How to safely start dosing Nitrates and Phosphates

liddojunior

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I have a frag tank that only has snails and emerald crabs. There’s also tons of microfauna life, there’s huge diversity which makes me happy to see.

I do have algae that grows but think the cuc probably is the reason I barely see any algae. I just have to scrape the glass because the snails kinda eventually leave a funny pattern of spots. But I can’t seem to get detectable levels of nutrients.

I slowed down water changes and mainly dose Alk, Ca, Mg, and trace elements so my corals all do great. And stop using filter floss. It wasn’t really getting dirty and think was trapping more pods and phyto than it wasn’t needed.

But when I move healthy frags of softies to the tank, it’s like 50/50 if they do okay or struggle. I had moved a nice mini colony of a leather I only have one of and it melted which made me realize I should really look into getting nutrients up.


I do feed my corals, I use red sea reef energy and live phyto. So would think there is a nutrient input.

In the AIO chambers I have biomedia, live rock, and a bag of Red Sea carbon. (I only add a little bit and replace once a month). I wouldn’t think carbon is going to strip nitrates and phosphates that aggressively.

I don’t intend to run a ULNS tank but also worried if I dose nitrates and phosphates without a plan I can toss my tank balance down the stairs.

For those who dose nitrates and phosphates what are your tips? How to start and properly monitor to increase levels ?
 
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liddojunior

liddojunior

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What are your current numbers

I don’t have ultra low test but on the salifort test I’m basically seeing clear water. Only the most slight pink on the nitrate test

I have Nitrates at 0-2 ppm and phosphates 0.00 ppm.
 

Pod_01

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I wouldn’t think carbon is going to strip nitrates and phosphates that aggressively.
Carbon will do nothing to NO3 or PO4. But do use it sparingly and once a month change sounds ideal.

But with
phosphates 0.00 ppm
no coral will survive, they will all starve. P is one of the most critical building blocks. I prefer value of 0.05-0.15 ppm some reefers make it work with less.

For:
have Nitrates at 0-2 ppm
You should have at least 1ppm. Anything less and there is a chance you have no N and again corals will suffer.

My preferred method is to feed the fish to get both N and P.

Red Sea reef energy is amino acid so that is mainly N source. Amino acids do work but they also feed undesirable things. I am not sure what live Phyto will do, some bottles I seen there is almost nothing inside.

For phosphate source you could try this:
1715725615570.jpeg

If there is no fish to feed.
I am using it sparingly and so far no algae outbreaks and corals seem to like it.

Good luck,
 
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liddojunior

liddojunior

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I went to my lfs and got the Brightwell nitrogen and phosphate solutions.

But my guess is my levels are barely enough for current corals and why I get like undetectable readings. But since softies struggle I do want to dose to increase. Just worried cause I don’t really have a way to check consumption rate since my starting amount is 0. And don’t want to jump to a high value and then see how it depletes over a week.

My thinking is that would just cause a bacteria or algae bloom.

when you add phosphates how did you determine a schedule ? Like is it regular or sporadic dosing

Carbon will do nothing to NO3 or PO4. But do use it sparingly and once a month change sounds ideal.

But with

no coral will survive, they will all starve. P is one of the most critical building blocks. I prefer value of 0.05-0.15 ppm some reefers make it work with less.

For:

You should have at least 1ppm. Anything less and there is a chance you have no N and again corals will suffer.

My preferred method is to feed the fish to get both N and P.

Red Sea reef energy is amino acid so that is mainly N source. Amino acids do work but they also feed undesirable things. I am not sure what live Phyto will do, some bottles I seen there is almost nothing inside.

For phosphate source you could try this:
1715725615570.jpeg

If there is no fish to feed.
I am using it sparingly and so far no algae outbreaks and corals seem to like it.

Good luck,
 

Pod_01

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I never actually added liquid NO3 / PO4 but if I did I would just add enough for 0.01ppm boost of PO4 and 1ppm boost of NO3. Observe and if things look good try again in a day or three. Nice and slow, observe and sit on your hands.

That is why I prefer feeding fish, they produce what corals need. The Phos Feed also seems very gentle, after couple of weeks my PO4 did not increase but some algae that I had has retreated. I completely cut out all my coral foods and that seemed to help with algae. Coral foods work but they do feed other things.

Liquid NO3/PO4 seems like great food for algae, I also purchased some while back but I just did not add it.
 

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