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

OP
Potatohead

Potatohead

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
1,673
Reaction score
2,218
Location
Vancouver
I would love to add more fish. All I have is a yellow tang, two percs and a melanurus. I did also have a diamond goby but he up and vanished a couple months ago, I think consuming dinos for months may have done him in, but not sure.

I'm hesitant to add fish because I don't have any more copper and it's banned up here now. I could get some out of the States if I really wanted to. Between disease and possible aggression I am just hesitant to upset the apple cart. I would love a black cap basslet and a flame hawk though.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Hans-Werner

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
658
Reaction score
711
That is not exactly what I meant. Some people are very happy with even higher phosphate concentrations although with more than .15 ppm it starts to get quite high. It is rather the extremely low concentrations that are really bad.
I though 0 phosphates was the target.
Me too in the '90s, but slowly I started to understand what it really means that under coral reef concentrations coral growth usually is phosphate limited.

Here and here two scientific articles about phosphate concentrations in coral skeletons.

N : P ratios of 5 : 1 to 10 : 1 come close to my results with fertilization trials. The optimum concentrations in tank water may be different because minimum concentrations where corals are still able to take up nutrients are quite close together for phosphate, ammonia and nitrate. Some corals need at least around 0.02 ppm phosphate and 0.04 ppm nitrate or maybe 0.01 ppm or less total ammonia for a net uptake of these nutrients, but this may differ a bit between species. This means very low concentrations of N-compounds are sufficient to fulfill corals needs but phosphate should be present at detectable concentrations to make sure it is enough.

In my experience the symptoms of N and P starvation are different.

N deficiency makes the corals get quite pale but otherwise they stay healthy and soon regain color when they get more N compounds.

With phosphate starvation corals quite early show tissue necrosis with or without further symptoms. This seems to depend a bit whether N is available as ammonia or nitrate. Bleaching and tissue necrosis from the tips and exposed parts only occurs when corals have to use nitrate as N source. With ammonia as N nutrient the corals otherwise usually look quite good in color and may even open up quite good but show tissue necrosis from the base.
 

Neoalchemist

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
685
Reaction score
544
I would love to add more fish. All I have is a yellow tang, two percs and a melanurus. I did also have a diamond goby but he up and vanished a couple months ago, I think consuming dinos for months may have done him in, but not sure.

I'm hesitant to add fish because I don't have any more copper and it's banned up here now. I could get some out of the States if I really wanted to. Between disease and possible aggression I am just hesitant to upset the apple cart. I would love a black cap basslet and a flame hawk though.
Ive been kicking around the idea for a long time that more fish faster may just be the cure for early tank dinoflaggellates.
Its one of a few things that are differant from "back in the day" when dinos were the exception not the rule.
Back then the sequence was live rock and sand, then cycle and clean up crew, then ramp up to full tank of fish, then corals. Nowadays everyone is afraid of overloading the system with fish early or at all
So tanks are dealing with low nutrient problems rather than the high nutrient problems we dealt with for a decade or so.
 
OP
Potatohead

Potatohead

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
1,673
Reaction score
2,218
Location
Vancouver
So thought I would bump this with an update...

Tank still looks great. This beside the fact at some point in the last week or so my fuge light stopped working and when I checked my phosphate today it was 0.26 ;Bored. Mind you I did check at the beginning of my photoperiod when I usually check towards the end, but it's still elevated. So I went out and got a new fuge bulb and slowed my dosing for now but I'm not going to go nuts on reducing it because most everything is much improved over 6 weeks ago. Ideally I would like 0.08 - 0.14 range.

Here's another pic of the coral I posted in this thread a few weeks ago, lots of new branches sprouting.

20200308_153038.jpg
 

Hair Algae in your aquarium. Choose all that apply!

  • I've never had hair algae

    Votes: 21 7.9%
  • I Have had a little but nothing major

    Votes: 62 23.2%
  • I Have had several tough outbreaks

    Votes: 30 11.2%
  • I Have had a major outbreak that I won

    Votes: 85 31.8%
  • Have had a major outbreak that caused me to tear the tank down

    Votes: 11 4.1%
  • I am battling a little hair algae now

    Votes: 65 24.3%
  • I am battling a major outbreak right now

    Votes: 35 13.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 1 0.4%

Online statistics

Members online
2,568
Guests online
5,723
Total visitors
8,291
Top