**New to Refugium, Need Advice on Managing Nitrate and Phosphate Levels ZERO**

joshua1316

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Hi everyone,

I’m not new to saltwater tanks, but I’m new to having a refugium on my tank. My setup is about 2.5 months old and includes a 105-gallon system with a sump. In the tank, I have a skimmer, a refugium, sand, rock, 1 blue tang, 2 clownfish, and a goby. I feed heavily three times a day.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with a brown film all over the sand and rocks, along with a bit of hair algae, though not much. I understand this can be expected in a new tank.

Today, I used my Hanna checker to test for phosphate ULR and nitrate, and both readings were 0.0 ppm. Currently, the only corals I have are some GSP and mushrooms. I know having zero nitrate and phosphate isn’t good, especially since I plan to add more corals soon.

What’s the best way to raise my nitrate and phosphate levels? Should I run the refugium less, turn off the skimmer, or add more fish? I wanted to add fish slowly to avoid shocking the new tank, but I'm at zero for both nitrate and phosphate.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

JustAnotherNanoTank

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Hi everyone,

I’m not new to saltwater tanks, but I’m new to having a refugium on my tank. My setup is about 2.5 months old and includes a 105-gallon system with a sump. In the tank, I have a skimmer, a refugium, sand, rock, 1 blue tang, 2 clownfish, and a goby. I feed heavily three times a day.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with a brown film all over the sand and rocks, along with a bit of hair algae, though not much. I understand this can be expected in a new tank.

Today, I used my Hanna checker to test for phosphate ULR and nitrate, and both readings were 0.0 ppm. Currently, the only corals I have are some GSP and mushrooms. I know having zero nitrate and phosphate isn’t good, especially since I plan to add more corals soon.

What’s the best way to raise my nitrate and phosphate levels? Should I run the refugium less, turn off the skimmer, or add more fish? I wanted to add fish slowly to avoid shocking the new tank, but I'm at zero for both nitrate and phosphate.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
All three of those things were great starts. Especially while a tank is new.

More food for fishies!!!
 

blecki

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Who said it wasn't good? Feed the tank and let the refugium grow. It will regulate itself.
 

JefeL00

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Rule of thumb, phosphates comes from things we add. Nitrates come from things in the tank
 

dangles

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try turning the skimmer off for a little bit and test again

I'm fairly new but I second this.

My tank is 7 months old but has much more bio-load. I have a filter fleece roller and a refugium. No skimmer. Very early on I had issues with parameters bottoming out as well so I scaled way back on the refugium photo period. I have since been able to increase that as the tank has "settled in" and gotten a bigger bio load.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Rule of thumb, phosphates comes from things we add. Nitrates come from things in the tank

What? Both mostly come from digested foods in typical reef aquaria.
 

Reef Stag

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If you’re running your refugee light 24 seven easiest thing to do is switch to reverse light cycle. This will stop your refugee from competing for nutrients with your Coral during the day and also has the added benefit of stabilizing pH at night.
 

JefeL00

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Usually elevated phosphates come from over feeding
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Usually elevated phosphates come from over feeding

I wouldn’t necessarily say one must “overfeed” to get elevated phosphate, but I agree that digested foods are the normal source of phosphate, as well as nitrate.

Most of the N and P in foods eaten by organisms such as fish is then released to the water as phosphate and ammonia.
 

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