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Bill Nye
07/28/2017, 09:43 PM
I am thinking about dosing carbon as every TOTM and other great tank you see has nitrates listed at ~.1-.2. My main concern is that most of these tanks also have very high amounts of fish which drive their nitrates up.

My tank has ~2 nitrates (clearish on salifert) and .02 phosphates with GFO. On one hand many people claim you should "undetectable" nitrates to get the best out of your sps where other people will say if you are already at low nutrient levels carbon dosing will crash your tank.

To me it doesn't make sense because people who are successful have lower nutrient levels than I am currently running. Should I start dosing a carbon sourse and lower my nitrates to undetectable? Since my phosphates are so low should I try to take my GFO out and see where my phosphates settle at before dosing carbon?

My tank is frags and I have some which have decent color and others which are slightly brown. I have no algae but I do get brown growth on the glass but it has been decreasing recently.

I bought a bunch of the aquaforest products and am having second thoughts dosing them. Should I use the AF stuff, go zeovit or just stick with what I'm doing but dose carbon?

bif24701
07/28/2017, 09:53 PM
I am thinking about dosing carbon as every TOTM and other great tank you see has nitrates listed at ~.1-.2. My main concern is that most of these tanks also have very high amounts of fish which drive their nitrates up.

My tank has ~2 nitrates (clearish on salifert) and .02 phosphates with GFO. On one hand many people claim you should "undetectable" nitrates to get the best out of your sps where other people will say if you are already at low nutrient levels carbon dosing will crash your tank.

To me it doesn't make sense because people who are successful have lower nutrient levels than I am currently running. Should I start dosing a carbon sourse and lower my nitrates to undetectable? Since my phosphates are so low should I try to take my GFO out and see where my phosphates settle at before dosing carbon?

My tank is frags and I have some which have decent color and others which are slightly brown. I have no algae but I do get brown growth on the glass but it has been decreasing recently.

I bought a bunch of the aquaforest products and am having second thoughts dosing them. Should I use the AF stuff, go zeovit or just stick with what I'm doing but dose carbon?



Sounds like your just kind of getting into things so I wouldn't start dosing things like AF or Zeo.

However adding a small amount of carbon can be beneficial. Our reefs are usually carbon limited and I have found adding it helps out the food chain within it.

Adding carbon increases bacteria that have many functions and not just nutrient control. It's also a good source of food for filter feeders and pods.

Start slow and see how you like it. Give it a few months.

Right now stability is your best friend no matter the numbers. Find where your tank fits into the recommended levels and strive to stay there as long as possible and easy as possible with minimum disruption.


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Bill Nye
07/28/2017, 09:56 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I have had decent success in the past with SPS but my tank crashed and I lost all SPS so I am just starting again.

I don't really know much about carbon dosing, I used berlin method last time and while my corals grew well the color was a little saturated. I think I am going to start dosing a 50 percent dose of the AF Carbon and Bacteria and see what happens.

I have been doing a lot of reading about carbon dosing and I just worry about crashing my tank since things are going well right now but it could be better.

jda
07/28/2017, 10:05 PM
No way. I will never dose carbon in a reef. I do, however, like to keep my nitrates near NSW levels.

I cannot risk the nutrients getting that low. Any good, established tank with a few inches of sand and REAL live rock from the ocean (pacific preferably) can handle nitrates no problem after a year, or so, when the cycle is completely done... NO3 to N gas not just ammonia to NO3.

Bare bottom tanks, tanks with dry/dead rock, Real Reef or other manmade rock and tanks with silica sand might won't quite be the same and some sort of nitrate control might be in order.

I do nothing to my tank for nitrates and they are at about .05 all the time with my new hannah ultra low checker. ...when using Salifert, I want both the NO3 clear when looking through the side, but some is always in there and no tank gets to zero unless you dose carbon.

Phosphates can be another issue and another discussion for another time, but nitrate should be no problem for a mature reef tank that was set up appropriately.

I am pure Berlin with the best lighting possible. NO3 at .05 and P at .005. This is the best way to run a SPS tank, IMO. I add nothing that does not come through the CaRx or water changes.

Bill Nye
07/28/2017, 10:21 PM
My set up is bare bottom but I just added a liter of matrix in the sump. The matrix is about a week or two old. I use an 6 bulb ATI sunpower for lighting. My tank has been set up about two years but for a while I was not maintaining it very well after tank crash and nitrates rose pretty high.

jda
07/28/2017, 10:36 PM
You might consider a remote sandbed. What they do for NO3 and binding/swapping PO4 is quite amazing. This will do more than anything that you can do to lower nitrates.

If you have a lot of rock, then it should start contributing to the tank again if the crash was recent. Some of the minimalist 'scaped tanks can struggle to remove nitrate too since there is not very much rock.

I don't know how effective the Matrix can be, but it can take about a year for a tank to get really good at handling N with a sand bed (give or take) so who knows how long it can take for the stuff to get seeded and stuff.

BTW 2 N and .02 P is pretty good... better than most tanks. I think that it might be a good idea to work on lowering them, but I would not try anything too crazy or go too fast since you can definitely do more damage with change than the nutrients at this level can. I would skip the organic carbon and see if a natural solution can work. Until then, change a bit more water if you are really worried about it.

bif24701
07/28/2017, 11:25 PM
I use some vinegar in my Kalk. I think it has little effect on my NO3/PO4 but just a little added everyday has a big impact on biodiversity and health.


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Bill Nye
07/29/2017, 01:37 AM
How much vinegar do you add? My tank has 50 gallons of volume.

ssgss gogeta
07/29/2017, 01:49 AM
I'd say it depends what your stocking in your tank. Sps and clams like a little dirty water but they like stable water. I like to keep my nitrates at 2.5 and my phosphate at 0.02-0.03. ATM only have a little 15g nano setup waiting for me big tank to be ready. I believe the ultra low nutrients that dose to keep levels up are the zeo tanks. I'm a bit old school where I've found the perfect amount of cheato to keep in refugium to keep nitrates where they are while generously feeding and dosing reef roids twice weekly.

In short and IMO find an equilibrium in your tank easiest is to increase food and coral supplements. Than to dose carbon although I don't have an issue with carbon dosing this is what works for me. Most important above exact perfect parameters is stability and remember nothing good happens fast. If you decide to dose or increase feeding do it slowly and monitor


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bif24701
07/29/2017, 02:39 AM
I use some vinegar in my Kalk. I think it has little effect on my NO3/PO4 but just a little added everyday has a big impact on biodiversity and health.


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I add between 24ml- 100ml daily. I use a doser and make any changes gradually.

You know myself and other about 4 years ago or so started experimenting with intentionally over dosing vinegar in systems with very high NO3 PO4. We found that once the cloudiness was gone that everything peeked up very well for weeks without daily dosing. The cloudiness and slim feed the corals, water, rocks, and sand were super clean. NO3 and PO4 dropped significantly. There is a danger you could add some much that bacteria consume all O2 and everything suffocates. This never happened to use those even after I added a half gallon in a day. Just need very good gas exchange.


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Bill Nye
07/29/2017, 10:34 AM
Wow thats a lot of vinegar no? I am confused about what to do moving forward. The more I look for info with aquaforest I find there really isn't any good information.

Cheapreef
07/29/2017, 10:43 AM
I do the same as bif24701, run 40ml of vinegar for every gallon of kalk mixed at 3 heaping tsp of kalk. which gives me approx 15ml a day with ATO on a 26 gallon total SPS dominat with clam tank. Barely keeps my levels where I want them for the 7 days between water changes. But also drops my nitrates too low so I feed super heavy and supliment with Reef Energy A+B.

Bill Nye
07/29/2017, 10:50 AM
Hmmm

Maybe I will just start dosing a half dose of the Pro Bio S and NP Pro every day. I have the coral food as well so I could start doing a half dose of that twice a week as well.

How much effect dose vinegar have on pH? My pH is low and kalk is amazing for raising it to the right level.

Cheapreef
07/29/2017, 10:59 AM
If your using the vinegar mixed in your kalk I doubt it has any effect since you can over saturate your mix. If I were not using vinegar I would use the Read Sea NO3:PO4-X , but I am using the rest of the Rea Sea coral colors program so that's just me.

Bill Nye
07/29/2017, 11:08 AM
I have a b unch of the no3:po4-x left over from when my tank crashed. My nitrates were 50 and I only had a couple zoanthid frags left so I just dosed some to see and it was very effective but perhaps too effective in my case?

From what I've read the np pro is pretty gentle and I like how its in a dropper bottle so you dont need to measure.

Cheapreef
07/29/2017, 11:13 AM
I have a b unch of the no3:po4-x left over from when my tank crashed. My nitrates were 50 and I only had a couple zoanthid frags left so I just dosed some to see and it was very effective but perhaps too effective in my case?

From what I've read the np pro is pretty gentle and I like how its in a dropper bottle so you dont need to measure.

It's like anything in this hobby you need to use it slowly to get to your desired levels, monitor and test as you go. Lots of testing to get it dialed in, you can't just go by whats on the box.

ca1ore
07/29/2017, 11:27 AM
Never dosed carbon; see no need to. Nitrates and phosphates are unmeasurable even though I have a lot of fish and feed heavily. Tank was setup with real live rock (pests, shmests), I run a RDSB, a large skimmer and an algal turf scrubber.

Bill Nye
07/29/2017, 11:34 AM
Does anyone have pics of a tank with really nice SPS color and no carbon dosing? I haven't found any tanks really that don't and have those really great results. Most don't run any specific program instead doing biopellets or sometimes vinegar/vodka.

Cheapreef
07/29/2017, 11:41 AM
Does anyone have pics of a tank with really nice SPS color and no carbon dosing? I haven't found any tanks really that don't and have those really great results. Most don't run any specific program instead doing biopellets or sometimes vinegar/vodka.

Here is one, I know Adam buy frags from him all the time. No carbon dosing, uses Fozdown a few times a week for phosphates. There are a lot of guys that don't use carbon, lots that do as well.
http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/current-issue/article/161-tank-of-the-month

Bill Nye
07/29/2017, 01:28 PM
Very nice tank. How does he keep his nutrients down with so many fish? I feel like small tanks can't go full berlin because theres not enough live rock.

nashorn
07/29/2017, 01:48 PM
I volka dose and it takes a long time to dial in but once done it's easy and almost no maintenance needed.
I have test and just gauge the dose by monitoring the film on the front glass.
For me brown up dose if white film then lower dose.

Like everything in this hobby what's works for me may not for you.
Also don't expect result for 6 + months since the
Bacteria needs to grow.

jda
07/29/2017, 02:08 PM
Does anyone have pics of a tank with really nice SPS color and no carbon dosing? I haven't found any tanks really that don't and have those really great results. Most don't run any specific program instead doing biopellets or sometimes vinegar/vodka.

Almost every tank of the month in the last ten years. There are a few that dose some vodka, but they are not the norm.

Again, don't discount your lack of sand. It can do amazing things with nitrates.

Potatohead
07/29/2017, 08:37 PM
I think it mostly has to do with the age of the tank, which might be obvious. If you have a lot of rock and sand and an older tank it likely processes n/p better than a newer tank with less rock and no substrate.

I like dosing nopox, it is very controllable and allows heavier feedings. Water clarity is crazy good also and my glass needs cleaning about a third as often as when I don't dose it.