Originally Posted by redchigh
Wow, it's sounding better and better...
Consumes oxygen means converts it to CO2, correct?
Sounds like a CHEAP way to supplement CO2...
I read that the bacteria that results from adding the sugar reduces the amount of oxygen available in the water, which is why it was strongly recommended that a protein skimmer be used to replenish it. I don't know whether the oxygen the bacteria consumes is converted to CO2.
I do know that after dosing with sugar for exactly 1 week now, I am a believer.
My nitrates have come down from what looked like 20+ last Monday to 5 or 10 (I can't tell the difference between these two with the API test kit) as of this morning. It looks like my phosphates are lower, too.
When I tested my nitrates last Friday, it looked like the test kit results may have been a slightly lighter shade of orange, but they still looked to be around 20. I remembered reading that some people only saw results after their tank had gotten cloudy, and their tank had only gotten cloudy after increasing the amount of sugar they dosed with. On Friday evening I added another 1/2 tsp of sugar. That got the tank cloudy. There was a definite change in the shade of orange when I tested the water Saturday morning. On Saturday I decided to "go for broke" and dosed 2 tsp. The water got cloudy later that day, my skimmer kicked into high gear, and when the water cleared up hours later my nitrates were lower still. My fish, hermit crabs, emerald crabs, peppermint shrimp, and xenia all seemed fine. I dosed 2 tsp again Sunday and Monday. I am going to do the same this morning.
On Wednesday or Thursday I will probably scale it back to dosing 1 tsp until Sunday, and then 1/2 tsp from then on assuming the nitrates don't increase.
Thinking about all of the messy, several hour long, large water changes I've done to bring my nitrates down in the past, and the expensive "nitrate reducing media" I've purchased that had no noticeable effect whatsoever, the fact that simply adding sugar to the tank significantly reduces nitrates (at least has so far) strikes me as nothing short of incredible.
Assuming the cumulative impact of sugar dosing doesn't have negative consequences, and there doesn't seem to be any reason to think it would based on everything I've read, this seems like it would save a lot of time, work, money, and frustration.
Of course, from what I understand, adding new aquarium salt replenishes many helpful trace minerals, so in addition to dosing to replenish Ca, Mag, etc., I am still going to do regular water changes. They just won't have to be nearly as large or as frequent to keep my nitrates at bay.