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  #21  
Old 09-29-2019, 12:55 AM
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I agree with you Glenn that it's definately a balancing act with nutrients, but also beneficial bacterias.
When I first started dosing nitrogen and phosphorus, you were the first to agree that it's needed. Since then, I've not needed to run either GFO or Carbon.
And, after I balanced mine, I stopped dosing both NO3 or PO4 products. My tank balanced itself with fish load, SPS and just a filter sock with a decent-skimmer.

With that in mind, I'm considering adding some bacteria to my new tank(started 2 mths ago). Either I'll use Seachem Pristine, or something similar such as MB7. Haven't decided yet. If we could buy DR Tim's I'd consider it too.

As for GHA/Cyano, in my last tank (shut down before summer) I had great success with as above; decent skimming, a sock changed weekly, a bi-weekly water change, and some hit/miss rock turkey basting. I even stopped cleaning the sand. It got to the point where if I didn't like the look of the sand, I'd just siphon the top off and replace it with new - maybe 10lbs once/year.

Near the end before I shut the tank down for a re-do last spring, I was getting some hair algae and cyano, but only due to me not basting the rock and cleaning the sand.

I went 3 years without gha/cyano issues before I got lazy.

So, I feel that with a decent WC schedule/filter sock changes/clean rocks and sand when needed, we should be able to keep our tanks balanced without spending $40/cup for a product that might/may throw our tanks completely out of balance.

I feel that, with the 'right' kind of bacteria that won't upset my SPS, my tank will be balanced for years as it was between my restart in 2016 and this last shutdown 2019.

I currently have some bacterial 'mulm' on my LR that is gobbling up enough of the nutrients in my water to upset my SPS, causing them to pale some, and leaving a 'sludge' all over my rocks and sand.
This weekend, I'm planning on adding either MB7 or Pristine in small doses to clear this up and see what happens.

Maybe this should have been posted in a different thread, but it's relevant to Vibrant's claims of removing 'sludge'

Last edited by gregzz4; 09-29-2019 at 01:01 AM.
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  #22  
Old 09-29-2019, 01:12 AM
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Glenn, balancing the bacteria in our tanks is difficult.
Some eat the nutrients which algae love, and some eat those which Cyano loves.
This is why I'm on this new trek to find what product will add the necessary bacterias which will out-compete nuisance stuff, yet still keep my SPS happy by not out-competing them.

Thus far, adding nitrogen and phosphorus has fuelled the brown crap, so I stopped that dosing.

I've also tried dried coral foods and phyto foods. Didn't document any change as that was all happening during the liquid dosing phase, so was all part of the ugly after-affects.

Since then, the only thing beyond frozen foods that has kept my corals happy-ish and returns their colors is liquid amminos. This still fuels the brown crap, but at a much slower rate, and my SPS are finally starting to look 'correct'.

I'll report back when I find which bacterial additive works for me.

Last edited by gregzz4; 09-29-2019 at 01:15 AM.
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  #23  
Old 09-29-2019, 04:24 AM
hfp75 hfp75 is offline
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I was having a bit of GHA and GBA and was struggling. I tried Vibrant, and it worked, the GHA and almost all of the GBA went away, when I started to tapper back the Vibrant it took like 2-3 days and everything started to look bad, then my one Frogspawn melted followed by a torch and few other things. I had a fish die - probably from the ammonia/nitrites from the RTN of the LPS. Did a bunch of H2O changes and things settled down - then I got Dinos and lost another 2 fish.

I basically did a partial restart. I pulled out all the sand and about 2/3 of the rock. I had rock cooking and got new sand and presto we are in business. My tank never really did a cycle after the sand/rock replacement. I did 1/2 of the sand one week and the other half about 2 weeks later. So, now I have new sand and a bunch of new live rock. Tank looks good and I have restocked it with fish. Some corals, but the corals are not really all thriving, so my params are still normalizing. I'll give it another week and I will do a SUMP clean out too. This should be almost a full reset over a few week period.

In the end, I think that my initial problems from GHA/GBA were from a sand bed that had 2 problems, first it had sand that was too large in size - lets detritus collect, second it had been in for 4'ish yrs and was saturated and the detritus was fermenting there. New sand is a finer size, less likely to let detritus seep in...

My dinos are gone and I am keeping lighting low, corals light (not many), and getting fish established to get nutrients into the tank, once its a few months old I'll try more corals again... I have added in chaeto from my other tank and it slowly disintegrates - providing nutrients for the bacteria.

I noticed that my Dinos really took a hit when I started adding fish and Chaeto right into the main display and did a 3 days black out followed by really weak light. The tank looks good.... I am afraid the Dinos might return if I brighten up the lights or let my nutrients drop off... Good thing I can add in chaeto from the other tank...

I keep waiting for New Tank Syndrome, but so far it really hasn't happened... maybe my bacteria cultures from the old rock and sump have done their part and stabilized the tank.

In the end, Vibrant was a fix for a problem that needed an intervention. I should have just changed the sand initially. Could have saved a bunch of heartache. Vibrant is just a carbon source to rev up the bacteria..... then the bacteria consume more nutrients, in fact the goal is that the good bacteria will compete for nutrients - thus starving out algaes. Not a bad theory, but for me it came down to a nutrient problem, from an old sand bed.

I would be curious to know how to remove a carbon source from an aquarium that relies on it. Vibrant = Steroids (for bacteria) (When the Vibrant went away the bacteria went through a die off as they adjusted to the withdraw, and this in turn started a reaction of bad events)

Last edited by hfp75; 09-29-2019 at 04:34 AM.
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  #24  
Old 09-29-2019, 06:46 AM
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Greg you mentioned a few things that might be right. Bacteria is definitely a major player, considering Cyano is one. Good competition could be the long term solution. been trying mostly to do this chemical free as to not upset the bacteria levels any more than they are already out of wack.

Not too sure about maintenance required on a well balanced tank.

I have two main tanks. A 35 gallon reef tank with a deep sand bed that has been set up for 16+ years. All I run is a small tunze skimmer on it with good water flow. I currently do not have filter socks running on it. I have a wide range of corals in it some like my bonsai has been growing since the tank initially set up. I have had problems many years ago with this tank but now I do absolutely nothing to the tank. Change the water once every 6 months if I am lucky, add nothing other than 2 part to balance the alkalinity/calcium usage manually. Check the alkalinity/calcium levels once every month and they never change. This tank is ultra low maintenance. I currently do not even know what the nitrates or phosphates are, nor do I care.

The other tank is a 75 gallon reefer. It has been set up for about 4 years now. This is the one that I am having problems with and have trouble balancing the nutrients and alkalinity. I check the alkalinity almost daily change the water once every 1 to 2 weeks, check the PO3 twice a week and the nitrates once every week or so. The alkalinity usage fluctuates quite regularly and if I do not catch it right away the corals can go in a rapid decline. I add calcium and alkalinity via a doser. I try to keep both nitrates and phosphates at detectable amounts but have had serious issues (algae/cyano/ corals STNing) when I have tried elevating these levels.

I have been on Reef2Reef forms talking with some of the experts about it on cyano specific forms and nobody seems to have a full understanding of cyano. GHA is more an inconvenience that I can deal with.

The cyano can be another beast all together and if I am not careful dinos can be the end result, this (dinos) is why it is so important that I do not let me nutrients bottom out.
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  #25  
Old 09-29-2019, 02:45 PM
hillbillyreefer hillbillyreefer is offline
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Thanks for that hfp75, the more information out there the better, it doesn’t matter if it was a good or bad experience.
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  #26  
Old 10-01-2019, 03:02 AM
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@hfp75
Thanks for posting your experience. This is why I am very hesitant to try Vibrant. Having a balance of both good and bad bacteria in our tanks is very important.
As you can attest to, something can go very wrong to one end of the 'scale', causing major issues or even loss of critters.
There's not a lot of info on the web about this that I can find, but I've suspected it.
Your input is greatly appreciated.

@Glenn and everyone else
On Sat I scrubbed my LR with a toothbrush and 'massaged' my sand, then when the water cleared I changed my sock.
Today, 2 days later, the 'mulm' on my rock and sand has not multiplied/spread so I feel this is a good time to try something different.
Tonight I have dosed MB7 @ the maintenance recommendation, and will do another in 1 week.
To keep my corals happy-ish, I will continue dosing TLF AcroPower @20ml/week.

Because I'm NOT dosing Vibrant, I'll move my comments to my build thread from here on.
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  #27  
Old 10-01-2019, 04:03 AM
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@anyone looking to balance/re-balance the bacteria in their tanks, I've started a trek.
Check out my rebuild thread for dosing/results/updates
Greg's 75g Mixed Reef Rebuild Round 2
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  #28  
Old 10-02-2019, 06:12 AM
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I have a theory as to why Vibrant works for some tanks but causes problems in others. As mentioned earlier in this thread Vibrant acts like a fuel for nitrate burning bacteria similar to carbon dosing (vodka). When the tank is very low on nitrates the vibrant acts as a fuel for other bacteria like cyano.

So when you have high nitrates and this is the cause for the hair algae, Vibrant reduces the nitrates hence reduces the algae growth. But there are many reasons for algae growth and high nutrients is just one of them.

I have had a similar experience with vodka dosing before on a tank with very low nitrates.
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