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Frogger
03-31-2017, 06:04 AM
I have decided to run an experiment with my new tank and to see what adding nitrates to the tank will do.

I have a new tank I started last fall. The tank is the 73 gallon reefer from red sea. The tank has been running for about 6 months. I am running a Tunze doc 9410 skimmer. I have 2 giro 230's running for water motion and have a 48" ATI hybrid for lighting. I am using GFO to control my phosphates. And I though all other perimeters are good. I am keeping primarily SPS. I have had reef tanks for more than 20 years so I have a little bit of experience.
I have a low bio load and had to work hard to keep the phosphates down. I do not feed a lot so I was wondering what was going on. I have no algae growth. I have hundreds of Strombus sp. snails that keep any algae growth under control.

I am noticing that my corals are growing well but they do not have great coloration. I have a 40 gallon reef tank that I have had set up for 15 years with a deep sand plenum. When the corals were in this tank they had great colors but once I moved them to the large tank the colors have faded. I am moving the 40 gallon tank downstairs and will make a frag tank out of it.
My nitrates are at 0 on my reefer. I have never had even a slight bit of colour on my test. I am using a Redsea Pro nitrate test kit.

Last week I was talking to Gregzz4 and he told me that my problem with the phosphates are due to my 0 nitrates. If I raise my nitrates my phosphates will drop and my corals will colour up better. Being old school I always thought that the goal of reef tanks was to keep the phosphates and the nitrates at 0.

I have been doing some research and there is a lot of good information on the web in regards to nitrate dosing. Because I have a low bio load and I do not feed much my system is using up the nitrates faster than I am adding them or the fish are producing them. This is not the case with most systems, most systems over feed and have high levels of nitrate, thus the need for nitrate reduction methods.

I have read up on the Redfield ratio. Basically most marine biomass have a C:N:P ratio of 106:16:1. Being an Arborist I understand these ratios and it all makes sense. My Nitrogen Phosphorus ration is way off. Most people suggest just feeding more or adding more fish to raise my nitrates. That would work except that I would also raise my phosphate. When the ratios are off and you have high nitrates and phosphates you get nuisance algae. The great thing about my system is because of the low fish bioload I can raise my nitrates without raising my phosphates.

My goal is to get a nitrate level of around .5 to .8ppm nitrate. There are several products that you can use to raise your nitrates. Amino Acids are nitrate based. But you would have to add a lot of Amino acids to get the nitrates up. I have decided to use KNO3. I still dose amino acids as well.
According to Randy Holmes-Farley "Dissolve 10 grams potassium nitrate in 1 liter of fresh water. That 10 grams contains 6.14 grams of nitrate, so that solution is 6,140 ppm nitrate.

If you add 1 ml of the solution per 2 gallons of tank water volume, that will boost nitrate by 0.8 ppm nitrate.
I have started by adding 5mls of this solution twice a day. I am monitoring my nitrate daily. I do not want to raise my nitrate levels too quickly. From what I have read is the corals respond very quickly to an increase of nitrogen. I would add some pictures of the tank and the corals as they are now but I haven't figured out how to do it.

Tigweldpro
03-31-2017, 07:07 AM
If you want exact measurements for ferts try https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php

I have used it for KNO3 for my planted tanks before, works great

tang daddy
03-31-2017, 10:11 AM
Sounds weird but there are a lot of threads online about adding tree stump remover to raise nitrates, I've been doing some searching online in other forums and decided to order some from the states. My nitrates were undetectable until I dosed a lot of dirty food and left the skimmer off for a couple days (accidental) so now I am going to try and dose some slowly and raise the nitrates up abit.

Tigweldpro
03-31-2017, 06:27 PM
If by raise your nitrates your mean add KNO3, it should be very easy to find in BC. Pretty sure its a controlled substance, importing may be difficult/risky

tang daddy
03-31-2017, 07:10 PM
If by raise your nitrates your mean add KNO3, it should be very easy to find in BC. Pretty sure its a controlled substance, importing may be difficult/risky

Not really since it's already at point Roberts just got to go drive it over. A friend was using the planted stuff to raise nitrates but had negative results it was seachem so I decided not to go that route.

Frogger
03-31-2017, 07:22 PM
I purchased my KNO3 from Patrick at Canadian aquatics he lives in Richmond. Charges $5 a pound. He requires your drivers license and a reason for use. Has to record everyone that buys it.

It is a controlled substance in Canada and you might have problems at the border

Frogger
03-31-2017, 10:43 PM
I have attached a picture of the tank as of March 30. If this works I will attach some pictures of some corals before I began adding nitrates to the tank.
15805

Frogger
03-31-2017, 10:53 PM
Seems to have worked.
The first coral is a Red Planet. Currently the polyps are light pink with almost no green in the body. When it was in my other tank it was dark red with a strong green colour. I have it situated lower in the tank
15806
The second coral is a Pearl Berry. Very little blue in the color just seems faded out. There is a Blue Matrix in the back ground it is mostly brown with only a hint of blue. I have them situated mid tank.
15808
The third coral is a Needle in the Haystack. Very pale coloration, lower in the tank.
15807

Frogger
04-02-2017, 02:36 AM
I tested my tank today after adding 10ml's of the KNO3 mixture I prepared twice a day for the past 3 days.

SG:1.026
NO3-still 0 not even a tint of pink
PO4-.01ppm
Temp- 80f
Ca-410ppm
Alk dkh-9.7
Mag-1410ppm
K-400ppm
I have been monitoring the tank closely for any signs of stress, algae growth or changes and have seen nothing. I was wondering about the test kit for nitrate so I tested it against a known value (.6ppm) for KNO3 mixed in RO water and the test kit was bang on.

Looks like I have to increase the KNO3 levels as my tank is using it up as fast as I can add it. (good thing). I will double my dosage rate and report back in a few days.

Seeing as I am adding a lot of KNO3 I have been looking for a purer source as I am concerned about what else is in my KNO3. I have found a chemical company in Vancouver area that sells reagent grade 500 grams of for $27. As 500 gram of the stuff would likely be enough to last me several years even at a much higher dose.

My goal is to create an equilibrium within my tank nitrate to phosphate of around 16 to 1. The amount of K in the solution will not even slightly affect the total K in the tank as we are talking about 400ppm as per the nitrate levels of less then 1ppm.

Tigweldpro
04-02-2017, 02:47 AM
I remember buying 25kg bags of KNO3 for $50 back in my model rocket making days(hydroponics grade)

All these idiots trying to blow up the world have made this stuff hard to find :onfire:

tang daddy
04-03-2017, 09:00 PM
As I said before I am not using any kno3 as I am not sure what it will do in terms or growing algae... I went to point Roberts on the weekend and picked up some stump remover, I am going to do some reading before mixing it up and putting it on the doser. I also tested my nitrates last week and finally after adding some dry rock that was not cured I have some readings of nitrates but it is in the range of 0-5ppm so I will continue to test and as it falls I will add some of this nitrate.

tang daddy
04-03-2017, 09:02 PM
Seems to have worked.
The first coral is a Red Planet. Currently the polyps are light pink with almost no green in the body. When it was in my other tank it was dark red with a strong green colour. I have it situated lower in the tank
15806
The second coral is a Pearl Berry. Very little blue in the color just seems faded out. There is a Blue Matrix in the back ground it is mostly brown with only a hint of blue. I have them situated mid tank.
15808
The third coral is a Needle in the Haystack. Very pale coloration, lower in the tank.
15807

How long have your sps been in the tank, they look pretty pale... hopefully with kno3 you will see some better colouration in the coming month. Usually sps will look bleached then get brown then colour up. Good luck!

Frogger
04-03-2017, 09:34 PM
The pictures are not great. They are not as pale as they appear in the photos. The corals have been in my tank for about 1 to 3 months. I have about different 20 sps. I have shown the pictures of the palest ones. All the corals are growing well, they just are paler then I have seen elsewhere.

Even with adding nitrates I still can't get a reading. I will continue to do so. I am also feeding the corals and adding amino acids every day.

Reef tank long time experts like Julian Sprung, Sanjay Joshi, Jason Fox, Elegance Corals, Brad Syphus and other top sps coral collectors are keeping their nitrates at level above 5ppm and some of them up to 50ppm.

crimper
04-03-2017, 09:34 PM
As I said before I am not using any kno3 as I am not sure what it will do in terms or growing algae... I went to point Roberts on the weekend and picked up some stump remover, I am going to do some reading before mixing it up and putting it on the doser. I also tested my nitrates last week and finally after adding some dry rock that was not cured I have some readings of nitrates but it is in the range of 0-5ppm so I will continue to test and as it falls I will add some of this nitrate.

There are some horror stories using stump remover, check some forum treads. It works for some but didn't on others.

For me, KNO3 is a better choice to raise your nitrate. It will not only raise your NO3 but will also raise your Potassium (K) level a little bit which is good for coral coloration. You also need to check your K level to make sure it is on the 400 range. It is also easy to dose and calculate the levels, check on the article written by Randy Homes Farley. But again, dose slowly...

tang daddy
04-03-2017, 10:21 PM
There are some horror stories using stump remover, check some forum treads. It works for some but didn't on others.

For me, KNO3 is a better choice to raise your nitrate. It will not only raise your NO3 but will also raise your Potassium (K) level a little bit which is good for coral coloration. You also need to check your K level to make sure it is on the 400 range. It is also easy to dose and calculate the levels, check on the article written by Randy Homes Farley. But again, dose slowly...

Hey man I hear you on that, definately horror stories on a lot of stuff. Equiptment, salt you name it. Anything I do I always try abit and wait awhile to see the coral reactions.

tang daddy
04-03-2017, 10:21 PM
The pictures are not great. They are not as pale as they appear in the photos. The corals have been in my tank for about 1 to 3 months. I have about different 20 sps. I have shown the pictures of the palest ones. All the corals are growing well, they just are paler then I have seen elsewhere.

Even with adding nitrates I still can't get a reading. I will continue to do so. I am also feeding the corals and adding amino acids every day.

Reef tank long time experts like Julian Sprung, Sanjay Joshi, Jason Fox, Elegance Corals, Brad Syphus and other top sps coral collectors are keeping their nitrates at level above 5ppm and some of them up to 50ppm.

How often are you doing waterchanges and how much?

Frogger
04-03-2017, 11:44 PM
Changing water about 10 gallons every second week on a 80 gallon system. This was more an effort to reduce phosphates that had gotten really high. Using only RO DI water newer filters. I was only lightly feeding and have a low fish bio load (5 fish). I was using a lot of GFO to help reduce phosphates. I have never registered Nitrates. It was Gregzz4 that told me the 0 nitrates is the problem.

tang daddy
04-04-2017, 01:41 AM
Changing water about 10 gallons every second week on a 80 gallon system. This was more an effort to reduce phosphates that had gotten really high. Using only RO DI water newer filters. I was only lightly feeding and have a low fish bio load (5 fish). I was using a lot of GFO to help reduce phosphates. I have never registered Nitrates. It was Gregzz4 that told me the 0 nitrates is the problem.

Almost the same issue with me, no no3 and sometimes lots of po4. The colours on my sps are awesome tho so can't complain but the po4 won't go down without no3 they drag each other down....

Frogger
04-04-2017, 02:41 AM
Almost the same issue with me, no no3 and sometimes lots of po4. The colours on my sps are awesome tho so can't complain but the po4 won't go down without no3 they drag each other down....
How's your bioload, how about your feeding? You must be adding enough nitrates in your food that keeps the corals fed and healthy but not enough to stabilize your Phosphates.

Your system is likely using up any nitrates that you add.

tang daddy
04-04-2017, 03:17 AM
How's your bioload, how about your feeding? You must be adding enough nitrates in your food that keeps the corals fed and healthy but not enough to stabilize your Phosphates.

Your system is likely using up any nitrates that you add.

I have about 25 fish and feed 3-5x per day dirty food like pei mysis plus coral food so definately a lot of feeding.

Frogger
04-04-2017, 04:26 AM
I have about 25 fish and feed 3-5x per day dirty food like pei mysis plus coral food so definately a lot of feeding.

The heavy feeding is why you have enough nitrates to keep the colours in your corals but not enough to control your phosphates.

I have always been a light feeder of my fish, as there is enough going on in the tank to keep them healthy. My only concern with adding a lot of food is I would be adding more phosphate and would not achieve that balance. That is why I am now adding the KNO3 and amino acids (which are all nitrates) and not adding phosphates.

Still no nitrates measurable in my system. I will go to 10mls 3 times a day plus daily amino acid additions.

tang daddy
04-04-2017, 05:04 PM
The heavy feeding is why you have enough nitrates to keep the colours in your corals but not enough to control your phosphates.

I have always been a light feeder of my fish, as there is enough going on in the tank to keep them healthy. My only concern with adding a lot of food is I would be adding more phosphate and would not achieve that balance. That is why I am now adding the KNO3 and amino acids (which are all nitrates) and not adding phosphates.

Still no nitrates measurable in my system. I will go to 10mls 3 times a day plus daily amino acid additions.

True to the above, that is why I do 5g wc every 3 days. I keep anthias and they like to eat, plus some of the other fish need to be fattened up. Once they are overweight I'll back off on the feeding. I am not that concerned with po4 as it is easily controlled via rowaphos. If I can increase the nitrates it should drop to po4 further. I stated in my journal I noticed my sps with the best growth when po4 was hovering in the .04-.10 range any higher and the growth slows down drastically.

Frogger
04-05-2017, 05:17 AM
After 4 days of dosing KNO3 I finally have a readable nitrate level in the tank. .25ppm :biggrin:. I have been adding 35mls of the KNO3 solution daily (that is the equivalent of almost .8ppm of nitrate for my tank volume daily). I may be imaging things but a few of the corals appear to have a little more colour. Too early to be certain. I will continue to add the same amount of KNO3.

My calcium level has dropped 50ppm since Saturday. I have even been adding a bit more calcium in the past week because I felt 410 might be a little low. My only guess is nitrate was the limiting factor in the growth of corals and coralline algae. Once nitrates are available these processes have kicked in using more of the calcium. I will double my dose of calcium to try to get it back on track.

I had heard that dosing KNO3 raises alkalinity so I have reduced my buffer addition in half over the past 4 days and I am stable at 9dkh

iamfrontosa
04-05-2017, 10:13 AM
I think you are on the right track.

gregzz4
04-07-2017, 03:18 AM
Sounds like it's working well Glen(?)
For the record, Ryan Erickson gets credit for this. I read something he posted awhile back and picked his brain about it. He wrote about adding NO3, and while talking with Jon @ J&L he suggested Seachem's Nitrogen. Ryan may have also mentioned it, but I don't recall ... it was last year :biggrin:

@ Tang Daddy;
I used Seachem Nitrogen and had no issues due to their product. I did add too much too fast though. This dropped my PO4 so quickly that my corals were a bit PO'd for some time after.

And for everyone;
Looking back through my records, I started dosing 2ml/day back in early November. Nothing happened for days so I bumped it to 5ml/day. Couple days later I finally read 5ppm NO3. PO4 dropped from 0.06 to 0.03. A week later NO3 was up to 10 and PO4 was 0. Then the tissue recession and bleaching started ...
Had I known there would be such a drastic effect I would have tested daily.

I pulled my GFO and PO4 rose back to 0.04. I continued to test/dose until PO4 was stable, then stopped dosing. I also pulled my Carbon.
This was early January and I haven't dosed any Nitrogen since.
March 30th Hanna told me PO4 is @ 0.01 and Salifert reported 0ppm NO3.
It's been 2 weeks since a 25% WC (due tonight) and I just tested before another WC;
PO4 is @ 0.03 and NO3 is @ 0ppm.

Currently I only have 4 fish in the DT, plus a couple shrimps and some hermies. They are fed pellets for lunch, and I rotate between 2 different kinds of flakes or a cube of frozen for dinner. Plus nori a couple times a week. When I feed, it's like it's snowing in the tank so there should be higher readings ... :noidea:
If I feed them any more they'll pop !!
I have some fish in QT and will be doubling my fish load in the near future. This will cause some new testing/dosing, but I hope it will help increase my levels enough to get some NO3 and PO4 readings without having to tweak things too much.

Hope this helps someone, and good luck Glen

Frogger
04-07-2017, 06:33 AM
From what I had read on the internet the Flourish Nitrogen contains KNO3 and Urea. I wanted to use a source, Pure KNO3, where I could control the exact amount of Nitrate I wanted and really didn't want to add urea.

My tank has been at between .5 to .75ppm NO3 and phosphates are steady at .02ppm. I have been adding 35mls per day of the mixture and it appears to be working. The colours are beginning to look better. However the calcium uptake has gone through the roof and I have had to triple my calcium additions. I am assuming that growth was limited by the very low nitrates and now that they are there growth has kicked in. Too early to measure effectiveness.

I am still using GFO. I will stop using GFO if my phosphates drop too low.

I might still go higher with my nitrates although I really want to take this slow. I will probably keep my nitrates at around 1 for a few weeks and see what happens before I will go higher.

gregzz4
04-07-2017, 02:32 PM
What are you using to test NO3?

Frogger
04-07-2017, 04:56 PM
I am using Red Sea Pro Nitrate Test. I made up a batch of NO3 .8ppm calibration solution using Randy Holmes-Farley recommendations and my test kit was bang on.

Frogger
04-11-2017, 03:56 AM
I have been able to maintain my nitrates at .5ppm for 5 days. I have been adding 40mls of the KNO3 solution daily.

My phosphates have dropped off the chart. I am almost using no GFO and my phosphates were .003ppm. Still too low. Before I started raising my nitrates my phosphates were over 2ppm and I was using a ton of GFO to keep it respectable. So just for controlling phosphates this is a win.

The colours of my corals are getting better.
This blue matrix was brown before I started adding nitrates.
15823
This red planet was very pale
15824
This Hawkins was dull
15825

These pictures were taken from above, the other picture were taken from in front and I fixed the white balance on my camera. They are still not show quality but the colours have improved quite a bit.

DKoKoMan
04-11-2017, 07:28 AM
I can't get my phosphates under 0.25ppm even with the use of gfo in a reactor and Foz Down. I can't complain as my corals have nice colours and decent growth. From the sounds of it your nitrates are registering and your Cora are improving which is great. Keep us posted.

Frogger
04-14-2017, 05:00 AM
After 2 weeks of adding KNO3, now adding 60mls/day, which equates to adding 2ppm per day of nitrate for my 73 gallon tank.

I am now at 1.5ppm NO3 and phosphorus is 0 using Hanna ULR meter. I was using about a half a cup of GFO. I have now turned off the GFO because I do not want my phosphorus at 0.

I was needing to run at least 3 cups of GFO to keep my phosphorus below .03ppm before I started adding KNO3. If I didn't my phosphorus would hit .3ppm very quickly.

My tank appears to be using close to 2ppm nitrates to maintain a nominal nitrate level in the tank. I like my current level of nitrates however it appears the higher I go the lower the phosphates get. I think this is going to be a bit of a balance game, lets see what happen now that I turned the GFO reactor off.

What I have noticed in my tank with the higher nitrates is better growth and color of the corals, not quite as good as I want but my coralline algae is growing like nuts, hence the larger draw of Calcium.

I caution anyone thinking that they can control their phosphates by adding nitrates. My situation was a particular situation where I have a low bio load, feed lightly, strong skimming and had absolutely no nitrates in the system.

Frogger
04-15-2017, 11:53 PM
"OUCH". Last weekend my power went out for 4 hours. When the power came back on I guess the ATI Hybrid went back to factory settings and looks like I fried some of the corals. I have never run the Led's higher than 80%. They were running at 100% all week and the colours in the corals have paled out since last weekend. I just figured it out today.

Other than that I am not running any GFO for several days and my phosphorus levels have not gotten about .003ppm or 1 on the Hanna ULR checker.

Hopefully the coral colour issue was the lights.

WarDog
04-16-2017, 12:25 AM
Sorry to hear. I can't believe that such a high end fixture doesn't have a failsafe for that.

gregzz4
04-16-2017, 01:35 AM
Sorry to hear about your timer issue ...

Glad to hear you've been able to remove your GFO.
If you recall from our conversation, that was the main reason I suggested adding some form of NO3. It wasn't to color up your corals, but glad that's been a positive effect.

I'm still GFO free, and haven't needed to add any NO3 since my last report.
I'll be more than doubling my fish load in a couple weeks, so hopefully I'll get some PO4 back in my tank soon.
Still sitting @ zero for both NO3 and PO4, even with heavy overfeeding of my 4 fish.
I'd like to get my readings up a bit, but my corals appear to be perfectly happy for now in the zero range.

Looking forward to your reports now that you've removed your GFO.

Frogger
04-16-2017, 04:12 AM
Sorry to hear. I can't believe that such a high end fixture doesn't have a failsafe for that.


From what I have read it will hold the settings for a short while. But when the power goes out for a long time everything is lost even the clock settings. AS nice a unit it is it is extremely difficult to program.

Myka
04-16-2017, 05:27 AM
Yikes! Roasting corals sucks - it's a long road to recovery. :(

I just re-started NaNO3 dosing too, but I'm adding KH2PO4 as well since I have neither measurable in my tank. Makes sure you don't bottom out PO4. :)

Frogger
04-16-2017, 05:57 AM
I am hopeful the corals will be OK. The only one I may loose is a mystic sunset monti. Not the end of the world as I am battling the early stages of monti nudibranchs Likely stress of the water changes combined with stress from the lighting combined with the nudibranchs.

I am trying to get 2ppm NO3 and .03 ppm PO4. As of yesterday I was at .003 ppm Phosphate 1/10th of where I want to be.

MY tank is sucking up the phosphate and the NO3 right now.

Frogger
04-16-2017, 06:01 AM
Yikes! Roasting corals sucks - it's a long road to recovery. :(

I just re-started NaNO3 dosing too, but I'm adding KH2PO4 as well since I have neither measurable in my tank. Makes sure you don't bottom out PO4. :)

Where do you get the Potassium phosphate? What rate are you dosing?

Myka
04-16-2017, 06:40 PM
Where do you get the Potassium phosphate? What rate are you dosing?

I got it from a friend, pretty sure he got it from "The Plant Guy". Google it, he's Canadian. Not allowed to post a link.

I'm adding 0.02 ppm per day right now to see what happens. So far only dosed twice.

Frogger
04-16-2017, 06:45 PM
Great let me know how it goes with the phosphate. I tested mine last night and I had .02ppm phosphate. I am happy with that for now.

Frogger
04-17-2017, 08:06 PM
Apparently the too much light issue is worse then I thought. About half of my acros are showing stress, I have tip dieback on my pearlberry and red planet. My aussie toxic yellow large colony has been hit hard I am not sure if it will survive, my highlighter is not looking too good.

I am wondering if the intense light (week) combined with the extremely low phosphates has caused the problem. I was running the GFO for several days with no phosphates and bright lights.

I knew the power outage affected the timer but I didn't think it would have affected the program.

I have covered my tank with a layer of transparent tracing paper to reduce the light to the corals, once they are responding well opening their polyps I will slowly remove the tracing paper.

Bblinks
04-17-2017, 08:35 PM
Apparently the too much light issue is worse then I thought. About half of my acros are showing stress, I have tip dieback on my pearlberry and red planet. My aussie toxic yellow large colony has been hit hard I am not sure if it will survive, my highlighter is not looking too good.

I am wondering if the intense light (week) combined with the extremely low phosphates has caused the problem. I was running the GFO for several days with no phosphates and bright lights.

I knew the power outage affected the timer but I didn't think it would have affected the program.

I have covered my tank with a layer of transparent tracing paper to reduce the light to the corals, once they are responding well opening their polyps I will slowly remove the tracing paper.

You should see if your alk is fluctuating...I would start with that first then worry about your lights. You should also stop the GFO for a week also.

Frogger
04-17-2017, 09:40 PM
Alk is at 9.5dkh. It went up from about 8.5 naturally when I brought my nitrates up. I have added very little buffer in several weeks

I haven't been using GFO since April 13, since my phosphates zeroed out.

I am currently checking nitrates, phosphates daily, alkalinity every other day and calcium twice a week.

My calcium requirements have more then tripled.

I checked everything last night

Alk-9.8dkh
Calcium- 450
Nitrates -1.5ppm
Phosphates at .006ppm or 2 ppb phosphorus on hanna ULR

Bblinks
04-17-2017, 10:42 PM
Alk is at 9.5dkh. It went up from about 8.5 naturally when I brought my nitrates up. I have added very little buffer in several weeks

I haven't been using GFO since April 13, since my phosphates zeroed out.

I am currently checking nitrates, phosphates daily, alkalinity every other day and calcium twice a week.

My calcium requirements have more then tripled.

I checked everything last night

Alk-9.8dkh
Calcium- 450
Nitrates -1.5ppm
Phosphates at .006ppm or 2 ppb phosphorus on hanna ULR

If I were to guess without looking at your tank, I would think po4 might have been striped way too fast. I think you'll need to let it runs its course and don't do anything drastic, bump up the feeding a bit for sps corals using oyster feast or sps food like vitilas or any filter feeding food along that line. Wait a few days and see how the corals react.

Frogger
04-18-2017, 03:32 AM
If I were to guess without looking at your tank, I would think po4 might have been striped way too fast. I think you'll need to let it runs its course and don't do anything drastic, bump up the feeding a bit for sps corals using oyster feast or sps food like vitilas or any filter feeding food along that line. Wait a few days and see how the corals react.

I think your right. That is what I have been doing, I have upped the feeding, fed Oyster Feast last night and will do again. I am also feeding the fish several times a day. I have reduced the lighting to reduce stress.

Over the past few months the phosphate has been on a roller coaster ride, up as high as .3ppm before I dosed nitrates to absolute 0. I had to use a ton of GFO to keep the phosphates down. I was a little hesitant about taking the GFO off line too fast, I reduced it in half about 10 days ago and a half again about a week ago and I must have waited too long.

Frogger
04-18-2017, 03:33 AM
My goal is to get the tank stable, its just I don't know what stable is yet.

Bblinks
04-18-2017, 08:33 PM
My goal is to get the tank stable, its just I don't know what stable is yet.

It takes time to be able to read your tank and it's inhabitants. Slow and steady wins the race. Post some pics here if you can.

Frogger
04-18-2017, 10:04 PM
It takes time to be able to read your tank and it's inhabitants. Slow and steady wins the race. Post some pics here if you can.

Agreed. I thought I was taking it slow and steady, carefully monitoring the parameters, however I didn't expect the Led's to be on full for a week (normal is 75%-80% only for a short period). I also didn't expect the phosphates to drop so fast.

Bblinks
04-18-2017, 10:36 PM
Agreed. I thought I was taking it slow and steady, carefully monitoring the parameters, however I didn't expect the Led's to be on full for a week (normal is 75%-80% only for a short period). I also didn't expect the phosphates to drop so fast.

Live and learn my friend....live and learn. :wink:

Frogger
04-19-2017, 04:16 AM
I am attaching an image of two of the corals worst hit by the light and phosphate changes. My phosphate is still 0, not running any GFO and feeding heavily. I am going to lower my nitrates to raise the phosphates.

I have attached side by side. second picture was taken April 8. The other picture was taken today.

This is a Highlighter Acro
15844

This is a Toxic Aussie yellow
15845

Frogger
04-19-2017, 04:18 AM
Why can I only upload a few images? I have to delete existing images to upload new ones. This means the previous images in this post get removed.

There must be a way because people have many many years with of images in their posts.

gregzz4
04-20-2017, 12:35 AM
I use Photobucket. I've used Dropbox, and I think there's also Flickr

DKoKoMan
04-20-2017, 12:41 AM
I'm using tinypic and seems to be alright.

Myka
04-20-2017, 02:29 PM
I used to use Photobucket but now it's so loaded with ads that it bogs down my computer. Can't sand that site anymore. I switched to Flickr which is much faster, but lacks the handy multiple URL selection that you get off Photobucket. Flickr you have to go to each photo individually to get the URL to post here.

tang daddy
04-20-2017, 05:26 PM
How's the feeding going?

Checked Param's again?

Do the corals look any better?

Frogger
04-20-2017, 06:04 PM
How's the feeding going?

Checked Param's again?

Do the corals look any better?

Feeding heavily, all kinds of foods

Checked the parameters last night phosphates still 0 nitrates 1.5ppm. the last 2 days reduced the nitrate I was adding by 50%. Today I am not going to add any nitrates. I have to get the phosphates up above 0. They have been 0 or close to 0 for a week or more.

Too early to tell about the corals, nothings dead yet but many of them are showing tip dieback and polyps are not extended or fully extended.

Lessons learned 0 phosphate or 0 nitrates are not a good thing. The ideal situation is having the correct balance. Looking at getting phosphates to add to tank.

Frogger
04-20-2017, 10:08 PM
I have added 4 smaller pieces of live rock that I have been "cooking" for several months. I treated the rocks with a peroxide dip to remove any remaining unwantables. These rocks came from a phosphate rich tank. Hopefully they slowly leach some phosphate into the tank to help manage my 0 phosphate issues.

I will keep you posted, fingers crossed.

DKoKoMan
04-21-2017, 01:06 AM
Wish I could give you some of my .025ppm phosphates lol :lol:

Frogger
04-22-2017, 02:33 AM
I think I am figuring this out and am beginning to understand where I went wrong.

I have not added any nitrates to the tanks in about 4 days, I did a 20% water change this morning. This afternoon my nitrates are still 1.5ppm and my phosphates are 0. I have used multiple different test kits and different reagents from different packages with the same results. The calcium levels and the alkalinity levels are stable without adding any 2 part solution. This tells me that I have shut down the photosynthetic activity in my tank, including the coralline algae.

There is not a lot of information on the web about the relationship between phosphates and nitrates. Most of us including myself (past tanks) have never had to really think about the relationship because our goals were to lower them as much as we can because they were always high. Problem is I designed a tank that efficiently uses up the nitrates and phosphates so well I have one that is bottomed out at all times.

It appears that your nitrates can only go so high when your phosphate becomes the limiting factor. Because I should have seen a reduction in nitrates with the 20% water change.

I can't get myself to look at my corals. I feel that I have let them down. It is not the cost of replacing the corals that bothers me its that I am in charge of their care. I take great pride in my past ability at keeping corals and fish alive for long periods of time.

I will do another 20% water change tomorrow and will continue to do so until I get the balance of phosphates to nitrates in place

Bblinks
04-22-2017, 06:17 AM
Having unbalanced po4 and no3 level is definitely not a good. It limits the growth since po4 in your case contributes to a vital part of it. Here is a one of the speaker from 2016 macna and I think he can explain this better than I can.https://youtu.be/ZRIKW-9d2xI

Ryanerickson
04-22-2017, 07:02 AM
That's a very interesting video not to mention the speakers was pretty funny

Bblinks
04-22-2017, 08:48 AM
That's a very interesting video not to mention the speakers was pretty funny

Definitely one of the better speakers....some are so dry lol

Frogger
04-23-2017, 05:02 AM
Having unbalanced po4 and no3 level is definitely not a good. It limits the growth since po4 in your case contributes to a vital part of it. Here is a one of the speaker from 2016 macna and I think he can explain this better than I can.https://youtu.be/ZRIKW-9d2xI

Thanks for the video. It kind of opens your eyes to how little we know about what the corals truly need. Many of the top experts in the field have been running their reef tanks with much higher phosphates and nitrates then most of us hobbyist reefers do and had great success with those numbers. They have also had long term stability that few achieve.

I purchased some KH2PO4 yesterday and added it to my tank. I used a calculator that MYKA sent me to figure out how much I needed to add. I ended up adding 1ml of a solution of 1gram of KH2PO4 to 250mls of ro water. My phosphates are now at .02ppm.

I added .5ml of the solution today. I want to get my phosphates to .03 with my nitrates at 1.5ppm. Try to maintain that Redford ratio mentioned in the video. I will take this really slow and try to stabilize my tank to settle my corals down. I am happy I finally have measurable phosphates.

Myka
04-23-2017, 07:05 PM
Keep in mind that the Redfield Ratio is the uptake ratio of phytoplankton. It is not the ratio in the ocean, nor is it the uptake ratio of corals. It is a good guideline to use though, just as long as you understand it. Really all the Redfield Ratio is doing is putting in perspective how tiny of an amount of PO4 you need in comparison to NO3.

FWIW, 1.5 ppm NO3 is 50x PO4 at 0.03 ppm. Redfield Ratio is 16x. :)

The way I see it is that no matter how hard we try to mimic nature, we just can't do it nearly as well, so we use fertilizers (literally haha) to try to supplement the corals. It works in many cases, but not all. It depends what's missing or lacking in your own system. There are examples all over the map of tanks with high nutrients and SWEET Acros, and there are examples of SWEET Acros in immeasurable amounts of nutrients. Everyone's tank is different, and this may not be your magic potion.

Frogger
04-23-2017, 08:27 PM
FWIW, 1.5 ppm NO3 is 50x PO4 at 0.03 ppm. Redfield Ratio is 16x. :)

The ratio is actually 33 to 1 because phosphate is 31% phosphorus by weight and nitrate is 21% nitrogen by weight.

I started with no nitrates and had unhealthy corals I dropped the phosphates to 0 and have very unhealthy corals.

For now I want to get the phosphates to .03ppm and stabilize it for a while. My nitrates for now seem to want to stay at 1.5ppm

I tested my phosphates this morning and they are back down to 0 so I added another 1ml of the solution and re test it tonight.

Myka
04-24-2017, 03:48 AM
The ratio is actually 33 to 1 because phosphate is 31% phosphorus by weight and nitrate is 21% nitrogen by weight.

I started with no nitrates and had unhealthy corals I dropped the phosphates to 0 and have very unhealthy corals.

For now I want to get the phosphates to .03ppm and stabilize it for a while. My nitrates for now seem to want to stay at 1.5ppm

I tested my phosphates this morning and they are back down to 0 so I added another 1ml of the solution and re test it tonight.
Yeah you're right about that, but it still doesn't matter. :)

Read through this discussion. http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2109768

Frogger
04-24-2017, 07:04 AM
Yeah you're right about that, but it still doesn't matter. :)

Read through this discussion. http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2109768

Thanks for the input. I had already read that thread. I don't believe the magic answer is the Redfield ratio, however it may be a good place to start. Seeing as I am currently manually adding both nitrate and phosphate or else I will bottom out I have to shoot for some value and not blindly add both solutions. I really just want to create some stability so my corals can recover.

I tested again tonight and my phosphates are still 0 so I added another 1ml of the phosphate solution (want to take it slow). What I did notice which I am happy about is the nitrates have began to drop a bit and the alkalinity and the calcium have started to drop again as well. It has been a week since my tank has used any calcium and alkalinity so this may be good. Although it is just likely the coralline algae has kicked back in.

Myka
04-24-2017, 03:33 PM
Thanks for the input. I had already read that thread. I don't believe the magic answer is the Redfield ratio, however it may be a good place to start. Seeing as I am currently manually adding both nitrate and phosphate or else I will bottom out I have to shoot for some value and not blindly add both solutions. I really just want to create some stability so my corals can recover.

Yeah, me too. I'm not seeing any difference in the corals yet. I dosed NO3 up to 5 ppm, and PO4 I add 0.02 ppm every evening which the Hanna ULR Checker is able to confirm. The following morning PO4 is still 0.02 ppm, but by evening the green cyano has sucked it all out of the tank, and I'm back at 0 ppb. I'm hoping the cyano cycles out, and the corals start using it instead. I'm not sure it's the magic concoction for my tank yet, but it's too early to tell for sure.

Frogger
04-26-2017, 10:58 PM
Tank update:
For several days I have managed to maintain acceptable levels of phosphate and nitrates, although once my phosphate started coming up my nitrates started heading down. So I am adding daily doses of both phosphates and nitrates.

Too early to tell full damage to corals. Some of the harder hit corals are starting to extend their polyps so I am hopeful that the worse is behind me. "Fingers crossed, touch wood".

There is definitely a direct relationship between nitrates and phosphates. Each one controls the other when running low levels in a nutrient low reef tank.

From my experience when nitrate is the limiting nutrient (0 nitrate), poor colours and slow growth rate.
When phosphate is the limiting nutrient and has truly bottomed out bad things happen, much worse then low nitrates.

It is funny how some acros were not really impacted and others were devastated. Once I have a full grasp on the impacts I will provide a list of the corals and how they were affected in my tank under my adverse conditions.

Even though I suffered some serious setbacks I consider this experiment a success. Remember in the first post I said this was an experiment and I have kept all the data. I have learned far more than if I was just blindly lucky and had succeeded because I wouldn't have known why I succeeded.

Myka
04-27-2017, 12:19 AM
From my experience when nitrate is the limiting nutrient (0 nitrate), poor colours and slow growth rate.
When phosphate is the limiting nutrient and has truly bottomed out bad things happen, much worse then low nitrates.

I have had the same experiences.

Bblinks
04-27-2017, 01:12 AM
Tank update:
For several days I have managed to maintain acceptable levels of phosphate and nitrates, although once my phosphate started coming up my nitrates started heading down. So I am adding daily doses of both phosphates and nitrates.

Too early to tell full damage to corals. Some of the harder hit corals are starting to extend their polyps so I am hopeful that the worse is behind me. "Fingers crossed, touch wood".

There is definitely a direct relationship between nitrates and phosphates. Each one controls the other when running low levels in a nutrient low reef tank.

From my experience when nitrate is the limiting nutrient (0 nitrate), poor colours and slow growth rate.
When phosphate is the limiting nutrient and has truly bottomed out bad things happen, much worse then low nitrates.

It is funny how some acros were not really impacted and others were devastated. Once I have a full grasp on the impacts I will provide a list of the corals and how they were affected in my tank under my adverse conditions.

Even though I suffered some serious setbacks I consider this experiment a success. Remember in the first post I said this was an experiment and I have kept all the data. I have learned far more than if I was just blindly lucky and had succeeded because I wouldn't have known why I succeeded.

I believe it's all due to the origin of the coral. I know Aussie SPS are from some of the lowest nutrient water, they need massive flow, intense lighting and ulns to be happy but others are from a more "dirtier" water like Bali might be a whole different ball game. We as reef keepers throw together corals from all over the world with different water parameters and expect every single one to be flourishing but that's just not possible. If 3 out of your 20 corals aren't happy and the rest are doing great, I think it might be time for you to re-house those 3...I am glad to hear everything is on a rebound. I will be expecting picture update soon! :wink:

Myka
04-27-2017, 01:49 AM
I believe it's all due to the origin of the coral. I know Aussie SPS are from some of the lowest nutrient water, they need massive flow, intense lighting and ulns to be happy but others are from a more "dirtier" water like Bali might be a whole different ball game. We as reef keepers throw together corals from all over the world with different water parameters and expect every single one to be flourishing but that's just not possible. If 3 out of your 20 corals aren't happy and the rest are doing great, I think it might be time for you to re-house those 3...I am glad to hear everything is on a rebound. I will be expecting picture update soon! :wink:

You make a very good point! I can't grow Red Planet to save my life, yet Aussie corals are the most "bomb-proof" ones I have. It them low nutrients. :D

Frogger
05-07-2017, 06:07 AM
I thought I would provide an update for anyone following my plight.
I has been over 3 weeks since I screwed things up and let my phosphates drop quickly to zero. I am hoping things are stabilizing. I have been adding my nitrate and phosphate solutions daily to keep the phosphates between .01 and .04 and to keep my nitrates around 1ppm.

Growth has been stunted on all sps, the zoas seem to be completely unaffected and are definitely doing better since starting to add nitrates. Some of the SPS are starting to grow again.

The following corals were hit hard (keeping fingers crossed):
Highlighter acro (might not make it)
Shades of fall acro (might not make it)
Pearlberry acro
Red Dragon acro

The following corals were moderately hit (hopeful will survive):
Cali Blue Tort
Toxic yellow acro
Purple bonsai acro. I have spares in my 40 gallon that were not affected.
Needle in the haystack acro
Hawkins enchinata
Red Planet acro (tip dieback although is starting to colour up nicely)

The following corals are not affected other than lack of growth: Some of these are actually looking better.
Birdsnest
Pocillopora
Green slimmer acro
Green hulk acro
Blue matrix acro
blue Formosa acro
Glowstick acro
Pink Lemonaide acro
blue millipora acro
Pink prostrata acro
Tri colour acro

My three montiporas were unaffected by the phosphates but are currently at war with monitopora nudibranches. This is a war I do not think the monti's can win.

Will provided pictures once the final outcome has been determined.

gregzz4
07-22-2017, 03:02 AM
Thought I would add my results;
I stopped dosing Nitrogen back in January of this year. My corals slowly recovered with only 4 fish. I added 7 more fish at the end of April. Since then I've been feeding pellets daily for lunch, and either flakes or frozen for dinner. All daily. There's enough food sometimes to make a small snow storm and I'm still getting zero NO3. PO4 is still hovering between zero and 0.03

I'm hesitant right now to start tinkering with dosing Phosphorus and Nitrogen.
I'd like to get my NO3 up some to help my corals.

I'll need to have a slow time in my life to focus on it ...

Frogger
07-24-2017, 08:33 PM
I believe my tank has stabilized and the corals that survived have coloured up and are starting to grow.

The following corals did not make it:
Pearlberry
Highlighter
Red Planet
purple bonsai
Blue millipora

Most of the corals that have survived are now much more colourful. then before I started this experiment.

My initial plan to try to get my nitrates to 2ppm is not attainable. In raising up my nitrates I caused my phosphates to crash which almost wiped out all my corals. I started adding phosphates to help balance the nitrates, however I found that the amounts I needed to add of nitrate and phosphate to get desirable numbers was way too labour intensive.

I am now not focusing on my nitrate numbers only my phosphate numbers. I add enough nitrates to maintain phosphates at between .005 to .08ppm phosphorus.

In order to maintain this number I am adding 1.5ml of KNO3 and .5ml of KH2PO4 every day. I am checking my phosphate levels (hanna ULR) every second day and adjusting the amounts accordingly.

I tried feeding heavily for a while to help increase my phosphate and nitrates but ended up stopping that when my vermetid snail populations grew exponentially.

Frogger
07-24-2017, 09:09 PM
I am attaching a picture of 1 coral in particular from December (colours pale) to 1 week after I started adding nitrates colour better, After crash and the current colour as of 2 weeks ago.[

ATTACH]15985[/ATTACH]