Sugar dosing experience


New Member
Hi All and welcome to this thread!!

Well where to start.......... ok so my Nitrates were SKY high through the roof and off the charts so after hearing and reading so much of this so called sugar dosing lark i decided to take the plunge and have a go worst mistake i have ever made i mean dont get me wrong it may work for others very well but with my reef it didn't turn out so good.

i dosed it last night and it went horribly cloudy and i can hear so many of you saying water change and YES thats exactly what i should have done and exactly what i ended up doing but not before to late unfortunately I have lost all 3 of my chromis, my engineer goby and maroon clown are in a very bad way and i feel i will be lucky to save them they are in separate tanks on there own now!

I am not trying to discourage any one from using the sugar method I am a firm believer of dont knock it until you have tried it! what i will say on the subject is do so with caution.

Life is for learning and ok so it cost me a dear lesson but a lesson i will never forget and will never repeat!

Ok now for the reason i came to doing the sugar dosing method in the first place I only had a enough salt for not even a gallon so it was late and the lfs was closed i was looking for a quick fix just until i could get more salt and also to buy myself a little time to figure out the root course of the high nitrates and nitrite needless to say i have done the water change now nice clear water but am just keeping a close eye on he maroon and the engineer will keep you all updated on the condition and hope full progress to a clean bill of health


Well-Known Member
Sounds like you overdosed.

I'd also suggest having enough extra saltwater on hand for a water change up front when you are making those kinds of changes.

I also discourage anyone from making major changes to the tank before the lights go out, you go to bed, or if you will be leaving your tank alone on a trip for a period of time.

Sorry to hear of your losses. Only thing to do is learn from your mistakes.


Good time to point out, that sugar is a subset of carbon dosing. You can read up a lot on carbon dosing nowadays; ten years ago it was "new".


I recently started sugar dosing due to the nitates staying at 25ppm. My tank is several months old and I have cheato and other macro algae in the sump.
This is not removing the nitrates as fast people have claimed so I wanted to use an alternative solution. I read it all on different forums about this and that, adding different equipment and personally I want a simple and inexpensive reef maintenance program. I figured out that is it basically not enough bacteria in the tank to consume the nitrates as that and water hardness are my most concerns. Water parameters are 1.025 SG, ph = 8.2 during day and around 7.9 at night, hardness around 8.1, Ca=420ppm and temp. at 77 degrees F. These are stable consistently and my 125Gal tank and 55 Gal sump probably add up to a total of 150 gallons for the system. Anyways I started to dose 1 teaspoon every other day for a week and then tested for nitrates again and saw no response in them lowering. So I knew it would not be instantaneous and I wanted to be cautious like any reefer should do. So then a few days later the skimmer started to show the signs of it starting to work, as the skimmer started to remove the waste. Therefore I knew the bacteria colony was starting to thrive in the tank, so I increased the dosing to teaspoon every night for another few days and now the results are about 10 ppm of nitrates. My goal is to get it down to 0 ppm and then start reducing the sugar dosing and see if macro algae will be able to handle the bio-load.
Personally my fish load is low for that size of a tank which consists of about 100lbs of rock, a queen angel, 2 moonies, 1 small clown, 1 dragaonette, 1 small yellow gobie, 1 cleaner shrimp, different snails and hermit crabs. Also have a 3 rock anemones, 1 condy and 1 green bubble tip anemone. I also decided to add phytoplankton to help feed the amphipods and the dusters. I am adding very small quantities of that as well every three days as that can have reactions too. I will keep a posted log on the results...


Ok, update on the sugar dosing, it worked and brought my nitrates below 10 ppm. So I cut back on the sugar to 1 teaspoon every few days.
The only side affect I witnessed was a stringy slime hanging off the returns when I increased the dose, then afterwards it stopped as I speculate it was excess sugar not consumed by the bacteria.
A friend of mine has acquired some good quality lsd in form of sugar cube and is absolutely sure that its the real deal, others trying the batch said it was 200-250ug experience. But my friend is a first timer and wants to split the dose to get 50-80ug on his body to first try the Tutuapp 9Apps Showbox effects.
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