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View Full Version : what PO4 levels do we like for macro tanks?


Devaji108
05/16/2016, 01:48 PM
SO I am thinking about picking up the ULR PO4 hanna checker for my reef. but it's test less than 1PPM was hoping I could use for both tanks the reef and so to be macro.

so what is the idea level of PO4 in macro tanks? my very limited understanding is we want more than reefs, but what the "ideal" # for a well rounded "mixed" planted macro tank?

.05 to 1
1-2
2-4
grater then 5 PPM

FinzAquatics
05/16/2016, 06:37 PM
Wish I had a more precise answer for you. I have never reached a point in which the phosphate got too high... I'm sure there is a cut off point, but I've yet to find that line.

I struggle to maintain phosphate and nitrate due to my high absorbtion from all the macro

To me I guess the question is... What is the highest phosphate level that your other habitants can tolerate

Devaji108
05/16/2016, 09:50 PM
Finz interesting.
so do you have detectable PO4 in the tank?

I am debating on what would be the best all around PO4 test kit.
salifert or hanna ULR?
I believe the hanna maxes out at 1ppm. so might not do much for the macro tank.

jraker
05/17/2016, 06:33 AM
Hanna will be better. Salifert test kits are better at numerical read outs, such as for cal alk and mag. I would use Red Sea or Hanna for color read outs.

Devaji108
05/17/2016, 10:40 AM
I went with a ULR Hanna checker. so hopefully I can use it one both tanks..
reef and Macro.

Michael Hoaster
05/17/2016, 11:32 AM
I don't know the answer to that either, but I'm interested to see your results!

I've always assumed I have plenty of phosphate, with 3 generous feedings a day. And then if I get a micro algae spike, I have too much. This has not happened since my caulerpa grew to epic proportions. I plan to use a plant tab with more phosphate, next time I fertilize my seagrasses, as they prefer root uptake of phosphate. If growth rates improve, I will conclude that more phosphate is beneficial.

If you can find an ideal number, you will have advanced the hobby in the macro realm, and I will gladly tip my hat to you, sir!

Devaji108
05/17/2016, 03:08 PM
well I am going to experiment for sure.

FinzAquatics
05/18/2016, 09:21 AM
Finz interesting.
so do you have detectable PO4 in the tank?

I am debating on what would be the best all around PO4 test kit.
salifert or hanna ULR?
I believe the hanna maxes out at 1ppm. so might not do much for the macro tank.

There's definitely traces of phosphate. I significant over feed my tank daily to ensure there's a source. I honestly don't monitor it via testing anymore, so I couldn't begin to tell you what my levels are currently.

Michael Hoaster
05/18/2016, 10:59 AM
This is an interesting question. I think you basically summed it up correctly when you said, "more than reefs". Reefers try to get phosphate as close to zero as possible, to discourage algae. Macros, however, need a little, but not too much.

C-N-P (carbon-nitrogen-phosphate) ratios for macros are in the ballpark of 300-30-1 (I get a different number every time I ask the interwebs). Phosphate pretty much takes care of itself when you feed fish food. Nitrogen (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) is pretty easy to maintain, unless you have a highly functioning deep sand bed, or other denitrator device. I have a DSB, so I dose nitrate. Carbon, the most important one of all, seems to get the least attention. Some is supplied by food. Maybe the most important source of carbon for plants is CO2. It's rarely used on the marine side, but very popular with the freshwater plant folks. Carbon dosing is popular with the reef guys nowadays, but for different reasons. I tried it and got cyanobacteria, but I think my tank was too young at the time. I think it could be very beneficial to macro tanks that are a bit more mature.

So, this brings up another question: What's the best way to maintain high carbon levels in a macro tank?

I use CO2. I'd be very interested to hear what others do.

Devaji108
05/19/2016, 12:24 AM
AH michael that is a very good point. I was thinking about the use of co2 in macro planted tanks not to long ago... your the 1st I hear of doing it. can you show/explain you delivery system.

Michael Hoaster
05/19/2016, 07:23 AM
I have a CO2 regulator assembly I got when I had a reef tank, and I was running a calcium reactor. I rent 5lb CO2 tanks locally. Now, in stead of running airline tubing from the CO2 tank to a calcium reactor, I run it to the intake tube on my canister filter. I adjust the regulator to release about one bubble per second. The CO2 gets pulled through the filter and chopped up by the impeller, before being pumped with water back into the tank. Pretty simple. Regulators are not cheap though. There are cheaper options. Look at CO2 setups for freshwater planted tanks. There are also DIY plans out there as well.

Devaji108
05/19/2016, 11:26 AM
sounds like a nice setup you have there. I wonder how necessary [email protected] is for marine plants? I like that your experimenting.

I think i'll start with out and go from there.
deff. not apposed to adding one if we find it needs or does better with one :)

Michael Hoaster
05/19/2016, 03:17 PM
By the numbers, carbon is about 300-400 times more necessary than phosphate. From what I have read, CO2 is the preferred form of carbon, by plants. That's why most fresh water plants grow to the surface-to access CO2. As you said, almost no one on the salty side uses it. I attribute this to a general lack of information on salt water plant-keeping. As more folks get into it, I think CO2 use will proliferate. Of course you can do fine without it, as many do. You may want to research alternate carbon sources. Overfeeding may be all you need to do, but that also adds phosphate. I like to have some control over individual nutrients, so I add CO2 and nitrate.

With plants, you can just see what survives your "usual" methods, or you can try doing different things to see if you can meet their needs. It's fun! I look forward to hearing your progress!

jraker
05/19/2016, 07:40 PM
For an alternate source of carbon, you could use some Flourish Excel. It is very often used in planted tanks as a carbon source, and I really don't see a reason you can't use it in a marine tank.

http://www.amazon.com/Seachem-67104530-Flourish-Excel-500ml/dp/B000256962