PDA

View Full Version : Water Chemistry, Nitrate, Phosphates and SPS?


Dipan00
10/04/2017, 04:31 PM
So I have always understood and read nitrates bad and phosphates bad. I have had issues with SPS colors and paling. Am I starving my SPS? Trying to keep my water super clean Nitrates read 0 and so do phosphates. I do have hair algae starting to creep up which I am trying to get a handle of which may also be part of the 0 reading. I have a sump growing chaeto and am hoping it out competes the hair algae is that possible? Now the thing that I am beyond confused about. I have been reading different threads with people who keep their nitrates above 10 and below 50 ppm and having great success with sps and coloration without any hair algae issues. How does that work? I always thought and understood that high nitrates were reasons for nuisance algae problems. After talking to someone they mentioned my tank might be too clean hence pale coloration of sps. Is that true? If so how do I get nitrates up a bit without full blown hair algae issues? What are you SPS keepers keeping your nitrates at? By the way I am skimming, have about a 20g section for chaeto in my sump, and running GFO and Carbon to keep water as clean as possible with about a 15g per week water change in a 100g tank with 40g sump/fuge. Super confused at this point. Any guidance from you experts is greatly appreciated.

zsuman101
10/04/2017, 08:10 PM
try carbon dosing, ie. i have a full zeovit reef and its nice but its a bit tricky and needs quite a bit of love. on the other hand i also run a reef with red seas reef care program. the red sea program is straight forward and easy to understand and implement. with either method you have to fall in love with testing for awhile. fwiw you need to anyway with sps good luck ... zsu

zsuman101
10/04/2017, 10:42 PM
fwiw i run about 10ppm n03 and keep p04 just under .02

jda
10/06/2017, 09:38 PM
I keep my N at .1 and P at .005 to .01 and have great color and growth with all acropora. IMO, if you have low N and P and are not stripping them artificially with GFO, Organic Carbon or LC, then you are fine - if you are, then you can get into trouble if you go too far.

N under 20 and P under .05 should be plenty fine, IMO. I think that you can get in long-term trouble if you are much above that - higher P inhibits calcification and too much N grows too much zoox and corals stop growing.

Hair algae is all about consumers. Even with my low nutrients, I can get it everywhere if my snails start to die off (vicious cycle), but everything is clean as a whistle when the snails are doing their job.

Do you have an Hannah Ultra-Low Checker? You don't have zero P and this will help you understand where you really are. My tank shows perfectly clear on Salifert, but I can get a reading on Hannah Ultra Low. If you do test out at zero on the Hannah, then you need to stop the GFO.

Dipan00
10/07/2017, 01:40 AM
I keep my N at .1 and P at .005 to .01 and have great color and growth with all acropora. IMO, if you have low N and P and are not stripping them artificially with GFO, Organic Carbon or LC, then you are fine - if you are, then you can get into trouble if you go too far.

N under 20 and P under .05 should be plenty fine, IMO. I think that you can get in long-term trouble if you are much above that - higher P inhibits calcification and too much N grows too much zoox and corals stop growing.

Hair algae is all about consumers. Even with my low nutrients, I can get it everywhere if my snails start to die off (vicious cycle), but everything is clean as a whistle when the snails are doing their job.

Do you have an Hannah Ultra-Low Checker? You don't have zero P and this will help you understand where you really are. My tank shows perfectly clear on Salifert, but I can get a reading on Hannah Ultra Low. If you do test out at zero on the Hannah, then you need to stop the GFO.

I dont have a Hannah Ultra low checker. Is this the one I need: HI736 Phosphorus ultra low range HANNA Checker colorimeter: Range 0 to 200 ppb

If yes I will pick that one up asap to figure what my issue is. Thank you for the tip.

jda
10/07/2017, 09:43 AM
Yes. That is the one.

reefmutt
10/07/2017, 10:37 AM
I would say that your water is too clean but that are not necessarily low nutrient. The nutrients are there but being consumed by both beneficial (cheato) and non beneficial (hair) algae’s.
As a simple remedy without doing anything major, I would suggest you start by adding 20 ish snails and maybe some hermit crabs to consume the hair algea and convert that nutrient consumer into a nutrient producer.
Also, add a fish or two..
You don’t say how large your system is..
You are on the right track.. for the most part in that your system is more than handling the nutrient input.. not sure you really need the gfo in there at the moment.
Yes, it seems that ideal n and p levels are in the .5-10ppm n and .01-.08 ppm for p but I have run my system with 50ppm n and .18-.2 p for many months without any browning and good growth in many corals... yes, once my numbers came down, many more corals began to grow and colour up but they were not harmed by the higher numbers..

Dipan00
10/07/2017, 12:04 PM
I would say that your water is too clean but that are not necessarily low nutrient. The nutrients are there but being consumed by both beneficial (cheato) and non beneficial (hair) algae’s.
As a simple remedy without doing anything major, I would suggest you start by adding 20 ish snails and maybe some hermit crabs to consume the hair algea and convert that nutrient consumer into a nutrient producer.
Also, add a fish or two..
You don’t say how large your system is..
You are on the right track.. for the most part in that your system is more than handling the nutrient input.. not sure you really need the gfo in there at the moment.
Yes, it seems that ideal n and p levels are in the .5-10ppm n and .01-.08 ppm for p but I have run my system with 50ppm n and .18-.2 p for many months without any browning and good growth in many corals... yes, once my numbers came down, many more corals began to grow and colour up but they were not harmed by the higher numbers..

Thank you for the info.
My system is a 100g tank with 40g sump/refugium
Octopus Skimmer
BRS dual canister running GFO and Carbon
Dosing CA/ALK via doser 3x daily
Livestock:
Sailfin Tang
Yellow Eye Kole Tang (recently added)
5 Pajama Cardinals
1 Sixline wrasse
1 Diamond Goby
1 Lawnmower Blenny
2 emerald crabs
5 turbo snails
5-8 hermits

If I need to up my clean up crew what you recommend and what kind?

Also side note every time I get snails mainly trochus they fall in the sand and get stuck upside down. I was thinking about adding a Sea Hare but from what I have read it would be a temporary resident until tank was cleaned out then I would re-home.

jda
10/08/2017, 11:36 AM
I am into snails, not hermits. Hermits just murder my snails. I have a few conchs and a cucumber in the sand and then snails. I really like Nerite snails which mow down algae along with Trochus and any of the larger turbos (chestnut, zebra, mexican, etc.). They all do quite well as long I don't let the water get above 80.

If I had to get hermit, it would be zebra leg since they tend to go after snails a lot less.

reefmutt
10/09/2017, 02:21 PM
Thank you for the info.
My system is a 100g tank with 40g sump/refugium
Octopus Skimmer
BRS dual canister running GFO and Carbon
Dosing CA/ALK via doser 3x daily
Livestock:
Sailfin Tang
Yellow Eye Kole Tang (recently added)
5 Pajama Cardinals
1 Sixline wrasse
1 Diamond Goby
1 Lawnmower Blenny
2 emerald crabs
5 turbo snails
5-8 hermits

If I need to up my clean up crew what you recommend and what kind?

Also side note every time I get snails mainly trochus they fall in the sand and get stuck upside down. I was thinking about adding a Sea Hare but from what I have read it would be a temporary resident until tank was cleaned out then I would re-home.

It seems your system is working quite efficiently. Very nice.
The only hermit crab I really like is the scarlet hermit. Because the are so recognizable, pickers rarely mistake them for other hermits. Hey don’t get very large and are not big snail eaters.
I find hat I’d tou buy a bunch of, say, blue leg hermits, there’s a good chance you’ll get a baby monster or two of some other type that will grow up to eat snails whatever else..
Anyways even with your cleanup crew, if it isn’t keeping the hair algae at bay, you probably need more cleaners.
Maybe you just need to feed more food and/or experiment with not using gfo..

Dipan00
10/10/2017, 11:02 PM
I am into snails, not hermits. Hermits just murder my snails. I have a few conchs and a cucumber in the sand and then snails. I really like Nerite snails which mow down algae along with Trochus and any of the larger turbos (chestnut, zebra, mexican, etc.). They all do quite well as long I don't let the water get above 80.

If I had to get hermit, it would be zebra leg since they tend to go after snails a lot less.

Yeah seems like my hermits like to murder my snails as well.

It seems your system is working quite efficiently. Very nice.
The only hermit crab I really like is the scarlet hermit. Because the are so recognizable, pickers rarely mistake them for other hermits. Hey donít get very large and are not big snail eaters.
I find hat Iíd tou buy a bunch of, say, blue leg hermits, thereís a good chance youíll get a baby monster or two of some other type that will grow up to eat snails whatever else..
Anyways even with your cleanup crew, if it isnít keeping the hair algae at bay, you probably need more cleaners.
Maybe you just need to feed more food and/or experiment with not using gfo..

Took the gfo out and am only running carbon now through the reactor. Waiting for my new Hannah PO4 checker to come in to see where things are at.

Side not I picked up a sea hare to see if I can get him to do some damage to the hair algae in my tank. thanks for all the info.

Dipan00
10/19/2017, 05:26 PM
I keep my N at .1 and P at .005 to .01 and have great color and growth with all acropora. IMO, if you have low N and P and are not stripping them artificially with GFO, Organic Carbon or LC, then you are fine - if you are, then you can get into trouble if you go too far.

N under 20 and P under .05 should be plenty fine, IMO. I think that you can get in long-term trouble if you are much above that - higher P inhibits calcification and too much N grows too much zoox and corals stop growing.

Hair algae is all about consumers. Even with my low nutrients, I can get it everywhere if my snails start to die off (vicious cycle), but everything is clean as a whistle when the snails are doing their job.

Do you have an Hannah Ultra-Low Checker? You don't have zero P and this will help you understand where you really are. My tank shows perfectly clear on Salifert, but I can get a reading on Hannah Ultra Low. If you do test out at zero on the Hannah, then you need to stop the GFO.

Ok so I had another store test my water and everything checked out on their end as clean.

My Hannah PO4 Ultra Low just came in and was about to do a water change but decided to test before doing that and my PO4 reading on the hannah test kit came out to a 0. I did it twice in case i messed up. I stopped running gfo about 7 days and also started adding amino acid. Could my chaeto really be doing that good of a job keeping my nutrients that low?

jda
10/19/2017, 06:14 PM
Chaeto and stuff will usually still leave some in the water. If you are at 0 on a hannah ultra low, then keep the GFO off of there. Mine stays between 1 and 3 and it is not limiting to any chaeto or corals.