Saturday, 7 April 2012

What is an Organic Carbon-Source?

Carbon is the fourth most common element in the universe. It is unusual in nature as it has the ability to self-polymerize forming long chains. Carbon�s abundance combined with its ability to form a wide range of polymeric structures allows this molecule to form essential molecules found within all organisms. Carbon is found within your reef aquarium in abundance as inorganic bicarbonate. When these carbon molecules are incorporated into more complex forms within cells they are termed organic.
It has been reported that addition of certain organics can help enhance the appearance of the reef aquarium by reducing nitrates and phosphates. To do this, people have experimented with sugar, vinegar, and vodka. All of which are organic. Our discussion is focused on vodka addition. The reason vodka is used in comparison to other spirits such as whiskey, gin, or brandy is that vodka is more pure in composition than most other spirits because of its process of distillation. Other spirits are brewed with additives that enhance flavor. Vodka is not. Because it lacks additives it consists of mostly water and the organic compound ethanol. For this reason many feel vodka is a safer addition than other spirits by eliminating the possibility of adding other organic molecules that may act negatively within the reef environment.


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