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Carbon dosing (vodka) vs carbon reactor


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  1. #1
    EMUreef - Reefkeeper
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    Default Carbon dosing (vodka) vs carbon reactor

    The title might not actually fit my question but figured it would draw a few people in with knowledge of both of them.
    From what i know Vodka dosing provides another carbon source to help reduce Nitrates and phosphates.

    Running a carbon reactor.. well since carbon is...carbon.. wouldn't it be considered a carbon source?

    Can anyone clear up what the differences are? minus the fact that one is vodka and one is actual carbon...

  2. #2
    XSiVE - Reefkeeper
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    Activated carbon is not the same as a carbon source. It's not available carbon atoms, it's more like charcoal,made from wood, coal, some other sort of solid material lots of random organics and its heavily processed. It's "activated" because its been treated to have a massive amount of surface area with (this is where im guessing) some sort of positive or negative ions to attract all sorts of things to bond to its surfaces.

    Carbon dosing as in vodka is adding an organic carbon (the element, in a nearly pure form) to the system to grow bacterial mass and also helps them eat more of the crap you want out.
    Last edited by XSiVE; 11-02-2010 at 07:45 AM.

  3. #3
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Activated carbon is for water treatment...it removes organic compounds (and others to a lesser degree). While carbon dosing, is a water additive...as Ryan said it provides more fuel for your biomass to remove nutrients.

  4. #4
    rmalone - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Yep what they said. There are bio-pellets which could be run in a reactor, but they are far different than activated carbon. Personally I LOVE the mb7/vodka method, you just need a REAL good skimmer and the ability to not get carried away, with a "more is better" mentality.

  5. #5
    EMUreef - Reefkeeper
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    Thanks for the comments guys. This basically answered my questions about what the heck the difference is.

    From what im understanding is the carbon in Vodka and such is more like the Carbon atom?

    And i already know the carbon in reactors is the carbon left over from basically from wood and such.

    Its kinda weird how that works out.

    Rmalone what are these bio-pellets you speak of that can be put in a reactor?

  6. #6
    ReeferRob - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Here's a good read for ya
    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-08/nftt/index.php

    I've been running the Warner Marine EcoBak Biopellets in a TLF reactor for 8 weeks now I believe.
    "We shouldn't think of an environment where livestock can survive, we should ensure an environment where livestock can thrive."-Rabidgoose
    "If it's gonna be that kinda party, Ima stick my ........ in the mashed potatoes!"-Beastie Boys

  7. #7
    XSiVE - Reefkeeper
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    yeah russ its a simplistic molecular structure, one of the simplest cleanest forms of carbon. as you can see here, it is a very simple molecule and that is ALL that vodka is.

    Ethanol Molecule   small - Carbon dosing (vodka) vs carbon reactor

    activated carbon / charcoal is a lot of other random molecules.

  8. #8
    EMUreef - Reefkeeper
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    Ah i see where the carbon comes in, a picture def helped to see the chemical formula.
    Does the Hydrogen and Hydroxide give the carbon a different property than pure carbon?

    From what i have researched activated carbon is just "C" or one carbon molecule.

    I see people dose sugar sometimes too. What kinda sugar do they use? table sugar?
    Since the chemical makeup of sugar is C12H22O11..does it make it more effective since it has more carbon in it?

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