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This is going to be very interesting.
I have not used a solid carbon source.
I moved from the liquid Zeo products to VSV and noticed no difference apart from price.
Getting fed up with the sticky nature of my VSV bottles, after my careless use, I now use vodka alone.
I produced a nasty cyano outbreak. I dont know why but fear I got carried away being too casual with dosing one thing or another and part of me wanting to see just how much my system could take. Well it took a lot and then made a lot of cyano with consequential loss of some very nice corals. That was stupid of me.
I havent tried vinegar nor sugars alone.
I have no proof, because I cannot detect N or P in my system, but i think I had an imbalance P to N (it may equally be too high soluble organic carbon in the system??) which favoured cyano over other bacteria and I now dose sodium nitrate to ‘keep down’ P by ensuring I am not N limited. I dont have cyano now.
I dont have any proof to this theory but by muck and magic it seems to work for my tank i think because after carbon N is likely to be the next limiting nutrient and if it runs out then P cant be dealt with by the bacteria one is trying to culture by using a carbon source to ensure that element is not a limiting factor to growth.