How to increase Phosphates and Lower Nitrates

jcarlosac28

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Hi i have a problem for some time and dont know how to fix it my tank parameter are the following Cal- 460 ALk-8.95 MG-1200 (want to increase to 1250) Phosphate 0 (hanna phosphorus ULR) and nítrate 15 (hanna hige nítrate) . Currently dosing ALK 20ml , CAL 6ml and MG 4ml.
I want to increase the phosphate and decrease the nitrate someone told me i should turn off skimmer for some time eache day in order to increase phosphate but this will also increase nitrates ( if i do this does the oxygenation in the aquarium is at any risky of crating a problem?) , so if i do that should i dose NOPOX to help out.
The other option is to dose NeoPhos to increase phosphate and once i get them stabel i should dose NOPOX to reduce nitrates.

What are your thought on this ideas?? or if you have anothe idea?
I have try heavy feeding but get no result.

Any Help will be apriciated

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Biglew11

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Your nitrates are high but not terrible. How long has your phosphates been zero? I I had a similar experience with higher nitrates and no phosphates, I think they where zero for quite a while. I ended up with dinos. In my case I had to dose phosphates to .1 ppm every day for about a week before I started to get a regular measurement of phosphate. I used seachem flourish phosphorus to dose.
 
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jcarlosac28

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Your nitrates are high but not terrible. How long has your phosphates been zero? I I had a similar experience with higher nitrates and no phosphates, I think they where zero for quite a while. I ended up with dinos. In my case I had to dose phosphates to .1 ppm every day for about a week before I started to get a regular measurement of phosphate. I used seachem flourish phosphorus to dose.
I used to hace the Red Sea test for phosphate but me reading always was between 0 and 0.01 it was hard to tell because of the colors, that's why I decide to get the Hanna phosphorous test but I thing about 1 year I do 10% water chance a week. How long did you continue dosing? just that week or more? my nitrate its not a big problem I thing it will be a problem for later to try to decrease them a little maybe between 5-10 ppm
 

Biglew11

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First week or so the rock and sand was probably absorbing the phosphate. After that I had to continue to dose for about a month or so but a little less each time. I was also able to start skiping days between doses. During that time my nitrates started to drop as a result of bacteria having both nitrates and phosphates available.
 
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watchguy123

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You can most definitely add sodium phosphate or feed more. Additional food should increase both nitrates and phosphates. But typically because phosphates are not absorbed or removed as effectively as nitrates the end result should be more phosphate. You should see your phosphates increase with increased feeding and maybe not so much if any increase with nitrate levels.

There is typically a balance with nutrients, and most commonly it is too much phosphate. You may find that adding a phosphate supplement may actually slowly cause your nitrate level to decrease.

Non measurable nitrate or phosphate usually represents imbalance and often leads to some deleterious development such as dinos or other pathogens. So if you’re confident in your test results, you should intercede.

Phosphate tests can be finicky. Nitrate tests seem easier. Hopefully whatever your response is to the phosphate tests is actually necessary. It’s really unfun to add or subtract to your tank because of an erroneous test.
 

Dkeller_nc

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It’s really unfun to add or subtract to your tank because of an erroneous test.
I'll second this. The Hanna phosphate colorimetric tests (and phosphate tests in general that use the molybdenum blue method) aren't easy to execute. I'd be very, very sure that you're doing the test properly before you start dosing anything to your tank.

As for which phosphate to use, that depends on your kitchen measurement skills and your tolerance for additional work in exchange for saving money. Food-grade sodium phosphate is readily available and very inexpensive, and a typical purchase amount will last you a lifetime since so little needs to be dosed to a tank. However, using food-grade sodium phosphate powder will require you to accurately measure and dissolve the correct amount of sodium phosphate and dose the subsequent solution to your tank. Making a decimal mistake with a phsophate solution and dosing 10X to your tank might have unpleasant consequences for your reef tank.

If you're not confident in your kitchen measurement skills, that's a situation that might call for a commercial product, though it will be far more expensive than purchasing sodium phosphate and mixing a dosing solution yourself.
 

Jonas Bergkvist

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I have the same exact problem like you. In total i have dosed like 500ml of NeoPhos since i started my tank 10 months ago. I very rarely get any readings. On the other hand my Hanna checker is a Phosphate LR, and i'm considering getting a UL instead.

I guess i'm filtering out to much out of my system. I do want to keep my Skimmer running because it aerates my tank. I also have two small Bio bricks and a small bag of Ciporex i think. I may remove some of them.

But you are using a Phosphorus Hanna checker for testing Phosphates? So i guess you are converting the result you get to Phosphates?

Have you solved your problem yet, or are you still battling low Phosphates?

Do you add your results manually in Apex for Nitrate and Phosphate? It looks nice! I'm old school and use paper and pen :)
 
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trhphuc

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Hi Randy, thanks for being here. I attached an image of the closest product (Trisodium phosphate dodecahydrate) I can find for sodium phosphate. Is it usable for dosing po4?
 

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Courtney Aldrich

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I think dosing phosphate will help lower nitrates. If phosphate is limiting, then bacteria that consume nitrate cannot grow. I think for every 0.05 ppm phosphate dosed, you can probably consume about 1 ppm of nitrate.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hi Randy, thanks for being here. I attached an image of the closest product (Trisodium phosphate dodecahydrate) I can find for sodium phosphate. Is it usable for dosing po4?

Yes, that's a fine choice. :)

But there are many brands available at amazon.

For example:

 

Courtney Aldrich

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Hi Randy, thanks for being here. I attached an image of the closest product (Trisodium phosphate dodecahydrate) I can find for sodium phosphate. Is it usable for dosing po4?
This is only 25% by weight phosphate, so make sure to adjust your calculations. Thus, a stock solution of 40 grams per liter would only be 10 gram of phosphate per liter (or 10 mg per mL). Dosing 1 mL of this stock solution in a 1000L tank would raise your phosphates by about 0.01 ppm.
 

trhphuc

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This is only 25% by weight phosphate, so make sure to adjust your calculations. Thus, a stock solution of 40 grams per liter would only be 10 gram of phosphate per liter (or 10 mg per mL). Dosing 1 mL of this stock solution in a 1000L tank would raise your phosphates by about 0.01 ppm.
Thanks for the insight. Basically I have to add 4 times as much as the normal Trisodium Phosphate that Randy suggested to get the same amount of phosphate right? Is there any side effect of this that I should be aware of? Currently I am out of the States so this is the only thing I can find.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Thanks for the insight. Basically I have to add 4 times as much as the normal Trisodium Phosphate that Randy suggested to get the same amount of phosphate right? Is there any side effect of this that I should be aware of? Currently I am out of the States so this is the only thing I can find.

No, that's not correct. No product is 100% phosphate (except phosphoric acid).

Since phosphate dosing is largely trial and error anyway, due the the large and unknown amount that will bind to rock and sand in the tank, and exact values are not important, I doubt it matters much and I'd just use the phosphate by potassium phosphate entry in the calculator below:


I'm not even sure exactly what form of potassium phosphate they used for the calculator, but assuming it is K3PO4 (44.8% phosphate), the material you are using is somewhat less potent (25%) and if you really want, you can multiply the amount needed to dose by 1.8. :)
 

trhphuc

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No, that's not correct. No product is 100% phosphate (except phosphoric acid).

Since phosphate dosing is largely trial and error anyway, due the the large and unknown amount that will bind to rock and sand in the tank, and exact values are not important, I doubt it matters much and I'd just use the phosphate by potassium phosphate entry in the calculator below:


I'm not even sure exactly what form of potassium phosphate they used for the calculator, but assuming it is K3PO4 (44.8% phosphate), the material you are using is somewhat less potent (25%) and if you really want, you can multiply the amount needed to dose by 1.8. :)
Is there a period I should keep the mixed solution for before it goes "bad"?
 
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