Since the beginning of the reef aquarium hobby, our understanding of what happens in our saltwater ecosystems has been a fine balance of art and science. Of course everything that we know is rooted in science and facts, but there’s often been an art to implementing and approaching different aspects of managing water quality and chemistry.
In recent years, with reef aquariums becoming more and more advanced, we’ve seen a surge in the use of high tech water testing equipment like ICP machines and ever better measurements of P.A.R. Individuals and companies are pushing the envelope in all directions and reef aquarium science is once again at the forefront of expanding our knowledge of how it is that our reef tanks work.
One particular trailblazer in the realm of aquarium science is Sharon Ram, the chief aquarium scientist for Red Sea. Mr. Ram has been behind the scenes for years developing many interesting new products, notably, some sophisticated approaches to liquid carbon dosing and activated carbon.
NO3-PO4-X, also known as No-Pox, is Red Sea’s own liquid carbon dosing solution which is different from what many reefers might employ themselves. Made out of a methanol solution with specific co-factors inside, using No-Pox results in a more directed ‘targeting’ of beneficial denitrification bacteria, and it discourages undesirable bacteria like Cyano from using this source of carbon.
Activated carbon is completely different from the liquid carbon we use in out reef tanks, but they are both employed to reduce nutrients in reef aquarium water. We’ve personally enjoyed a rebirth in our use of activated carbon in all kinds of tanks to keep the water clean and clear and to remove long chain compounds which seem to benefit the reef tank through better polyp extension and general increased vitality when it is employed regularly.
We sat down with Sharon Ram to not only discuss these products specifically, but also dive into the science that relate to liquid carbon dosing, the use of activated carbon, and the principles that govern their function in an aquaristic application. Big thanks to Red Sea for letting us post up in their booth, Sharon for the time to dive deep into these heady aquarium topics, and especially to Recifal News for recording the talks for us during the busy InterZoo conference.