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Old 02/26/2016, 09:33 AM   #3200
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 240
Originally Posted by taricha View Post
A point on the "dirty" method that I haven't seen discussed much:
If elevated N and P are the definition of "dirty" then it may be harder to do than people think.
Putting in 5x the food as normal and turning off skimming and exporting nothing for weeks - P was up (.16) but my nitrates were still undetectable.
So I dosed nitrates in addition to heavy feeding no skimming no export, green film took off for a couple of days, then slowed. So of course tests showed nitrates up (20+ppm) but phosphates as low as they've ever tested in my tank (.039)
I guess one takeaway is that in my tank at least the dinos did not particularly seem to care whether the tank was N limited, P available or P limited, N available. No significant difference when the tank was in either condition for over a week.
The presence of high nitrate means that algae and other organisms can uptake PO4 more readily. Certainly in my case, PO4 was feeding the Dinos. I didn't go about raising the NO3 levels using the dirty method. Mine was in contrast the "Ultra Clean and Dark" method.

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