lower nitrates with table sugar in saltwater aquarium : rotter tube reef

lower nitrates with table sugar in saltwater aquarium : rotter tube reef

sugar dosing to lower nitrates in your reef tank aquarium nitrate control in your aquarium using table sugar or vodka use either sugar or vodka, not both. sugar is cheaper so I will use that. fish waste or uneaten food results in nitrates, which need to be removed from your tank dosing sugar feeds the good bacteria and allows it to remove more nitrates do not overfeed your fish try to control yourself and not put too many fish in your tank a nitrate reactor will aid in lowering nitrates but they cost more money and take up space in your sump go slow! you should first try to find the reason your nitrates are high and start there. do not use sugar dosing to fix issues that are always present sugar dosing will reduce N03 and P04 phosphates and nitrates in your tank sugar dosing helps to build a bacteria army that will get rid of the nitrates you must have a protein skimmer to sugar dose. your skimmer will be removing the extra bacteria that houses the nitrates the cliff notes…..

100 thoughts on “lower nitrates with table sugar in saltwater aquarium : rotter tube reef

  1. Ceminger1, thanks, glad you liked the video. cloudy means it's working. just keep to what you're doing and make sure you don't exceed 1 teaspoon per 60 gallons daily…that works best. you also need protein skimmer when doing this. if you don't have one, don't do it.

  2. awesome thanks been watching this for a bit I've been sugar dosing my skimmer is just filthy now and nitrates at 2ppm using a red sea test kit thanks I'm sure it'll get lower in two weeks

  3. 2 fixes for nitrates. water change. grow algae in a scrubber or sump and then physically remove the growth regularly. very simple. the sugar idea works but they got a simple detail wrong. it isnt bacteria that feeds on the co2, its phytoplankton and algae. all youre doing is promoting algae growth in the water column thatll get skimmed out over time. if you dont get the algae skimmed out constantly, itll grow rapidly, die, and then crash your tank. its very risky.

  4. hi..
    i dose 1tsp sugar for my 300ltr /80gal-+
    but after around 3hrs later my tank water become cloudy..
    is it normal? or im making mistake some where?
    pls advise

  5. First off Mr. Rotter great subway video that looks like my hometown of Chicago ( yes inside the city limit) and I know you moved out a little west of Chicago. I love your series. I am going into salt/reef after three years of fresh water. Going from a 40 gal to 65 with sump and all. So every bit of info I can get I'm ingesting. But you make your videos not only informative but interesting as well. Thank you

  6. How often do you dose sugar? Also I googled vodka dosing for reef aquarium but I couldn't get any good measurements of how much vodka one should dose on a 50g tank.
    Yes my nitrates are a bit high 🙈

  7. Hi there, watched you video the other day as well as others'. I have 4000 Lts Pond with 400 Lts Filter which i calculated roughly according your measurement in the US for the Sugar dose. I am in Australia. So i added about 2kg of sugar yesterday. the water become absolutely blur and dirty within the last 24 hours. The Nitrate has down from 160 to 10. so, the question is are my Kosi in danger with this dirty water? is my filter crashed? Please respond me asap. I am panicking. ..

  8. I wanted to ask you that I lose about 1/3 to a gallon of water a day from evaporation. I was wondering since for the whole week I actually add 7 gallons of fresh water. Would that not be considered a water change because I remember mile high reefer said that he never water changes. Do nitrates evaporate with the water( I don't think so). The would still be exported through macro and skimmer right?

  9. I wanted to ask you to look into a vortex diatom filter that runs with diatomaceous earth. I bought it and after about 2 hours it looked as if the fish were swimming in air. I know some people run it all day and it even gets rid of ich in you tank. The powder is very cost effective. I only run it after I feed my fish for about 2 hours and sometimes longer. I thought my corals were being bleached but I found out my starfish was eating them. I also wanted to know how long it took for your nitrates to come down through sugar dosing. Could you also recommend a cheap camera for taking videos of my tank especially with the actinics.

  10. This has got to be the best and funniest video…..I love it.Thank you so much for all the information….. Can I do this in my HOB  filter? I'm VERY new to saltwater. Any information is appreciated.

  11. awesome… ok. I'm using chemi pure blue in my HOB filter and poly filter in my canister filter. it's only a 20 gallon. I think I'm feeding to much honestly. I'll back off.

  12. Hi there

    I just wanna ask, dose you still using sugar dosing ??

    Dose it effect your coral or tank crush?

    Cause I heard from my local that will crush your tank soon or later

    Which that make me stop sugar dosing for awhile, and my no3 is climbing up to 50 ppm 😭😭

    Please do let me know the outcome of it

  13. my all water get very very cloudy but thanx to my protien skimmer he clear all the water but its too late he runied my all tank my anemons zoanthides and fishes

  14. I been dosing for 2 months and the results have been great. All Algae is gone and my levels are around 10. I have a 125 gallon reef tanks and I put 1/2 teaspoon of sugar every day.

  15. After dosing with sugar for 2 days my nitrates went from 40 ppm to 0ppm thanks a lot for the info

  16. This actually works. My tank was at 50ppm for the longest. Once I started to dose sugar I they took a nose dive. I'm currently at 10ppm. (3 weeks in)

  17. so you rather look at cloudy water and loose the beauty of your aquarium ahh don't understand that when fresh water and air stones are available

  18. Hi

    I have a 250 litre tank using a 200 litre per hour external canister filter and a hang on skimmer
    I have been doing large water changes and lots of them to try and lower phosphates reading (0.5) and nitrates reading between 10 & 25 and I'm having no luck in reducing them I only have 1 foxface 2 common clowns 3 chromis 1 fire fish and 1 suntail goby in my tank plus clean up crew I don't overfeed and only feed 6 days a week
    My question is how much sugar would I add to my aquarium and how often



  19. I use nopox. more modern way of carbon dosing. my nitrates were at 80 and was at 20 a week within dosing nopox. I'm at weeks 2 and nitrates is at 10-15. best product I ever used.

  20. hey I love your channel I have learned so much from you , I try to sugar dose my 55 gallon reef tank I did one table spoon small I put it in the sump I have a decent skimmer not the most expensive but does is job but the water became cloudy overnight and I'm freaking out I put a air stone to supply oxygen to my fish . can u give me an advice I don't want my fish to get kill

  21. thank you so much for this informative video, do you think this method would necessary for a 10 gallon reef tank?? or will water changes be the right way for such a small tank? ?

  22. I'm confused, you dose 1/2 teaspoon in your 75g tank but in your description you say dose 1 teaspoon per 60g, I think this Information is fantastic and I badly want to reduce my nitrates trying this method, but the dosing amount you suggest is unclear. We have a 125g reef tank so should I be dosing 3/4 or 2 teaspoons?

  23. Hahha we need myth busters. But am going to bed. It don't matter anyway. Your getting the nitrates out. And that's what matters.

  24. I know this is an older video but I love it. I like your style and enthusiasm! glad to have someone such as your self to learn from and watch! keep up the good work and vids.

  25. I'm running a 55 gal reef. if I just do 1 8th of a tsp of sugar instead of one and half will I still achieve same results just longer period since it's less, or do I need to do one and half of 1/8 tsp?

  26. You get me dude I have too many fish in my tank to but you do you think that's gonna stop me no it's not gonna stop me I'm doing whatever I can to keep them in there because I love them

  27. Yeah you're basically just like me just with a bigger tank I mean I tried to save my money to thank you by the way (; Happy Reef Keeping 🐠🐚

  28. Hi, i'm from Romania so i'm not familiar with US measuring units. Can you tell me how many grams is a teaspoon, or how much should i dose for my sistem wich is about 600 liters / abt 160 gal.Thank you.

  29. Hey buddy can I try this on my 30 gallon ? I have a protein skimmer no sump, and three fishes. And for how long would I do this for ?

  30. Steve on the sugar dosing have you had any problems with Aptasia. The sugar works well I am currently running 4 tanks and I use sugar on all of them and I have Aptasia in all of them.

  31. I have a hang on back aqua remora c skimmer from what i understand they work different from a standard skimmer ,would it work .

  32. one ? i tested the nitrate and it was 40 ppm then 3 days later i did a remodel inside the reef moving rock and a lot of moving sand i had 12 fish in a 75 tank also took 4 fish out and now have 8 fish and let every thing sit for a day later test the nitrate am at – + 140 ppm just wondering what happen if i took fish out or bc i move things around? ps little feeding 20 sec of food for fish to consume .

  33. Hi, Can you please help me i have a question about sugar dosing . I have a 70gallon FOWLR without a sump so my question is can i dose sugar straight to my DT water and let it diluted or would it be better to mix the sugar in some fresh distilled water or saltwater that is from the display tank first then pour it back in?. Please Help because i dont have a sump like others but i do have a Reef octopus HOB skimmer. Thank You

  34. I have a sump that looks like yours and I have a 75 gallon tank as of last night my nitrates 40 PPM. I'm planning on setting up my protein skimmer how many tablespoon of sugar do I put in? I really hate the fact that I have to change water so often I don't want to do that so I'm trying to find the best alternative way to keep my nitrates level down. right now I only have invertebrates and life rocks so I want to get it ready for my fishes.

  35. Hmm…I realize this is old now, but I thought carbon dosing (like grenadine or vodka) fed anaerobic bacteria that convert nitrates into nitrogen gas, completing the nitrogen cycle. I think the notion that the protein skimmer removes bacteria containing nitrates or the nitrates go back in the water if/when the bacteria dies is just wrong.

  36. Hey Rotter, how you been doing? Are you still sugar dosing or have you gone another route? I'll soon have my 300 gallon ready hopefully by feb 2018. I bought this aquarium about a month before you made this video around feb 2015. I still have no water in it because I've been collecting the gear (toys) to operate it since then lol but its really starting to take shape and looking good. So it will be 3 years by feb 2018 and hope to have it running by then. I use 6 teaspoons of sugar in my coffee and I think that's about what mine is going to take including the water in the sump = 380 gallons lol. But is there a chart for building up to that? I don't just start putting that much sugar in from the get go do I? Also, when is a good time to start dosing, when you first start cycling or after how many weeks? And yes I have a great skimmer I'll be using.

  37. I have my bio pellet reactor directly feeding my octopus external skimmer my readings across-the-board are zero I think it's because of the external protein skimmer that recycles everything

  38. I have tried this method and been doing this for 2 years now. Very effective and save my money. I have 1 Dory and 4 Nemo and Kennedy for the test. All good, healthy and fat. And yes u need good skimmer and bigger always 3x the size of ur overall water.

  39. This could come in handy to know. We currently have a 55 gallon saltwater tank, but I bought a 120 gallon, it is second hand with the sump plumbing, but no pump. I am considering using Cheato in a refugium to help with bacterial breakdown.

  40. Hi.
    I have pico tank at 55 liters.
    Few fish, sps + lps, few clean up crew.

    Now my no3 : 10
    I dose bactery starter every week.
    I dose 1/2 teaspoon sugar every week.
    I dose around 2ml vinegar 5% everyday.
    I use skimmer & seachem product.
    Now, around 5 weeks without water change.

    Any idea how to reduce my no3 into 0 ??

    Except for idea :
    – reduce fish
    – reduce fish food
    – water change
    – cleaning sand bed


    THE SUGAR I USE FOR CARBON DOSING. Domino Premium Pure Cane Granulated Sugar, 64 Ounce

  42. you have tryed suger dosing and bio pellets and refugium right so if u had to pic one witch way would u go … i have been trying your methed on suger but im doing a table spoon a day on a 180 and i cant get it lower the 40 ..

  43. Dosing carbon… less is more for sure when starting. Most people unless using a deep sand bed will be very limited in anoxic bacteria. But carbon dosing is a must. The main reason most tanks have low Anoxic bacteria is because there just isn’t enough food to feed them. Protein skimmers are not required for this at all lol.. that makes no sense.. removing excessive nutrients has nothing to do with feeding bacteria that breath nitrate. Carbon dosing is for no other reason then feeding anoxic bacteria. By the time water gets to an anoxic zone in your filtration or tank usually the aerobic bacteria have already consumed most of the food source. So adding in carbon give a greater food supply. Many have the misunderstanding that the bacteria feed off the nitrogen components.. the reality is they breath it in and eat carbon. Honestly the single best thing anyone can do is stop vacuuming your substrate. All you are doing is removing carbon so you then have to dose carbon in other forms to make up the difference of what you’ve removed. You tank is a self sustaining eco system.. all it really needs from you is circulation, light and aeration. The tank will do the rest. I can’t believe how many people I see removing diatoms from their sand.. that is the beginning of sand cycling. That’s the equivalent of washing bio media in bleach! Leave your tank alone and it will go through phases and eventually balance itself. Like bacterial blooms in a new tank… now a days everyone runs to the store buys a uv to clean up the bloom.. what they don’t realize is they are killing B.B. in the water column while they are looking for a h9me in your tank.. 90% of tanks don’t even need filters or sumps… they just need to be left alone.

  44. DO NOT USE SUGAR as a carbon source. you will likely get cyano bacteria. vitamin c or vinegar or alternate with vodka. I use vinegar and vit c personally and only change water once a year with my testing for potassium and dosing regiment. elegance coral and tons of blastos and sps. happy reefing. edit; dose only in overflow or sump. you will see effects of the carbon dosing by way of white film or large strings. this is because your actual healthy bacteria count is low. hold back till it falls back then use less as you start back up. if you see a white cloud you way overdosed. start very small like 2ml total daily for vodka. vitamin C will take 4 times that but very slowly work your way up. vinegar has a small tem affect on ph so slow there also. my 100 gal heavily stocked reef uses 10ml daily and for me it has worked great.

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    saltwater tank maintenance gloves: https://amzn.to/2IuWrwp
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  46. I love how blunt and real you keep it, and forward you're to those possible haters that surface from the bowels of satan's butt! Lol! Keep it real and make no excuses for yourself. Thanks for this information, it was informative.

  47. maybe a silly question, but I have a 60 gallon seahorse tank with 3 horses, a canister filter and two hang on backs. recently purchased a refugium to combat my nitrates(waiting on chaeto) so it's not set up yet…My nitrates stay at 10-20 and I'm doing water changes bio weekly. I am still battling diatoms as my tank is only 3 months old. Does sugar dosing have any ill effects to a tank that is still fairly new? thanks.

  48. Good morning!! I recently noticed that my nitrates were crazy high….as high as my tests could read. I searched on the web and found you and your experiment. I started sugar dosing my 75GA last week with one teaspoon per day. On the fifth day, my tank's Nitrites were off the charts and (ultimately) I lost 2 gobies, 2 blue hippos, 1 yellow tang and 2 cleaner shrimp. My 4 clown fish are still hanging on to the live rock. I did a 50% water change as quickly as I could and the Nitrites were back to normal the next day, as were the Nitrates. What did I do wrong? I'm guessing I overdosed with the sugar. Why the Nitrite spike? Is that a danger of sugar dosing or do I have some other issue in my tank? I do have a skimmer, btw. The tank was set up in April of 2018.

  49. how often would you recommend doing this, other than when your levels are high? Can a weekly maintenance routine be set ? Thank you

  50. Hi Nice video…

    Thanks for the information…
    actually I have 40 gallon reef tank (All in one).. yesterday I checked my nitrate.. and the level is 20 ppm.. so how much should I dose and how many days should I continue???


  51. Do you ever have any issues with soft coral having a adverse effect from sugar dosing I have a 125 gallon aquarium which at the moment it has
    25 nitrate and .5 Phosphate I have been dosing a quarter teaspoon Of sugar daily for 3 weeks and if I go any more than that all my soft coral Will shrink up and act really pissed off. Any advice would be Appreciated

  52. The way you teach, I am simply blown the f away. I started in saltwater tank keeping back in '73, and NO I'm not senile (that said for the comments that might show up from others. "bump them"). I've got a ton of experience with salt & fresh, BUT, I've been out of the game for about 22 years, and scared shitless, but I like your philosophy, and attitude towards reef keeping. It's the way I used to talk to customers about salt keeping, and it was to the point, but if they listen, they will have a great tank. I am amazed at vloggers that don't quarantine, but I don't bash them, I just don't get it. So, not to write War & Peace, I'm building a 65 but not sure what's going in it. I don't have room for a 200, but I hope that you get yours. TFS! for REAL!

  53. I have 40 gallon Been trying to lower nitrate with water changes but still high at 25. How much sugar I need to dose and how many times ?

  54. you give a reason, but why do you need a protein skimmer? the dead bacteria isn't going to release nitrates bc when they were alive they metabolized the nitrate and phosphate into something completely different; into elemental nitrogen which leaves the aquarium as a gas.
    is it to remove the excess bacteria so the tank doesnt look dirty? but couldnt you you just use a smaller amount of sugar to limit the population of the bacteria

  55. Any one have any experience using this sugar dosing on a nano aio? I don’t have a skimmer atm I have the innovative marine 25 lagoon. Wondering if anyone has a good skimmer recommendation for it?

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