Brewed phyto has slowly been starving my zoa dominated tank

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zoa what

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Been dosing phyto for a year

Tetraselmis phyto from Mercer, brewed using f/2 fertilizer also from Mercer.

The plan was to feed phyto so the little green phyto buggers would consume no3 and po4 and feed my corals (and pods)

In the past year, only 1/3rd of this statement has panned out for me

Dosing phyto is an excellent natural way to reduce no3 but does NOT effect po4 (based on my year long dosing and testing)

The f/2 fertilizer used to grow phyto has a boatload of po4 still in it when dosed.

My deep green brewed phyto reduces my no3 to 2ppm but raises my po4 to 2+ppm.

In my zoa tank I had to severely cut back on phyto bc my zoas weren't eating the phyto and stripping them of no3 nutrients

.... to the point where my zoa disc heads have been consistently shrinking to tiny lil heads

Found this disc shrinking NOT a "too much light" issue but due to lack of no3 nutrition.

I'm open to hearing discussions on other ppls experiences

.
 
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zoa what

zoa what

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so there you go all you @zoa what haters.... ive been dosing way too much phyto to the point where its been working against my zoas progressing. ive been making a bad husbandry decision dosing too much phyto

But atleast I did some deep dive researching to truly find why my zoas haven't been progressing since March
 

Isopod80

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Interesting, I've been dosing both Nannochloropsis and Isochrysis for the past 6 months and my zoas seemed to actually perk up more and grow faster even though I doubt they're eating it directly. Many of the other corals clearly look better as well. I haven't tried Tetraselmis.
 

PeterC99

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so there you go all you @zoa what haters.... ive been dosing way too much phyto to the point where its been working against my zoas progressing. ive been making a bad husbandry decision dosing too much phyto

But atleast I did some deep dive researching to truly find why my zoas haven't been progressing since March
Whoa - where did this come from!

All I did was ask an honest reefing question!

FYI - Big fan of Zoa What!
 
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Isopod80

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so there you go all you @zoa what haters.... ive been dosing way too much phyto to the point where its been working against my zoas progressing. ive been making a bad husbandry decision dosing too much phyto

But atleast I did some deep dive researching to truly find why my zoas haven't been progressing since March
Do you think that's the issue? That you've simply been dosing it too much? I use the f2 fertilizer from Mercer as well but I've always been pretty stingy with it. I add less than the recommendation and I've still had nice batches. My fear was adding to much unused fert. to the tank. I worry about trace metals in the fert.
 
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zoa what

zoa what

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Do you use anything else besides Phytoplankton to manage these?
1) I run my skimmer 24/7

2) I run filter socks

3) I had been dosing 24-32ozs of phyto in a 220g water volume almost every night

4) I feed twice a day, frozen brine and diced-mussels soaked in VitaChem Marine vitamins

With dosing 24-32ozs of phyto I've consistently been testing out with 2ppm no3 but po4 waaay above 1ppm into the 2 range. I've been dosing LaCl to selectively bring down po4

On 1 above, changed Apex to only skim 12hrs a day

On 2 above, I'll continue this method bc I drip LaCl thru this sock at a slow rate to control po4. Goal is to hover around 0.5ppm

On 3 above, slowing my phyto brewing batches wat down and only dosing when needed. Maybe only like 3ozs when needed. Idk, we'll see....

On 4 above, going to increase the amount I feed.

My goal is to get my no3 above 10 going towards 20.... so my zias can start the recover.

I will continue to try and keep po4 around 0.5ppm with LaCl



.
 
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PeterC99

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1) I run my skimmer 24/7

2) I run filter socks

3) I had been dosing 24-32ozs of phyto in a 220g water volume almost every night

4) I feed twice a frozen brine and mussels soaked in VitaChem Marine vitamins

With dosing 24-32ozs of phyto I've consistently been testing out with 2ppm no3 but po4 waaay above 1ppm into the 2 range. I've been dosing LaCl to selectively bring down po4

On 1 above, changed Apex to only slim 12hrs a day

On 2 above, I'll continue this method bc I drip LaCl thru this sock at a slow rate to control po4

On 3 above, slowly my phyto brewing for a month and only dosing when needed

On 4 above, going to increase the amount I feed.

My goal is to get my no3 above 10 going towards 20.... so my zias can start the recover. I will continue to try and keep po4 around 0.5ppm with LaCl



.
Ever think of a Refugium with chaeto? Keeps my PO4 in check.
 
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zoa what

zoa what

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Do you think that's the issue? That you've simply been dosing it too much? I use the f2 fertilizer from Mercer as well but I've always been pretty stingy with it. I add less than the recommendation and I've still had nice batches. My fear was adding to much unused fert. to the tank. I worry about trace metals in the fert.
I've for a year been using one cupful of f/2 (5ml) per 3gals of phyto production.

Not exactly convinced my po4 all comes from the phyto with f/2.... BUT, my po4 consistently climbs towards 2ppm and beyond without LaCl bonding and filtering the po4 out

Here's me balancing my no3 and po4 numbers 24/7:
Golfing Balancing Act GIF by The Ed Sullivan Show

The Struggle Is Real
.
 
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PeterC99

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Not directed towards you Peter.... yeah I have several ppl who don't like me or my approach to things. It's all good
I really enjoy your threads and interesting take on matters! Keep it coming! Hope you don’t mind some lively discussion!!!
 

homer1475

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My PO4 will go up with the dosing, but not to the extent your seeing. I only use like 1tbs of GFO mixed in with my carbon changed weekly to keep my PO4 right around 0.1.

The stuff I dose is brewed by @Eldredge and is dark green. Much darker then the week stuff algae barn sells.
 

Isopod80

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I've for a year been using one cupful of f/2 (5ml) per 3gals of phyto production.

Not exactly convinced my po4 all comes from the phyto with f/2.... BUT, my po4 consistently climbs towards 2ppm and beyond without LaCl bonding and filtering the po4 out

Here's me balancing my no3 and po4 numbers 24/7:
Golfing Balancing Act GIF by The Ed Sullivan Show


.
Certainly doesn't seem like too much fertilizer. Although 24-32 oz. almost daily does sound like alot to me even for a 220. Especially if half the organisms aren't really using it. Doing the math I'd say my doses are about half that and I only dose 3-4 times weekly. I think with phyto, a little really does go a long way. Just my 2 cents.
 
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Isopod80

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I look at phyto as simply a way to add a little more nutrition and diversity to the system. I've never used it in an attempt to maintain anything. Studies show that the phyto concentrations on most reefs are actually very low most of the time. I guess I feel it's just one step closer to nature for my pseudo-reef.
 
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zoa what

zoa what

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I look at phyto as simply a way to add a little more nutrition and diversity to the system. I've never used it in an attempt to maintain anything. Studies show that the phyto concentrations on most reefs are actually very low most of the time. I guess I feel it's just one step closer to nature for my pseudo-reef.
Yeah. My plan was phyto being a nirvana with no3 control. It's ended up severely reducing my zoanthid health
 

Isopod80

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Yeah. My plan was phyto being a nirvana with no3 control. It's ended up severely reducing my zoanthid health
Certain vendors on here (you know who) certainly advertise it as such but reefnutrition, who certainly would gain from doing so, does exactly the opposite. They've seen no real evidence and instead, many situations similar to yours.
 
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zoa what

zoa what

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Certain vendors on here (you know who) certainly advertise it as such but reefnutrition, who certainly would gain from doing so, does exactly the opposite. They've seen no real evidence and instead, many situations similar to yours.
I've see zero feeding response to phyto. It helps make for a biodiversity tank with bacteria and microorganisms BUT no DIRECT effect on any coral....IMO IME
 

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I've never noticed a nitrate or phosphate increase that. I dose maybe 50-200ml a day of phyto in my 75 (sometimes more). Then again my tank consumes a lot of those two (I dose phosphate and feed fish up to 4 times a day plus a cocktail for corals )
 
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