High PO4 and Nitrate in tank that’s 20 months old!

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nbd13

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Hi,

I have a 150 gallon display tank that’s been setup for 20 months. Fairly heavily stocked. I have had ups and downs. I just cannot get the PO4 or nitrate down.

I have a man oversized skimmer. I used Chaeto prior then stopped and used GFO and now back to Chaeto. It grows well.

I feed 2-3 times a day.

PO4 is .5!!!
Nitrate 50

I cannot figure this out. I’m old school and shouldn’t have to carbon dose to get the levels down. When I ran GFO PO4 was still .2-.3.

any advice here? Need to get my levels down again so I can get some SPS back in the tank.

Thanks
 
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nbd13

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This might seem like a stupidly obvious comment, but why not just do a large volume water change to get the levels back under control?
Sorry forgot to mention that I do weekly 20-30 gallon water changes
 

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You would need to do like 70 gallons to make a dent. I would think it's down to feeding though, so you might want to look at cutting back in that area too.
Do you have filter socks and if so how frequently are they changed out? Maybe a rollermat might help you out here becuase the crud that gets collected in the filter socks still breaks down as nitrate in your water. Whereas a rollermat will be moving this out of the water, so less break down and more efficient filtration.
 

Waters

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I assume you are using RO/DI water? Have you tested your replacement water to make sure it is nitrate and phosphate free? If those check out ok, I would have to assume it is based around your livestock and feedings, as @Ludders stated. If that is the case, you might need to switch up your maintenance routines to include more frequent/larger water changes.
 
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nbd13

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No filter socks.
No room
For rollermatt

I use RODI water. Always 0 TDS. When it hit 1 I change out DI resin.
 

Reef.

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When I ran GFO PO4 was still .2-.3.
That’s a 50% drop!
Maybe one measure is not going to fix it, but a few small changes may.
I would start again with the gfo and maybe take a look at what foods you are feeding, if coral food and pellets, changing to frozen and cutting way back on the coral feedings will probably get you there.
 

HB AL

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I have a heavily stocked reef with fish and corals and Nopox is my friend. Why don't you want to carbon dose.
 
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nbd13

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I have a heavily stocked reef with fish and corals and Nopox is my friend. Why don't you want to carbon dose.
I’ve just never had to do it in any of my other tanks.

what happens when you are on vacation and can’t dose? Being gone for a week without dosing won’t that spike the nutrients?

how would I even start to dose nopox? Any good threads on how to do it?
 

Qasimja

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I’ve just never had to do it in any of my other tanks.

what happens when you are on vacation and can’t dose? Being gone for a week without dosing won’t that spike the nutrients?

how would I even start to dose nopox? Any good threads on how to do it?
my tank is 150g reef thats 16 months old and i started having problems with lps so i checked my nitrates and phos they were off the charts water changes weren't helping so i started dosing nopox in 2 weeks my nitrates started to come down steadily now my nitrates are 20 after a month of dosing and my phos are .3 after they were up to 1.0

when you use nopox your skimmer will need to be emptied everyday if its working good. i'm dosing 10ml a day eventually i guess i will setup a doser
 
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HB AL

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I’ve just never had to do it in any of my other tanks.

what happens when you are on vacation and can’t dose? Being gone for a week without dosing won’t that spike the nutrients?

how would I even start to dose nopox? Any good threads on how to do it?
If have no one looking over the tank for a week then don't dose, or if you have a doser plug it into that.
You can start by following the directions on the bottle then fine tune it as you test the nitrates and find the ml amount that works in your tank. I dose 10ml and 20 ml alternating days and rarely test my nitrates and phosphates now since when I test them they are always the same. Also I have all kinds of different types of corals and the nopox does not harm them. This current tank has been running for 4.5 years. Its not gonna hurt anything to try it out. Heres a pic of my tank.
20201201_173755.jpg
 

duffer

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A large water Change will help with nitrates but won’t help the high phosphates..the phosphates most likely is coming from the rocks...I used phosphate RX to keep my phosphates under control..
 

HB AL

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A large water change will help in the short term but it could also bum out some of your corals and the problem will just come back. A refugium, Nopox, phosgaurd or the like will solve the issue longterm.
 
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nbd13

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So will nopox reduce just nitrates or will it lower PO4 too?

I assume phosphate Rx will just lower PO4 and not nitrate?

thanks
 
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nbd13

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A large water Change will help with nitrates but won’t help the high phosphates..the phosphates most likely is coming from the rocks...I used phosphate RX to keep my phosphates under control..
Even after 20 months setup you think the rocks are leaching?
 
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read through that thread. Short answer. Yes your rocks can still be leeching po4. I used phosphate e aggressively. my phosphates dropped from .25 to .1 and now they are at .03 that I maintain with gfo. when using lanthanum chloride you need dilute it 25:1 or 50:1 rodi-lanthanum chloride. and drip it into a 5-10 micron filter sock.

for nitrate control I was having the same issue. water changes didn’t help. I added a brightwell brick and dosed microbactor7 until I finished the bottle. My nitrates hang around 2-5ppm now. I still do carbon dose using plain old vinegar. 100ml a day in my 120.
I don’t do large volume water changes anymore, only because I hate carrying buckets from the basement upstairs and then lifting it to dump into the tank, and I’m a total delinquent who gets water everywhere. Now I do 1 gallon a day. I also retrofitted filter socks into my sump. i change out the socks every 2-3 days and when I do I siphon out detritus into the sock before I change it out.
hope that helps.
 
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nbd13

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I’ve been dosing nopox now for a few weeks. Started at 10 ml per day. Directions said 16.

po4 and nitrate dropped to .18 and 25.

then they climbed back to 0.41 and 50. I increased my dose to 20 ml per day and nothing for 5 days. Should I increase my dose again?

cab my rocks really leach that much?
 

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If you already have cheato, then can you dial that in some more ? Use a better grow light and run it for more hours ? Your PO4 is only slightly high, I wouldnt be too concerned if you dont have algae or other issues.
 

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that's what I love about this hobby ..got a problem ? just dump in chemical - X ..and you're good to go...try natural control such as an algae scrubber or chaeto...say NO to drugs...lol !
 
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nbd13

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I have Chaeto growing with a good light. Currently about 10 hours. Going to ramp that up.

no idea where all this is coming from. Cut back on feeding too
 
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