Adrienne, Littleton

This is the latest information from Adrienne:

Since carbon dosing BioHome worked so well on my larger tanks, I decided to try it on my 3 smaller tanks as well. I ordered some BioGravel and while I was waiting for it, I decided to experiment and added some BioMax by Fluval to the 3 filters and started daily dosing of sugar. Four days went by with no decrease in Nitrates. Finally my BioGravel arrived and I replaced all the BioMax with BioGravel. Nitrates went down to 0 on all 3 tanks overnight! I was stunned to say the least. This is with no other changes or water changes either. I decided to test for a while longer before sending you my results, just to be sure!

The tanks were 2 5 gal hex tanks and a 2.5 gal tank, with Marineland Penguin 100 filters. There is a good sized compartment after the mechanical filter that accommodates the BioGravel in a Tetra BioBag very nicely. These 3 tanks housed my Molly farm and I’ve since replaced them with a 20L tank partitioned into 3 sections, with a Penguin 100 in each section, to eliminate any dead spots.

I have also switched from sugar to glucose on all my tanks because the sugar solution kept crystallizing and clogging up the lines on the dosing pumps. Sometimes the output line would clog and the line would blow off the pump, sending sugar water everywhere :o( or the input line would clog and no sugar would be dispensed with no indication, causing Nitrates to increase.

The glucose syrup is very thick, so I water it down to a 50% solution so it flows well through the pump lines. Dosage amounts are the same as the sugar solution I was using.

I suspect that Nitrates increased initially in the 20L tank since the the substrate was new and the water volume doubled, causing a mini cycle.

Here is a picture and chart for the new 20L Molly farm.

Here is a picture and charts of Nitrates & sugar/glucose dosing for the original 3 tanks.

Biohome Ultimate

Hi, I have been using Biohome Ultimate for a few months now and just
love it! Please add a note to your website, that in order to process
nitrates, carbon dosing is required. I have been using sugar in my
cichlid tanks with success. Nitrates are all 0 everyday! Sugar works
much better than Biofuel and FloraViv. I have not tried Vodka. Didn’t
try vinegar because it would lower my Ph.
I am now looking for some biohome ultimate for my smaller HOB filters.
Will BioGravel work as well? are there any other options for small

I hadn’t heard of this so I asked for more information.

Where did you come up with that idea. I’d like to investigate a little more. How much do you use?


And boy, did she respond!

I had installed Biohome Ultimate in my 4 large tanks months earlier and still struggled with nitrates fluctuating regularly. Eventually got nitrates under control but was not aware of the reason.

Months later, i had been dosing Excel regularly in my 4 large ranks and Nitrates were still at 0.

Then i decided to convert 1 tank to a shellie tank and added vallesanaria plants. This means i had to stop dosing Excel, since it would kill the vals.  Then i decided to stop dosing the other 2 cichlid tanks since they only contained anubias, and i questioned how much they were benefiting.

Within 3 days nitrates shot up to 40ppm in all 3 tanks that i stopped dosing excel.  This got me doing some research online about carbon dosing and the best article i found was here.

I decided to try sugar.  Started mixing granulated with tank water every 3 days, and nitrates slowly started to go down.  On days that i saw no change in nitrates, i would add 1ts (5ml) sugar and see a drop within 6hrs.

With all 3 cichlid tanks at 0 nitrates again, in 1 tank, i tried replacing sugar with BioFuel.  Nitrates started rising and i wasnt able to find any dosage that worked, back to sugar, nitrates back to 0.  Biofuel is formulated for salt water so maybe different bacteria, idk.

Then i tried FloraViv, in the same tank. Nitrates started to rise and i had increased the dosage to 10ml daily with nitrates still bobbing up and down. Back to sugar, nitrates steadily decreased to 0 again.

I now make a solution of 1 cup sugar and just enough hot water to stay at 1 cup, heat and stir till dissolved.  I use it with a dosing pump on all 3 tanks and nitrates are always 0, or nearly.

These are my dosages:

40g, 15 2″ yellow labs, 5 S.lucipinnes

4ml daily

38g. 7 1.5″ P.flavus, 6 S.lucipinnes

4ml daily, was 3ml but fish growth required increase

30g, 12 1.5″ N.similus

3ml daily

Im including graphs from Aquarimate.

Let me know if you have any questions.  It’s been an interesting and educational experiment.

Oh, jeez i forgot to tell you the most important aspect of all this is that i havent done a water change in months either!  It’s all Biohome and sugar doing all the work! I just top off each tank with about 5g weekly, also add Brightwell CichlidCode.

I also clean the canister filters monthly.  Gently shake the biohome trays in the filter water and thouroughly clean everything else.

I havent said much about the 4th tank.  Its a 55g heavily planted tank with about 55 assorted loaches and mollies.  I stopped dosing excel and it stays at 0 nitrates on its own without any sugar.  It runs a 404B with 2 trays full of biohome.  I now dose Floraviv(carbon) just for the plants.

I’m running 3 Sunsun 404B and 1 403B.

The 404s have 2 trays full of biohome, the 403 only 1 tray but works equally well on the 30gal tank.

I havent said much about the 4th tank.  Its a 55g heavily planted tank with about 55 assorted loaches and mollies.  I stopped dosing excel and it stays at 0 nitrates on its own without any sugar.  It runs a 404B with 2 trays full of biohome.  I now dose Floraviv(carbon) just for the plants.


 Again with no water changes in months

I generated new graphs showing just Excel and sugar dosing.  The empty gaps when nitrates rose are when i was using Biofuel, FloraViv or nothing.