Dawn's 56 gallon natural nutrient garden

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vlangel

vlangel

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This morning I tested parameters and got a bit of a shock. My alk is super low. I guess adding all the new coral increased consumption more than I could imagine. I know raising it too fast can be devastating so I will just add a little each day and retest to first find out how much the tank is using daily and then work on slowly raising it.

The only other number that concerned me was PO4, which was between 2-3. Its a wonder that I don't have an algae problem but the macro algaes must be keeping things at bay. I am going to try Phosphate RX to see if I can get it down to 1 or .5. I would be more comfortable with that and hopefully my coral would color up better with less PO4.

NO3 is now 25 which is about what I was shooting for. Ca and Mag are high but not too bad.
 
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Beautiful tank! I agree, looks like your overfeeding the tank.
Yep, I feed very heavy since I have 12 fish: mostly blennies and gobies who should eat multiple Xs a day plus non photosynthetic coral and LPS with hungry mouths.
I need to get the alk under control with some big WCs and then I can passively use gfo or phosphate RX to keep PO4 in check.
 

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The PO4 is crazy high. I think most high nutrient tanks shoot for about .2-.3 . There is a ratio of NO3 and PO4 that I think has been determined to be best in moderate to high nutrient tanks but can't remember it off hand. Hopefully someone who know of it will chime in.
 

JaimeAdams

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Hey Dawn
Looks like you got some nice scores. I hope that you saved some room for stuff from our frag swap next month :D
I would start adding alk. There is nothing in there that would be super sensitive to bringing the alk up. I wouldn't raise it anymore than a point a day. Like 6.5 to 7.5. Remember even as you are doing that the coral will still be consuming alk as well. I would run a small GFO reactor. It will be much gentler at removing PO4 than using phosphate RX. Coral don't like things happening suddenly.

Kevin - I think the PO4NO3 conversion is around 1/40
 
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The PO4 is crazy high. I think most high nutrient tanks shoot for about .2-.3 . There is a ratio of NO3 and PO4 that I think has been determined to be best in moderate to high nutrient tanks but can't remember it off hand. Hopefully someone who know of it will chime in.
It's 30:1. That is what I am shooting for. I know why the PO4 got so high-I had made a brute can of water without the RO/DI and my municipality uses chloromines. Between starting with high PO4 and feeding heavy I was destined to have them skyrocket. Last night I added a PO4 sponge. I took it out this morning and I will test to see how much was removed. I am shooting for between 1 and .5. I don't have to feel desperate because the tank is nuisance algae free because of the macro algaes utilizing the PO4. Flourishing macro algaes will outcompete nuisance algae.
 
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Hey Dawn
Looks like you got some nice scores. I hope that you saved some room for stuff from our frag swap next month :D
I would start adding alk. There is nothing in there that would be super sensitive to bringing the alk up. I wouldn't raise it anymore than a point a day. Like 6.5 to 7.5. Remember even as you are doing that the coral will still be consuming alk as well. I would run a small GFO reactor. It will be much gentler at removing PO4 than using phosphate RX. Coral don't like things happening suddenly.

Kevin - I think the PO4NO3 conversion is around 1/40
I did get some real nice stuff at LEAR. Don't worry, I still have room for more, LOL.

I am raising the alk slowly. I added a very conservative amount yesterday and will test again today. Once I figure out how much my tank is using then I can add that and a small amount more to work my way to the 6.5 - 7.

Last night I added a PO4 sponge. This tank has no sump since the seahorse tank has all the equipment. It's a super simple aquarium with only a HOB AC70 so I put the PO4 sponge in the HOB to run it passively. I do not have to have it fix it fast since the tank is still not having an algae problem. I am doing water changes too but I need a brute can of RO/DO before the PO4 will go down.
 
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Good news on the parameters...I brought up alk to 7 without any corals being damaged. The NO3 is 25 ppm and using the phosphate sponge the PO4 is now .5 ppm which is what I was aiming for. Everything seems to be doing well.
 
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A tiny bivalve by Dawn Gilson, on Flickr
I found this cool (and tiny) bivalve a week ago. I am completely amazed how it can grow there without me adding something. My guess is that the high nutrients are favorable for its growth and a spore or cyst developed. It even picked a great spot for viewing.
 
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Well Dave and I are back from our trip to Athens, Greece (which was an amazing experience).

My sister did a wonderful job feeding the tanks while I was away. I did lose 1 fanged blenny but it had been scratching on the sand since I got it. All the other fish looked fat and sassy and the coral even grew while I was away!

The seahorses also did well. Eve, the matriarch looked a little thinner but is eating with gusto. She is not the hunter she used to be in her younger days so she was probably only eating the one meal of frozen when my sister came. The live feeder shrimp are just too fast for her now.
 

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That's GREAT!
always nice to come home to an alive tank!
Did you do any driving in Athens?
Forgot, u and Dave do bikes.
definitely need bikes in Athens, not a car.
 
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vlangel

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That's GREAT!
always nice to come home to an alive tank!
Did you do any driving in Athens?
Forgot, u and Dave do bikes.
definitely need bikes in Athens, not a car.
Amen to coming home to alive tanks! No, we did not do any driving in Athens. Yes, there are a lot of narrow streets that are definitely better suited to bikes. (It reminded me of Lawenceville where one of our kids live).
 
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I did a full test of parameters this morning and here are the results:
Mag 1350
CA 450
Kh 9.9
NO3 30
PO4 1

I was pleased with these numbers and they reflect what I am seeing in the tank. Healthy life and slow steady coral growth. I am getting pretty good color. The last time I did a full test was the end of January and at that time the Mag was the same at 1350, the CA was 475, and the Kh was 12. That tells me the tank is using some alk and CA for growth since it went down a little, plus I am replenishing some of that in the weekly WC. My NO3 and PO4 are right where I want them to be for this high nutrient tank for macro algae growth. I get some film algae on the glass but its not too bad and really only needs to be cleaned once a week.
 

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