Saturday, 7 April 2012

Equipment - Skimmer, An Absolute Must!

Well if it sounds so great, why can�t I just start dumping vodka/organic carbon into my system? Before running to the liquor cabinet, the simple answer is overdosing can cause serious and detrimental effects to the reef system. To help circumvent this potential issue a dosing regimen along with some basic equipment is needed. The absolute must is the requirement for a powerful skimmer. People that have reported beneficial results using this method all have had strong skimmer and report a change in skimmate from a light brown to a strong odiferous black sludge. This makes a good skimmer a key requirement and important for two reasons:
  1. Gas exchange. The increased bacterial biomass and growth will decrease your dissolved O2 levels in the water column. Too much vodka can result in a drastic decrease of O2 and can cause stress to your reef inhabitants, if not death.
  2. Exporting bacteria/macromolecule mass. Vodka addition results in lower NO3 and PO4 levels. You will want to export the incorporated nitrogen and phosphates that you are cultivating by organic carbon dosing. Efficient skimming allows such removal.
J�rg Kokott, a key contributor to the original thread, recommended the use of ozone during the duration of vodka dosing to maintain high levels of dissolved O2 in the system. This decrease in dissolved O2 is indirectly observed in ORP meter readings after vodka addition. Though not an absolute requirement, as told from many RC participants, ozone may add an extra level of protection by increasing O2 levels during an overdose.
Gelbstoff, German for yellow matter, is reported to buildup in aquariums over time. Additions of vodka or other carbon sources have the potential to accelerate the yellowish water buildup from organics. To solve this problem, people have utilized ozonators to breakdown of the organic molecules responsible for resulting in yellowish water. Ozone is an attractive choice as it would not only breakdown the gelbstoff but will also add O2 to the water in case of an overdose. For people not interested in running ozone other solutions for this problem are the addition of granulated activated carbon or through regular water changes.


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