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Reefadiction
04-01-2017, 06:08 PM
So, I have decide to open up with the idea of have zero Nitrate band wagon. My sps dominant system had run for many years with Nitrate level average at 5ppm to 10ppm. All my acros and other sps have great growth and coloration. Fish are heavily fed. In general, I'm extremely happy with my system. I really want to see if Zero Nitrate will make my corals grow faster than they are. Most of my sps currently produce 1/2inch a month.
I religiously perform 15 percents water change monthly. Recently I tried to do 15percent water change weekly to see if Nitrate drops to zero....it's been 10 weeks and lowest i get is 5ppm. I then tried to starve my poor fish for a week for the sake of Zero Nitrate experiment and Nitrate is still not Zero.
Now, many people have claimed using carbon source such as vodka, vinegar or just plain old white sugar to achive Zero Nitrate. Anyone here tried this method? Please input your success or even failure. Please give me your stories and maybe a chemistry lesson in regard of dosing carbon. Thanks folks and happy reefing.

My parimeters:
NH3/NH4=0
PH=8
PO4=0.03 or lower
ALK=8
Ca=450
Mg=1400-1500

whatcaneyedo
04-01-2017, 08:21 PM
This is a good article on it from a few years back http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-08/nftt/ I tried it myself around that time. It was foolish of me to do so however as I didn't have detectable nitrate in the first place. So I immediately pushed it too low and had several coral bleach. When I stopped they recovered and I haven't tried again since.

crimper
04-01-2017, 10:05 PM
Here is my 2 cents...

Zero nitrates and Zero Phosphates is not good for corals.

The reason why reefers are doing this is they want dosing control on the nutrient levels to attain those pastel (I call it pale) coral coloration. Meaning after stripping their tank, they need to dose those nutrients back on the level that they want them in. You're always chasing numbers.

I almost got a tank crash last Spring break as I went away for a week. My reef suffered a bacterial bloom that stripped my tanks NO3 and my PO4 levels for several days due to carbon source overdosed. When I came back most of my colonies have STN at the bottom.

Running ULNS requires lots of time, testing, tweaking and gazillion patience.... this means $$$$$. I tried running my reef on ULNS and I won't do it again. It feels that I am on the knife edge all the time. The margin of error is very slim. I realized that it is not for me as I can't be away for several days.

I must admit my corals have the best coloration running on ULNS. But I realized this is not for me. If you are after coral growth, that's a different story, most experienced reefers that I know run their nitrate higher than 2ppm to achieve good growth.

Frogger
04-01-2017, 10:36 PM
Like being said above Zero nitrates are not good. :cry: Managing your nitrates in relation to your phosphates is the best option. The ideal Nitrogen to Phosphorus ratio is 16 to 1.

This means if you want a Phosphate of less then .02ppm (.004ppm Phosphorus) you will need a nitrogen level of around .06ppm or .3ppm nitrate.

Zeros across the board do not result in colourful corals. You colours will be washed out. Check my recent post on my 73 gallon tank.

The top growers of corals for resale are maintain their nitrates in the neighbourhood of 5ppm or higher. Check on the web in regards to companies like Battle Corals or aquariumcreationsonline.net.

Please read the following article: [URL="http://wateralchemy.blogspot.ca/2012/03/nutrient-reduction-using-organic-carbon.html?m=1"]

Reefadiction
04-01-2017, 11:39 PM
Thanks for all the great infomation and inputs guys. So I guess to achieve Zero Nitrate and Phosphate is more for the reefer's satisfaction than for the reef itself and it sounds way to complicated for my little brain. Like i said on my post...my sps are growing like weed and my Phosphate and Nitrate are never zero. Well, I will keep going with my K.I.S.S theory and won't fix it if it's not broken. Sometimes I just wonder why many experienced reefers decide to go the hard, complicated and expensive route, where simplicity also works great.
But I still won't shut the door on any great ideas. Thanks again.

Myka
04-02-2017, 01:01 AM
Here is my 2 cents...

Zero nitrates and Zero Phosphates is not good for corals.

The reason why reefers are doing this is they want dosing control on the nutrient levels to attain those pastel (I call it pale) coral coloration. Meaning after stripping their tank, they need to dose those nutrients back on the level that they want them in. You're always chasing numbers.

I almost got a tank crash last Spring break as I went away for a week. My reef suffered a bacterial bloom that stripped my tanks NO3 and my PO4 levels for several days due to carbon source overdosed. When I came back most of my colonies have STN at the bottom.

Running ULNS requires lots of time, testing, tweaking and gazillion patience.... this means $$$$$. I tried running my reef on ULNS and I won't do it again. It feels that I am on the knife edge all the time. The margin of error is very slim. I realized that it is not for me as I can't be away for several days.

I must admit my corals have the best coloration running on ULNS. But I realized this is not for me. If you are after coral growth, that's a different story, most experienced reefers that I know run their nitrate higher than 2ppm to achieve good growth.
I agree with absolutely all of this.

Animal-Chin
04-03-2017, 05:28 PM
My 2 cents from my experiences, others have have different results from what I understand.

Carbon dosing is a bit tricky and has some risks so if you don't have to do it, I wouldn't.

I started with NoPox and had some so so results. My nitrates were really high due to moving all my rock work around and mixing up the sand so I felt I had to do something. I started dosing NoPox and about a month in had some issues with sps loss and tips burning. My nitrates were down to about 10 but my coral were really not happy. I decided to discontinue dosing and moved to bio pellets.

I really like biopellets. They took some time to kick in so it was slow, slow is always good. Now they just tumble and do their job. I started using them in July last year and I'm still on the same bag so they last a long time too. My tank is really overstocked but I love my fish, the pellets keep my nitrate consistently under 5. I'd say around 2 or 3. If I had less fish I'm sure I'd be at 0.

Now I still have to keep my alk down. If I hit 8 or above my tips on my acro burn. So really, I'm probably slowing growth by using the carbon but my tank is totally algae free. NO hair algae at all and I did have issues before I started. So my trade off is slower growth for no algae so I'll take that.

If you don't have an algae issue and your coral look good and are growing, I'd just not mess with what you're doing to be honest. You really have to watch your parameters when carbon dosing or one day you look at your tank and your huge colony of acro all has white tips, nothing more frustrating than that!

Your colors fade too if you don't diligently feed your coral. All my sps faded in the low nutrient environment but if you feed your coral supplements the colors can come back.

My question is do you want all the extra work just to chase a number or are you battling something like hair algae?

Oh, side not, cyano feeds on carbon so if you add carbon you will probably see a cyano bloom....

DKoKoMan
04-03-2017, 05:44 PM
If it ain't broke... why fix it :mrgreen: