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Old 06/15/2018, 04:06 AM   #1
Googlymoogly
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0 Nitrate 0 phosphate

Any suggestions how I can get my Nitrate and phosphate up a little bit to actually register in my test kits? Is trying to over feed what I should do?

I just shut my skimmer off for a day... I heard that could be pulling out too many Nitrates and phosphates. I can also stop doing water changes for a couple weeks.

My cheato in refuge used to grow amazing... Then a couple months ago it has seemed to stop growing and now its all Red hair alagae that is taking over the refugium. Should I consider just wiping out my refugium section of my sump and getting another bag of cheato and starting it over?

Some of my corals have lost their color also. I have a bubble gum digi that the main body is basically white now and the polyps are red. It used to have the nice neon green tips. I also lost an oregon tort frag.. It was blue for months then bam next day just gone.

Inside of my tank is fairly clean.. I have sand so thats not alwas perfect white but I dont have any hair algae or anything like that growing that I have seen. So i'd like to try and get my nitrates up to 5-10 and my phoshate up just a touch to see if I can get my colors back in my corals. What is the best way to do that.

Thanks in advance.


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Old 06/15/2018, 04:31 AM   #2
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IMO the best way is to dose nitrates and/or phosphates just because you then have more control over the exact amount you are putting into the tank..

You can always increase feeding, take skimmer or fuge offline,etc... though and see how that goes too..


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Old 06/15/2018, 04:33 AM   #3
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You can use products like Neophos from brightwell and potassium nitrate (tree stump remover.. yes really) for dosing products..


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Old 06/15/2018, 07:25 AM   #4
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Make sure you have good test kits before dosing. A low range phosphate kit is a must. FWIW, stump killer is what I use for nitrate. You can buy phosphate based fertilizers (I think it's potassium phosphate) at the plant store. Go very slow raising (or lowering) phosphate.


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Old 06/15/2018, 07:54 AM   #5
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I had the same problem until I dosed Nitrates with a product called NeoNitro. The Phosphates were raised by feeding more. The thing with dosing N is you have to be careful because it can actually lower P. The advice of getting a low range phosphate kit is good. I like the Hanna ULR phosphorous tester.


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Old 06/15/2018, 09:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTL View Post
I had the same problem until I dosed Nitrates with a product called NeoNitro. The Phosphates were raised by feeding more. The thing with dosing N is you have to be careful because it can actually lower P. The advice of getting a low range phosphate kit is good. I like the Hanna ULR phosphorous tester.
+1. Mots of the time phosphate uptake is nitrate limited. So when you suddenly increase nitrate, it causes phosphate depletetion.

OP, do you have any coraline algae? That is a good indication of water nutrient levels appropriate for corals. If not, I agree that the best action is to dose N and P (rather than trying to feed more).

Also you can reduce the photoperiod in your fuge to 6-8 hours. That should reduce demand.


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Old 06/15/2018, 03:14 PM   #7
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Better start dosing, you wont hardly believe the difference in your coloration. . .


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Old 06/15/2018, 11:32 PM   #8
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You could consider dosing sodium nitrate and trisodium phosphate. They were available in food-grade forms here and there, but the reagent grades are fine. I might start there. We can give you dosing information once you find some products.


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Old 06/19/2018, 07:30 AM   #9
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I could probaby try to cut back the lighting on my fuge. I ordered some NeoNitro so I can try that. Should I be trying to get rid of the red algae in my refuge? I have a bottom of that fluxial or whatever it is I just havent tried to do a treatment. I dont have algae in the tank really... just ALOT of red hair algae in my sump. more than cheato now. I used to have to harvest Chaeto every couple weeks... now it doesnt grow just red algae.

As far as coraline goes i have some... Not boatload. It likes the plastic but not my glass tank. My frag rack has coraline... my over flow... Wave makers... And my sump since its acylic all have coraline.


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Old 06/19/2018, 08:23 AM   #10
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The Neo Nitro definately works but go easy. It may take a couple of applications to register any N03. You must have P04 feeding the red algae. I would try to remove it and give the chaeto a chance to come back. Some say feeding a little iron to the chaeto helps it grow, I do that but I cannot say that I notice any difference. I don't get much growth but I don't have any nuisance algae in the refugium just some in the DT that requires weekly brushing.

I have been using Vibrant for a couple of weeks but so far it has done nothing.

I am getting very little coraline but like you what I do have is on my PH's.


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Old 06/19/2018, 09:58 AM   #11
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Many Rhodophyta (red/brown algaes) seem to be oligotropphic ( thrive in low nutrient conditions)IME.They are also invasive overtime. So, if you have a lot in the fuge I'd strip it out or go dark and probably use the space for some extra live rock.

I'd try doing a small amounts of sodium nitrate ; just enough to get a bit of a tinge in test ,say less than 1ppm. Phosphate dosing maya;s be necessary but less likely;so, I'd go with a bit of nitrate first.

Are you using any thing to keep the nutreints low aside from the fuge?


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Old 06/19/2018, 12:57 PM   #12
Googlymoogly
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No I have just been running my skimmer and have the fuge.
I have carbon and GFO but I havent ran it in probably 3-4 weeks since it seems like my nutrients are low anyways.

I can turn the light off the fuge and see how it all goes. Even if i lose the chaeto its no big deal.. its cheap enough to replace.


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Old 06/19/2018, 11:29 PM   #13
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Reducing the lighting and harvesting some algae might help. They are easy to try and unlikely to cause a major problem, although I'd watch the tank carefully for a few days. I suspect you will have to keep up the harvesting, though, although the lighting change might bring some other organism into top spot.


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Old 06/20/2018, 09:36 AM   #14
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Whether or not you're skimming, carbon dosing or using GFO, if you have undetectable nitrates and phosphates feeding more isn't overfeeding. You don't say how many fish you have but adding more may be a good option. In trying to understand why algae does better than corals in low nutrient situations keep in mind we can't test for organic forms of nitrogen or phosphate or how much is being produced in our systems on a daily basis. It's also important to understand, it varies by species but nuisance species are the worst, the DOC released by algae promotes heterotrophic microbial processes and pathogenic bacteria to corals. So corals are being affected at multiple levels.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0425141821.htm
https://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol201642


Long term research done in Southampton University with coral maintained on a closed system found phoshpate deficiency can severely upset the photobiology of corals making them very sensitive to light and temperature changes. Adding nitrogen to a system that is phosphate deficient may only exacerbate the problem. Their research found a minimum threshold level for PO4 of .03 mg/l. Other research has shown increasing phosphate increases corals growth and nitrogen uptake by corals is phosphate limited.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...22098111004588
http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.or...enrichment.pdf
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles...015.00103/full
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...601?via%3Dihub
http://jeb.biologists.org/content/214/16/2749.full
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRIKW-9d2xI


Not only do corals utilize organic nitrogen (urea, amino acids) and inorganic nitrogen (ammonia, nitrate) they also utilize diazotrophs (cyanobacteria*) to convert elemental or N2 nitrogen to nitrates. Corals palate is also sensitive enough to detect if nitrate is derived from fish poop or from anthropogenic sources which argues if you're going to feed them more nitrate they would prefer fish poop.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...22098105005538
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conten...00004/art00011
http://jeb.biologists.org/content/211/6/860.long
https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley...2003.48.6.2266
https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley...2002.47.3.0782
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...lgal_mutualism
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27335448


*This is why I think it's a bad idea to use algacides. It may be getting rid of an aesthetic problem and it may not be killing corals but it's is affecting corals ability to get the nitrogen they need. It's use also is not making the shift in the equilibrium in an ecosystem that benefits and promotes corals over algae.


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