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View Full Version : How do YOU lower your Nitrates and Phosphates?


ScubaSteve
09-27-2010, 07:38 PM
So for the past while I have been using an experimental reactor I created (I'll post the details of it one day... ain't like nothin' you've seen before) to keep the 'trates and 'phates at bay. It's been working like a charm and nitrates have never gone above 1 ppm since the reactor has been online... that is until Saturday night when my HOB filter crapped out and caused all sorts of ruckus.

After the filter fiasco my nitrates hopped up to 10 ppm. At this time I am considering rebuilding the reactor to make some improvements and trying out a new method to bring the nitrates back down just for comparison purposes.

So... I want to know what you all are doing to lower nitrates and phosphates!

I would appreciate the input! I also must say that I am not going the zeovit route; I simply don't trust any method where I can't know the ingredients going into my tank. But I'd still like to see who is using it just the same.

christyf5
09-27-2010, 09:08 PM
Currently I'm running ultralith but I only dose every 3 days and frankly I'm not seeing much action from that. To lower phosphates I run phosban and to lower nitrates I do weekly waterchanges. My phosphates run about 0.015ppm (Deltec kit) and nitrates 2.5ppm (Salifert kit)

Delphinus
09-27-2010, 10:00 PM
I've done Zeovit in the past and it worked OK, so I voted that I use it but it's not a "I use it currently" situation.

Had to also add "Other" in there because I run the solid-vodka pellets. Wasn't sure if that fit under "Other" or "Other Carbon dosing (vinegar, sugar, etc.)".

But I've also run sulfur reactors as well in the past. So that too counts as an "other". I was never happy with that. They were hard to set up and .. well, they just didn't work all that well anyhow.

Also ran a remote DSB. Also was not happy with that.

Pellets have been a good balance of "automated thing I can run in a reactor" and "does not require too much effort on my part". It's not been a perfect magic bullet, I still need to watch how much I feed and so on and keep up with water changes. I also had bleaching occur in one tank after I put on pellets. I don't know if there's a relationship there or not but the timing sure seems suspect. However there were no losses.

whatcaneyedo
09-27-2010, 10:12 PM
I had several soft coral and LPS bleach when I tried out biopellets as well. So right now I'm just using a large skimmer, 10% weekly water changes and a little macro algae to keep nitrate undetectable in my system (according to Elos and API).

PoonTang
09-27-2010, 10:23 PM
Water changes, Pellets, and Prodibio reef kit. My Nitrates are 4 and coming down slowly, Phosphates are 0.00 (Hanna)

Delphinus
09-27-2010, 10:33 PM
Hey, did the colours come back after you discontinued the pellets? It's been at least 3 months for me and there is no sign of the colours coming back. I replaced the light in case it was the lamp to blame for the bleaching but it did not make a difference. I have not discontinued the pellets though. Maybe I should?

I had several soft coral and LPS bleach when I tried out biopellets as well. So right now I'm just using a large skimmer, 10% weekly water changes and a little macro algae to keep nitrate undetectable in my system (according to Elos and API).

Lance
09-27-2010, 10:33 PM
Water changes, pellets. The pellets work for me but I find I have to dose a little "Coral Snow" or I get a small amount of cyano.

PoonTang
09-27-2010, 10:45 PM
Funnily enough I have never had a problem with any Cyano or cloudiness or bleaching with using the beads

ScubaSteve
09-27-2010, 10:54 PM
Man, some of these other methods sounds like finicky headaches with a potential for disaster. Making me reconsider my idea of trying something else...

reefwars
09-27-2010, 10:55 PM
mostly water changes for nitrates iVe went down from 20 to 5 but ive had to replace old rock and cut my feeding down alot. it would seem im stuck ay 5 though so im considering other options so ill be following along here closely:)

for my new set up after christmas im going to be using a phosban reactor and keeping a better eye on things right from the start.

my old 180 i bought second hand off another reefer , nitrates were off the chart ,literally ,lol we took it on as a project and got them down to 40 with massive water changes and reduced light to kill the hair algae. id say about 80% of the tank was completely engulfed in hair algae and not the odd patch i mean completely covered in long algae.all ther corals were dead and covered in algae all the glass was covered and only but a couple of fish were saveable:) ahhh goodtimes:):) learned alot from that set up:):)

Murminator
09-27-2010, 11:09 PM
I have no nitrates but my phosphates are through the roof and i don't know what to do

untamed
09-27-2010, 11:27 PM
Massive skimming, and I grow as much macro algae as possible in the fuge. I also run a little phosban.

Your recent nitrate spike is probably just the logical follow on to an ammonia spike, and a nitrite spike.

whatcaneyedo
09-28-2010, 12:43 AM
I should also mention I use GFO to keep phosphate undetectable as well. I guess that falls under 'other' according to the poll.

Hey, did the colours come back after you discontinued the pellets? It's been at least 3 months for me and there is no sign of the colours coming back. I replaced the light in case it was the lamp to blame for the bleaching but it did not make a difference. I have not discontinued the pellets though. Maybe I should?

Color has begun to come back for some of the coral that were effected. Its been a full month since I stopped using the Vertex bio pellets. My acans, fungia and a chalice were the LPS that began to loose color. Many of the soft coral that completely bleached are still looking pretty white as their recovery seems to be slower. Capnella, sarcophyton and sinularia were the ones bothered. From what I've read in some threads on RC its pretty common for toadstools and leathers to bleach.

I started with the recommended minimum amount outlined on the package and my tank didn't have detectable levels to being with. Maybe I'll try them again by starting with only 1/4 of the minimum once everything has made a complete recovery.

whatcaneyedo
09-28-2010, 12:54 AM
Funnily enough I have never had a problem with any Cyano or cloudiness or bleaching with using the beads

Cloudiness was minor for me and only lasted a day or two. Bleaching only occurred in several soft corals and there was only minor color loss in some LPS (listed in my above post). All of my other coral including different species of soft, LPS and SPS appeared to be completely unaffected. I tried out a variety pack of that pro bio stuff a month before trying the pellets and I noticed that all of my cyano disappeared during that time period.

steve fedyk
09-28-2010, 03:51 AM
I use posban, daily water changes, fuge and skimmer to keep my po4 and nitrates low

Youngster Dan
09-28-2010, 05:10 AM
I think somewhat overlooked, and honestly one of the harder things to do is just to keep the bioload down and not feed a tonne. It is hard not to add that extra fish!

lobsterboy
09-28-2010, 06:11 AM
I am on the full zeovit system, its a bit tricky when you first start it but after it gets easier with the dosing recommandations. If you are committed to dose everyday and check water conditions, its a great system.

Nitrates are 1
Phosphates are 0.00

Zoaelite
09-28-2010, 07:00 AM
I'm all over the map as far as nutrient sinks go, my phosphate is @ zero (Elos) but my nitrate hovers around 10ppm. The Bioload is... a little over the top:neutral: so to combat:
Water Changes (20% Monthly)
Vertex 15 NP BioPellet Reactor
20g Cheato Reactor
Hydor Performance 700 Skimmer
TLF Running GFO
Carbon refreshed monthly
150 Red Mangroves
350lbs of Liverock
200lbs of Livesand including a 30g 8 inch DSB

Have also started running the full ProdiBio lineup but it's a little early to tell how well that is working. Even at 10ppm I'm getting some wicked color in the SPS.

ScubaSteve
09-28-2010, 08:42 AM
I'm all over the map as far as nutrient sinks go, my phosphate is @ zero (Elos) but my nitrate hovers around 10ppm. The Bioload is... a little over the top:neutral: so to combat:
Water Changes (20% Monthly)
Vertex 15 NP BioPellet Reactor
20g Cheato Reactor
Hydor Performance 700 Skimmer
TLF Running GFO
Carbon refreshed monthly
150 Red Mangroves
350lbs of Liverock
200lbs of Livesand including a 30g 8 inch DSB

Have also started running the full ProdiBio lineup but it's a little early to tell how well that is working. Even at 10ppm I'm getting some wicked color in the SPS.

Holy balls, Levi! All that and you're still at 10 ppm? You, uhhhh, should send some of them zoas my way... you know.. lower that bioload a little bit.

My bioload is... medium/high I guess. I only have 4 smaller fish (one of which I am only fish sitting until December when my friend gets back) but I have quite a few corals. I have many SPS, a couple LPS and a growing collection of zoas.

All this is making me think that I may just stick with the reactor I designed. It is similar in principle to a sulphur denitrator except it doesn't make acid (it's output is actually basic) and runs off a 9V battery. Maybe I'll take some pics during the rebuild and give a lesson on these things.

One thing I might try in the mean time is Vitamin C dosing. It is a carbon source and might help battle the nitrates and it has anecdotally helped promote zoa health. If I do try, I'll go slow and increase it over a couple weeks.

amoreira
09-28-2010, 03:17 PM
Following things I do for my 220 gal system...

- 10% per week water change
- ~2 lb live rock per gallon
- 4"-5" DSB (oolitic aragonite sugar sand)
- Macro in the fuge
- Keep stocking low
- Massive skimming (SWC Xtreme Cone Protein Skimmer 250 1A)
- Run biopellets.
- Run GFO (am transitioning from GFO, just recently started using bio pellets)
- Run highest quality carbon (Rox 0.8)

My phosphates and nitrates are virtually nil.

tlo
09-28-2010, 03:54 PM
for my 180 with medium bio-load

- 10% weekly water changes
-dsb
-macroalgae
-bio pellets
-skimming
-and I have just started using brightwell aquatics macrobactor 7 with promising results.

This keeps my phosphates at zero(hanna checker) and my nitrates at ~2 (salifert)

I over feed my fish - but I really enjoy feeding them and its something no matter how hard I try - I always will do - so I pay a little extra for water changes/supplements- its worth it for me.

Parker
09-28-2010, 04:58 PM
I run pellet but I don't find they make a huge difference. I've tried skimming very wet, very dry, not at all. My skimmer has been off for the last couple weeks because I have been on holidays and there has been no changes in the tank. I have to admit I don't do a lot of water changes, which I should!

burgerchow
09-28-2010, 05:22 PM
don't feed very much. Only feed my fish a few pellets every other day. Have a pretty good skimmer, lots of good quality live rock, lots of flow,( 2 vortechs) and only do 10% water change every other month.
works for me.

Palmer
09-28-2010, 10:57 PM
Water changes and skimming

kien
09-29-2010, 10:30 AM
- NP BioPellets in a reactor.
- Carbon in a reactor (replaced monthly)
- 10% weekly water changes.
- Bubble Magus 220CS skimmer

Nitrates 0, Phosphates 0.

davidwillson
10-17-2010, 03:32 AM
Man, some of these other methods sounds like finicky headaches with a potential for disaster. Making me reconsider my idea of trying something else...
mostly water changes for nitrates iVe went down from 20 to 5 but ive had to replace old rock and cut my feeding down alot. it would seem im stuck ay 5 though so im considering other options so ill be following along here closely

rayjay
10-17-2010, 06:10 AM
I've never tested for phosphates in my tank, only in the foods I use.
As for nitrates, I haven't tested for that in any of my tanks for probably at least 15 years now.