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Old 01/01/2018, 04:22 PM   #1
subbedout
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Dosing nitrates- stump killer????

I've tested my water weekly and have beem showing zero nitrates using API since after the 3rd week of my tank being setup. My tank is now 7 months old and has some easy SPS and LPS, a CUC, and 7 fish (clowns, firefish, midas blenny, goby, and cardinals). I had chaeto growing in sump for months but after I cleaned my sump two weeks ago and discarded my chaeto (had a bad flatworm outbreak that I treated), things have seemed "off". Most importantly, my new chaeto has white all over it and pieces of it are ending up in my display tank. It's likely starving, right?

I'm thinking I need to dose nitrate and from my research online, it seems that potassium nitrate (tree stump killer) is the way to go. Before I put some in my tank, I want to make sure this is a legit way to dose nitrates.

I have a 66 gallon tank with a 20 gallon sump. I run filter socks, a skimmer, a GFO reactor, and use Aquaforest reef salt weekly. I'm also using kalkwasser in my top off water. My phosphates are .00-.01 using Hanna checker and my alk has been 8.5-8.9 using Hanna Checker. Mag is 1350 and calcium between 420-450 using Salifert test kits.

How often should I dose nitrate and in what dosage? Also can i put some in a bottle and hook up to a doser?

Thanks!

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Old 01/01/2018, 04:41 PM   #2
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Just my 2 cents, but with lower nutrients, wouldn't your alk be better in the 7.5 area? And I dont run GFO, but if you turned it off, wouldn't your water have more nutrients? and not need to add "stump killer"
Cheers! Mark


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Old 01/01/2018, 09:11 PM   #3
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Feed multiple times a day if you want more nitrates. Id do that before adding that crap in my tank


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Old 01/01/2018, 09:24 PM   #4
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Feed multiple times a day if you want more nitrates. Id do that before adding that crap in my tank
Wouldn't that also raise my phosphate levels too?

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Old 01/02/2018, 12:14 PM   #5
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1. Check nitrate with a Salifert or Red Sea Kit first.

2. Consider the accuracy of your Hanna Checker when deciding what your phosphate levels are.

If nitrate is truly 0 and phosphate is truly .1 ppm, why not just remove the offending Cheato and see what happens? Nitrate may rise on its own. The GFO might need to be changed a little more often during the process though. A little extra feeding might speed the process, but be conservative.


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Old 01/02/2018, 08:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by reefgeezer View Post
1. Check nitrate with a Salifert or Red Sea Kit first.

2. Consider the accuracy of your Hanna Checker when deciding what your phosphate levels are.

If nitrate is truly 0 and phosphate is truly .1 ppm, why not just remove the offending Cheato and see what happens? Nitrate may rise on its own. The GFO might need to be changed a little more often during the process though. A little extra feeding might speed the process, but be conservative.
Hmm... never thought to get rid of chaeto altogether. I'm worried I'll mess up the complete balance and success I've had for past 6 months. I suppose that's what gfo is for (to remove phosphates). I can always add chaeto if/when nitrates rise to undesired levels...

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Old 01/03/2018, 04:38 AM   #7
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I would most definitely be double checking that API kit(since it start out at 5ppm). 0 to 5ppm is a huge swing.

Salifert or Redsea go way below 5ppm and would give you a much better idea of where your nitrates are at(with your bioload I highly doubt they are 0).


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Old 01/21/2018, 04:30 PM   #8
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Yes, stump remover is potassium nitrate, widely considered the safest way to dose nitrogen. Once you are sure you have an accurate nitrate test, you can dose it to prescribed levels. Sorry, I don't know what levels are safe for your tank, but a quick googling should clear it up.

The guy suggesting you remove the chaeto had a point. If your nitrate levels are too low to grow chaeto, you should be a happy reefer. If it is disintegrating, it is just dumping those nutrients back into your tank. If you like having a macro algae in your system to absorb excess nutrients, but you don't usually have enough to support chaeto growth, I'd suggest getting a red macro algae. They grow slower and need less nutrients (and light). So they should hang around well when nutrients are low, and then grow when nutrients spike.


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Old 01/21/2018, 08:34 PM   #9
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If your phosphates are 0 and your nitrates are 0 then you need to feed more to raise both a bit. You're probably running too much GFO since it shouldn't be that low imo. Usually tanks that are limited by nitrates will have higher phosphates since once nitrates are gone the bacteria stop breaking down phosphates. Dosing nitrates could help though.

The stump killer stuff had a smell and messed up my goni, but I've heard of other people having good results. I got reagent grade potassium nitrate on Etsy and it works great. Mixed 250g into 1L of RO water, and to find the dosage for my 75 I dosed 3ml, waited 20 minutes then tested nitrates. I think 10mL will raise the nitrates by 5ppm in my tank or something along those lines. Kept it going until nitrates were at around 10. Now I dose 3ml once a week to keep them between 5-10.


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Old 01/22/2018, 08:10 AM   #10
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In my opinion, a better way to dose nitrogen is with seachem flourish nitrogen. Its more expensive but Id rather dose something that is made to use in aquariums. Or use pure KNO3 from a hydroponics supplier.

As others have said, you also need to up your phosphate. Stop using GFO, feed more, set your skimmer to skim very dry, reduce your chaeto lighting period or take it out completely. Or dose N and P. Again, I like seachem's phosphorous additive.


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Old 01/22/2018, 08:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reefgeezer View Post
1. Check nitrate with a Salifert or Red Sea Kit first.

2. Consider the accuracy of your Hanna Checker when deciding what your phosphate levels are.

If nitrate is truly 0 and phosphate is truly .1 ppm, why not just remove the offending Cheato and see what happens? Nitrate may rise on its own. The GFO might need to be changed a little more often during the process though. A little extra feeding might speed the process, but be conservative.
I think you missed his phosphate number. Its actually 0.01 or less. In that case, I don't think there is any reason to be conservative on extra feedings. IME it takes A LOT of extra food to go from 0 to detectable, so you can be quite aggressive with extra food and not worry about overshooting too quickly (depends on food too obviously). And instead of changing out GFO more often, I would quit it altogether until phosphates start to get above .03, then it could be time to evaluate its reintroduction.

If you are dosing products to up the nutrients, then you definitely need to be conservative.


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Old 01/22/2018, 12:43 PM   #12
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I think you missed his phosphate number. Its actually 0.01 or less. In that case, I don't think there is any reason to be conservative on extra feedings. IME it takes A LOT of extra food to go from 0 to detectable, so you can be quite aggressive with extra food and not worry about overshooting too quickly (depends on food too obviously). And instead of changing out GFO more often, I would quit it altogether until phosphates start to get above .03, then it could be time to evaluate its reintroduction.

If you are dosing products to up the nutrients, then you definitely need to be conservative.
yep, typo... I meant .01. I'd remove the Cheato and see what happens to the nitrate and phosphate levels. Extra feeding may of may not be required. More feeding, within reason, would be a good next step.


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Old 01/22/2018, 12:43 PM   #13
pisanoal
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yep, typo... I meant .01. I'd remove the Cheato and see what happens to the nitrate and phosphate levels. Extra feeding may of may not be required. More feeding, within reason, would be a good next step.
Agreed

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Old 01/22/2018, 04:01 PM   #14
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To answer the OP's original question... Spectracide is a fine product for raising nitrate when and if the time comes. I use it. I carbon dose. Invariably, nitrates reach 0 before phosphates are low enough. I have started adding a solution of spectracide stump killer and RODI water to keep the nitrate above 0 so the carbon dosing will remove as much phosphate as possible. The jury is still out on how well this work though.

I have noticed 3 things:
1. Coral color is noticeably better
2. My Monti's growth seems better
3. Algae has increased some... particularly on the glass.


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Old 01/29/2018, 10:35 AM   #15
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First try a different test kit. API SUUUUCKS. Then get a LOW RANGE phosphate test kit.

Then if you need more actually nitrate, feed more, get more fish.

Then if you still have low nitrates then dose some, and yes stump remover works fine.


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