thread: Then and NOW
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Old 11/07/2017, 12:01 PM   #32
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 529
Originally Posted by Subsea View Post
If nitrate was the only excess nutrient in reef tank then denitrification would be all that is necessary to maintain reef tanks. Phosphate is a major nutrient in reef tanks, mostly due to food. Does phosphate resin complete the nutrient filtration team with denitrification for maintaining your tank? All corals need both nitrogen and phosphate to exist. Just like bacteria, snails, sponges and macro needs the same nutrients. Because I have shunned the stricter requirements of SPS, I have the luxury to allow the natural filter to correct. I choose to call that Dynamic Equilibrium.
You are 100% correct. I did not talk about the phosphate side of the equation because it wasn't part of the conversation yet. I actually dose more phosphate right now then nitrate because my tests show 0ppb and some of my corals are pale as a result. I dont use gfo or similar. Phosphate is part of the key to de-nitrification as bacteria also need phosphate like everything else living in our tanks. Without phosphates, the bacteria can't do their job of removing nitrates. If you research dosing nitrates, there are lots of examples of people having problems with high phosphates and 0 nitrates. When they start dosing nitrates, their phosphate drops. In many cases, they were able to take phosphate media offline and maintain low levels once they get nitrate in the system. This is the opposite example of course, as these show the bacteria are nitrate limited. There are examples of phosphate limitation too where people dose phosphates to lower nitrates. They are usually less abundant, but examples are out there.

And it is possible to run a successful, heavily stocked reef with nothing but LR or equivalent and a good protein skimmer. In fact, many do. Maybe not the heavily stocked part for the majority, but those are out there too.

Also, a heavily sps stocked reef is pretty successful at reducing it's own nutrients as well, very much like what your system sounds like. A lot of these tanks run much higher phosphates and nitrates then is generally considered optimal for sps with excellent growth and coloration.

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Last edited by pisanoal; 11/07/2017 at 12:10 PM.
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