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Old 01/15/2018, 12:41 PM   #1
reefgeezer
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Nitrate Dosing Question

I need some help. I just can't get nitrate levels where I want them without impacting phosphate levels. I am considering dosing nitrates. I would prefer to add Potassium Nitrate to a very dilute solution of Magnesium Chloride & Magnesium Sulfate I currently dose to maintain my magnesium levels. I'd appreciate if one of RC's chemistry guru's would tell me if mixing Potassium Nitrate (or another nitrate compound) with a dilute Magnesium Chloride & Magnesium Sulfate would work... safely. Thanks in advance for the advice.


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Old 01/15/2018, 03:11 PM   #2
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Why mix with another salt solution? I think it would be better to add it one does at a time. Those of us that do add Nitrates have not found that continues Nitrate additions are necessary. Calculate the amount of nitrate you desire and add half. Test and observe. Then continue until NO3 is where you desire. Once you are in the zone additional NO3 may not be needed for some time. I feel you would get better results from single applications as NO3 doesn’t fluctuate/drop like ALK/Cal once you have reach an saturation point.


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Old 01/15/2018, 03:42 PM   #3
reefgeezer
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Why mix with another salt solution? I think it would be better to add it one does at a time. Those of us that do add Nitrates have not found that continues Nitrate additions are necessary. Calculate the amount of nitrate you desire and add half. Test and observe. Then continue until NO3 is where you desire. Once you are in the zone additional NO3 may not be needed for some time. I feel you would get better results from single applications as NO3 doesn’t fluctuate/drop like ALK/Cal once you have reach an saturation point.
Thanks. I'll raise the level to 5 ppm and see how long it takes to fall. I'd still be interested in knowing if I can mix a nitrate compound with one of my Three-part solutions.


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Old 01/15/2018, 05:29 PM   #4
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Magnesium nitrate and calcium nitrate are highly soluble in water, so I think that mixing with those supplements should work. I'd try a small sample, though, to check for precipitation.

I'd worry about precipitation in an alkalinity supplement.


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Old 02/04/2018, 07:02 AM   #5
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Magnesium nitrate and calcium nitrate are highly soluble in water, so I think that mixing with those supplements should work. I'd try a small sample, though, to check for precipitation.

I'd worry about precipitation in an alkalinity supplement.
Agree there would be no issue. This is one variant of the solution is used for EI dosing in planted tanks.


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Old 02/04/2018, 07:05 AM   #6
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Those of us that do add Nitrates have not found that continues Nitrate additions are necessary.

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Any good threads on this dosing method around? Haven't found any good articles, posts or sticky threads.


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Old 02/04/2018, 01:40 PM   #7
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I don't think we have enough information yet to write a reasonable article. The whole process still seems very experimental, although there's enough people doing it successfully that I am reasonably sure that nitrate can be added safely.


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Old 02/05/2018, 09:08 AM   #8
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I made a solution of 100 grams of potassium nitrate (Specrticide Stump Remover) with 500 ml of RODI water. 12 ml of this solution raises nitrate levels in my ~100 gal system to somewhere in the 2.5 to 5 ppm range. I just can't pinpoint it any better with my Salifert kit.

Without carbon dosing, the nitrate stayed in the detectable range for about 10 days. Unfortunately that doesn't help my phosphates. I'm trying to figure out what to do. The phosphates remain low without using anything, but they are slowly rising. A few days ago they tested at .08 ppm. That's the high end of my target range.

I'm currently not confident that I can SAFELY dose nitrates and then use carbon dosing to remove it and the phosphates.


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Old 02/05/2018, 10:40 AM   #9
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GFO would be a better way to handle PO4.


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Old 02/05/2018, 11:10 AM   #10
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I done KNO3 about every week. I did not mix it with MgNO3 or CaNO3 because I also have low K levels.

I dose amino acids and it cause rapid reduction of both nitrate and potassium. So both counter ions are useful for me. I still sometimes need to dose K, it slowly depletes even with this.

When I dose nitrate, I raise it to ~2ppm. But it quickly drops around <0.5 ppm in about 1-2 days. In my case keeping it stable around 2ppm is not a critical goal as corals seem to retain their color and not mind the fluctuation that much. So for me, it is more like feeding than keeping a constant level.

If you want to keep it at a stable level, I would get an digital nitrate reader. They are pricey but it would give better use.


Also I would not overfeed and use GFO to achieve higher nitrate. I assume you have a relatively low nutrition system. Those systems work when it is achieved naturally, meaning the system itself has good NO3 and PO4 sinks. Imo when you try to achieve it artificially by GFO, it doesn't work as well. It will PO4 starve your corals.



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Old 02/05/2018, 01:57 PM   #11
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I think the next step in my journey is to increase the nutrient input in my system. More fish... more food... etc. I think my issue has been that I'm chasing numbers, and low ones at that. Although I feed a lot, the bioload is pretty low:

2X Tuxedo Chromis (med-lg)
Blue Damsel
2X Percula Clowns
Med sized Cole Tang
Flame Hawk

I'm going to add a few fish that are on the large size for a 90 and see what happens.


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Old 02/08/2018, 02:12 AM   #12
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Any good threads on this dosing method around? Haven't found any good articles, posts or sticky threads.


Search potassium nitrate or stump remover in the search bar.


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Old 02/08/2018, 02:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecapparatus View Post
Any good threads on this dosing method around? Haven't found any good articles, posts or sticky threads.


Potassium nitrate (Spectracide stump remover) dosing steps
https://www.*********.com/index.php?...-steps.215730/


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Old 02/08/2018, 11:43 AM   #14
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You could consider using sodium nitrate, too. It is (or was) available in food-grade form from Amazon, and it'll change the ionic balance less.


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Old 02/12/2018, 12:22 PM   #15
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There are quite a few threads on the topic on the other reef forum that cannot be named here.

I just started reading about it too.

It is interesting - everyone says to get more fish and feed more. However, I personally don't want to have more fish. I have 5 in my 65g and that is all I want.

It seems like nitrate dosing is similar to carbon dosing for people with nutrient starved tanks. If your nitrates are in excess you dose carbon, if they are in shortage you dose nitrates.

My tank has been going for 2 years now and consistently tests 0 with salifert nitrate test. My SPS growth has always been slow. My grafted moni is very pale green/pink. It seems that the slow growth and pastel colors can be symptomatic of nutrient starvation.

Its another one of these "lessons learned". I built this tank thinking "I want 0". I have a pile of seachem matrix in a rear chamber and I also have a big marinepure ceramic plate. All stuff geared towards over-doing the de-nitrification.

Well apparently I solved a problem I didn't have (high nitrates) and instead, unintentionally caused the opposite problem, too low of nitrates.

The benefit I see to nitrate dosing vs adding fish/feeding more is that dosing nitrates seems a bit more controlled. If I were to go add a tang and start feeding more, I could end up with 20ppm+ nitrates and then be in the bucket with everyone else trying to dose carbon to lower nitrates.

That said, before I begin going crazy with dosing I am going to pull out the seachem matrix and try feeding a bit more. If it still doesn't budge then I may start dosing a bit.


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Old 02/12/2018, 12:58 PM   #16
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A possible advantage of adding fish food is that it provides an array of nutrients. Corals can't live on nitrate alone. Adding more might solve some tanks' problems, but not others. Either approach can be worth trying, but keeping alternatives in mind is reasonable, too.


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Old 02/12/2018, 01:29 PM   #17
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Yup. I actually feed reef roids a few times a week and feed frozen daily that consists of a mixture of home made seafood medley.

It is overall mind bending because I have operated so long under the thought process of keeping nitrates at 0 being the goal to strive for.


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Old 02/12/2018, 02:57 PM   #18
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A lot probably depends on what animals you are keeping. My soft coral tanks ran at zero measured nitrate for years without any problems.


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