I'm dying on this hill - Phosphate is more important than alkalinity

Nicholas Dushynsky

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Did you happen to test for nutrients as it declined? I have a love/hate relationship with the accuracy of test kits and mainly just use them to establish trends. Even the all mighty Hanna ULR doesn't give me warm fuzzies. I had a serious event where my PO4 was at 0.02 on test kits and things were going south fast. I always read posts where people say as long as there is a trace you're good...any level showing on a test kit means you have enough. Time and time again I am reminded by how quickly stuff goes south when po4 is low. I dose PO4 whenever my hanna ULR reads 0.02 or less and stuff looks great.
I was too late to the game I tested nitrates at 5 and phosphates said 0.03 I got a second opinion and their hanna showed 0.01 then he re took the test and showed zero so my kit was faulty near the end of use by date so now I dose p04 and a little roids occasionally and either nitrates or acro power. Does any one know how long after dosing phosphates I should test? As if I dose then test in 24 hrs the results are the same as the day before. I just dont know what is using it at present
 

90's reefer

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I was too late to the game I tested nitrates at 5 and phosphates said 0.03 I got a second opinion and their hanna showed 0.01 then he re took the test and showed zero so my kit was faulty near the end of use by date so now I dose p04 and a little roids occasionally and either nitrates or acro power. Does any one know how long after dosing phosphates I should test? As if I dose then test in 24 hrs the results are the same as the day before. I just dont know what is using it at present
Test in an hour or 2 then retest in 24 hrs. After 1 or 2 hours you should see the increase the po4 add made. You should see some decline in po4 after 24hrs. Test again in another 24 hrs. This way you will be able to see what your tank is using every 24 hours. That is how I do it when I have dosed po4 in the past.
 

Dennis Cartier

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Did you happen to test for nutrients as it declined? I have a love/hate relationship with the accuracy of test kits and mainly just use them to establish trends. Even the all mighty Hanna ULR doesn't give me warm fuzzies. I had a serious event where my PO4 was at 0.02 on test kits and things were going south fast. I always read posts where people say as long as there is a trace you're good...any level showing on a test kit means you have enough. Time and time again I am reminded by how quickly stuff goes south when po4 is low. I dose PO4 whenever my hanna ULR reads 0.02 or less and stuff looks great.
Was this the issue you had and posted about around a month ago? I was following that thread but did not see a cause determined.
 

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This is totally wild. I've been maintaining a list of things i need to order for my new tank. I guess I'll scratch Rowaphos off the list. Until I read this thread I though 0 phosphates was the target. It seems like a difficult parameter to control. I wonder if I had problems in the past due to low phosphate.
 

Nicholas Dushynsky

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Test in an hour or 2 then retest in 24 hrs. After 1 or 2 hours you should see the increase the po4 add made. You should see some decline in po4 after 24hrs. Test again in another 24 hrs. This way you will be able to see what your tank is using every 24 hours. That is how I do it when I have dosed po4 in the past.
Thanks for that.
 

sde1500

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This is totally wild. I've been maintaining a list of things i need to order for my new tank. I guess I'll scratch Rowaphos off the list. Until I read this thread I though 0 phosphates was the target. It seems like a difficult parameter to control. I wonder if I had problems in the past due to low phosphate.
Always interesting to see as our understanding of how to keep reef tanks grows and develops.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Perry

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My not so popular input.
Forget target levels, testing, and chasing numbers. A well stocked tank, full of fish, CUC, mature rock, teeming with life, including sponges, pods, dusters, worms, and others, properly fed will likely guarentee success in SPS keeping. Simply look to glass algae as a way of knowing nutrients, to me, specifically phosphate. Swiping glass, twice per day, nutrients are probably a bit high. Daily, hits my sweet spot. Every other day, probably good, but getting low. 3 days or more, better up the feedings, corals might start looking dull. Weekly, corals starved. Again, my experience, years of keeping acros.
@Biggles
Maybe this ties into our competition back in the day of "How many fish do you keep" More fish= more poop= more food
KISS :)
Daily swiping also brushes pods eggs into the water column, which acros responded quite well to, also anecdotal, but could also serve as a phyto feeding too. I preferred evenings or early morning, as feeding polyps usually present.
So, my not so scientific perspective on nutrients and their levels. Bash away, but keep in mind, we have so many ways at success in this amazing hobby :)
Cheers
 

sde1500

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My not so popular input.
Forget target levels, testing, and chasing numbers. A well stocked tank, full of fish, CUC, mature rock, teeming with life, including sponges, pods, dusters, worms, and others, properly fed will likely guarentee success in SPS keeping. Simply look to glass algae as a way of knowing nutrients, to me, specifically phosphate. Swiping glass, twice per day, nutrients are probably a bit high. Daily, hits my sweet spot. Every other day, probably good, but getting low. 3 days or more, better up the feedings, corals might start looking dull. Weekly, corals starved. Again, my experience, years of keeping acros.
@Biggles
Maybe this ties into our competition back in the day of "How many fish do you keep" More fish= more poop= more food
KISS :)
Daily swiping also brushes pods eggs into the water column, which acros responded quite well to, also anecdotal, but could also serve as a phyto feeding too. I preferred evenings or early morning, as feeding polyps usually present.
So, my not so scientific perspective on nutrients and their levels. Bash away, but keep in mind, we have so many ways at success in this amazing hobby :)
Cheers
I don’t see anything to bash, beyond claiming film algae is phyto. But I would advocate testing. Many can get a good feel of how their tank is doing and that’s excellent, but so many times with acros there is a split second between when they tell you something is wrong and when they’re dead.
 

Nicholas Dushynsky

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My not so popular input.
Forget target levels, testing, and chasing numbers. A well stocked tank, full of fish, CUC, mature rock, teeming with life, including sponges, pods, dusters, worms, and others, properly fed will likely guarentee success in SPS keeping. Simply look to glass algae as a way of knowing nutrients, to me, specifically phosphate. Swiping glass, twice per day, nutrients are probably a bit high. Daily, hits my sweet spot. Every other day, probably good, but getting low. 3 days or more, better up the feedings, corals might start looking dull. Weekly, corals starved. Again, my experience, years of keeping acros.
@Biggles
Maybe this ties into our competition back in the day of "How many fish do you keep" More fish= more poop= more food
KISS :)
Daily swiping also brushes pods eggs into the water column, which acros responded quite well to, also anecdotal, but could also serve as a phyto feeding too. I preferred evenings or early morning, as feeding polyps usually present.
So, my not so scientific perspective on nutrients and their levels. Bash away, but keep in mind, we have so many ways at success in this amazing hobby :)
Cheers
This is the issue I'm having, this tank has only 3 fish over feeding and using the fish waste is great if I had big eaters/poopers. I have 2 clowns and a yellow watchman. And I had good growth with the same 3 fish and feedings 3 years ish ago so what could have changed? All I saw was the corals growing quickly. I managed to frag and sell some and move others to other tanks. Then growth stopped, colours faded then sps died, I got cyano then dino now I just have the same 3 fish eating and pooping, in a tank where the corals are just surviving. The only other issue I did have about 3 months ago was the heater stuck on and the tank got up to 88 for about 4-5 hours! Do you think just adding an extra fish or 2 would help? As having to feed more would be better than dosing nitrates and phosphates.
 
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Perry

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This is the issue I'm having, this tank has only 3 fish over feeding and using the fish waste is great if I had big eaters/poopers. I have 2 clowns and a yellow watchman. And I had good growth with the same 3 fish and feedings 3 years ish ago so what could have changed? All I saw was the corals growing quickly. I managed to frag and sell some and move others to other tanks. Then growth stopped, colours faded then sps died, I got cyano then dino now I just have the same 3 fish eating and pooping, in a tank where the corals are just surviving. The only other issue I did have about 3 months ago was the heater stuck on and the tank got up to 88 for about 4-5 hours! Do you think just adding an extra fish or 2 would help? As having to feed more would be better than dosing nitrates and phosphates.
For me, yes. Of course, as long as you feel that your equipment can handle, in terms of export.
 

Nicholas Dushynsky

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For me, yes. Of course, as long as you feel that your equipment can handle, in terms of export.
Well the rock is full of all sorts, sponges,pod, bristle worms etc. The main rock I have is over 14 years old and has been in 3 tanks now. Obviously I know that the current rock is capable of dealing with current bioload and I don't want to throw it out of whack
 

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