PDA

View Full Version : Food for thought reefers...rinse your frozen food.


Pogue
09/17/2017, 10:28 PM
I have been battling high levels of Phosphates for well over a year. The levels often hit 2.50ppm, which is the highest reading on my Hanna Checker. So the levels could be higher. I bought a Salifert kit which goes to 3.00ppm, and my water has been that high.

Most of the information I've seen, the target PO4 is ~0.03ppm, for a mixed reef. This is especially true for an SPS dominated tank. I mostly have zoas, softies, nems, and other lps. The majority of the time everything looks pretty good. Of course, I see slow growth in the few sps I have.

My Feeding Schedule is: 1 cube mysis, small pinch of pellet food /1day, and 2"x3" sheet of nori /2day. All respectable name brand foods. Food is gone in less than 1 minute.
I would say I have a lite to medium bio-load.

Obviously, phosphates get into a system in 2 ways:
1 - adding food to the system
2 - adding livestock (we just hope it doesn't die, and add it's phosphates to the system).

I've tried a couple methods to reduce phosphates, without changing my feeding schedule.
1 - Phosphate RX (Lanthanum chloride)
Very effective in quickly reducing phosphates, requires a 10micron filter sock to filter out the precipitate (which possibly damages gills). The 10micron socks block quickly and need to be replaced frequently.
2 - GFO
I have two Phosban 150 media reactors; configured with the GFO chamber first, and an Activated Carbon in the second chamber.
The GFO works fairly well in getting the phosphates down. I use about 1cup GFO, which is exhausted, and needs to be changed in roughly 1-3 weeks.
3 - Vinegar dosing (the vodka was for me)
After 2 months, I never really noticed a significant reduction in phosphates. I contributed the lack of a result, to the imbalance I have between nitrates (around 0ppm), and phosphates (often over 2.50ppm).

I've always had this imbalance. It has limited the growth rate of beneficial bacteria (requiring NO3 and PO4), which would then be skimmed out of the system, reducing both NO4+PO4. Because I have next to no NO3 in my system, the good bacteria is slower to grow. Instead I have Dinoflagellates (requiring only PO4), outcompeting the macro algae in my 25g refugium.

I was discussing this with some local reefers, the other day.
Something I'm always wondering about is my feeding schedule. Is it enough or too much. They said it was even a bit on the lite side. When I told them what I feed, they both asked me what I did with the frozen cube of mysis. I've always put it in a little mesh pouch and clip it with a magnet clip. They both said that's a problem. The frozen mysis should be thawed and rinsed before use. I had heard that before, but didn't feel it was necessary.

I figured I'd start taking some measurements and see the amount of phosphates is in 1 cube of mysis.
- I thawed the cube in 100ml of rodi water.
The phosphate level was 2.50ppm.

I will do this again tomorrow with 200ml, and will increase until I get a reading less then 2.50pp. Then I'll figure out PO4 per Gallon, per cube of mysis shimp. (I'm sure someone on here has already done that...I haven't done a search yet)

Food for thought reefers...rinse your frozen food.

mpsteve
09/18/2017, 05:18 AM
Add no3. When your deficient in 1 the other will always be high. So add nitrate and po4 should come down


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

mcgyvr
09/18/2017, 07:06 AM
Something I'm always wondering about is my feeding schedule. Is it enough or too much.

size of tank? what fish,etc... do you have? and how big are they,etc...

But yes cube food has been know to cause phosphate issues and many recommend rinsing it too before use..

rtparty
09/18/2017, 07:35 AM
Add no3. When your deficient in 1 the other will always be high. So add nitrate and po4 should come down


Sent from my iPhone using TapatalkThis.

0 nitrate is your bigger problem here and it is stupid easy to dose. You need Spectracide Stump Remover. It MUST be Spectracide brand! Spectracide is pure potassium nitrate and can be safely dosed to your aquarium. Raising nitrate will help bring down phosphate.

For reference, I've never rinsed frozen food in almost 12 years and I rarely, if ever, have phosphate issues. A good, balanced system will use all the stuff you are rinsing away

anbosu
09/18/2017, 08:24 AM
Rinsing your food is a waste of time. If you want to do it, fine, but you aren't making a difference in your tank water quality. If you don't believe me, read this and maybe you'll believe Randy.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2012/3/chemistry

smatter
09/18/2017, 08:28 AM
Rinsing my LRS Reef Frenzy would wash away all the good stuff I'm paying for.

neacewood
09/18/2017, 08:32 AM
Rinsing my LRS Reef Frenzy would wash away all the good stuff I'm paying for.



+1


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

mpsteve
09/18/2017, 11:52 AM
Lrs reef frenzy is great feeds fish and corals. I have 0 nitrate and .03 po4 and I have been looking at dosing kno3


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

pbradley0
09/18/2017, 12:02 PM
Obviously, phosphates get into a system in 2 ways:

1 - adding food to the system

2 - adding livestock (we just hope it doesn't die, and add it's phosphates to the system).

You forgot water source. Top off or water changes with water with phosphates will cause it as well.

reefgeezer
09/18/2017, 04:07 PM
Besides the addition of phosphates in make-up water, or in the water used for mixing new ASW, leaching from substrates in the water column is a common cause of high phosphate levels.

If 0 TDS water is being used, I'd look at leaching. If the phosphate has been that high for very long, carbonate based substrates (rock, gravel, sand, etc.) will also have bound phosphates. Bound phosphates are released from the substrate when the water's phosphate level drops below a certain equalization level until equalization occurs. The equalization level varies based on the phosphate level of the water and level of phosphate bound to the substrate.

Oh... +1 on not wasting time rinsing frozen food.

hogfanreefer
09/18/2017, 04:12 PM
Rinsing your food is a waste of time. If you want to do it, fine, but you aren't making a difference in your tank water quality. If you don't believe me, read this and maybe you'll believe Randy.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2012/3/chemistry

Thank you anbosu, I was going to quote the same article (and I do believe Randy when it comes to reef chemistry). If it makes you feel better fine, but the amount of phosphate in any food is far more than the water it's frozen in.

Pogue
09/18/2017, 10:01 PM
Thank you all for the great information.

I've ordered some sodium nitrate and will try dosing. I've always had ~0 NO3 and thought it was a problem, but couldn't just keep feeding the system to bring it up. I hadn't looked into dosing NO3 before.

Thank you very much for the link to Randy Holmes. I knew my problem was more about the imbalance.

My findings after a bit of math:
I've calculated the water removed when thawing 1 cube of frozen mysis shrimp, raised PO4 to 0.52ppm, in 1 gallon of rodi water(zero PO4).

This is in the ballpark of Randy's data.
I also like his comment:
A cube of Formula 2 contains about 11.2 mg of phosphate. So the hypothetical rinsing step has removed about 1 percent of the phosphate in that food. Not really worthwhile, in my opinion, but that decision is one every aquarist can make for themselves.