View Full Version : Keeping No3/Po4 low while feeding heavy....

05/04/2009, 10:07 PM
...anyone know if this can be done without utilizing some extreme method of control?

I skim a lot, i have a fuge, 4" sand bed & 5 gallon water changes every 3-4 days (i like how corals look after a water change, so i do many of them).

I also have a pair of clowns that are laying nests so i feed quite a bit. I also have a diadema that gets aggressive unless kept fat and happy.

So i was wondering if anyone thinks its possible to keep nitrates & phosphates low while feeding heavy?

I am thinking about getting into more sps and in general providing more light to all my corals with a 250 watt MH pendant :) But keeping the clowns spawning is more important to me than sps, so if it cant be done i wont waste my money on the MH upgrade.


05/04/2009, 11:14 PM
you could look into carbon dosing ( Vodka, sugar, vinegar) or one of the product lines ( zeo-vit, ultra lith) make sure you read up on them and make changes to the system slowly.

05/05/2009, 12:22 AM
Yes , you can control them but it's not easy in a well fed system. I use the standard methods as well as: chaetomorpha refugia, gfo, moderate carbon dosing( vodka,sugar and vinegar) ,granulated activated carbon, heavy wet skimming . I did have to use a sulfur dentrator to reduce nitrates from over 60ppm to 0 in two months before I started vodka dosing. The 550 gallon system houses over 40 fish and well over a hundred corals from leathers to sps and a few non photosynthetic corals. Levels run at .05 to .07ppm phosphate and under 5ppm nitrate. The broad diversity of organisms in the system all do well at these levels and there is almost no nusiance algae.

05/05/2009, 07:39 AM
Thanks guys, i was dosing carbon (vodka left over from my wedding) for a couple months but quit because other than controlling nuisnace algae, i really did not need to do it. But now i want more sps, i guess i should start it back up?

Will vodka really keep my tank 'workable' with sps? I will also try and see if i can fit a reactor for GFO in my setup somewhere....the cube does not allow for much room under it so space is always at a premium.

05/05/2009, 08:29 AM
sulfur denitrator... I got one of them Aquaripure, it worked, it took a month, then it tends to clog up, so... just a little more, and be happy.

05/05/2009, 08:32 AM
oh, and you have to feed the thing vodka...

05/05/2009, 08:52 AM
If you decide to try a sulfur denitrator ,check out the duy forum. There is an excellent thread there.

05/05/2009, 08:59 AM
I have already thought about a denitrator but it would have to go on the floor next to my tank (which is in the kitchen). I can get most things past my wife....but a big acryllic cylinder with bright yellow pebbles in it will be tough :)

Sorry to hear about your sabres' a well (detroiter here).

05/05/2009, 09:27 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14954701#post14954701 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Ehaze
oh, and you have to feed the thing vodka...

Where did you hear that? I don't put vodka in mine.


05/05/2009, 09:48 AM
I thought he meant 'feed' the tank vodka as well as use a denitrator.

I have a little list of things i will start doing to see how much of an impact on these nutrients i can do without spending a ton of money:

1)Get new Di resin, i am getting a TDS of 26....i get almost no algae, but every little bit helps.

2) Target feed the fish instead of just dumping in the food.

3) Do more siphoning instead of just sucking water out of the tank when doing water changes.

4) Skim wet.

5) Get more snails!!!!

I am stuck on what i should do with my sand bed. Its 4-6" deep special grade carib sea sand, and the rock structure is built on top of the sand (this was my first tank before i learned not to do that...). I am worried about a nutrient sink with 4-6" of sand....

05/05/2009, 10:04 AM
I removed my DSB to about 1", but my live rock is all up on PVC.

05/05/2009, 10:15 AM
Yeah i wish i could get down to 1" or so but i dont know how to do it without re arraigning the whole setup.

Maybe scoop out a bunch a few different times, then the last time take all the rock out and place them into buckets with heaters and powerheads until i can get done removing all the sand? Would that be doing too much all at once?

05/05/2009, 11:39 AM
Thanks for the sympathy on the sabres. Go Lions.

I think the poster who taked about feeding the denitrator vodka is thinking of a carbon denitrator not a sulfur denitrator. The later uses the sulfur for food and does not need acarbon source.

I don't think the sand will be a nutrient sink. If stuff gets down that deep heteroptrophic bacteria will likely deal with it. I would have a mild concern about anoxic areas and th possible formation of hydrogen sulfide particularly if you does a carbon source.

26 tds post di could be harmful.

05/05/2009, 12:47 PM
Yeah....26 TDS could be bad, but so far it has not made an impact either way and its been a good 2 months of using for water changes and top offs. I guess whatever is in that 26 parts is rather mild compared to what could be in there.

I had the same amount of HA before, and after i went from 0 tds to 26. My cyano however has decreased dramatically in the past 6 weeks. I doubt that has anything to do with the water, but more to do with tank just 'coming of age'.

I just stopped and picked up $30 worth of mixed snails (turbos, astrea, nassaciruis (sp)). Ill be dropping them in my tank when i get home, and removing all those damn hermits that i can find at the same time. The hermits in turn will come to work with me, and go into my 10 gal on my desk.

05/05/2009, 01:50 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14955231#post14955231 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by 1DeR9_3Hy
Yeah i wish i could get down to 1" or so but i dont know how to do it without re arraigning the whole setup.

Maybe scoop out a bunch a few different times, then the last time take all the rock out and place them into buckets with heaters and powerheads until i can get done removing all the sand? Would that be doing too much all at once?

How old is your sand bed?

05/05/2009, 02:06 PM
It was poured out of the bag and into the tank in November.

05/05/2009, 04:18 PM
Have you had anything in the tank to sift or turn over the sand, or has it just sat there? I have a diamond goby and he moves a LOT of sand. I didn't have to worry about harmful gas pockets when I removed most of my DSB. Do you have a lot of discoloration in the sand bed that you can see through the glass?

I removed mine at one time, but you could remove it bit by bit before water changes. I think the biggest issues of removing a DSB would be with older beds?

05/05/2009, 04:57 PM
Its all pretty uniform as far as color goes, I had a seio M1100 on a timer and it caused a lot of sand migration throughout the day. Also, i had a bunch of snails that sifted sand....but the hermits got to them.