Low Nitrates and Phosphates

fpotter15028

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Hello All. I NEED HELP lol.

So I have been trying to get my Reefer 450 up and running since June. I started from scratch and cycled with Brightwell's dry rock starter kit and added a couple of clowns. Everything has been going well. Now I keep getting bacteria blooms. My Nitrate and Phospates are reading 0.00 on my Hanna Checkers (color blind so can only use them). I have been treating the bacteria blooms with UV light but they keep coming back. After attempting to feed more with no success. I decided to dose Brightwells NeoPhos and NeoNitro. After falling the intructions on the bottles. I see no changes. Still at zero for both phosphate and Nitrate. According to the instructions it says I may be "carbon-limited" and to dose BioFuel. Would Red Sea NoPox (I have some at home)be the same as bio fuel? Just looking for any suggestions. I just wanna try and do this right. Don't wanna just chase numbers and keep dumping additives into the tank. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Frank

Tank Details
92 Gallon Display (116G total volume). Current bacterial bloom
Current Stock - 3 Clowns, 6 Chromis, Firefish, Foxface assorted snails.
Temp - 79.4
Salt - 34.9
PH - 7.55
Alk - 10.2
CA- 436
MG - 1333
Nitrate - 0
Phos - 0

Skimmer is turned off. Water changes put on hold.
 
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nereefpat

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I decided to dose Brightwells NeoPhos and NeoNitro. After falling the intructions on the bottles. I see no changes. Still at zero for both phosphate and Nitrate. According to the instructions it says I may be "carbon-limited" and to dose BioFuel.
To me, dosing Biofuel to increase P or N because of a carbon limitation is nonsense. If you dose enough nitrogen or phosphorous, it will show up on a kit, regardless of carbon present. I think you just need to dose more. What specific checkers are you using?
 
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fpotter15028

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To me, dosing Biofuel to increase P or N because of a carbon limitation is nonsense. If you dose enough nitrogen or phosphorous, it will show up on a kit, regardless of carbon present. I think you just need to dose more. What specific checkers are you using?
Using the the Nitrate LR and Phosphate ULR checkers.

Ive been doing some more research and I agree with you. I dosed again today and aimed for higher numbers. Just wanna get them up to try and avoid these ugly bacteria blooms. At least with numbers registering I can figure out up or down trends. I cant work with zeros
 
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fpotter15028

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Using the the Nitrate LR and Phosphate ULR checkers.

Ive been doing some more research and I agree with you. I dosed again today and aimed for higher numbers. Just wanna get them up to try and avoid these ugly bacteria blooms. At least with numbers registering I can figure out up or down trends. I cant work with zeros
One last question. Will dosing Nitrate and Phosphate while I have a bacterial bloom. Help get rid of it. Or just feed it more? Will dosing now, just make it worse?
 
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Dan_P

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Hello All. I NEED HELP lol.

So I have been trying to get my Reefer 450 up and running since June. I started from scratch and cycled with Brightwell's dry rock starter kit and added a couple of clowns. Everything has been going well. Now I keep getting bacteria blooms. My Nitrate and Phospates are reading 0.00 on my Hanna Checkers (color blind so can only use them). I have been treating the bacteria blooms with UV light but they keep coming back. After attempting to feed more with no success. I decided to dose Brightwells NeoPhos and NeoNitro. After falling the intructions on the bottles. I see no changes. Still at zero for both phosphate and Nitrate. According to the instructions it says I may be "carbon-limited" and to dose BioFuel. Would Red Sea NoPox (I have some at home)be the same as bio fuel? Just looking for any suggestions. I just wanna try and do this right. Don't wanna just chase numbers and keep dumping additives into the tank. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Frank

Tank Details
92 Gallon Display (116G total volume). Current bacterial bloom
Current Stock - 3 Clowns, 6 Chromis, Firefish, Foxface assorted snails.
Temp - 79.4
Salt - 34.9
PH - 7.55
Alk - 10.2
CA- 436
MG - 1333
Nitrate - 0
Phos - 0

Skimmer is turned off. Water changes put on hold.
I wonder. If what you observe is a bacteria bloom, I would think you are not carbon limited but the opposite. A large population of bacteria might also deplete the nitrate.

Maybe recast the issue as you have unwanted bacteria blooms. By the way, what is the evidence for bacteria blooms? Cloudy water?
 

Jonas Bergkvist

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I have had this problem for many months now, that my Phosphates are to low. Every other day i measure it and i sometimes get a reading (0.03-0.05), but most of the times my Hanna checker reads 0.00. It's not a UL one, but a LR. So it can be a difference.

My Nitrates has for the most part been on the higher side though. 5+ PPM. My Hanna on this test is LR, so it's not optimal because it only reads up to 5 PPM.

A couple of months ago i started to dose around 5-10 ml of Neophos per day, resulting in a reading sometimes. Then i ran out of Neophos so i started with Seachems Phosphorus instead wich pretty much does the same thing.

Over the course of this low nutrient problem i had, i learned that it is very likey that the rockwork soak up some of the nutrients you add to your tank. I think this can be the case for you? My aquarium is still young, around 11 months and i started with dry Marco Rocks. I think especially dry rocks will soak up nutrients.

However, i would continue to add both until you at least get a reading and keep doing it until the rockwork/sand leaches back some of that into your system.

It's important that you test pretty often, even if it's boring because one day your system will provide both nutrients by itself, and then you might want to stop dosing. When i started to ask around here about how to increase Phospates, one guy responded to me who had a similar problem. He said he had to dose 2 litres of Phosphates before he could stop adding manually!

If you, like me have a skimmer running 24/4 it will help to turn it off during days or even better, let the waste tube drip the gunk back into your system. I have also removed carbon for the time being, because i think it binds a little nutrients (crap that does not have time to rot i think). I decided to run carbon if i need it (yellowing of water or bad smell)

I have also removed Zeolite (200 gr) in my reactor. I added this to get rid of Nitrate, not sure if it removes Phosphates as well though.

Adding more fish i believe will increas P and N.

Anyway, i'm not sure i anwered your question here but i hope you'll find some of the information useful :) Oh, and im not really convinced you should use UV at this point. If you have a bacteria bloom, isn't that good in the sense that te bacteria will settle and colonize the sand and rock and eventually be gone by itself?

One more thing: It's a bit odd that you have such low pH. How do you measure it? I would try to get the pH up with Bicarbonate. Slowly.

Edit: Now i see you have turned off your skimmer. I would turn it back on and let the tube with crap hang into the sump. A skimmer helps aerate your water and will help to get your pH up.
 

las

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Many times when people get algae blooms they have zero nitrates and phosphates tests because the algae is consuming it so quickly. But since your ph was super low, i think you should make sure the tests are correct
 

fushi

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Hello All. I NEED HELP lol.

So I have been trying to get my Reefer 450 up and running since June. I started from scratch and cycled with Brightwell's dry rock starter kit and added a couple of clowns. Everything has been going well. Now I keep getting bacteria blooms. My Nitrate and Phospates are reading 0.00 on my Hanna Checkers (color blind so can only use them). I have been treating the bacteria blooms with UV light but they keep coming back. After attempting to feed more with no success. I decided to dose Brightwells NeoPhos and NeoNitro. After falling the intructions on the bottles. I see no changes. Still at zero for both phosphate and Nitrate. According to the instructions it says I may be "carbon-limited" and to dose BioFuel. Would Red Sea NoPox (I have some at home)be the same as bio fuel? Just looking for any suggestions. I just wanna try and do this right. Don't wanna just chase numbers and keep dumping additives into the tank. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Frank

Tank Details
92 Gallon Display (116G total volume). Current bacterial bloom
Current Stock - 3 Clowns, 6 Chromis, Firefish, Foxface assorted snails.
Temp - 79.4
Salt - 34.9
PH - 7.55
Alk - 10.2
CA- 436
MG - 1333
Nitrate - 0
Phos - 0

Skimmer is turned off. Water changes put on hold.
I also didn't have the best luck dosing NO3 and PO4 when my tank was new and going through its algae blooms. My tank was just burning through a ton of NO3 and PO4.

I found adding live phytoplankton helped outcompete the algae blooms and adding dried spirulina and oyster feast raised nutrients. The spirulina and oyster feast don't seem to increase nutrients right away like dosing does but it raised my nutrients over a couple of days.

As others have mentioned your ph looks low, are you using an apex ph probe? I had a few issues with mine when i first got it and had to calibrate it a few times.

If your PH is accurate you may want to look into a co2 scrubber for your skimmer, it helped me go from 7.7 low to a 7.9 low and that little change made a huge impact on my tank.
 
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gd1985

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Ive got the same issue with my tank. Its 8 months old, with a 3 month fallow period ;Facepalm included & i've never registered nitrate since the initial cycle & never got a phosphate reading.

I've only got 6 small fish in my redsea 425 so its not exactly got a high bio load. I was waiting until after Christmas to add more fish as I lost a couple of wrasse & a grammar in QT last month.

Started adding coral a couple months ago & the sps frag lost some tissue. Some guys on here straight away said low nutrients.

I don't want to have to be adding multiple supplements so would the best way to get them up to increase feeding & bioload?
 

fushi

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Ive got the same issue with my tank. Its 8 months old, with a 3 month fallow period ;Facepalm included & i've never registered nitrate since the initial cycle & never got a phosphate reading.

I've only got 6 small fish in my redsea 425 so its not exactly got a high bio load. I was waiting until after Christmas to add more fish as I lost a couple of wrasse & a grammar in QT last month.

Started adding coral a couple months ago & the sps frag lost some tissue. Some guys on here straight away said low nutrients.

I don't want to have to be adding multiple supplements so would the best way to get them up to increase feeding & bioload?
Yes increase in feeding is usually the best, if that doesn’t help then you can reduce your bio filtration such as bio media or algae, and if that doesn’t work dosing NO3 and PO4 is pretty easy. I would also keep an eye on your PH and make sure its not dropping below 7.8 as it can be a nail in the coffin for struggling corals.
 

thatmanMIKEson

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Dosing is the best, cleanest way trust me research n03 and p04 dosing more, you will be glad you did.
 

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gd1985

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So I've increased feeding to x5 frozen blocks throughout the day. Nitrates showing between 1-2 on tropic marin kit. Phosphate still not showing anything, there's a slight tinge to the test kit but nothing on the scale.

I've turned my reactor running GFO off as well. The sps frag looks done, unfortunately. Sand & back wall still has some brown algae on it but its not stringy/bubbles so thinking ots not dino
16389482587703758881393030108471.jpg
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gbroadbridge

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My experience is that dead rock like Life Rock and Marcos soak up phosphates.

I was dosing a lot of monosodium phosphate and potassium nitrate when I set up a new tank 9 months ago as I wanted to avoid a dino outbreak.

Now I'm fighting to keep under 0.1ppm PO4 and 10 ppm NO3 even with GFO.

Fun hobby :) Never got hit with dinos.

Enjoy

Regards
Graham.
 

Jonas Bergkvist

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My experience is that dead rock like Life Rock and Marcos soak up phosphates.

I was dosing a lot of monosodium phosphate and potassium nitrate when I set up a new tank 9 months ago as I wanted to avoid a dino outbreak.

Now I'm fighting to keep under 0.1ppm PO4 and 10 ppm NO3 even with GFO.

Fun hobby :) Never got hit with dinos.

Enjoy

Regards
Graham.
This! My tank is now 11 months old, and i've been struggeling with zero Phosphates pretty much since initial cycle. I too have dry Marco rocks - like 50 Kg maybe. I think all in all i have added at least one litre of Neophos to get a little reading of Phos.

I removed Zeolite for good and activated carbon because i heard it will lower phosphates by a tad, so i only run the latter for a few days a month.
 

gbroadbridge

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This! My tank is now 11 months old, and i've been struggeling with zero Phosphates pretty much since initial cycle. I too have dry Marco rocks - like 50 Kg maybe. I think all in all i have added at least one litre of Neophos to get a little reading of Phos.

I removed Zeolite for good and activated carbon because i heard it will lower phosphates by a tad, so i only run the latter for a few days a month.
I don't think that carbon will make much difference, but I think a good idea to remove the zeolites in a new tank.

Just be careful with adding phosphates, because one day you will find you have too much and it takes just as long for it to leach out of the rock as it did to put it in :)

Regards
Graham.
 

ariellemermaid

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Hello All. I NEED HELP lol.

So I have been trying to get my Reefer 450 up and running since June. I started from scratch and cycled with Brightwell's dry rock starter kit and added a couple of clowns. Everything has been going well. Now I keep getting bacteria blooms. My Nitrate and Phospates are reading 0.00 on my Hanna Checkers (color blind so can only use them). I have been treating the bacteria blooms with UV light but they keep coming back. After attempting to feed more with no success. I decided to dose Brightwells NeoPhos and NeoNitro. After falling the intructions on the bottles. I see no changes. Still at zero for both phosphate and Nitrate. According to the instructions it says I may be "carbon-limited" and to dose BioFuel. Would Red Sea NoPox (I have some at home)be the same as bio fuel? Just looking for any suggestions. I just wanna try and do this right. Don't wanna just chase numbers and keep dumping additives into the tank. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Frank

Tank Details
92 Gallon Display (116G total volume). Current bacterial bloom
Current Stock - 3 Clowns, 6 Chromis, Firefish, Foxface assorted snails.
Temp - 79.4
Salt - 34.9
PH - 7.55
Alk - 10.2
CA- 436
MG - 1333
Nitrate - 0
Phos - 0

Skimmer is turned off. Water changes put on hold.
Carbon limitation:
I think a lot of people struggling to get phosphate up misread the directions because I’ve seen threads on what you said above. Here they are:

3. Apply NEOPHOS as directed below to attain a phosphate concentration of ~0.02 ppm.

4. Allow 24-hours to elapse; re-test nitrate and phosphate concentrations. If concentrations remain unchanged, then the system is likely carbon-limited. Dose with REEF BIOFUEL at the rate of 1-ml per 25 US-gallons and allow 24-hours to elapse, then re-test phosphate and nitrate concentrations. Continue daily dosing with REEF BIOFUEL until phosphate or nitrate concentrations begin to decrease, indicating that the rate of carbon input to the system matches the rate of phosphorus- or nitrogen-input, respectively.

The key is step 3. It’s not saying you’re “carbon limited” if you can’t get it up. It’s saying dose until you get it up, wait 24 hours, and then if it doesn’t DECREASE consider “carbon limitation.” In other words not dosing what should give you 0.02, but dosing until you actually measure that level first. Then step 4 after 24 hours.
 
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