Good Nitrate to Phosphate ratio for a reef tank?

Reef Chasers Aquaculture

GARRIGA

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In my opinion there is several issues with the experiment, the reason I asked about the protein skimmer is due to the recycling of nutrients, theoretical you are only diverting the nutrient into the bacteria mass with the carbon dosing once the bacteria dies in the system the previously assimilate nutrients will become available again in the water column this is most likely why your nutrients increase once you stop carbon dosing.
you have to understand that carbon dosing and algae beds are in the same category, both assimilate nutrients into they’re biomass and those nutrients will only be removed from a particular system if the algae or the bacteria are extracted from the system. Regarding carbon dosing only a protein skimmer can do that job for you.

the slime you have now in your system can be due to many things including a die of of beneficial bacteria due to starvation, every organism in our systems requires carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus to live if you are transferring all those nutrients to a particular type of bacteria due to being stimulated with they’re preferred type of dissolved organic carbon all other may well be in starvation or dormant by the same reason.

what we need to reflect in our hobby is that if nutrients are not being removed effectively they will only recycle into another organism, most times not understand this is the cause for nuisances to take over.
Except that any bacteria that dies off just becomes part of the decomposition process and why exporting not a concern for me. The bacteria is heterotrophic which sexists regardless of carbon dosing yet overpopulate because of it.

Yes, skimmers export nutrients but so does any other form of mechanical filtration. Nature has no export process just decomposition. I'm well versed in the decomposition process but curious to exactly what causes this white slime from a science perspective. Unfortunately, I've found nothing. Not even anecdotal data. Part of the reason I have this experiment is to learn from it's reactions so I can best design my main build. KISS my approach and it's all just a balancing act. Assuming one understands why that reaction occurred to best find a balance.
 
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Slocke

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I posted about this yesterday but would like some thoughts or recommendations. I seemingly have really high PO4 (0.7ppm) but my NO3 is getting low fast (~5ppm). I haven't had any noticeable nuisance algae for months but I'm wondering if it's why my SPS don't do well?

 

olonmv

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The white slime?
Yes, it didn’t go much into detail but in another R2R thread someone who was running a denitrification reactor said that this slime was over populated anaerobic bacteria being pushed out of the reactor and that corals benefited from it.
 

sixty_reefer

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How are they not ratios?

12.5 ppm Nitrate/ 0.055 ppm Phosphate gives you a ratio of 227:1
How useful is that? Can you tell me the ratio of phosphates to nitrates used in a 24 hour cycle for that same system? That’s the only thing that matters to our hobby, residual is only a guideline it doesn’t impact the system as much.
 
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sixty_reefer

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Except that any bacteria that dies off just becomes part of the decomposition process and why exporting not a concern for me. The bacteria is heterotrophic which sexists regardless of carbon dosing yet overpopulate because of it.
I would disagree
Yes, skimmers export nutrients but so does any other form of mechanical filtration. Nature has no export process just decomposition. I'm well versed in the decomposition process but curious to exactly what causes this white slime from a science perspective. Unfortunately, I've found nothing. Not even anecdotal data. Part of the reason I have this experiment is to learn from it's reactions so I can best design my main build. KISS my approach and it's all just a balancing act. Assuming one understands why that reaction occurred to best find a balance.
Protein skimmer doesn’t export nutrients, protein skimmer exports proteins before they become nutrients same with mechanical filtration. :)
 

KStatefan

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How useful is that? Can you tell me the ratio of phosphates to nitrates used in a 24 hour cycle for that same system? That’s the only thing that matters to our hobby, residual is only a guideline it doesn’t impact the system as much.

I have no Idea.

So when a LFS recommends to be ratio of 100:1 What does that mean and how do you calculate it?
 

GARRIGA

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Yes, it didn’t go much into detail but in another R2R thread someone who was running a denitrification reactor said that this slime was over populated anaerobic bacteria being pushed out of the reactor and that corals benefited from it.
That's interesting. I'll search and try finding it.
 
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GARRIGA

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I would disagree

Protein skimmer doesn’t export nutrients, protein skimmer exports proteins before they become nutrients same with mechanical filtration. :)
I consider everything that decomposes as nutrients. Yes, it's exporting that which hasn't yet decomposed which as I stated is just mechanical filtration. Nature has no such function. Everything breaks down until it's released back in to the environment although some components might take a longer time to decompose and seems there might be some sludge that doesn't but I'm still researching the latter.

Dead bacteria will be consumed by other bacteria. Cycle of life.

All I care to grasp at the moment is the exact composition of this white slime. apparently it's a byproduct of carbon dosing and might be when overdosed. Makes sense that mechanical filtration would extract it but I'm seeking other means. Entire purpose of my experiment. Might have flaws but then that's why we conduct experiments. To understand those flaws and how to combat them.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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How useful is that? Can you tell me the ratio of phosphates to nitrates used in a 24 hour cycle for that same system? That’s the only thing that matters to our hobby, residual is only a guideline it doesn’t impact the system as much.

Sure it does. The measured concentration is the concentration that photosynthetic organisms need to pull against to take up N and P. If it is high, uptake is easy. If it is low, uptake is hard or impossible.
 

sixty_reefer

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I have no Idea.

So when a LFS recommends to be ratio of 100:1 What does that mean and how do you calculate it?
To me it just means that is in a common acceptable range, how to calculate the 24 hours cycle is virtually impossible and at the same time fairly straight forward to know if it’s in balance.

how I do it is by testing the system regularly and interpret the data, if my system test results are consistent every 24 hours at a set residual it means that the rate of import is the same as the rate of export also called by many as balance.
 
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sixty_reefer

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Sure it does. The measured concentration is the concentration that photosynthetic organisms need to pull against to take up N and P. If it is high, uptake is easy. If it is low, uptake is hard or impossible.
Imo it’s impossibly and it’s fairly harder if we consider that there is many non photosynthetic organisms that uptake N and P
 

sixty_reefer

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I consider everything that decomposes as nutrients. Yes, it's exporting that which hasn't yet decomposed which as I stated is just mechanical filtration. Nature has no such function. Everything breaks down until it's released back in to the environment although some components might take a longer time to decompose and seems there might be some sludge that doesn't but I'm still researching the latter.

Dead bacteria will be consumed by other bacteria. Cycle of life.

All I care to grasp at the moment is the exact composition of this white slime. apparently it's a byproduct of carbon dosing and might be when overdosed. Makes sense that mechanical filtration would extract it but I'm seeking other means. Entire purpose of my experiment. Might have flaws but then that's why we conduct experiments. To understand those flaws and how to combat them.
Creating new experiments is always a good thing if there is something to be learned from it, from my perspective your aim is to strip a system from nutrients via carbon dosing, that’s not natural in my understanding even in the sea in situations were nutrients are fully limited bad things happen.
our systems will never have functional trophic levels as the sea has to create a full functional ecosystem, in the sea there is also fairly larger organisms that can store the nutrient for longer than our systems will ever be able to.
 

GARRIGA

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Creating new experiments is always a good thing if there is something to be learned from it, from my perspective your aim is to strip a system from nutrients via carbon dosing, that’s not natural in my understanding even in the sea in situations were nutrients are fully limited bad things happen.
our systems will never have functional trophic levels as the sea has to create a full functional ecosystem, in the sea there is also fairly larger organisms that can store the nutrient for longer than our systems will ever be able to.
You're missing the part where I over feed. There's always nutrients in my system. Look at it this way. We filter ammonia and nitrites to zero yet they always exist because fish release ammonia 24/7. We therefore can never be ammonia/nitrite deficient. Just because we carbon dose and test zero nitrates doesn't mean that we are zero 24/7. That's impossible where food is constantly introduced and fish process that food and release ammonia.

Nature is about balance. That's my experiment and why I don't feel it's flawed but I am testing it and only negative so far is this white slime. Although having only one Xenia colony it's hard to estimate what this will do with a tank full of corals yet I believe that introducing more food solves that as well including night feeding since corals do eat in the wild at night.

All about balance and testing theories out. The latter is how everything in our hobby as well as all aspects of life evolve. Can't just do what we did yesterday and think tomorrow will be different. That's just insane.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Imo it’s impossibly and it’s fairly harder if we consider that there is many non photosynthetic organisms that uptake N and P

Do they? Maybe. I expect most heterotrophs get more N and P from foods than they need. Just like people, fish, etc.
 

sixty_reefer

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Do they? Maybe. I expect most heterotrophs get more N and P from foods than they need. Just like people, fish, etc.
I believe some do, Heterotrophic bacteria and denitrifying bacteria comes to mind as a few examples of non photosynthetic organisms that can use nitrates and phosphates directly from the water column depending on a few conditions.
 

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I believe some do, Heterotrophic bacteria and denitrifying bacteria comes to mind as a few examples of non photosynthetic organisms that can use nitrates and phosphates directly from the water column depending on a few conditions.

I don’t think heterotrophic bacteria take up N and P to any great extent unless one artificially doses organics that lack N and P. Random biochemicals that get consumed have more N and P than required.
 
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sixty_reefer

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You're missing the part where I over feed. There's always nutrients in my system. Look at it this way. We filter ammonia and nitrites to zero yet they always exist because fish release ammonia 24/7. We therefore can never be ammonia/nitrite deficient. Just because we carbon dose and test zero nitrates doesn't mean that we are zero 24/7. That's impossible where food is constantly introduced and fish process that food and release ammonia.
You may not be seeing the full picture yet as the excessive carbon dosing is not allowing the nitrogen cycle to perform therefore ammonia and urea that are forms of nitrogen will never become nitrates as the excessive amount of bacterIa is utilising all the nitrogen straight away. There is many beneficial organisms that will require nitrogen in the form of nitrates to be able to sustain life.
Nature is about balance. That's my experiment and why I don't feel it's flawed but I am testing it and only negative so far is this white slime. Although having only one Xenia colony it's hard to estimate what this will do with a tank full of corals yet I believe that introducing more food solves that as well including night feeding since corals do eat in the wild at night.

All about balance and testing theories out. The latter is how everything in our hobby as well as all aspects of life evolve. Can't just do what we did yesterday and think tomorrow will be different. That's just insane.
 

GARRIGA

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You may not be seeing the full picture yet as the excessive carbon dosing is not allowing the nitrogen cycle to perform therefore ammonia and urea that are forms of nitrogen will never become nitrates as the excessive amount of bacterIa is utilising all the nitrogen straight away. There is many beneficial organisms that will require nitrogen in the form of nitrates to be able to sustain life.
I’m not following how carbon dosing prevents nitrification. It’s just the food source heterotrophic bacteria utilize which creates ammonia then nitrites. Same bacteria consuming left over food and any form of detritus. Fact is that detritus is a form of carbon.

I don’t agree life requires nitrates. I believe organism that can utilize nitrates would prefer ammonium and have to down convert nitrates to nitrites then ammonium. That’s how plants and algae operate and believe so would any and all organisms that would seek nitrates.

Hobby has likely become fixated on nitrates because it can be measured. One recently stated that the nitrates are there as a buffer which makes sense yet if ammonium is constantly available or frequently available then I suspect nitrates aren’t needed.

Conducted tests in freshwater with plants and micro algae. Regardless how much I over fed there were no traces of ammonia or nitrites or nitrates. Using hobby level tests yet everything flourished. Ph was high and stable but alkalinity dropped until I placed enough fish to keep CO2 levels up.

Taking the same approach with reef keeping. Once I solve my ph issues I’ll test this on corals. Only way to find out is test it.
 
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