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Old 01/14/2019, 06:50 AM   #1
monkeysee1
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Is Phyto Feast increasing my Nitrate levels?

Hi again everyone!
I have a nice cocoa worm that I've had for several weeks now. I've been target feeding it PhytoFeast (5 ml - a syringe full) every day now.
A couple of days ago I've noticed that one of my sea urchins (a Black Spine) has been losing its spines and acting sluggish.
I said to myself uh oh - better check the nitrates and sure enough - they're OVER 50 PPM!
I've dont TWO large water changes, back to back on 2 days, and I've started dosing with suger. The nitrates are just STARTING to go down a bit.
ALL my fish and OTHER inverts are fine (Emerald crab, hermits, snails, shrimp, etc)....
Is it because of too much Phyto Feast?
If so how much should I feed my cocoa worm? And HOW OFTEN?
To put it another way, how do I keep him happy while reducing my nitrates and KEEPING them down? I don't want him to die
ANY insight would be appreciated!!!


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Last edited by monkeysee1; 01/14/2019 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 01/14/2019, 07:54 AM   #2
sde1500
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I don't think it would require daily feedings, that seems excessive but I don't have experience keeping them. However any food you add to the tank can increase nutrients. 5ml isn't all that much, likely more than the worm needs though. But it definitely will raise nitrates. It being your sole contributor to high nitrates I doubt though.


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Old 01/14/2019, 08:01 AM   #3
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I had hundreds, if o not thousands of feather dusters in my previous system. I never bought any of them. They are micro filter feeders. They feed on algae cells and other micro nutrients in the water column.

I wouldn't worry about it, it will feed. Feeding some phyto feast and other micro nutrients once or twice a week if you have a lot of corals and worms, then sure, but, I honestly wouldn't put worry or concern about it. Overfeeding is a much bigger issue than under feeding our critters!


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Old 01/14/2019, 10:06 AM   #4
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If your system is established and you haven't had nitrate problems till before the phytofeast and now you are then its a safe bet to say its from that feeding..

If you have an established system its unlikely that you really need to feed a worm.. Most certainly unlikely to be daily..

While I haven't used that food specifically 5ml seems like quite a bit..

I agree that weekly (if that) feedings are likely sufficient (if at all)


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Old 01/14/2019, 11:20 AM   #5
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I have encountered nitrate issues with phytofeast in the past. I really like the stuff, but my algae usually takes a turn for the worse when I dose.


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Old 01/15/2019, 04:32 AM   #6
homer1475
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Phytofeast raised my nitrates an absurdly amount also. Stopped feeding it twice a week and nitrates came down to a more normal level.



I now prefer live 3 species phyto from algae barn. The live variety doesn't raise nutrients even though I'm adding 5ml daily.


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Old 01/15/2019, 11:13 AM   #7
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If your aquarium is established, just feed once a week. I have a lot of filter feeders and I see more everyday. My tank is almost a year old. About 600 gallons. I feed my coral 1 time a week. About 10 mil Phytofeast 10 mil Oysterfeast a cube of rodifers and a big ole tablespoon of reef roids, Mixed with 500 ml tank water. I try to spot feed everyone with the turkey baster. The ones I cant get to get plenty. It takes about 6 hours for the tank to clear after feeding. I have about 3 to 4 N and .05 to.1 P


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Old 01/16/2019, 07:22 AM   #8
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I was told that blending multiple strains of phyto together will lead to die off of all but 1 strain in the bottle. I believe this is why some brands of phyto has a small to it. I only feed single strains at a time. Iso and Nano are really all a reef tank needs. IMHO



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Old 01/16/2019, 08:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBC2012 View Post
I was told that blending multiple strains of phyto together will lead to die off of all but 1 strain in the bottle. I believe this is why some brands of phyto has a small to it. I only feed single strains at a time. Iso and Nano are really all a reef tank needs. IMHO
I believe the dieoff would be if you try to culture more from the mix. One eventually dominates, and its probably the Nanno. I'd add Tetraselmis to the mix as well, the three are all very good. Though pods will have an easier time eating Tet and Iso.


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Old 01/16/2019, 07:53 PM   #10
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I have my coco work for 18 months. Havenít target feed it one single time.

So yes I would say if you wanted to feed it once in a while itís ok. But target feeding if everyday will simple just cause a nutrient problem


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Old 01/17/2019, 06:53 AM   #11
monkeysee1
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Thanks ALL of you guys!
I've DRASTICALLY cut down on the Phyto Feast feeding - to 2 or so mls ONCE a week. I'm SITLL dosing with suger. Planning another BIG (1/3) water change this weekend. (I'd do it SOONER, but my RO-DI unit needs time to make that big a volume and the poor thing has been working overtime as of late).
How long does it take for the sugar to bring the nitrates down - a week? Mine have started to go down but are still high after starting dosing last Saturday


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Your "fair share" is not in my wallet; it's in my fish tank!!
Current tank info: 90 Gallon saltwater 10 fish with a few inverts; NO CORALS!
Tried to go reef; didn't work out so hot; FOWLR's for me!

Last edited by monkeysee1; 01/17/2019 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 01/17/2019, 07:45 AM   #12
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I wouldn't use sugar if you can help it. I've thrown it in now and then without issue, but generally it's not a great idea. If you have access to cheap vodka, or can pick up a ~$10 plastic bottle, that's a better bet. easier to measure and be precise and consistent with.

Carbon dosing isn't something you just dump in "some" "when you think it needs it".

I would take it slow now that you're cutting back on feeding. Do the water change, see how that impacts your nitrates, then I'd start slowly dosing vodka. For a 90 gallon, you can start with 3-5mL of vodka per day (dose in the morning before the lights come on), and you will probably ramp up to 10mL for a few weeks, and then once it comes down, you can cut back to 3-5mL again as a maintenance dose if you want (or stop dosing at all once it's stabilized at a level you're more comfortable with).

Also, just to throw it out there, don't carbon dose unless you have a skimmer. It will increase skimmate when you dose, but that's the point. Nutrients in --> nutrients out. You were doing too much nutrients in, now you need to do too much nutrients out for a while.


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Old 01/17/2019, 07:54 AM   #13
LIreefguy
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I agree. Itís why I use nopox. They figured it out for you. No need to experiment and risk making a mistake .


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Old 01/17/2019, 12:04 PM   #14
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My $0.02 is to carbon dose using distilled vinegar..
-Cheaper than Vodka ($2-3 a gallon if that)
-Easier to get (if you are under 21)
-Seems that you are less likely to get cyano from carbon dosing with vinegar vs vodka..
-Seems to be just as effective


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Old 01/17/2019, 01:00 PM   #15
LIreefguy
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I used nopox effectively and had no cryno.

Yes vodka and vinegar might be cheaper. But honestly after paying 50-150 for a tiny frag are we really trying to save $20 for a month supply


I have piece of mind that Red Sea. One of the better companies in this industry has formulated and tested this product to provide the best needs for my tank

Just my .02 cents


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Old 01/17/2019, 03:20 PM   #16
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Won't vinegar also lower pH and eat up some alkalinity if you're not combining it with Kalk? That sounds too complicated to me. I bought an open bottle of Nopox for pennies on the dollar from a local reefer, and it'll last me a loooong time.


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Old 01/17/2019, 06:29 PM   #17
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Nopox is simply a combination of vinegar,vodka and water....


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Old 01/17/2019, 09:37 PM   #18
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And soda Snapple is a combination of Sugar and tea and water. They just do it better than I can


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Old 01/18/2019, 04:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIreefguy View Post
And soda Snapple is a combination of Sugar and tea and water. They just do it better than I can
Thats fine.. DIY and stuff like that isn't for everyone..
There are those that can do and those that pay someone else to do it for them..


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Old 01/18/2019, 07:49 AM   #20
monkeysee1
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Update for you guys (and thanks SO MUCH for the posts):

Well, I removed my black spined sea urchin from the tank before I went to work this morning. NO spines left - and he didn't adhere at all to the glass and rock like he usually did. So I figured he was toast.
Also, I didn't want a dying invert to aggrivate the nitrate problem.
Now i have enough water to do a big change tomorrow.
I haven't dosed with a lot of sugar (a teaspoon every OTHER day) but I will now longer be doing THAT after reading your advice.
I'm looking up info and dosing charts for vinegar and vodka and NOPOX on the internet. May go with vinegar - AFTER the water change.
Hey - who knew nitrates could be so stubborn!
Cross my fingers and see what happens. Hope I can save my OTHER inverts (my other sea urchin, shrimp, hermits and emerald crab). They all LOOK fine right now but....I know if i don't get my nitrates down SOON they'll start to suffer too...


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Your "fair share" is not in my wallet; it's in my fish tank!!
Current tank info: 90 Gallon saltwater 10 fish with a few inverts; NO CORALS!
Tried to go reef; didn't work out so hot; FOWLR's for me!

Last edited by monkeysee1; 01/18/2019 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 01/18/2019, 08:01 AM   #21
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Good luck.. Let us know how it goes..
Having a sufficient bacterial colony goes a LONG way to eliminating nitrate problems..
Let the bacteria do all the work..


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