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Sense of nature
08/27/2017, 01:19 PM
Red Sea & Lamotte Nitrate tests were used results were 40^ppm.
Idk exact number because test only reads that high.
Mostly Sps Dom( young) .
Everything IMO looks Good IMO, PE is excellent, maybe growth could be better? I'm not sure what to measure /compare against
Should I be too concerned?
I have been vinegar dosing for a couple weeks slowly increasing dosage,
But levels r still high.
Possible my corals like the "dirty" water?
I guess listen to Murphy's law & leave well enough alone right LOL

mcgyvr
08/27/2017, 03:46 PM
define young?

If you have had SPS corals in that tank that have been there for a month or more and are doing fine then leave well enough alone..

But if you just put a bunch of SPS corals in a tank with high nitrates a few days ago then good luck.. you could have just spent a lot of money to kill them..

bertoni
08/27/2017, 05:13 PM
You might want to run a nitrite test. Nitrite will confuse a nitrate test kit, causing it to read high levels of nitrate. That problem is very rare, though. As long as the corals are doing well, I suggest not doing anything drastic. I agree we need to know how long the corals have been in the tank.

greengeco82
09/01/2017, 07:38 PM
If your phosphates are undetectable, you may be phosphate limited. Adding some phosphates may allow your nitrates to be consumed. Nitrates will not be consumed unless there are some phosphates present.

tmz
09/02/2017, 09:39 AM
It can take months for organic carbon dosing to effect preexistent nitrate levels,. the heterotrophic bacteria involved take ammonia preferentially for nitrogen. In so doing they limit the amount of ammonia oxidation to nitrite and nitrate that would otherwise occur.

Yellow_donkey
09/02/2017, 11:50 AM
I was in same boat. Young system hit that year mark and all of a sudden my low Nitrates went high. They stayed high too for a few months and I did not see any immediate threat to coral, so they can take 40 to 50 for a couole of months and be ok.

What I did was got a strainer box, like you would stack and store kids toys in and put it in my sump, as I use a baffeless 40 breader. Like a plastic spaghetti strainer. Added a hanful or cheato and a 120 watt $39 grow light off of Amazon.

Within 2 weeks cheato was growing very fast and Nitrate was down to trace. I have tried cheato reactors in the past and scrubbers, ALL DYI, with no real luck, just a ball sitting under a grow light on a dark sensor and wham, for 40 bucks nitrate and phosphate no longer an issue.

BRS just did a cheato testing series too, very interesting. Watch that and go that route. IMO best route to go hands down. So easy and cheap. And you will have buvkets of cheato to give to friends or feed your snails and fish.

I have snails in sump, and they get lost in the ball, its like a buffet, so when you tear out 75% to discard make sure you mash it in hands to get all your snails out.

Horace
09/06/2017, 12:48 PM
define young?

If you have had SPS corals in that tank that have been there for a month or more and are doing fine then leave well enough alone..

But if you just put a bunch of SPS corals in a tank with high nitrates a few days ago then good luck.. you could have just spent a lot of money to kill them..

BAH!

40 nitrate is NOT going to kill SPS. The worst case is you may see some browning of them due to the zoox multiplying because of uptake of the nutrients (they are brown in color). IMHO No3 is nearly harmless, even at 40ppm+.

mcgyvr
09/06/2017, 01:17 PM
BAH!

40 nitrate is NOT going to kill SPS. The worst case is you may see some browning of them due to the zoox multiplying because of uptake of the nutrients (they are brown in color). IMHO No3 is nearly harmless, even at 40ppm+.

That has not been my experience at all so far in this hobby..
Yes they brown out and shortly after that (usually a week or 2 max) they just die...
The skin just kind of shrinks up/thins and I'm left with a sandy colored skeleton with no flesh..

Its been a while though as I now know enough to keep nitrates low all the time..

There are certainly some that report high nitrate levels and are able to keep SPS.. But they seem to be the exception and not the norm..

gprdypoo04
09/06/2017, 04:45 PM
My nitrates have been around 30 to 40 ppm for years now. My SPS are not browning nor dying. Certainly not growing as fast but they are surviving.

bertoni
09/06/2017, 05:38 PM
People report varying experience with nitrate levels in the 30-40 ppm range. I am not sure what might be happening. I agree that higher nitrate levels can encourage browning, although that might not happen if other nutrients are limiting.

One issue we have is that we don't know what other parameters might be correlated with the nitrate level in our tanks. For example, people who report problems with higher nitrate levels might have a correlated organics level due to the way their tank is running. If so, the organics level (or some similar factor) might be the actual cause. Remember: correlation does not imply causality. We need to be very careful about making too many assumptions about what's happening in our systems.

Also possible is that nitrate is a necessary ingredient for some sort of problem, but is not the only requirement for some process to occur that damages corals. This is similar to the browning issue: there might be browning if there's enough phosphate for the symbiont microbes to flourish, but not otherwise.

Another issue might be varying sensitivity to nitrate among various species or strains of corals. We don't have a lot of data on corals in artificial environments, and corals are a very diverse group. It's not even a monophyletic group.

mcgyvr
09/06/2017, 06:23 PM
yeah.. what they said ^^^ :) :)

Dan_P
09/06/2017, 08:22 PM
Did you try testing a diluted sample of tank water? The actual level might be higher than 40 ppm.

Why is the nitrate level so high? Did it happen quickly or gradually climb to that level?

tmz
09/06/2017, 09:59 PM
IME, sps corals and others do wane with high nitrate levels .FWIW, I keep mine at 1ppm or less but not zero; corals exhibit good color and growth; many are over 10 years old fwiw.

It may be increased zooxanthelae density that causes browning which may be problematic but there are also be other impor tant holibont microbes in the microbiome that are also effected ;sometimes bleaching ocurs as well. There are also issues of nutrient balance ; coral symbionts/zooxanthelae need more than just nitrogen. In any case sps corals thrive in oligothrophic environments

This article may be of interest:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0966842X1500075X

Horace
09/07/2017, 08:30 AM
That has not been my experience at all so far in this hobby..
Yes they brown out and shortly after that (usually a week or 2 max) they just die...
The skin just kind of shrinks up/thins and I'm left with a sandy colored skeleton with no flesh..

Its been a while though as I now know enough to keep nitrates low all the time..

There are certainly some that report high nitrate levels and are able to keep SPS.. But they seem to be the exception and not the norm..

Sorry but I don't agree. I have seen it more common than not, especially when the bare bottom craze was hot and heavy. W/out the sand, many were having nitrate problems.

If you had SPS dying, it was not the nitrate. You had other stuff out of whack too, I guarantee it.

Horace
09/07/2017, 08:38 AM
People report varying experience with nitrate levels in the 30-40 ppm range. I am not sure what might be happening. I agree that higher nitrate levels can encourage browning, although that might not happen if other nutrients are limiting.

One issue we have is that we don't know what other parameters might be correlated with the nitrate level in our tanks. For example, people who report problems with higher nitrate levels might have a correlated organics level due to the way their tank is running. If so, the organics level (or some similar factor) might be the actual cause. Remember: correlation does not imply causality. We need to be very careful about making too many assumptions about what's happening in our systems.

Also possible is that nitrate is a necessary ingredient for some sort of problem, but is not the only requirement for some process to occur that damages corals. This is similar to the browning issue: there might be browning if there's enough phosphate for the symbiont microbes to flourish, but not otherwise.

Another issue might be varying sensitivity to nitrate among various species or strains of corals. We don't have a lot of data on corals in artificial environments, and corals are a very diverse group. It's not even a monophyletic group.

This....

I think the reason we often tie Nitrate to SPS death is because its often high in tanks that are poorly taken care of. That being said, there are plenty of tanks that are VERY well taken care of that just happen to have high nitrate. If I had not personally seen tanks (with my own eyes, not just here) with high nitrate AND have colors/growth that will blow your mind, I would not repeat it here. Given that I have seen it, and I most of the SPS I had in my last tank came from that tank, and didn't retain NEARLY the color while I was running ULN (0/0). Once I allowed my nitrate to get up to about 5 ppm or so, the colors/growth exploded. I never took them up to 40, but I am confident in saying that because they came from a tank with those levels, it certainly would not have been a problem.

mcgyvr
09/07/2017, 09:19 AM
Sorry but I don't agree. I have seen it more common than not, especially when the bare bottom craze was hot and heavy. W/out the sand, many were having nitrate problems.

If you had SPS dying, it was not the nitrate. You had other stuff out of whack too, I guarantee it.

It certainly could be something else..
I can only speak to my experience and I do realize that I don't have 100% visibility of exactly whats in my water (and few if any do)..

But the only thing I've experienced in the past is that when I tried to do SPS in tanks with higher nitrate levels I was not successful.. After carbon dosing to lower nitrates in that same tank with no other changes I had much better results and was able to keep them alive..

I would love to know what else was causing me trouble.. But I just don't have that information..

tmz
09/07/2017, 11:57 AM
I don't think anyone can "guarantee" elevated NO3 will not cause corals to wane based on a singular anecdotal unverified observation; nor characterize concerns about nitrogen levels with an argumentative dismissive "BAH! " which seems to belie an understanding of coral use and control of nitrogen and nutrient balances.Yet despite the BAH! your tank is kept at 5pppm or less.
Citing an unidentified "something else out of whack" is vague to the point of meaningless; something ,maybe many things are clearly "out of whack" if the nitrate levels are high and none is being dosed .

Contarily,there is plenty of anecdotal experience and some scientific study to suggest controlling nitrogen uptake is beneficial. For one example from the previously cited paper:

..Wiedenmann et al.[39] showed that a shift away from nitrogen limitation by excess nitrogen provision can ultimately result in phosphate starvation, which can increase the susceptibility of corals to heat and light stress-mediated loss of their algal symbionts (coral bleaching). Hence, low internal nutrient availability, specifically of nitrogen, seems crucial to maintain high primary production, while simultaneously controlling algae growth....

On the other hand , nitrogen deficiencies can and do occur when zero levels are maintained; phosphate deficiencies can also occur when nitrogen levles are high. Both of those situations are harmful. For me a balance of 0.02 /0.05ppm PO4 with NO3 at around 0.05ppm sustains growth, color and longevity

Horace
09/07/2017, 05:52 PM
I don't think anyone can "guarantee" elevated NO3 will not cause corals to wane based on a singular anecdotal unverified observation; nor characterize concerns about nitrogen levels with an argumentative dismissive "BAH! " which seems to belie an understanding of coral use and control of nitrogen and nutrient balances.Yet despite the BAH! your tank is kept at 5pppm or less.
Citing an unidentified "something else out of whack" is vague to the point of meaningless; something ,maybe many things are clearly "out of whack" if the nitrate levels are high and none is being dosed .

Contarily,there is plenty of anecdotal experience and some scientific study to suggest controlling nitrogen uptake is beneficial. For one example from the previously cited paper:

..Wiedenmann et al.[39] showed that a shift away from nitrogen limitation by excess nitrogen provision can ultimately result in phosphate starvation, which can increase the susceptibility of corals to heat and light stress-mediated loss of their algal symbionts (coral bleaching). Hence, low internal nutrient availability, specifically of nitrogen, seems crucial to maintain high primary production, while simultaneously controlling algae growth....

On the other hand , nitrogen deficiencies can and do occur when zero levels are maintained; phosphate deficiencies can also occur when nitrogen levles are high. Both of those situations are harmful. For me a balance of 0.02 /0.05ppm PO4 with NO3 at around 0.05ppm sustains growth, color and longevityIf no3 was a coral killer there would be zero cases of long term success with it. I also did not see a single tank...this is SEVERAL over the years. I am not encouraging you to shoot for high No3, but I also know from personal experience that it by itself is not going to kill corals....

So if you want to claim it is the reason your corals died....I will still say bah....look elsewhere. There is another cause.

Even your article suggests that a deficiency of the po4 can be an issue. Had enough po4 been present, there would be an issue....

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

gprdypoo04
09/08/2017, 02:30 AM
I thought reef keeping was suppose to calm the nerves.....lol.

tmz
09/08/2017, 12:20 PM
My corals didn't die.; they do quite well ;why would you say that ?
Excess nitrogen via NO3 et al can cause a PO4 deficiency among other imbalances is what the article is about. Actually reading it and other sources on nitrate and croal biology a bit more would be helpful before you dismiss nitrogen control as a factor in coral health and claim unique authority based on limited perfunctory personal observations ; interpretations and illogical extrapolations.

tmz
09/09/2017, 12:16 PM
This article on nitrate in the aquarium by Randy Farley is informative:

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/8/chemistry

From it:

Nitrate is often associated with algae, and indeed the growth of algae is often spurred by excess nutrients, including nitrate. The same can be said for other potential pests in aquaria, such as dinoflagellates. Nitrate itself is not particularly toxic at the levels usually attained in aquaria, at least as it is so far known in the scientific literature. Nevertheless, elevated nitrate can excessively spur the growth of zooxanthellae, which in turn can actually decrease the growth rate of the host coral.

For these reasons, most reef aquarists strive to keep nitrate levels down.

karimwassef
09/09/2017, 12:55 PM
Algae scrubbers seem to be self balancing in contrast to C dosed bacteria.. why is that?

Dan_P
09/09/2017, 02:34 PM
The key word in all advice concerning nitrate levels is "may". Nitrate "may" cause algae growth and it "may" be detrimental to coral growth. There are plenty of (anecdotal) examples where nitrates and phophates are NOT associated with algae or coral growth issues. Most likely, more than one factor is responsible for these issues but we can only measure one, so, it becomes "the" factor.

Macro algae attain maximum growth at low levels of nitrate and phosphate. Also, because the level of biomass at which aquarists consider algae a problem is small, not much more nitrate above that needed for maximum growth rate is necessary to generate this troubling amount of algae biomass (algae is approximately 90% water, the remaining 10% mass is only 5% nitrogen and 0.5% phosphorous!). This would explain why algae can become a problem even in seemly "clean" aquaria.

Other ambiguities sustain this debate. Generality is one. Rarely if ever are the species of algae or coral ever shared when discussing problems. Which coral is or is not impacted by said conditions? What algae is growing? The other ambiguity is testing. We tend to accept analytical test results without questioning the validity of a number generated by an amateur with a single test with a hobby kit.

Correlation is not causation, but when lacking information, it may be prudent to consider correlations in addressing aquarium problems. On the other hand, don't be surprised if the problem is not remedied by knowing about the correlation.

For me, striving for water conditions approximating the organism's habitat is still the best goal. Getting away with deviations from these conditions and rationalizing the results, well, that is fun but don't take yourself too seriouslessly.

jubei2006
09/09/2017, 04:48 PM
I work in the veterinary field, so i`'ll see if this analogy helps at all. When we blood test an animal, let's say cat, it's kidney values could be elevated (creatinine >1.4, blood urea nitrogen >36). I've significant renal failure cases where the bun is >150 and the animal is euthanized for quality of life reasons). However, scientist have given huge boluses of urea to boost the bun in the thousands. So bun/urea is relatively nontoxic. However, just how many other waste products do the kidneys remove that aren't being tested in renal failure. BUN and creatinine are just two test to give an overall picture of how bad the kidneys are in a sick patient.

In our reef systems, I would assume the same to be true. We have a few basic things that we can test for general health, but may not mean as much in a healthy tank. When things are wrong, the tests may help us conclude what the @#$% is going or went wrong. If nitrates are high, look at feeding regimen, livestock issues, etc. If everything is good, make sure we are using proper husbandry practices to ensure we are providing the best care we can for our livestock species.