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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.
Hey guys I'll be tracking My results using Vibrant aquarium cleaner to see how well it really works. I have let my cyano grow a little and have not removed my bryopsis manually because I want to see how well this stuff really works. (I hope I am doing this right)