case I wanted to continue dosing. And even though I read it was alright, I was still hesitant to have bacteria shipped during the winter months. The two 16oz bottles add up to 946ml; and I'll be using 16ml each time I dose both tanks. That provides for 59 doses for each tank. At two treatments per week, that's more than 29 weeks of dosing. I've seen where different kinds of algae take much longer to be affected; and even BRS's video seemed incomplete after a total of 9 weeks. So I should have enough to fully treat the algae, and even switch to maintenance dosing. Underwater Creations claims that the bacteria has a shelf life of well over a year, so I don't anticipate that will be an issue. I plan to monitor alkalinity, phosphate, and nitrate. I don't have a way to monitor dissolved organic matter; but as indicated above, I anticipate that control of organics will also be important. Prior to dosing, I plan to transfer most of the macroalgae to another tank. I may or may not decide to reintroduce the macroalgae after treatment is complete. I hope to start dosing my 40 gallon tank this week, with my 100 gallon tank following a few days later. I'll try to be transparent about the treatment methodology that I take, and the results achieved. Feel free to follow along in real time, and let me know if you have questions, or have a request for additional pics or information. Notes: The bottle states that Vibrant "BRIGHTENS AND CLEANS AQUARIUMS IN AS LITTLE AS 12 HOURS!" However, I feel that the bottle and website should state, as they have elsewhere: • Cloudy/hazy Water- 1 dose • Diatoms - 1-2 doses • Cyanobacteria - (Yes, it will outcompete another bacteria) 1-5 doses • Dinoflagellates - 2-5 doses • Bubble algae - 3-8 doses • Hair Algae - 3-5 doses (depending on species of hair and how bad the infestation is) • Turf Algae - 8-20 doses ( again, depending on species and how bad the infestation is) • Bryopsis - 6-30 doses ( again, depending on species and how bad the infestation is) Don't expect immediate results. Plus, the release of nutrients might even fuel additional algae blooms. Algae uptakes a lot more than just inorganic nutrients. Other contaminants may be bound by the algae (which can be suddenly released back into your system as algae is broken down). Unlike most meds and chemical treatments, use of activated carbon is recommended while dosing Vibrant, as dissolved organics, toxins, and other undesirables previously taken up by algae are being released as it's broken down. Use of a protein skimmer (set to wet skim) is recommended to help remove dissolved organics. I recommend that people perform a deep clean (removing organics from the sand bed and rocks where applicable) prior to dosing Vibrant. This might help the effectiveness of Vibrant, and will help you keep up with the additional organics produced from the breakdown of algae. Even though they claim that Vibrant treats cyano (and even dinos), reports of increased cyano blooms are relatively common. Maintaining nitrate at a minimum of 5 ppm (for cyano) and 0.03 ppm of phosphate (for dinos) is frequently recommended by other users. Personally, I feel that other methods are likely more effective at treating either cyano or dinos, and Vibrant is better suited for typical algae blooms. Nutrient testing is important while dosing, as the breakdown of algae can release nutrients. On the other hand, make sure that you keep up with the demand for nutrients (especially nitrate). Maintaining adequate nutrient levels is important while dosing Vibrant, and nutrient dosing might be necessary. Low nutrient levels can contribute to cyano and dinos; plus, along with high alkalinity and intense lighting, low nutrient levels are a recipe for SPS problems. Experienced aquarists may be better equipped to handle issues resulting from changes due to dosing Vibrant (which could require additional maintenance, testing, and dosing). Ingredients listed on the bottle: • 95% Cultured Bacteria Blend • 1% Amino Acids (Aspartic Acid) • 0.5% Vinegar • 3.5% Other Ingredients Conclusions: Reserved for post-treatment comments and pictures (treatments are currently ongoing) I've noticed a dramatic decline in biodiversity (sponges, micro brittle stars, pods, and even flatworms); although it's unclear whether this is due to a lack of food or something else. Assuming the ingredients which are listed on the label are accurate (and taking into account the similarities in dosing amounts, frequencies, side effects, and number of treatments required), I now suspect that the "3.5% Other Ingredients" might be dimethyliminoethylene dichloride, ethoxylate (which is the algaecide used in products like API AlgaeFix). It is also known as: Poly[oxyethylene (dimethyliminio) ethylene(dimethyliminio) ethylene dichloride], or Polyquaternium 42, or Polyquaternium WSCP; this chemical is a cationic polymeric biocide (algaecide, fungicide, and bactericide) when used in higher concentrations. My post Vibrant plan is to reintroduce some biodiversity (phyto, bacteria, and pods). I hope that not all the biodiversity has been wiped out, and populations can eventually recover. Going forward, I plan to be very careful not to reintroduce new algae pests.
  2. Review - The product itself is amazing. The stand is sturdy, UV coated, sturdy hinges, great cutouts and just looks super modern. The tank itself also looks very sleek and very well built. Also for a great price. A few cons would be I wish they provided the white AI prime light with the plus version since their stands are white. Also, the stands do not come with directions and they don't have specific directions for the cube 20 stand so someone that isn't handy like me it took a long time. Also customer service are hard to get a hold of, for me both email and voicemail took days to get a reply and you can't get anyone to answer. With that being said I don't regret my purchase I love the product and can't wait to start filling it up with goodies. Build Thread/Stocking Ideas - This is my first fish tank ever, never even owned a beta lol. So i may have a bunch of failures. Rocks - 20lbs life rock shapes (aquascaped with marco cement) Return pump - stock pump (may upgrade to sicce 1.0 to try and get it very quiet) Flow - Koralia 425 Heater - 2 x 50 watt eheim jager inTank media basket (filter floss, seachem matrix, chemipure blue) Tunzee 3155 ATO (5G jug) DJ switch that is labeled. Big Temp monitor that will alert me if temp gets off. BRS 5 stage RODI Unit Stocking 1 clown fish 1 yellow spotted goby/candy pistol shrimp pair 1 purple fire fish Lots of rock flower Anemones Mixed reef Sexy shrimp/Porcelain crab and other cuc Tank has been cycling 1 week, hopefully can add a fish in a week or two. I'm probably in the wrong hobby since I don't have patience lol.
  3. Hey all, I was noticing that there seems to be very little forum post about BlueAcro, so I thought I would add my two cents and share my experience with their products. I decided to take the plunge and try their led's since I've been a little dissatisfied with Par38 lights, not that they didn't grow corals, but the corals never had good color since I had to sell my AI Prime (awesome light BTW) and I never really liked the spectrum (tried CoralCompulsion and a cheap Lumentek par38 from amazon). Plus not having control over intensity is a real draw back, especially the coral compulsion 24w 22k model over my 10g tank, I almost bleached my rockflower nem, had to remove the reflectors to fix that, plus I hated the disco ball effect. Now i'm not saying that Par38 lights are junk, they did the job and they grew corals, but they didn't satisfy my needs or wants. Now onto my review of BlueAcro The Good: This Led chip is the BEST I've used so far, my corals and I love the spectrum that this led provides. I can say this confidently because they are coloring up like the used to be under the AI Prime and are super lush ( if I can use that expression ). And the shimmer from this chip, by far the best shimmer I've every seen yet from a DIY led, almost like a kessil, not quite there but close. Color blending was exceptional (except when your using the their reflector, I'll get into that in the UGLY section), the blending was crisp and there was not a hint of disco ball affect, none that my eye's could see anyway. The chip itself is very small and compact, very impressed that those tiny diodes can throw out so much light, it also fit perfectly on the a Par38 heatsink that I retro fitted the Acrostar into. I also got their 2 channel driver, that thing was also tiny and worked very well with Manually adjusting the current to the channels, plus when I got the Coralux storm controller they just worked great with each other. The Bad: I hate to add this to my review but I felt it was worth mentioning, while the products were great the customer service is lacking. When I had made my order, which was fine, I had waited two weeks and had not received my order or got a shipping confirmation. I thought they had a lot of orders and were making more chips, but I didn't hear anything from them, so I emailed them what was the status of my order. I was emailed back three days later ( 3 days is just too long) and was informed that they some how missed the order and marked it shipped in their system. They apologized and refunded my shipping, which was $4 dollars. I got my order a few days later and when I had opened the box, they forgot to send the thermal paste I had bought (its $0.50, so I was not crying over this) and they forgot to send a wire disconnect tool that their video says is shipped with all their products, now these things are not the end of the world, I modified a paperclip so I could release the wires from their chips, but I was starting to become annoyed with the mistakes. The last thing is instructions for their products, there is almost nothing online and nothing was shipped with my order. Now the chips are not complicated and led was easy to figure out, but their driver took more guess work, particularly when hooking up the storm 5v PWM controller. There are 4 input connectors on the driver: Vin, Ground, Dim 1 and Dim 2. There was no information on were to hook up the pwm Ground wire, and being a poor man in a rich mans hobby, I didn't want to hook up the brand new controller wrong and fry it. I again emailed them and they took 2 days to get back to me, in which apparently the p/s ground and pwm ground are shared. I think this would have been important to give instructions for, because every driver I've seen online that take pwm signals have a separate ground from the power supply. Now I'm not trying to bash BlueAcro, maybe they have great customer service and I got the short end of the stick, but I didn't like the short end of the stick and I hope they read this review, make needed adjustments and be great company, because they make a great products. The Ugly: There only one thing I want to add here and it is the reflector that you can buy with the chip. I bought the 1/2 Acrostar and added the reflector/ diffuser to my order, the reflector seemed like a great idea to give the light more versatility on what corals I might want to have, but when I attached it to the chip it made half of my tank blue and the other half white. Now the reflector has these pegs sticking out of it and it can only fit flush with the led chip in only two positions, I tried both position and still my tank color all over the place. It seems that for whatever reason the reflector was ruining the color blending of the chip, even when I tried the diffuser and color blending was just bad. Maybe reflector was defective, but didn't feel like emailing them and waiting again. Conclusion: blueAcro makes great led chip and I would totally order another one when I have a need, even thinking about changing my 20g long tank to these led's. customer service is lacking but to me not a deal breaker, just hope that they can make some improvements and they will be a great option to the reefing community. I don't have any pictures yet of my light setup or the tank but I will post some soon. Peace out
  4. Recently, I changed my light schedule to a more intense setting with longer white light. If you are using AI, I would recommend you to try this schedule, it's quite famous - Jamaican Reef. However, longer white light means more algae, which lead to higher KH consumption. I've always had high nutrition level, my NO3 was 10, PO4 was 0.1. I had to clean the glass every two days, so I decided to take some action. I was trying to set up a chaeto reactor at first. Turns out it's quite expensive here in Australia. LFS recommonded NOPOX as a much affordable alternative. I've been using this for one week now. Getting great result, NO3 is 5, PO4 is 0.03 now. It is a very effective product to control algae and lower nutrition. You just need to have an efficient skimmer. I've been using Red Sea KH test kits recently to monitor my KH level. I will have to say, worth every penny. Comparing to my old Salifert test kits. The packaging is more decent. It's very easy to use( one less step vs Salifert). Also comes with a bottle of free KH buffer. My KH is now 7, I will keep dosing to bring it back to 8. Here's a top view of my tank now. It's a Red Sea Max Nano and it's been running for 8 month now.
  5. HingleMcCringleberry

    Review my tank? 30gal (Pictures)

    Hi all I feel like I’ve just about finished stocking my 30 gallon tank. I’m really proud of the work I’ve done so far. I’d love to hear feedback on my little ecosystem I designed. Criticism is welcome as well. I just want to show off the product of my efforts and hear ways I might still improve it. My tanl is a 30 gallon biocube. It’s been set up for about 4.5 months now but it was mature and full of water and rock when I received it used so I got a little head start. i have attached some photos I took yesterday there are are a couple of frags that got burned and were put on the sand temporarily. let me me know what you think!
  6. A while back I decided to give this little gem a go, I've had it for a few months maybe now so i decided I'd give it a little write up as I am very pleased with it. Cost i paid $100AUD but a quick look online suggests average $150AUD Specs dimensions - L125mm x W60mm x H85mm power consumption - max 12watts max head height - 1.5m max output - 1200L/h controllability - variable via controller Out of the box - packaging was neat tidy and well protected - the unit itself looks sleek and well presented Functions - variable control - feed more (10min) My experience I was really pleased with how well it works, I was happy to have the variable control as I do use my return as part of my water movement in the display. Makes it easier to fine tune how I want to move water in the display. The pump itself is super quiet, has nice rubber stoppers on the bottom to assist with vibration and noise. Controller is really easy to use and works correctly. Overall really pleased with this little pump and would definitely recommend it.
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