Saturday, 7 April 2012

Carbon Dosing Instruction

These instructions will focus solely on using 80 proof vodka (40% ethanol by volume). They do not pertain to other organic carbon sources that are also currently used, including common table sugar (sucrose) and vinegar (sodium acetate). The dosing instructions below were as dictated by J�rg Kokott and have been used successfully by us.
  1. Test your system�s NO3 and PO4 levels. Do not dose if you do not know this! We recommend good test kits that have some low level of sensitivity. This will be important later on to determining a maintenance dose regimen. During the initial dosing test often and adjust dosing parameters as needed as each tank�s requirement will be different. Dosing accuracy is of the utmost importance. A graduated measurement tool such as a syringe will come in handy. A journal of additions and test kit measurements is recommended.
  2. Estimate your Net Water Volume (NWV) of your system. (Aquarium volume + sump + refugium + reactor volumes) � (live rock displacement). It can be difficult to accurately measure the amount of water being displaced by the live rock. If unsure of the volume of live rock we suggest taking 30% off your display tank�s Gross Water Volume. For vodka dosing there is absolutely no harm in underestimating the Net Water Volume and is recommended.
  3. As an example, let us assume that your setup contains 100 Net Gallons.
  4. The starting dosage is 0.1ml of vodka per 25 gallons (~100 liters) NWV daily continued for three days. For 100 Net Gallons, your dosage would be 0.4ml daily during this period. It has been suggested to cut the daily dosage in half and dose twice daily for more consistency.
  5. Days 4-7, double the daily dosage to 0.2ml of vodka per 25 gallons NWV. Your example dosage would be 0.8ml daily during this period.
  6. Each subsequent week add an additional 0.5ml of vodka regardless of aquaria volume. At this point your example dosage during week two would be 1.3ml daily. If you do not see nutrient levels decrease during this week, the following week add an additional 0.5ml for a daily dosage of 1.8ml daily.
  7. When your NO3 and PO4 levels start to drop maintain the current dose. For example, if you were on week two when NO3 start to fall on 100 Net Water Volume you would add 1.3mL daily at this time for the continuing weeks until the NO3 becomes undetectable.
  8. When your NO3 and PO4 levels drop near undetectable with your test kits cut your current dose in half. This will be your starting maintenance dose (if the levels drop during week 2 then the dose after reaching undetectable levels would be 0.65ml daily [1.3ml divide by 2]).
  9. Continue to test for NO3 and PO4. If levels become detectable in the future increase your daily dose by 0.1ml increments per week until the levels start to decrease. If you maintain that dose the levels will eventually drop back to undetectable. This would become your new maintenance dose.
Throughout your dosing, observe your livestock daily to look for any signs of stress. If stress of any sort is noticed stop dosing, or at a minimum cut back by reducing your dose in half. If for some reason you cannot remember if you�ve added for that day skip it. It is better to accidentally miss a dose than add twice as much (a journal will keep this from occurring). Never double the dose for missing a prior day!


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