Need help lowering nitrates

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Biff0rz

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The question is how fast is the macro algae growing. If the mass is not increasing, nitrate level will not decrease. If you are harvesting the algae like mad, there is not enough macro algae.

There is another possibility. If the macro algae has grown well and stopped even with plenty of phosphate and nitrate, that might be a sign the algae has stripped the water of micro nutrients. This might account for the coral upset. Just a thought though.
First, thanks for all the help.

I'd say the chaeto has stalled in growth. It's a nice green color (not white or too dark). But it's not really growing much anymore. I haven't harvested any of it yet.

So it was growing and has halted, but the water is definitely testing and showing nutrients - which micro nutrients are you suggesting are stripped? I was going to do an icp test tomorrow and send it off.

What kind of light are you using to grow chaeto? If it's a cheap gro-light from the gardening store, it may not be able to grow chaeto fast enough to make a difference.

I'm using this light-
Www.amazon.com/dp/B07D3LG49S/

It's a full spectrum 200w fixture.

【Optimal Full Spectrum LED Grow Light】CANAGROW COB LED Grow Light with the optimal full spectrum(380-800nm) which provides plants Veg and Flower all stages with everything they desire in the natural sunlight. Especially RED(630-660nm): Promote flowering and fruiting and increase yield directly; BLUE(440-460nm): Promote germination and photosynthesis; IR(780-800nm): Promoting plant cell growth; UV(380nm): Sterilization and disinfection.

Light on-
Attach390405_20210518_175555.jpg


Light off-
Attach390414_20210518_180003.jpg
 
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M Stein

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Firstly if your chaeto isn't growing, it's not getting rid of nutrients. No matter how healthy or green it is.
Your issue might be that you lack phosphates (are you running gfo?) or other trace elements. I'm no expert at running refugiums (never having run one myself) but it would seem that that would be the underlying cause. Check out this link for chaeto gro. https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/chaetogro-refugium-fertilizer-brightwell-aquatics.html

Secondly, again I'm no expert at refugiums but the check out these links and see the price difference. Many people do successfully use gardening gro lights in their refugiums, so I would look into other options before splurging on expensive lights.
Bear in mind that some of that higher cost is for the brand name and what your using sounds to me like it could be sufficient, but I don't know.
 

Dan_P

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First, thanks for all the help.

I'd say the chaeto has stalled in growth. It's a nice green color (not white or too dark). But it's not really growing much anymore. I haven't harvested any of it yet.

So it was growing and has halted, but the water is definitely testing and showing nutrients - which micro nutrients are you suggesting are stripped? I was going to do an icp test tomorrow and send it off.



I'm using this light-
Www.amazon.com/dp/B07D3LG49S/

It's a full spectrum 200w fixture.

【Optimal Full Spectrum LED Grow Light】CANAGROW COB LED Grow Light with the optimal full spectrum(380-800nm) which provides plants Veg and Flower all stages with everything they desire in the natural sunlight. Especially RED(630-660nm): Promote flowering and fruiting and increase yield directly; BLUE(440-460nm): Promote germination and photosynthesis; IR(780-800nm): Promoting plant cell growth; UV(380nm): Sterilization and disinfection.

Light on-
Attach390405_20210518_175555.jpg


Light off-
Attach390414_20210518_180003.jpg
When my Ulva stopped growing, I started Chaeto Gro as an experiment. Only dosing a few days and too early to conclude anything. I will dose until the 500 mL bottle is used up and then look at the trend of nitrate and phosphate consumption.
 
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Biff0rz

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Algae turf scrubber .01 phos 2 nitrates alk with i.o. started at 10 now at 7.4. Try thinning out your chaeto get it tumbling.
Ok, I may need to try this, thanks.

So something I noticed - I was running gfo and bringing po4 down slowly. While I was doing this my effluent out on the calcium reactor was 4ml/min. When I stopped gfo during all of this alk started to rise when the gfo was off. I had to drop the effluent flow to 0.3ml/min (almost off). I started the gfo back up and noticed alk dropping and now I'm back up to 3ml/min.

I was told that high alk could cause acro tips to bleach - could the gfo be masking the amount of alk somehow?

I might just have too many variables going on here. Am I better off turning off the gfo and seeing how po4 and no3 start to trend?
 
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Ok, I may need to try this, thanks.

So something I noticed - I was running gfo and bringing po4 down slowly. While I was doing this my effluent out on the calcium reactor was 4ml/min. When I stopped gfo during all of this alk started to rise when the gfo was off. I had to drop the effluent flow to 0.3ml/min (almost off). I started the gfo back up and noticed alk dropping and now I'm back up to 3ml/min.

I was told that high alk could cause acro tips to bleach - could the gfo be masking the amount of alk somehow?

I might just have too many variables going on here. Am I better off turning off the gfo and seeing how po4 and no3 start to trend?

I'm a fan of reducing the variables. When I changed how I was feeding, I was able to take GFO off line which is one less thing to manage and helps maintain consistency in the system. Also, I made the mistake of checking my phosphates after feeding and was getting false elevated readings. I got more accurate readings by checking first thing in the morning before feeding.

You mention you have some coralline starting to grow and that you're running a calcium reactor. Do you know where the pH in your system is running?

An ICP test sounds like a good idea. Also, are the butterfly or angels nipping at the irritated corals by chance? Have you dipped to check for pests?
 

legionofdoon

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First, thanks for all the help.

I'd say the chaeto has stalled in growth. It's a nice green color (not white or too dark). But it's not really growing much anymore. I haven't harvested any of it yet.

So it was growing and has halted, but the water is definitely testing and showing nutrients - which micro nutrients are you suggesting are stripped? I was going to do an icp test tomorrow and send it off.



I'm using this light-
Www.amazon.com/dp/B07D3LG49S/

It's a full spectrum 200w fixture.

【Optimal Full Spectrum LED Grow Light】CANAGROW COB LED Grow Light with the optimal full spectrum(380-800nm) which provides plants Veg and Flower all stages with everything they desire in the natural sunlight. Especially RED(630-660nm): Promote flowering and fruiting and increase yield directly; BLUE(440-460nm): Promote germination and photosynthesis; IR(780-800nm): Promoting plant cell growth; UV(380nm): Sterilization and disinfection.

Light on-
Attach390405_20210518_175555.jpg


Light off-
Attach390414_20210518_180003.jpg
Like someone mentioned before there are 2 different types of chaeto you have the "brillo" type which doesn't like too much light. Try raising the light up or decreasing the time it is on.
 
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Biff0rz

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I'm a fan of reducing the variables. When I changed how I was feeding, I was able to take GFO off line which is one less thing to manage and helps maintain consistency in the system. Also, I made the mistake of checking my phosphates after feeding and was getting false elevated readings. I got more accurate readings by checking first thing in the morning before feeding.

You mention you have some coralline starting to grow and that you're running a calcium reactor. Do you know where the pH in your system is running?

An ICP test sounds like a good idea. Also, are the butterfly or angels nipping at the irritated corals by chance? Have you dipped to check for pests?
I started the GFO again until I can get things under better control.

This is the PH over the past few days, it's been consistently like this:
1622565197560.png


The butterfly does not nip at any corals, even soft ones, he's a model citizen.
I have two angels -
juv blueface - he doesn't touch anything (yet)
potters - he does 'nip' at some hard corals (no softies) ... but ... the one's he's nipping at are healthy and fine, none of them have had issues. The ones he doesn't nip at are the ones having issues o_O sort of drives me mad because this would then be an 'easy' fix. I've taken some of the poor performing corals and placed them into my coral QT, if they come back it could be him and I'm just not seeing it. I have a camera on the tank so I can review the footage to see if I notice him near these ones.

I have not dipped any of the corals to check for pests yet, I will do that with one soon that I will probably sacrifice through that process. I have been watching them in my display and coral qt at night, pods are ALL over the corals, not sure if thats normal?

Like someone mentioned before there are 2 different types of chaeto you have the "brillo" type which doesn't like too much light. Try raising the light up or decreasing the time it is on.
How many hours do you recommend?
 
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I'm a fan of reducing the variables. When I changed how I was feeding, I was able to take GFO off line which is one less thing to manage and helps maintain consistency in the system. Also, I made the mistake of checking my phosphates after feeding and was getting false elevated readings. I got more accurate readings by checking first thing in the morning before feeding.

You mention you have some coralline starting to grow and that you're running a calcium reactor. Do you know where the pH in your system is running?

An ICP test sounds like a good idea. Also, are the butterfly or angels nipping at the irritated corals by chance? Have you dipped to check for pests?
I got around to dipping some corals tonight - I'm not noticing anything other than pods. Can you take a look? I didn't see anything that looks like aefw or red bugs....but I'm also not an expert.

Icp test will be done soon hopefully.
 

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sdreef

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I got around to dipping some corals tonight - I'm not noticing anything other than pods. Can you take a look? I didn't see anything that looks like aefw or red bugs....but I'm also not an expert.

Icp test will be done soon hopefully.

I see a bunch of amphipods and pods. I can't say definitively, but I don't see anything that clearly looks like a flat worm. With a flatworm infestation, you can also see bite marks on the corals if you look closely. Here's a picture of AEFW, but it sound like it has been your monitpora that is bleaching and irritated.

IMG_5236.jpg


I'm curious what you use to dip? I've been using melafix recently, and it has worked well for me and seems to be more gentle on the coral.

Also wondering which ICP test you sent? I've sent the ATI and Triton in the past.

Although I don't think low pH is the causes of the corals bleaching in your system, I think increasing your pH might help your system. I suspect if you are able to bring up the pH a little, it may help your system in terms of the amount of coralline growth and growth rate of your corals.
 
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I see a bunch of amphipods and pods. I can't say definitively, but I don't see anything that clearly looks like a flat worm. With a flatworm infestation, you can also see bite marks on the corals if you look closely. Here's a picture of AEFW, but it sound like it has been your monitpora that is bleaching and irritated.

IMG_5236.jpg


I'm curious what you use to dip? I've been using melafix recently, and it has worked well for me and seems to be more gentle on the coral.

Also wondering which ICP test you sent? I've sent the ATI and Triton in the past.

Although I don't think low pH is the causes of the corals bleaching in your system, I think increasing your pH might help your system. I suspect if you are able to bring up the pH a little, it may help your system in terms of the amount of coralline growth and growth rate of your corals.
So, more of my corals are looking upset, not just the grafted Monti. Slow burn Monti bleached out, red Monti started to change color too. The purple digi's I have started losing polyps have having bleached out spots. The under-sides of them had more polyps but receding. I have two acros that nuked now too - a green slimer has a bleached streak going vertical on the frag. Another acro (no name) bleached out. Fun stuff. Dkh has been consistent at 8 dkh.

I took some of the frags having issues and dipped them in pure Bayer. I figured if I'm losing them, might as well make sure whatever is on them comes off.

This is the icp test I used - saltwateraquarium.com/icp-water-analysis-single-test-33-elements-icp-analysis/

I was going to feed by effluent out into the skimmer intake to bring the ph up a little. You think it's kinda low?
 

sdreef

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So, more of my corals are looking upset, not just the grafted Monti. Slow burn Monti bleached out, red Monti started to change color too. The purple digi's I have started losing polyps have having bleached out spots. The under-sides of them had more polyps but receding. I have two acros that nuked now too - a green slimer has a bleached streak going vertical on the frag. Another acro (no name) bleached out. Fun stuff. Dkh has been consistent at 8 dkh.

I took some of the frags having issues and dipped them in pure Bayer. I figured if I'm losing them, might as well make sure whatever is on them comes off.

This is the icp test I used - saltwateraquarium.com/icp-water-analysis-single-test-33-elements-icp-analysis/

I was going to feed by effluent out into the skimmer intake to bring the ph up a little. You think it's kinda low?
I haven't used that particular icp test. I've used the Triton and the ATI. I prefer the ATI because they check the RO water, salinity, and the alkalinity.

I think you can save the corals. The alk and salinity have been stable, and it doesn't appear to be a pest. Is your RO unit maintenance up to date?

Regarding pH this is just my opinion.... I think a lot of tanks have difficulty with sps early on due to low pH. I have a calcium reactor, but I've been slow to add it to my system until there is some more growth of the corals. As the corals grow, the amount of tissue capable of photosynthesis will increase and consume CO2 during the day driving the pH up naturally. This is my first calcium reactor and I've been slow to bring it on line purely due to pH considerations. I'm still currently dosing via doser after 8 months. Others may have a different perspective. Again, I don't think this will resolve your current issue, but I do think it will benefit the system.

An easy option with little to no cost to potentially increase the pH is to have the effluent go into the refugium. That way the chaeto can consume some of the CO2 as it photosynthesizes. This may not have a sufficient effect and you may want to consider options. Some other options include running an air intake from the skimmer to the outside, a CO2 scrubber, or dosing kalk. I've been using a CO2 scrubber. It requires changing the media every 2-3 weeks which is an expense, but it has been helpful for my system.
 

legionofdoon

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I started the GFO again until I can get things under better control.

This is the PH over the past few days, it's been consistently like this:
1622565197560.png


The butterfly does not nip at any corals, even soft ones, he's a model citizen.
I have two angels -
juv blueface - he doesn't touch anything (yet)
potters - he does 'nip' at some hard corals (no softies) ... but ... the one's he's nipping at are healthy and fine, none of them have had issues. The ones he doesn't nip at are the ones having issues o_O sort of drives me mad because this would then be an 'easy' fix. I've taken some of the poor performing corals and placed them into my coral QT, if they come back it could be him and I'm just not seeing it. I have a camera on the tank so I can review the footage to see if I notice him near these ones.

I have not dipped any of the corals to check for pests yet, I will do that with one soon that I will probably sacrifice through that process. I have been watching them in my display and coral qt at night, pods are ALL over the corals, not sure if thats normal?


How many hours do you recommend?
I'm running mine with the lights off for 5 hours per day and mine grows really well. I'm also using a panel style light so it's not getting a spotlight effect. I'm using the Zetlight E200 which is the bigger version of what Neptune just released.
 
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Biff0rz

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I haven't used that particular icp test. I've used the Triton and the ATI. I prefer the ATI because they check the RO water, salinity, and the alkalinity.

I think you can save the corals. The alk and salinity have been stable, and it doesn't appear to be a pest. Is your RO unit maintenance up to date?

Regarding pH this is just my opinion.... I think a lot of tanks have difficulty with sps early on due to low pH. I have a calcium reactor, but I've been slow to add it to my system until there is some more growth of the corals. As the corals grow, the amount of tissue capable of photosynthesis will increase and consume CO2 during the day driving the pH up naturally. This is my first calcium reactor and I've been slow to bring it on line purely due to pH considerations. I'm still currently dosing via doser after 8 months. Others may have a different perspective. Again, I don't think this will resolve your current issue, but I do think it will benefit the system.

An easy option with little to no cost to potentially increase the pH is to have the effluent go into the refugium. That way the chaeto can consume some of the CO2 as it photosynthesizes. This may not have a sufficient effect and you may want to consider options. Some other options include running an air intake from the skimmer to the outside, a CO2 scrubber, or dosing kalk. I've been using a CO2 scrubber. It requires changing the media every 2-3 weeks which is an expense, but it has been helpful for my system.
The test I used tests both tank and rodi.

Ro unit is watched closely - my po4 tends to kick up when the di runs out so u watch tds and color a lot. I just replaced filters about a month ago.

My tank is in the basement and the basement was finished with a vent system for cigar smoking (prev owner). There are vents directly to the outside so since I don't smoke I can use that to run a line outside very easily. I'm not really a fan of adding more maintenance to the system (scrubber) nor the cost of that media...
 
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I'm running mine with the lights off for 5 hours per day and mine grows really well. I'm also using a panel style light so it's not getting a spotlight effect. I'm using the Zetlight E200 which is the bigger version of what Neptune just released.
Thanks. I trimmed it up and I'll see if I get some growth. If not maybe I'll try a new light or a diy ats.
 
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