0 Nitrates and Phosphates, but algae in DT. Increase or decrease chaeto photoperiod?

chadfish

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Hi,

I have a 50gal mixed reef with fish. Currently, as the title says, I’m bottomed out on NO3 and PO4. I have chaeto and it’s growing in my 15 gal sump/fuge but it’s small… softball sized.. Photoperiod = 8h.
I’m still growing all kinds of algae in the DT: looks like dinos, two types of cyano, red and green, some black stuff, hair algae and god knows what else. So the NO3 and PO4 are being utilized by algae and reading 0.

I feed large pellets once per day and spot feed corals once per week and also drop larger shrimp pieces for the pistol and the RBTA. So minimal feeding, I’d say. I often broadcast feed live nano phytoplankton.

Skimmer is a dry skimmate, not overproducing. I run a small any of carbon. My fuge is often overrun with cyano or other blue-green slime.

The question is… how do I direct more of these resources to the coral and the chaeto and less to the nasty algae in the tank? If I increase the photoperiod of the chaeto, will that work? Or will I bottom out even more? Or maybe I decrease the chaeto photoperiod, but then the DT algae might take off! Either way I feel screwed.

What do I do? Any advice? Here are some photos of my system
NO3: 0 (salifert and api)
PO4: 0.00 (Hanna)
Alk: 8.4-9.1
Ca: 485
Mag: 1350-1400
Lights: reefbreeders 36 V2+
PAR: 150 on bottom 250 on top
Max PAR Period: 4h
total DT photoperiod: 8:30-22:30pm
Fuge light: inkbird 57E14095-1616-47DD-82C8-0B517A619F64.jpeg
083327D4-1570-4944-B1C5-90F7BD93C6BF.jpeg
C927572F-EA46-4E5F-B5C2-D7E0B0EBEE5A.jpeg
 
Maxout

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The organisms that uptake nutrients most efficiently (quickest) are cyanobacteria, followed by filamentous (turf) algae includes GHA. Then comes macroalgae (various rates depending on species but none exceed the previous two) and lastly corals. I suspect some types of dinos are similar to cyano based on reproduction rates but I have seen no data on dino nutrient uptake.

You can increase that rate by maximizing lighting and flow so yes, I would increase the photo intensity and duration. I would also do what you can to treat the cyano/dinos and gha and not just rely on your macroalgae as cyano/GHA are very efficient as nutrient uptake. Blackouts are good for temporary reduction and there are many threads on how to treat. Make sure you confirm identity of dinos first.

Worry less about your actual nutrients readings on test kits - keep monitoring them but realize that the organisms will consume available nutrients.

Edited for a correction.
 
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AlgaeBarn

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The organisms that uptake nutrients most efficiently (quickest) are cyanobacteria, followed by filamentous (turf) algae includes GHA. Then comes macroalgae (various rates depending on species but none exceed the previous two) and lastly corals. I suspect some types of dinos are similar to cyano based on reproduction rates but I have seen no data on dino nutrient uptake.

You can increase that rate by maximizing lighting and flow so yes, I would increase the photo intensity and duration. I would also do what you can to treat the cyano/dinos and gha and not just rely on your macroalgae as cyano/GHA are very efficient as nutrient uptake. Blackouts are good for temporary reduction and there are many threads on how to treat. Make sure you confirm identity of dinos first.

Worry less about your actual nutrients readings on test kits - keep monitoring them but realize that the organisms will consume available nutrients.

Edited for a correction.
This is great advise! @chadfish are you able to angle your power heads so it hits the shelfs that are accumulating the slime?
 
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chadfish

chadfish

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This is great advise! @chadfish are you able to angle your power heads so it hits the shelfs that are accumulating the slime?
LOL. my powerheads are blowing over it quite a bit. My high flow areas get the most cyano type mat stuff and the lower flow gets the filamentous hair algae.

The one rock that's pictured with the Slimer on it is the highest up and gets the most flow. I don't want to point the powerhead directly at the Slimer. But I was able to actually carefully remove the whole rock, put it into a bucket with salt water, and carefully and forcefully scrub it with a toothbrush. Worked GREAT.

That was 2 days ago and it's back again.

I don't mind having a reef tank with algae, I just want to be able to control it so that it doesn't control the tank. Someone said CuC earlier - I have 2 Trocus, a Mexican turbo, and an Astrea as well as a fighting Conch, 4 narcissus, 2 red legged and 2 blue legged hermits. And a pistol shrimp.. But nobody eats most of this stuff. I have a Yellow eyed Kole Tang on order. My last fish. I hope he'll help with the filamentous stuff.

I think it's just another thing to power through as I come up on 1yr old. I have to just get in there and remove it. I was wondering if you thought that running the chaeto lights during the day would help, that way the chaeto photosynthesis would be in direct competition with the other algae? Does it work like that? Or does nitrate uptake occur 24/7
 
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chadfish

chadfish

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The organisms that uptake nutrients most efficiently (quickest) are cyanobacteria, followed by filamentous (turf) algae includes GHA. Then comes macroalgae (various rates depending on species but none exceed the previous two) and lastly corals. I suspect some types of dinos are similar to cyano based on reproduction rates but I have seen no data on dino nutrient uptake.

You can increase that rate by maximizing lighting and flow so yes, I would increase the photo intensity and duration. I would also do what you can to treat the cyano/dinos and gha and not just rely on your macroalgae as cyano/GHA are very efficient as nutrient uptake. Blackouts are good for temporary reduction and there are many threads on how to treat. Make sure you confirm identity of dinos first.

Worry less about your actual nutrients readings on test kits - keep monitoring them but realize that the organisms will consume available nutrients.

Edited for a correction.

I'm not chasing numbers, I'm testing for nitrates & phosphates on a monthly basis and based on what I see going on. I was not surprised to see 0 NO3, but 0.00 on the ULP Hanna was shocking. You are right, that stuff is just crazy efficient at capitalizing on the nutrients.

It's just ironic because I'm not a ULN person. I want to run a "dirty" tank - more food for the coral. It's just not how it's working out atm. My coral are thriving/growing, so that's good.

Do you think that running the fuge light during the day will put the chaeto in direct competition with the cyano in the DT?
 

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I am running my cheato Innovative Marine 9watt for 6 hours separately in two of my AIO systems LPS and SPS systems.. I am trying a more robust feeling cheato that I got from my LFS. I will report back it's efficacy.
 
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