Low Nitrates and Phosphates, and a hair algae bloom, need some guidance please...

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neznarf

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Hey all. Wanted to see what people's thoughts are on my Nitrate and Phosphate levels.

I have a Reefer 350 (91g total with sump), it's been up and running for almost 3 months now. My parameters are currently:

Salinity: 1.025
PH: 7.9
Temp: 77-78
Alk: 7.84 (Using Hanna checker. I haven't started dosing anything yet but plan on it after I get the results of my ICP-OES test.)
Phos: .03ppm (using Hanna checker)
Nitrates: 0 (using Red Sea test kit)

Sump:
Clarisea Filter Roller
Fuge - Chaeto under a Kessil H380
Red Sea Protein Skimmer

Stock list:
2 clowns
1 fire shrimp
1 emerald crab
CUC with snails and hermits
13 coral frags (LPS/Softie)

Since my cycle completed and I got my nitrates down to 0, I haven't been able to get that number up. Monday I stopped running my skimmer to see if maybe that made a difference, but still at 0. My Phosphates were up to .06 a couple days ago and now back down to .03. My Chaeto has been growing very well, I had the H380 on a 12 hour schedule, but knocked that down to 10 hours to see if that'll get the numbers up a bit. I'm also getting a big time hair algae bloom in my sump, it's growing like crazy but doesn't seem to be competing with the chaeto for nutrients. I've read some conflicting opinions on the hair algae, lots of people saying to leave it and lots saying to remove it.

The tank overall seems to being doing well, my corals appear to be healthy as do the fish.

Questions:

1 Should I be messing with my nitrate/phosphate levels at this stage? Or just leave it alone since everything appears to be healthy?

2 Any advice on the hair algae? Leave it or remove it?

Hope I provided enough information and I appreciate any advice or opinions, thank you!
 
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Jekyl

GSP is the devil and clowns are bad pets
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Never shut the skimmer off. If anything let it empty back into the tank. Remove what algae you can by hand. If anything reduce the photo period for your chaeto slightly.
 

Tony616

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Did you use dry rock? Your tank is too early/clean to be running chaeto refugium. They will suck up all your nutrients and dino will take over in a short period of time. Hair algae are nothing to worry about compared to dino. Get some turbo snails they will take care of it.

I would take the chaeto offline, stop doing water changes, start dosing sodium nitrates to 10-15ppm and bring PO4 up to 0.8-0.1. When you start seeing brown algae with bubbles hanging on them, it's most likely dinos. They are the #1 reason people shut down their tank.
 
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neznarf

neznarf

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Did you use dry rock? Your tank is too early/clean to be running chaeto refugium. They will suck up all your nutrients and dino will take over in a short period of time. Hair algae are nothing to worry about compared to dino. Get some turbo snails they will take care of it.

I would take the chaeto offline, stop doing water changes, start dosing sodium nitrates and bring PO4 up to 0.8-0.1. When you start seeing brown algae with bubbles hanging on them, it's most likely dinos.
I used majority dry rock and a couple pieces of live rock. I ran chaeto from the beginning basically and my nitrates as of a month ago were 10-20ppm, probably attribute that to the cycle ending? Appreciate the advice!
 

Tony616

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I used majority dry rock and a couple pieces of live rock. I ran chaeto from the beginning basically and my nitrates as of a month ago were 10-20ppm, probably attribute that to the cycle ending? Appreciate the advice!
10-20 ppm nitrates is nothing to be afraid of. Corals do need nitrates and phosphates to thrive. I restarted my tank 6 months ago with all new dry rocks. I have always kept my nitrates high (30-40ppm) and Po4 at 0.03-0.07 and I still got hit with dino 3 weeks ago and it was hell. No matter how much I clean, it would grow back and cover all my rocks within next day.

I got so frustrated and i overdose my p04 to 0.4. (yes 0.4!). I figured if I can help other algae to grow, dino would retreat.

Booom, 2 days later, dino started to retreat and I was never so happy to see algae started growing on my glass again.
 
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neznarf

neznarf

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10-20 ppm nitrates is nothing to be afraid of. Corals do need nitrates and phosphates to thrive. I restarted my tank 6 months ago with all new dry rocks. I have always kept my nitrates high (30-40ppm) and Po4 at 0.03-0.07 and I still got hit with dino 3 weeks ago and it was hell. No matter how much I clean, it would grow back and cover all my rocks within next day.

I got so frustrated and i overdose my p04 to 0.4. (yes 0.4!). I figured if I can help other algae to grow, dino would retreat.

Booom, 2 days later, dino started to retreat and I was never so happy to see algae started growing on my glass again.
Yeah I wasn’t overly concerned with the nitrate levels at that time, and really didn’t actively try to get rid of them. It definitely looks like i have some dino but nothing crazy, obviously it can get out of hand quick though so I’ll def give raising the nitrates and phosphates a shot. Fingers crossed. Thanks again Tony!
 
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