My Plan to Reduce PO4 & NO3

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Pedoconfuego

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This is mostly pertaining to acropora but can transfer to lps and some other sps too. If your not trying to color acropora then I wouldn’t worry about going any lower than where your at. Going lower than where you are at now might bring out lighter coloration and brighter more fluorescent tip color, while contrast from base to tip should be nice. Keeping nutrients above natural sea water will keep corals a more solid bold color with deeper tips and keeping nutrients very high will keep colors deep and rich looking without as much contrast since the base colors are darker and tips won’t be as bright. We used to run very high par and natural looking light with halides to get nicer colors with nutrient rich tanks but now with most people using leds it’s harder to get bright colors with lots of nutrients unless your one of the few people who has acclimated their corals to a lot of fixtures running at very high percentages on both white and blue.
If your going to keep going lower you will need to do it very slowly and keep a good eye on your corals. This is where people mess up and most blame having 0 readable nutrients for their coral death when it was actually the transition that caused the issues. I have seen some amazing colors from tanks reading 0 nutrients but they are well fed and most don’t care for the lighter coloration.
I think focusing on spectrum, par and using more white light can do a lot more for some reefers color than dropping nutrients. If you run a very blue tank it’s going to be really hard to get some colors to really come out well. Like red, yellow and blue. Sure the blue part is debatable but any coral that’s blue under leds you can bring into natural lighting for a min and see most of the time it just fluorescing blue light and looks much different. Just my take on it sorry for the rant.
 
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Esther - Something to realize here. Nitrate reduction by carbon dosing takes quite a while, typically at least 3 to 4 weeks, sometimes a lot longer. I would rather strongly advise you to keep your dosing at the level it is for at least 2 weeks to determine what the effects will be.

There are a couple of reasons for this advice. The first is danger to the tank inhabitants by "going over the edge" and causing a large bacterial bloom that clouds the water, removes more oxygen than your skimmer and circulation pumps can overcome, and kills the inhabitants. The second is a more subtle danger, which is the delayed effect of carbon dosing where you can see a complete crash of the nitrate levels several weeks after you increased the dosage. This obviously won't hurt the fish or any crustaceans that you might have, but it's very likely to kill any SPS in your tank.

I'd say the probability of the second danger is about 50/50, but it might be a good idea to purchase some sodium nitrate ahead of time to be able to dose the tank if necessary. It's cheap stuff, and good to have around.
 
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This is mostly pertaining to acropora but can transfer to lps and some other sps too. If your not trying to color acropora then I wouldn’t worry about going any lower than where your at. Going lower than where you are at now might bring out lighter coloration and brighter more fluorescent tip color, while contrast from base to tip should be nice. Keeping nutrients above natural sea water will keep corals a more solid bold color with deeper tips and keeping nutrients very high will keep colors deep and rich looking without as much contrast since the base colors are darker and tips won’t be as bright. We used to run very high par and natural looking light with halides to get nicer colors with nutrient rich tanks but now with most people using leds it’s harder to get bright colors with lots of nutrients unless your one of the few people who has acclimated their corals to a lot of fixtures running at very high percentages on both white and blue.
If your going to keep going lower you will need to do it very slowly and keep a good eye on your corals. This is where people mess up and most blame having 0 readable nutrients for their coral death when it was actually the transition that caused the issues. I have seen some amazing colors from tanks reading 0 nutrients but they are well fed and most don’t care for the lighter coloration.
I think focusing on spectrum, par and using more white light can do a lot more for some reefers color than dropping nutrients. If you run a very blue tank it’s going to be really hard to get some colors to really come out well. Like red, yellow and blue. Sure the blue part is debatable but any coral that’s blue under leds you can bring into natural lighting for a min and see most of the time it just fluorescing blue light and looks much different. Just my take on it sorry for the rant.

I'm running a mixed reef, heavy on the SPS and we're running the Saxby settings with our 4 AI Hydra 32's. I haven't measured any PAR, so I can't give any insight there, but we've seemed to have put all of the corals in spots where they're happy.

Definitely taking our time with the NOPOX. Just added 8ml today, which according to their instructions, is the dosage for a 100g tank. We have a 225g system. Testing every day and keeping a visual on all livestock. So far, there hasn't been a change, but we'll see if we have a chance in the morning.
 
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esther

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Day 6 - Parameters on 6/15
- Temp @ 78.7º F
- pH @ 8.08
- Salinity @ 1.0256
- 8.4 dKH
- NO3 @ 20ppm
- PO4 @ 0.07

Both NO3 and PO4 have gone down slightly. I'm not 100% sure that the NOPOX had anything to do with it, because I removed all of the marine pure blocks (they were full of gunk... never again) from the sump yesterday and gave it a good cleaning. Today I will be adding another 8ml of NOPOX at noon to see if I can get my Nitrates down to 5ppm in the next week. Stay tuned.
 

Dkeller_nc

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By the way - Most of us that keep SPS do not use marine pure blocks (or any of the equivalent products). They are alumina-based ceramics, and there's substantial evidence that they leach aluminum into saltwater. Probably fine for fish, but sketchy for corals.
 
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esther

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By the way - Most of us that keep SPS do not use marine pure blocks (or any of the equivalent products). They are alumina-based ceramics, and there's substantial evidence that they leach aluminum into saltwater. Probably fine for fish, but sketchy for corals.

I read about that, but I understand that they changed their design and they weren't leaching anymore. I also had several ICP tests done (at least once a month), so I know that they at least weren't leaching aluminum into my tank, as the levels were normal. Regardless, they're in the trash now and so far, so good!
 
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Day 7 - Parameters on 6/16
- Temp @ 79.3º F
- pH @ 8.02
- Salinity @ 1.0254
- 8.2 dKH
- NO3 @ 20ppm
- PO4 @ 0.08 ppm

Both NO3 and PO4 are the same as yesterday. Today I will be increasing NOPOX to 9ml. Question for any of your that have used #NOPOX in the past... How quickly did you start to see a reduction after you started using NOPOX? Am I being too cautious with my dosing or just keep doing what I'm doing until I see a reduction. Also, how many of you continued use of NOPOX long term and how many stopped once Nitrates were under control? Did your Nitrates stay low & consistent after you stopped using?
 
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Day 8 - Parameters on 6/17
- Temp @ 79º F
- pH @ 8.06
- Salinity @ 1.0254
- 8.4 dKH
- NO3 @ 20ppm
- PO4 @ 0.11 ppm

Both NO3 and PO4 are basically the same. Today I will dose another 9ml of NOPOX at noon. Also, I should mention that I'm dosing 30ml a day of MicroBacter7 at 6.30am.

Still have a question for any of your that have used #NOPOX in the past... How quickly did you start to see a reduction after you started using NOPOX? Am I being too cautious with my dosing or just keep doing what I'm doing until I see a reduction. Also, how many of you continued use of NOPOX long term and how many stopped once Nitrates were under control? Did your Nitrates stay low & consistent after you stopped using?
 

Dkeller_nc

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I can't answer about NoPOX specifically. Since it's primarily vinegar, I actually use - you guessed it - vinegar. Dosing vinegar, it takes about 2 weeks to see the effect in my tanks. But your mileage may vary. ;)
 
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esther

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I can't answer about NoPOX specifically. Since it's primarily vinegar, I actually use - you guessed it - vinegar. Dosing vinegar, it takes about 2 weeks to see the effect in my tanks. But your mileage may vary. ;)

lol

Thanks!!
 
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