0 nitrate in a sps tank: Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'General SPS Discussion' started by Genicanthus-R-Us, Feb 27, 2018.

?
  1. 0 ppm

    28.8%
  2. 1-2 ppm

    25.8%
  3. 3-5 ppm

    22.7%
  4. 5-9 ppm

    10.6%
  5. 10 ppm or higher

    12.1%
  1. Genicanthus-R-Us

    Genicanthus-R-Us Active Member

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    Wanted to hear peoples thoughts on this.

    A few things to include in your post-
    Growth with 0 nitrate vs with nitrate
    Filters used in your sps tanks
    Parameters in your sps tanks
    Fish stocking and feeding regiment

    Thanks!
     

  2. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    Nobody has zero unless you are using organic carbon to drive it low. If you are letting anoxic bacteria keep the N low with established sand or live rock, then you will always have some to keep the equilibrium going... and that amount is enough and is similar to seawater levels. Simply put, near zero is Ok if done naturally, but can be a real issue if you drive it low artificially and actually become limiting.

    Hobby test kits are not good at measuring this. Mine will not measure anything on a test kit, but if I send out water, I have .1N.

    Current params are .1N, .01P, 7.0 alk, 425 calcium, 78 degrees, 1.026 and no idea about anything else... I do have a CaRx, so I know that the magnesium and potassium are good since they come in balance with the calcium and alk.
     
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  3. tdileo

    tdileo Valuable Member

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    My SPS struggled and looked pale when my NO3 bottomed out. LPS and soft corals looked like crap. In my tank I use filter floss since it’s easy and fast to change. Only other filtration is Rox .8 carbon. My target alk is 8.5, Mag 1350 and Ca 425. I have a medium fish stocking and feed frozen and pellets once a day, twice on weekends.
     
  4. Genicanthus-R-Us

    Genicanthus-R-Us Active Member

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    Good information. May I ask where you send your water? My Red Sea has been showing 0 for the past 6 months and my refugium definitely shows it! Very little growth on my chaeto, considering cleaning it out and transforming it into a frag holding section.
     
  5. Genicanthus-R-Us

    Genicanthus-R-Us Active Member

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    Personally I run 440 calc, 10 dKH, 1400 mag. Have a gfo and carbon reactor as well as an aquamaxx Q-2 skimmer. My frags have encrusted very fast and are starting to grow branches and my stylo colony grows like a weed! All Corals have great color so maybe isn’t as low as it shows.
     
  6. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    ICP does not test for nitrate, so check the test kit will... but many offer other tests besides metals. AquaMedic does water testing near us - so I took a sample to them one day. They do mail order, but I live about 10 miles away.

    The best way to check levels of building blocks (N and P) is to look for fresh Coralline. If you have new spots popping up everywhere, then you are good with enough, but not too much. Coralline really slows down with too much N and P, but also will stop if you limit either too much.
     
  7. Genicanthus-R-Us

    Genicanthus-R-Us Active Member

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    Again good information, I don’t know if there is a fish in my main tank that eats coralline or if it’s my lighting. Can’t hardly see into my refugium with so much purple but there is very little in my main tank. And no I don’t have urchins.
     
  8. Kamden Uelton

    Kamden Uelton Well-Known Member

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    I'd say bad? I keep my SPS in a mixed reef which is fed multiple times a day for Feather Stars and other filter feeders and I get amazing growth and color with nitrates at 10ppm
     
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  9. Denisk

    Denisk Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I keep a mostly dominated sps tank with some Zoas. I prefer have No3 and po4 in my tank.

    -I have great growth/colors with nitrate at around 5ppm. That’s where I prefer them but they hover between 3 and 6ppm.

    - only run a skimmer (bubble magus curve 5). No filters

    Parameters in my Red Sea 350
    Ca- 420
    Kh- 8.0
    Mg-1480
    No3- 5ppm
    Po4- 10ppb

    Fish stocking fairly high around 10 fish. But strict feeding. Pinch of flakes in the morning and Nori at night.

    **pics are unedited/raw**
    5EFEE7A5-9F61-4CEB-B78E-A8CD2226A013.jpeg EDDC5C37-B37C-4F2C-801A-B8972D770C1A.jpeg
     
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  10. Genicanthus-R-Us

    Genicanthus-R-Us Active Member

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    Beautiful tank man! Now I’m wondering if there is a way to safely elevate NO3 without worrying about algae blooms or Corals losing color. Anyone have tips?
     
  11. Denisk

    Denisk Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thank you for the kind words. Use some stump remover. That is what I used at one point and it worked really well! Just go really slow and test daily. Ton of info if you search stump remover about dosing amounts.

    1CDE2220-A7D0-4142-9D29-54FAE47F4868.png
     
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  12. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Depends, on a lot of stuff. Number are basically meaningless unless we know the whole story. LIke how much is fed everyday, additives, livestock, lighting, flow, PO4, export methods, and on and on.
     
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  13. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Potassium nitrate as recently shown to be safe to use in reef tanks. As for an algae bloom that is highly dependent on a number of other factors like excess PO4, flow, lighting, CO2 and O2 levels, grazers, export methods.

    I have used it to boost my NO3 to 10ppm in a day with zero ill effects. I also keep PO4 very low (.01-.03) and have a large chaeto fuge and lots of grazers, large skimmer, Carbon dosing.........
     
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  14. Genicanthus-R-Us

    Genicanthus-R-Us Active Member

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    I’d say I’m light to medium stocked, I currently have 10 fish about 8 are under 3”. Should I consider getting a few more fish? Don’t test PO4 very often but when I take it to Lfs it is always read under 2 ppb
     
  15. Jeremy Luke

    Jeremy Luke Active Member

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    Hmmm.. making me rethink things. Typically I only test PO4. I try to keep it around .05ppm. when I do test nitrate it says tests at 0.
     
  16. Skynyrd Fish

    Skynyrd Fish Active Member

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    Mine is zero per test kit but 2-4 is my target.
     
  17. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    I think that chasing a number is worse than just being where you are with a natural system - within reason. I would not sweat if my N was up to 10 and P up to .25.

    If you are artificially keeping numbers low, then that is different. I am amazed when I see that people have bio pellets or vodka and are adding KNPO3 or some sort of P.
     
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  18. Genicanthus-R-Us

    Genicanthus-R-Us Active Member

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    Just spent the last 45 minutes working on the refugium, cleaned out a lot of the detritus, changed my bulb and did a %10 water change, let’s see what my NO3 reads tomorrow
     
  19. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    Settled, accumulated detritus is mostly benign. Dr. Holmes-Farley explained that nearly all phosphate leaves the creatures in urine - there are some great mega-posts on this when he was contributing on RC all the time. If the feces has any valuable organic matter, then it quickly scavenged by waterborne bacteria... or also very quickly once settling... none of this goes to waste. Stuff that has been settled for a while can certainly gum up the works for the microfauna, but is probably not contributing any N to your tank. I usually want to get it out, but I am in no hurry about it.

    If anything, it might be lower in a few days with a new bulb to grow more macro. :)
     
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  20. Robink

    Robink Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Location:
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    108 gallon dt; 9 fish fed 3 x daily- frozen and pellets; no gfo, carbon, or socks; skimmer only; sps dominant with some lps and zoas.
    calc 450
    alk 8.68
    ph 8.1-8.3
    mag 1480
    no3 9-10
    phos .02 last I checked.
    Some pics of my sps.

    sps.jpg

    ssc.jpg

    wwc pink passion.jpg
     
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