Dr Tim's bacterial products, Wow, great stuff, plus secondary benefits I've observed.

homegrowncichlid

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Manhattan Reefs
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Hi guys,
Just have to get the word out about this oh so simple product that does SO much more then advertised.
So I've used this stuff to clear my dinoflagellate problem, it also cleared a much smaller cyanobacterial problem. This stuff is so simple, just bacterial strains that do a specific job. The 2 main products are the Refresh and Waste Away. The magic ingredient's are simply pelagic, instead of benthic bacterial species, which circulate in the water column, instead of colonizing rocks and sand. The gist is that these pelagic species, will compete with any pest (or any benthic)species of microbial life you have colonizing your system. These guys (the Refresh) will somehow out compete your benthic species, by eating up all the accumulated detritus. Then as the detritus breaks down, it feeds the Refresh bacterial, and reduces the biomass of your existing detritus bacteria, making a very clean looking tank. Combo this with a a few days of darkness and even the hair algae starts weakening (with the help of my clean up crew). As the bio mass is converted from benthic to pelagic, the water becomes cloudy due to the new bacterial bloom and the protein skimmer goes into overdrive, wet skimming the bloom out. Super simple concept, oh so hard to do by yourself.

The most important thing isn't just the products, but the time table chart, which provides detailed and specific instructions of when to use what and on which day. I don't know how refresh differs from Waste Away, but the combo works wonders. Dr Tim must have figured out the procedure after years of experimentation.

Anyway, great stuff, does as advertised... Now for the bonus effect, I wasn't looking for. So for maintenance, I'm supposed to add these bacterial solutions to my system periodically, but to make things much easier, they made a monthly gel version of the Waste Away. This continuously feeds live planktonic bacteria into my system and boom, my SPS and colonizing feather dusters are open and feeding! I'm guessing my ricordea will start coming back (the orange ones have shrunk so small). I was so excited, I went out and bought a Floridian feather duster yesterday! This is so much easier to use then the other coral foods, and it's self replenishing! I feel I can keep a clam or even a non photosynthetic flame scallop! Over striping nutrients out of the water? No longer a problem. It's like adding a refugium, but instead of amphipods, this tiny gel pack is adding the precursor of marine snow.

Oh did I mention my pod population also exploded? both cyclops AND amphipods. (though that could be due to my algae scrubber, which is also operating very cleanly now, without being overgrown by pest organisms (another reason why I'm loving Waste Away)). This stuff has formed a whole new food web in my system.
Fish waste -> bacterial plankton -> cyclops/pods -> filter feeders
Fish waste -> bacterial plankton -> protein skimmer
If the populations are still there and not just some random fluke, a mandarin goby is going to be on my wish list in spring.
 

homegrowncichlid

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Did you get the gel?
After I was done with the 2 week treatment, I used the large gel (for 75gallons). It supposed to last for just a month, but mine is still there for week 6. I have it sitting in relatively still water, which is why it probably last so long. As for if it's still releasing bacteria, yes. So what I do now that my tank is clean, is run my skimmer on alternating days. I skip a day and the water gets visibly cloudy from bacterial growth. This gives the bloom a significant growth phase, feeding the food web. Then I flip on the skimmer and it clears everything up pretty quickly, giving a nice rich skimmate.

Note: since you're starting the process from the beginning, all the existing detritus biomass in your system is going to cause a massive bacterial bloom, which is going to suck a lot oxygen out of your system and probably acidify the water. Use a small portion (it's stated on the instructions to use 1/2 or 1/4 the dose) and be ready to flip on your skimmer within a few hours. Also set up the overflow to capture all the wet skimmate. I was pulling out about 2 gallons/day of wet skimmate during this time, before I calibrated the skimmer to its new setting. Not only did I open the skimmer's valve to the lowest internal water level setting, but I also had restrict the pump's flow rate.

If you also want to get rid of any nuisance algae or slime that's growing on the rocks, you should follow the total 3 day, black out instructions, used for Dinoflagellates. Once those die out, they also feed the bacteria.
 
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DrTim

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Hi guys,
Just have to get the word out about this oh so simple product that does SO much more then advertised.
So I've used this stuff to clear my dinoflagellate problem, it also cleared a much smaller cyanobacterial problem. This stuff is so simple, just bacterial strains that do a specific job. The 2 main products are the Refresh and Waste Away. The magic ingredient's are simply pelagic, instead of benthic bacterial species, which circulate in the water column, instead of colonizing rocks and sand. The gist is that these pelagic species, will compete with any pest (or any benthic)species of microbial life you have colonizing your system. These guys (the Refresh) will somehow out compete your benthic species, by eating up all the accumulated detritus. Then as the detritus breaks down, it feeds the Refresh bacterial, and reduces the biomass of your existing detritus bacteria, making a very clean looking tank. Combo this with a a few days of darkness and even the hair algae starts weakening (with the help of my clean up crew). As the bio mass is converted from benthic to pelagic, the water becomes cloudy due to the new bacterial bloom and the protein skimmer goes into overdrive, wet skimming the bloom out. Super simple concept, oh so hard to do by yourself.

The most important thing isn't just the products, but the time table chart, which provides detailed and specific instructions of when to use what and on which day. I don't know how refresh differs from Waste Away, but the combo works wonders. Dr Tim must have figured out the procedure after years of experimentation.

Anyway, great stuff, does as advertised... Now for the bonus effect, I wasn't looking for. So for maintenance, I'm supposed to add these bacterial solutions to my system periodically, but to make things much easier, they made a monthly gel version of the Waste Away. This continuously feeds live planktonic bacteria into my system and boom, my SPS and colonizing feather dusters are open and feeding! I'm guessing my ricordea will start coming back (the orange ones have shrunk so small). I was so excited, I went out and bought a Floridian feather duster yesterday! This is so much easier to use then the other coral foods, and it's self replenishing! I feel I can keep a clam or even a non photosynthetic flame scallop! Over striping nutrients out of the water? No longer a problem. It's like adding a refugium, but instead of amphipods, this tiny gel pack is adding the precursor of marine snow.

Oh did I mention my pod population also exploded? both cyclops AND amphipods. (though that could be due to my algae scrubber, which is also operating very cleanly now, without being overgrown by pest organisms (another reason why I'm loving Waste Away)). This stuff has formed a whole new food web in my system.
Fish waste -> bacterial plankton -> cyclops/pods -> filter feeders
Fish waste -> bacterial plankton -> protein skimmer
If the populations are still there and not just some random fluke, a mandarin goby is going to be on my wish list in spring.
Hello - Dr Tim here. Thought I would explain the different between ReFresh and Waste-Away. All out bacteria were isolated by us from aquariums and/or ponds. That is key since that is the environment they are being used in. The ReFresh bacteria were isolated by selecting for bacteria that produce bacteriocins which are molecules that inhibit the growth of other bacteria.

Bacteria compete for space and one way to win is to produce something that stops your neighbor from taking the space you want (I am being simple here but sure you get the idea). That's the first step but know you have to take the space or change the conditions that favored those bacteria in the first place. That is where the Waste-Away comes in. Waste-Away is a blend of 8 different bacteria that degrade organics and consume nitrates and phosphate. As you wrote they prefer to be in the water column rather than on surfaces.

But most aquariums have an issue - that is we want the water to be gin clear and to do that we install a protein skimmer, filter socks, maybe a UV etc. All these devices reduce the bacteria IN the water but do nothing about the bacteria ON surfaces. So basically, we push the system to favor microorganisms that live on surfaces.

This does not mimic the ocean where there is a high population of bacteria in the water. If you add the bacteria back to the system they can out-compete the stuff living on surfaces and form the base of a food web just like you seeing. That is the theory behind the gels which release a small amount to bacteria 24/7 into the water replacing what is removed by the skimmer, etc.

Hope this help explain things and happy to answer any questions.

Best
 

homegrowncichlid

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i have never ran this stuff.. can i just add the gel into my system? Or is there a process i need to follow?
Yes, you can just use the gel to continuously feed the water column. The Refresh is just to clean up the existing detritus and any related pest microorganisms. There are 3 sizes, get the biggest one, to lower the unit cost per weight. Once you get it, you can cut it up into smaller portions to make each it last longer. It's a perforated soft plastic container, filled with gel.
 
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Nitecrawler718

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Got my order, today is day 1 of re-fresh let’s hope I don’t kill everything.
 

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homegrowncichlid

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Manhattan Reefs
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Queens, NY
I'd go with total black out for 3 days to speed up the effect on hair algae. Between that and the Refresh's consumption of available nutrient's, your hermit crabs will clear it up. You probably only have enough Refresh for one treatment cycle, so do it right the first time. Remember to check the water cloudiness, you don't want it to get too much, the cloudier it gets, the more oxygen its consuming, and you'll have to turn the skimmer on. (I read online some people leave the skimmer on, but direct the wet skim back into the tank for oxygenation)
Heh, its is rather nice not to have any hair algae in the display. If you leave the lights on, I think it'll just take longer for the hair algae to get out competed, as you skim all the biomass out. (I haven't tried with lights on. My hair algae went away as a side effect with the dinos I was treating for. I have a huge clean up crew in the 75 gallon, 3 urchins, 100 to 150 hermit crabs (really no idea), ~2 dozen astrea snails, hundreds (up to 1000) dwarf cerith snails.)
 
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Nitecrawler718

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Manhattan Reefs
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I'd go with total black out for 3 days to speed up the effect on hair algae. Between that and the Refresh's consumption of available nutrient's, your hermit crabs will clear it up. You probably only have enough Refresh for one treatment cycle, so do it right the first time. Remember to check the water cloudiness, you don't want it to get too much, the cloudier it gets, the more oxygen its consuming, and you'll have to turn the skimmer on. (I read online some people leave the skimmer on, but direct the wet skim back into the tank for oxygenation)
Heh, its is rather nice not to have any hair algae in the display. If you leave the lights on, I think it'll just take longer for the hair algae to get out competed, as you skim all the biomass out. (I haven't tried with lights on. My hair algae went away as a side effect with the dinos I was treating for. I have a huge clean up crew in the 75 gallon, 3 urchins, 100 to 150 hermit crabs (really no idea), ~2 dozen astrea snails, hundreds (up to 1000) dwarf cerith snails.)
Yea,lights are out for the 3-4 days. I also removed one filter sock so the treatment can flow all the way around for the 2 days. And skimmer and uv is off
 
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