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Tampa Bay Reef KeepersBuild Thread Contributor
Ok, so I’ve prevented asking this question for months as I tried solving it on my own. The age old question if high nitrates. So, my nitrates have been at 80 ppm for almost a month now and are slowly rising. Now my phosphates, though not low, are consistently at 0.25 ppm. So I recently started researching Carbon Dosing, as I’ve tried a refugium and increasing bacteria which do not seem to be working. The Chaeto in the fuge just gets brittle and wastes away and the bacteria I dose (currently Aquaforest Pro Bio S and -NP Pro as well as the ocasional PNS Probio) just seems to go to waste. With Carbon Dosing being my next attempt to reduce nitrates, I did more research. I came upon the Redfield Ratio. I read this months ago but didn’t have the right test kit to test Phosphates so I skipped it. Well now I can and I’ve tested it but I forgot about the ratio. After finding the ratio again, I realize that my ratio is way off, right now. I’m at 320:1 ratio when it should be 16:1. To put that in perspective, with nitrates at 80 ppm, my Phosphates should be at super high 5 ppm. Or with Phosphates at 0.25 ppm, Nitrates should be at 4 ppm. Being that the ratio is off, I guess that could be why my Chaeto isn’t growing or bacteria not working? So my question is this. Should I bring my phosphates up to that crazy level then Carbon dose? If not, what other suggestions are there that don’t include buying new equipment? But why isn’t the phosphates low? Are the phosphates in a state that can’t be utilized but still detectable in tests so the organisms can’t utilize them?