N and P keep tending towards zero, should I add another fish?

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Dmeu

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I'm thinking of adding another fish because the N and P in my tank keep zeroing out (undetectable). I'm not opposed to dosing but I'd prefer to feed as much as possible before it comes to that. I'm only running my skimmer and fuge light eight hours a day and I've been keeping my chaeto trimmed to fist size. I feed a cube of mysis daily, 1/8 tsp of new life specturum daily, Benepets reef food every other day, OceanMagik Phyto every other day, and nori twice a week. With all that I still can't get N and P to rise. The only algae problem I have is bubble which I manually remove.

Is more fish a viable strategy? In my 75 gallon reef tank I currently have:

1 tomini tang
2 bengali cardinals
2 occelaris clowns
1 madndarin dragonet
1 bluespotted watchman goby

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Crustaceon

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I feel like maybe the fuge is the problem. It’s always a plus when you simply don’t need a piece of equipment and I’d much rather remove something in this hobby than add something to achieve balance.
 

Pkunk35

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Can I ask how old the tank is, and how much rock and sand?
In my research I found that phosphate can be directly absorbed to live rock and sand And can form a sink for phosphate. If the rock and sand are young I have a feeling that it could absorb quite a bit before giving you readings, and with a fuge in place it would be absorbing leftover free phos/nitrate in the water column also lowering your levels. I’m no expert on chemistry tho for sure so please take with a grain of salt.

Im currently reading this thread and am now thinking of getting tropic marins bacto-balance Carbon dosing product to help keep my n and p levels balanced, maybe it could help you (Hans Werner’s posts start on the second page and help explain the products):

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/t...g-n-p-carbon-in-the-same-bottle.662852/page-2
 
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Dkmoo

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+1 on the age of ur tank.

I ran into same issue when my tank was "younger" and I mistakenly thought that my nutrient export was doing a great job (I had oversized skimmer and giant chaeto fuge)

Added more fish and increased feeding. Then 4 months later I had a massive algae problem that took another 6 months to correct, and now I still run too high a nutrient problem bc the fishes got bigger and poop more.
 
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Max_nano

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Whatever change you make do it slow. I made the mistake of continuing to increase feeding until I could detect n and p and then spiked both. (Someone please correct me if this is wrong, I’m really not positive) I believe It takes time for the food to break down to N and P so you want to make feeding changes gradually so you don’t end up over feeding.


I feel like maybe the fuge is the problem. It’s always a plus when you simply don’t need a piece of equipment and I’d much rather remove something in this hobby than add something to achieve balance.
While it probably helps keep your pH up if you have it reverse cycle from your lights, I agree with @Crustaceon, removing existing equipment is a better approach then diving deeper into the addiction and buying more gear. Maybe try cutting the fuge time in half, see how that impacts pH, N, and P. Then move from there
 
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Dmeu

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Thanks for all the replies! That all seems like sound advice.

Can I ask how old the tank is, and how much rock and sand?
+1 on the age of ur tank.

The tank is 20 months old. I started it with 90 pounds of dry rock and 20 pounds of figi pink sand. If rock and sand can adsorb phosphate that could certainly be the case.

My number are
SG 1.026
ph 8.1 (salifert)
Ca 420 (Red Sea)
Alk 10.2 (Red Sea)
N ≈ 0 (salifert)
P ≈ 0 (salifert)

I've seen this tank through dinos and cyano. In both cases, after trying the "natural" approach, I ended up turning to a magic potion (Dino X and ChemiClean) and I'd like to avoid a repeat.
 

Backreefing

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Thanks for all the replies! That all seems like sound advice.




The tank is 20 months old. I started it with 90 pounds of dry rock and 20 pounds of figi pink sand. If rock and sand can adsorb phosphate that could certainly be the case.

My number are
SG 1.026
ph 8.1 (salifert)
Ca 420 (Red Sea)
Alk 10.2 (Red Sea)
N ≈ 0 (salifert)
P ≈ 0 (salifert)

I've seen this tank through dinos and cyano. In both cases, after trying the "natural" approach, I ended up turning to a magic potion (Dino X and ChemiClean) and I'd like to avoid a repeat.
Chemiclean ain’t so bad once of twice a year so what. But cutting fudge light time in half like previously stated is a good idea . If you don’t have dinos currently then yeah why not get another fish . It would make the aquarium all the more pretty .
 

CanuckReefer

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Thanks for all the replies! That all seems like sound advice.




The tank is 20 months old. I started it with 90 pounds of dry rock and 20 pounds of figi pink sand. If rock and sand can adsorb phosphate that could certainly be the case.

My number are
SG 1.026
ph 8.1 (salifert)
Ca 420 (Red Sea)
Alk 10.2 (Red Sea)
N ≈ 0 (salifert)
P ≈ 0 (salifert)

I've seen this tank through dinos and cyano. In both cases, after trying the "natural" approach, I ended up turning to a magic potion (Dino X and ChemiClean) and I'd like to avoid a repeat.
Mine is 25 years old 90 gallon....and consistent low to undetectable N+P, I dont test often but when I do, next to nothing. Not a huge amount of fish /inverts or Corals but enough. Good amount of live rock. Had a Cyano outbreak first time ever about a month back. Solved it quick with Chemiclean, but you right, don't wanna do it ever again, my skimmer is still acting up. From all I have heard over the years, feed a little bit more current livestock but very gradually. This is what I am doing now. I was obviously too concerned about fouling up my tank previously ....
 
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jda

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Keep feeding. If you have available N and P, then residual levels do not matter. If you test out at zero P on a Hannah Ultra Low, then this can be concerning, but if you have anything that is growing, then this is likely not a problem. Nitrogen in ammonia/ammonium is what you want for your corals, so keep on feeding. Availability > residual levels.
 
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