In Part 1 of this article, I talked about Carbon Dosing, and the principals and some of the products on the market that are being used in this method of natural nitrate and phosphate control. You can read the first article for all the details, but for a quick review of what carbon dosing is all about, here are the basics.
By providing (dosing) a usable carbon source, the aquarist can increase the uptake of Nitrate and Phosphate by bacteria in the aquarium, and reduce the overall level of Nitrate and Phosphate in the aquarium to desired levels. Maintaining this low nutrient system, improves the overall health of the system, eliminates nuisance algae, and promotes brilliant coloration in corals. Another benefit to this increased bacteria population, also referred to as bacterioplankton, is that it serves as a supplemental food source for corals and filter feeding invertebrates. Carbon sources that are used for dosing have traditionally been vodka, vinegar, sugar or commercially available products like Brightwell Aquatics Reef Bio Fuel, or Red Sea’s NO4-Px. While effective, these sources of carbon must be added on regular basis (every day in most cases) and dosage levels are achieved largely on a trial and error basis. Read More »