LPS dominant tank- How to keep nutrients up?

Discussion in 'General LPS Discussion' started by Ferrell, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Ferrell

    Ferrell Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    574
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I am new to reefing but have kept fish for many years.
    75/30g Tank started in Oct 2017
    Parameters all 8, .ca 420 Mag 1500 (little higb), salinity 34
    2 Clowns 2 reef chromis 1 blenny 1 goby
    Roughly 30 various lps: hammer frogspawn lepta lepto cypha psamm favia duncan acan micromussa paly
    All frag
    Dose talk in ato
    Dose 1 ml kz lps aminos
    4 t5s: 2 B+ 1 C+ 1 actinic
    Roughly 8 hrs total light/10 hrs blue (dawn/dusk)
    Apex controls all

    Problem: How do you keep nitrates above zero?
    I removed filter socks yesterday .Good/bad???
    I have an oversized skimmer for a 120 . Overskimming??? I turned it down to dry skim
    Feed fish 2 times a day. Underfeeding???? Mix of pellets and or frozen
    Add 30 ml live plankton evenings for pods and coral .Too much?

    Any suggestions are much appreciated
     

  2. landlubber

    landlubber Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    284
    likely just a matter of feeding a little more but if that isn't how you want to go about it you can also dose NO3 directly to keep the system from bottoming out.
     
  3. DanielCervantes

    DanielCervantes Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    67
    I started dosing sodium nitrate to my tank and it saved all my sps. Turns out my tank sucks up more nitrates than the 14 fish and feeding produces.
    I’m keeping nitrates around 2 and I’ve noticed everything is A LOT happier and coloring back up again
     
    cracker likes this.
  4. John3

    John3 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    Messages:
    693
    Likes Received:
    497
    You have a few options outside of dosing it. You could change out your filter sock less often. If you currently rinse out the frozen food before feeding don’t. Don’t clean your sandbed as often. Skim less. Feed more. All should add some nitrates, you would just need to find the right combo. I would start with filter sock in longer because that’s what I currently do.

    Are your corals grown out a good amount? It sounds like you should already have some nitrates. Double check that your test kit is not giving you a false zero. Lps at zero should look pretty bad. Mine show unhappiness if nitrates drop below 10.
     
    Ferrell likes this.
  5. Pntbll687

    Pntbll687 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    403
    Removing the socks is a start. I would feed a little more next.

    Do one thing at a time. Then give it a couple weeks to see progress. Don't start doing a bunch of things at once, you'll never know what was responsible for raising nitrates.
     
    Ferrell likes this.
  6. F291

    F291 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2016
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    260
    Location:
    West Covina, CA
    Personal choice would be to remove socks, and feed more. I love to feed my fish a lot and keep them nice and full.
     
    Ferrell likes this.
  7. Elegance Coral

    Elegance Coral Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    326
    Why worry about the exact no3 level? Are your corals bleaching or not healthy?
     
    weasel, Ferrell and shaggydoo like this.
  8. John3

    John3 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    Messages:
    693
    Likes Received:
    497
    I’m not sure if completely removing the sock is going to help because your skimmer will capture a lot that gets through. By changing the sock less frequently you trap uneaten food and fish poo which breaks down into nitrate which will leech back into the water. Nitrate alone should make it past your skimmer.
     
    Ferrell likes this.
  9. Ride the wave

    Ride the wave Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    7
    What test kits do you use and also what’s your phosphate level. You may think twice about leaving your filter sock in longer if it means your phosphate getting too high as it’s more poisonous than nitrate.

    John
     
    Ferrell likes this.
  10. shaggydoo

    shaggydoo Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2017
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Utah
    I have an exclusively LPS 60G tank with well over 50 different LPS, and I would remove the filter socks and slow down on skimming. I do not use filter socks and do not skim. I also feed very heavily. I feed fish at least 3-5 times a day (smaller amounts of food, mostly dry) and corals every other day (huge amounts of food, mostly frozen).

    It is also important to feed LPS correctly. You should try to avoid dramatically changing flow (blasting a coral with a big burst from a turkey baster is a no no) or else many LPS will go into a defensive response and will actually develop a snot-like layer. They will then discard this layer of mucus (including all the food you thought was sticking and being eaten by your coral) after a few minutes. Many people think they are feeding their LPS, when really they are just encouraging a defensive response that actually creates a loss of energy for their corals. If you don't see the food go 100% into the corals mouth, don't consider it fed.

    When I feed my LPS, I blanket the entire tank with mass amounts of tiny particle frozen and powdered food. This encourages a strong feeding response, and has trained my LPS to feed in the day without any need to turn off pumps. After blanketing the tank with tiny particle food, I wait for the feeding response. I then strategically drop in larger pieces directly upflow from the corals I want to feed with a turkey baster. If you are gentle enough, you can also use tweezers to directly place larger pieces onto the coral itself, but you must do this very gently. By feeding this way you will notice many of your LPS become very good at catching food from the water during regular day to day flow, and you will also have less poaching of food by shrimp, hermits, bristleworms, starfish, etc. because there is so much food everywhere for everyone.

    This is my strategy and you may choose to not feed LPS at all (many don't feed). But feeding promotes strong growth, I think a variety of foods is also an important factor. I feed frozen mysis, cyclops, brine, and reef frenzy as well as a host of dry foods such as various pellets, nori, flake, powders, and zooplankton/associated fluids. If you do feed more, don't start dumping extra food in right away , gradually increase your feeding to allow your tank time to adjust. Your LPS will benefit immensely from extra food in the water. It may sound contradictory, but I've seen a marked decrease in algae growth in my display (have a refugium where algae continues to grow quickly at all times) with increased regular feedings.

    I also would not worry about your nitrates/phosphates unless you see problems. Chasing numbers can present a host of problems by itself (inaccurate test kits being one of the biggest issues), and I have personally never tested a tank for nitrates or phosphates. I have been reefing since 2005, and I have always found its best to observe first and test second (then even double check your tests at an LFS if you have any doubts). Side note, I think Mg, Ca and Alk are much more important to test (as well as PH and salinity of course).

    In regards to phyto, I would increase your live plankton if possible. Live plankton is extremely beneficial for any reef and it is underused in this hobby. Live is less potent than the concentrated plankton in your LFS's fridge, so using more is usually not a problem if you gradually increase your dosing and watch how your tank responds. I'm currently dosing 2.5 liters every week, so that equates to over 300 ml a day, or 5 ml per gallon. This may seem like a lot and makes my water a little green for a minute, but my tank greedily consumes this amount in no time. I have feather dusters popping up everywhere.

    If you read this entire novel, congratulations. I hope you got something useful. Best of luck!
     
    Keith31831, dricc, Mrx7899 and 2 others like this.
  11. Ferrell

    Ferrell Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    574
    Location:
    Kentucky
    5472B824-AE56-410F-B6E4-DD921E2AB95E.jpeg 9C9A72DF-2671-4B91-8C4C-8B97EF32CA42.jpeg 452DE121-5324-44B3-A439-F4C5D5CFB934.jpeg Ok here’s the plan:
    1. I put the socks back in to catch the crap but will leave in until the water reaches the top of them
    2. I’ll wait a week. I was only feeding reefroids once a week and a quarter of a tsp target feeding. I may start doing small twice a week feedings and just disperse it around the tank slowing only the return pump to keep it in the tank longer
    3. I’ll wait a week and if that doesn’t help will tune down the skimmer to dry skim or skim less. Or perhaps turn it off at night. (This screws with my ato as the sump rises in response and the ato/kalk doesn’t get dosed. )
    4. Last resort will be chemical treatment. Trying to remain as natural as possible. No dispersions just trying to cure my ills without them.
    Corals look good but just think their a little...off. Polyps aren’t as color rich once I moved the first batch “into position” from the frag rack. Newby jitters perhaps

    Here’s a few of my babies

    E68107C3-D740-4CB0-A6F3-0859E2B8639D.jpeg
     
    shaggydoo likes this.
  12. Ferrell

    Ferrell Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    574
    Location:
    Kentucky
    And the first batch from two weeks ago

    CE97C932-6076-44AF-B716-D010620A7B9A.jpeg

    D26799F9-AF0A-4E7D-AB59-7557BA62D0BD.jpeg

    C486D995-C703-49D7-AC93-175D54BE5DFC.jpeg

    2AE768C2-5A59-4F2A-8E31-0C63B85F7C59.jpeg

    59F00B11-3015-49D8-A23A-2A21A61BB823.jpeg

    99853189-C362-4B93-BA14-3904C0FC78F0.jpeg

    40498638-9A5C-43B4-812D-75C5A84208F5.jpeg

    9EF515CB-C57A-4A9E-A3B8-D97DD1DEA1EC.jpeg

    01669C65-F63A-4989-801F-6E02D7E57D93.jpeg

    6A46279D-E84B-4E2A-BA20-F0A6213469BC.jpeg

    6D583235-8D76-4253-A780-18D8D8B2DD81.jpeg

    DCCFFF7C-2A4D-4220-8B52-602F0C0BC45F.jpeg

    958ADCDD-608D-4E57-B9DC-5A6BC9126E7C.jpeg

    CF893C6C-4C13-42DB-B15E-87A4965DABC7.jpeg

    95496767-64B8-4715-81B9-ADED67542D00.jpeg

    D9DF51AA-674C-48DC-9B1C-BBA450105D7E.jpeg
     
  13. Ferrell

    Ferrell Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    574
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Thank you all for your time to respond and well thoughtout responses. It gives me much food for thought. I mulled it over and came up with a game plan and will precede slowly making observations along the way. Will keep the thread updated as I go forward. Again many thanks
     
    shaggydoo and LV3 like this.
  14. LV3

    LV3 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    132
    I think your corals look healthy. If they’re responding well to what you’re doing now, try not to change too much in an attempt to squeeze out a little more out of them. If the corals and fish look healthy, you’re not having nuisance algae issues, and getting growth and color, leave it be and enjoy it. I don’t run filter socks either and I personally like it. There’s plenty of particulate in the water column for the fish and corals to graze on and in my opinion is representative of a living reef. If you decide you want to change some things, try changing one thing and noting the results over a few MONTHS. It will make it much easier to determine a root cause if something goes wrong or right. Stability is the goal. Looks great man.
     
    shaggydoo likes this.
  15. Ferrell

    Ferrell Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    574
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Thanks for the info.
    By not running socks doesn’t the skimmer take out everything? I was thinking of just using the mesh socks in lieu of felt to let more particles through. Mainly for the mean *** hermits in the sump.
    Do you skim and if so wet or dry?
     
  16. LV3

    LV3 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    132
    I was using the mesh socks and then removed them. The skimmer does take out some particulate in the water but not all of it. I’d say I’m in between dry and wet skimming. I had the same issue you are having now with low nutrients. I had undetectable PO4 and NO3 and had issues with algae and shriveled corals. I tried dosing sodium nitrate which did help but felt it was unsustainable because it was one more thing I had to do to the tank. I instead removed the GFO, removed the filter socks, fed the tank a lot more, and began taking a more natural approach. As a result, the nutrients went up, algae issue went away and the system maintains a balanced nutrient level of both PO4 and NO3 without any chemical filters. Keep us posted on how it goes for you. A lot of times I feel like my tank is at its best when I’m not messing with it as often.
     
    Ferrell and shaggydoo like this.
  17. Kurt Grant

    Kurt Grant Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    11
    Seachem Flourish Nitrogen dose twice a week and call me in the morning!!! Lol
     
  18. Ferrell

    Ferrell Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    574
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Yeah I’m with you the less chems the better hitter keep as last resort. I was thinking the mesh because the crabs on the fuge need to eat so the small stuff could update get through and feed them then skimmed. Everything slowly though
     
  19. rogersb

    rogersb Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    white haven
    No help here on the nutrients, but wanted to say watch the placement of the galexea and star polyps. Both can become nightmares.
     
  20. jisc

    jisc Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    12
    How long before you noticed results? I’m a week in after cutting back skimming, feeding more, and removing chemi pure. Corals are growing but several have lost color. Acan seems good but faded a lot. Same with Goneastrea and Hollywood Stunner. Have done some direct feeding as well.

    All parameters in line but registering 0 Phos and 0 Nitrates for a couple months.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
Loading...