Dosing nitrate, how fast can I raise it?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by Shigshwa, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Shigshwa

    Shigshwa Active Member

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    I'm dosing back some nitrates in my system after an incident with carbon "dosing" that dropped my nitrates from 10 to 0 in a matter of days. What's the maximum increase that is tolerated by my mixed tank? I'm trying to get it to 5-10.
     
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  2. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I routinely dose my tank with KNO3 to target 10 ppm with no noticeable ill effects. I've dosed as much as 11 ppm (51 ml of 28g KNO3/150ml RO).
     
  3. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    I don't think it causes issues to dose to the preferred target right from the start. :)
     
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  4. Shigshwa

    Shigshwa Active Member

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    Alright, dosed the full amount back in, and the test shows that I'm definitely in the ballpark. My SPS are showing their polyps again, and I'm sure the chaeto will love this too!

    2017-11-30 15.18.53.jpg
     
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  5. zack801

    zack801 Active Member

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    Hey @Shigshwa any update on your experience with raising nitrates over the last couple of months? I just started yesterday and I'm almost positive my polyp extension has improved already :) in particular I have a frag of fox flame that has had extension but not as good as it was last night after dosing :)
     
  6. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I've been dosing KNO3 for over 12 months now and PO4 for over 6 months. My tank has shown GREAT improvement due to the ability to keep nitrates and phosphates from dropping to o. Color, polyp extension, growth all seem to be going great. Without the dosing of these nutrients, my tank would plummet to zero nutrients, dinos would take over and coral health would be negatively impacted. It's my opinion that it's safe to dose and I recommend it to anyone that is struggling with coral health.
     
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  7. lariat8099

    lariat8099 Active Member

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    Where do you keep your PO4 ppm at?
     
  8. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Anywhere between .1-.2 if I see it below .1 I’ll dose up to .2 for safe measure. Tank has never looked better.
     
  9. Shigshwa

    Shigshwa Active Member

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    Well, I've since moved from an ULNS setup to a balling method setup, utilizing chaeto for export. My nitrates say at 5 or below, and I do some booster doses once or twice a week to bring the nitrates up 5ppm. My tank looks great now, much better than when I was using biopellets. I went from 1 dKH/day consumption to over 4 now with some flow and lighting upgrades, but I'm sure the presence of nutrients help too. With nutrients present, I'm able to bump my alkalinity to 10 dKH, which also helped with increasing growth.
     
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  10. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    That’s what I like to hear!
     
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  11. Shigshwa

    Shigshwa Active Member

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    Some of my acros encrust so fast now, you never don't see a small crust of white at the edges, and I swear that I can see them grow by the day!
     
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  12. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    It's crazy to me how important trace levels of nutrients are in our tanks yet so much misinformation gets spread around about having to have 0 nitrates and 0 phosphates.
     
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  13. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Instead of misinformation, I think it may have a lot to do with changing ideas of what 0 and 0 actually means. A lot of the problem (IMO) has to do with difficulty of measuring and maintaining low levels, and what that even means.

    Historically, when the 0,0 idea was more prevalent, 0.01 or 0.02 ppm phosphate could not be distinguished by hobbyists from 0, and driving nitrate and phosphate "too low" was technically difficult and not very common.\

    Now, with improved measurement (ICP, Hanna ULR, etc.) and export methods (GFO, organic carbon dosing, etc.) the understanding of what is too low and the likelihood of actually going too low has become more prevalent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  14. pwilliaml

    pwilliaml Member

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    What chemical are you dosing to keep phosphates where you want them? I just bought Sodium Nitrate and might have to do some Phosphates next. I think I might have to take out some of my Marinepure blocks and balls as my bio filter is just too good for my size tank. Gone are the days when I was happy if I could get my nitrates in my old 14 gallon biocube below 40ppm. :) Never a dull day in reefing I swear.
     
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  15. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    It's always something, huh?

    I'm using Aquavitro Activate to supplement PO4 in my tank and it works as desired.

    Best of luck.
     
  16. pwilliaml

    pwilliaml Member

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    Thanks. I'm wondering at this point if it's worth taking my skimmer off line for a couple hours a day to see if that helps raise nutrients. Other than the oxygenation of my water, anyone think of other detrimental effects this could cause?
     
  17. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    I doubt you'll see a noticeable rise in nutrients in a few hours. :)
     
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  18. pwilliaml

    pwilliaml Member

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    Randy, are you following me as I jump between these threads? :) Just kidding. I've got an algae turf scrubber that I would like to use as my primary source of nutrient reduction, so I'm debating shutting down my skimmer but afraid of the sudden change it may cause, so I thought I'd try shutting it down for 6 hours a day for a week and then 12 and then so on until it's off completely and just replace the oxygenation with an air stone. Thoughts? Thanks.
     
  19. ajhudson15

    ajhudson15 Active Member

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    I am having the same issues with 0 nitrates. I shut my skimmer off for a week straight and fed a little more and still no change in nitrates
     
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  20. pwilliaml

    pwilliaml Member

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    I had the same problem as you, and I also tried turning my skimmer off and additional feedings and all that did was drive my phosphates really high. I listened to Randy and started dosing Sodium Nitrate to stay between 2 and 5 (easy to see on test kit) and have had a lot of success with that. My Algae Turf Scrubber finally started working and my polyp extension on all my corals increased and now I have colors I've never seen before in my tank. I know everyone says that, but I legitimately noticed a difference. Hope that helps.
     
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