Low nitrate high phosphate

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Uzair Aiman

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Hi, I just bought saliferts nitrate and phosphate testers.

My system runs carbon, a protein skimmer, seachems phosguard and seachems purigen.

Its my first time using these 2 testers so I might be wrong but.

is it normal to have like.. 0ppm nitrate?

and somehow my phosphate is "high" at 1ppm.

did I do something wrong in the testers?

If not, what can I do to decrease phophates but increase nitrate... my hammer coral seems to be really unhappy the past week.
 
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mrlavalamp

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I have been battling high phos for a while, I see your other threads about your hammer.

Don't over react, I lost a tang and foxface because I got overzealous with lanthanum chloride. It was totally my fault and I feel terrible about it. Go slow.

I have had phos at 1ppm+ for a while, months, hammer never cared.

I can understand why you run phosguard, but why are you running purigen?

If you want to raise nitrates leave your skimmer off for a bit and pull out the purigen.

Also if you are trying to lower phosphate, phosguard is a very low absorption product. Good for minor corrections in an already low phos system, bad for major reductions. Gfo will pull more out (almost double the mg/g of phosguard) so be careful in how much you use as you don't want it to zero out either.

Highly recommend the Hannah phosphate checker, I use hi774 and after using it will never go back to the other tests. I was using salifert before too, and hated trying to tell exactly how blue it was.
 
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Marciustm

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Did you test your water source to see if it contains phosphates. I’ve personally used a product “phosphate E” to drop my levels.

As far as the 0 nitrates. Is your tank new or fresh out of a cycle?
 

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Hi, I just bought saliferts nitrate and phosphate testers.

My system runs carbon, a protein skimmer, seachems phosguard and seachems purigen.

Its my first time using these 2 testers so I might be wrong but.

is it normal to have like.. 0ppm nitrate?

and somehow my phosphate is "high" at 1ppm.

did I do something wrong in the testers?

If not, what can I do to decrease phophates but increase nitrate... my hammer coral seems to be really unhappy the past week.
Having a 0ppm Nitrate is an invitation for Dinos to bloom. Do yourself a solid and keep it above zero.
 

Gtinnel

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To increase nitrates without increasing phosphates you could just dose nitrate. My nitrates stay low so I test them regularly and manually dose when needed.

Also I second that the Hanna phosphate checkers are great.
 
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Uzair Aiman

Uzair Aiman

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I have been battling high phos for a while, I see your other threads about your hammer.

Don't over react, I lost a tang and foxface because I got overzealous with lanthanum chloride. It was totally my fault and I feel terrible about it. Go slow.

I have had phos at 1ppm+ for a while, months, hammer never cared.

I can understand why you run phosguard, but why are you running purigen?

If you want to raise nitrates leave your skimmer off for a bit and pull out the purigen.

Also if you are trying to lower phosphate, phosguard is a very low absorption product. Good for minor corrections in an already low phos system, bad for major reductions. Gfo will pull more out (almost double the mg/g of phosguard) so be careful in how much you use as you don't want it to zero out either.

Highly recommend the Hannah phosphate checker, I use hi774 and after using it will never go back to the other tests. I was using salifert before too, and hated trying to tell exactly how blue it was.
Maybe I would remove the purigen for now and leave the skimmer on since it just does the job and I think having low nitrates is better than high. Ill check and see how much nitrate will be present if I remove purigen only. I ran purigen because i wanted to lower my nitrate levels.

For GFO, what if I dont use a reactor will it still do the same? Cause I dont think the space or budget to use a reactor but just use a mesh filter bag. What nitrate levels should I shoot for? Should I feed more when I remove the purigen or just remove the purigen and follow my normal feeding schedule?
 
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Uzair Aiman

Uzair Aiman

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Did you test your water source to see if it contains phosphates. I’ve personally used a product “phosphate E” to drop my levels.

As far as the 0 nitrates. Is your tank new or fresh out of a cycle?
I use RODI water so there isnt supposed to be phosphates, right?

From what I understand by "cycling" is, Ammonia and nitrites = 0 after I seeded the tank with ammonia and bacteria. I did that for 1 month and both parameters are 0 til now. I set it up back in may and added my first fish in June (after the cycling)
 
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Uzair Aiman

Uzair Aiman

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I would just dose some nitrate and put a little bit of gfo in a bag. Take out purigen, run the skimmer on a timer.
Sounds like a good idea! I wont dose nitrate yet though I just take out the purigen, use skimmer on a timer and put gfo in a bag. I think having control over low nitrates is better than trying to reduce high nitrate levels if I mess up
 
Zoanthids

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Sounds like a good idea! I wont dose nitrate yet though I just take out the purigen, use skimmer on a timer and put gfo in a bag. I think having control over low nitrates is better than trying to reduce high nitrate levels if I mess up

The benefit of dosing it is that you can raise nitrate without raising phosphate. You could also try dosing amino acids (that won't raise nitrate), but 0 nitrate and high phosphate environments are welcoming for cyano and I think cyano can use amino acids (therefore if you saw some, then stop the amino dosing for now).
 

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If you really want to chase phosphate, then get a Hannah Ultra Low of some kind. This is the tool to have.

Lower N and higher P has been normal for quite some time in reefing. However, 1.0 P, if real, is quite high. Again, verify with a good tool. Reading clear on a salifert nitrate test kit is no issue if you are feeding well and the corals have available nitrogen in the form of ammonia/ammonium and other things like bacteria to catch and stuff. Having low residuals means nothing but too many erroneously focus on this.

Lowering it is fine as long as you go SLOW and understand how aragonite binds phosphate and and releases... the rock and/or sand will be a massive reservoir for P in your tank. Also, don't cut down on feeding when you are lowering... the available nitrogen and P in all of its forms from fish waste is the prize, not residual levels. Too many people chase residuals without knowing that they are mostly meaningless unless they are too high while cutting back on availability which does real damage.

Perhaps the best and cheapest way to lower P is using Lanthanum Chloride for about 6 months to get from 1.0 to .10. ...again, slowly.
 
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Uzair Aiman

Uzair Aiman

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The benefit of dosing it is that you can raise nitrate without raising phosphate. You could also try dosing amino acids (that won't raise nitrate), but 0 nitrate and high phosphate environments are welcoming for cyano and I think cyano can use amino acids (therefore if you saw some, then stop the amino dosing for now).
Yea Ill reconsider dosing nitrate if my phosphates get out of hand. For now Ill try to lower phosphate first. GFO was hard to find around here and I might have to wait for my LFS to bring in some new stock of GFO or Phosphate E from brightwells. Now I just use the fluvals phosphate remover pad. (idk how good it is but after 1 night of using it i see my hammer being a BIT okay, maybe its just placebo.) Ill check my phosphate after this
 
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Uzair Aiman

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If you really want to chase phosphate, then get a Hannah Ultra Low of some kind. This is the tool to have.

Lower N and higher P has been normal for quite some time in reefing. However, 1.0 P, if real, is quite high. Again, verify with a good tool. Reading clear on a salifert nitrate test kit is no issue if you are feeding well and the corals have available nitrogen in the form of ammonia/ammonium and other things like bacteria to catch and stuff. Having low residuals means nothing but too many erroneously focus on this.

Lowering it is fine as long as you go SLOW and understand how aragonite binds phosphate and and releases... the rock and/or sand will be a massive reservoir for P in your tank. Also, don't cut down on feeding when you are lowering... the available nitrogen and P in all of its forms from fish waste is the prize, not residual levels. Too many people chase residuals without knowing that they are mostly meaningless unless they are too high while cutting back on availability which does real damage.

Perhaps the best and cheapest way to lower P is using Lanthanum Chloride for about 6 months to get from 1.0 to .10. ...again, slowly.
Ill try my best to lower down phosphates slowly. My LFS didnt have lanthanum or gfo in stock for now. i just bought the Fluvals phosphate remover pad and put it in my filter. Im not sure how good it works but after 1 night of using it I see my hammer being ABIT happy. Not sure if its just a placebo effect but Ill check my phosphates after this. Hannah instruments are also kind of hard to find in my city. I wont cut down on food. Ill still follow my feeding regime
 
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Uzair Aiman

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Low nitrates high Phos, leads me to ask with a bullet, what are you feeding. Be precise please. Pellet? Flake? What are the brands if so.....
I feed once a day. I change up their diet day to day. I feed them Cove marine pellets, Dr Bassleer biofish-food, Brightwells zooplanktos-s and mysis shrimp
 

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The anxoic bacteria turn nitrate into nitrogen gas. These establish in sand and rock over time. Nitrate can disappear in a tank. Phosphate just binds to aragonite (sand and rock) and then builds up in the water column. Even if they are added in balance, they don't stay that way in an ecosystem.
 
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