Nitrate Dosing

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Trouble1375

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Good Afternoon fellow reefers. I have been reading the threads and can't see to locate my scenario.

2 year old 125 gallon system with dual 30 gallon sumps - Roller Mat in one and Chaeto, live rock, shrimp (because the Wrasses eat them if put in DT) and some hermit crabs along with the snails that find their way down the overflows
Roughly 100lbs of live rock in DT and 2-3" sand bed
20ish fish - ranging from clown gobies to an 8" Sailfin Tang
66 varieties of corals (all frags and mini colonies) - most demonstrating growth
0 coralline algae
Feeding the fish 5 cubes frozen daily plus Nori
Feeding the corals Red Sea AB+ twice a week, phytoplankton and zooplankton 3 times a week, target feed mysis and brine once a week (just took the reef roids out the mixture because I know they can elevate Phosphates)
Dosing ATI Essentials PRO with additional magnesium via dosing pump
Dosing Kalkwasser via dosing pump
ATO adds about 2 gallons of RO/DI water daily via drip set-up
25 gallon water change once a month
Lights are Qmaven ii LEDS mounted 15" above the water surface
2 Maxspect Gyres running OGC at max of 50%
Both return pumps are 1200 GPH
There is alot of turbulent water flow in the tank

Testing as of 5/15/21
Temp 77.9 (it's 81 today)
Salinity 1.025 (refractometer - verify calibration weekly)
ph 8.0 (Hanna)
Calcium 489 (Hanna)
Magnesium 1320 (Red Sea)
Alk 9.072 (Hanna)
Nitrate 2.41 (Hanna)
Phosphate .1 (Hanna)
Iodine .06 (Salifert - brand new kit)
Strontium undetectable despite dosing 1 cup total per week (Salifert - brand new kit)

Nitrates were around 23 before adding the roller mat and switching from ATS to Chaeto - we made the changes because despite regular harvesting of the ATS (every 2 days) and changing filter socks every 2 days also the nitrates continued to climb

My corals are mostly happy except the Trachy which has not inflated since the Nitrate drop - I try feeding it after lights out and still nothing. We lost a Symphillia after the nitrate drop - the skin just started disintegrating off of it.

5/21 Nitrates 1.25 Phosphate .21 dosed NeoNitro to (supposedly) raise Nitrates by 5ppm
5/22 Nitrates 2.07 Phosphate .20 - test done exactly 24 hours after 1st test

I get some film algae on the glass but other than that no discernable algae growth anywhere in the DT or sumps.

We have never been able to keep Xenia, toadstools, Kenyas, sinularia, etc alive. The GSP has barely grown.

We had an ATI test done just over a month ago and nothing hollered out as being a problem.

Any thoughts would be appreciated in regards to getting some nitrates back into the tank and getting the phosphates to go back down a bit.
FTS 5-15-21.jpg
 

Dkmoo

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I think its the rollers

Back when you had the socks, even though you change it out every 2 days, thats still 2 days time of trapped food dissolving into DOC/DOM and breaking down into ammonia and releasing nutrient into water. With roller, the food never has a chance to do that.

Slow the roller, a lot, or feed a lot more.

I would not dose NO3 directly. Remember coral "nutrition" isn't only NO3, it everything on the N food chain starting from meaty fish food, to DOC/DOM, to amino acids, to NO3. In fact the no3 is for the most part used by the zoox while the rest of the "non-no3" types are what the polyps capture. I suspect that the addition of roller has decreased level of all the "non-no3" types that corals like. The drop in no3 is only the byproduct bc the "non-no3"s eventually break down to no3, but corals don't like no3 as much as it likes the "non no3s"
 
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Trouble1375

Trouble1375

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I think its the rollers

Back when you had the socks, even though you change it out every 2 days, thats still 2 days time of trapped food dissolving into DOC/DOM and breaking down into ammonia and releasing nutrient into water. With roller, the food never has a chance to do that.

Slow the roller, a lot, or feed a lot more.

I would not dose NO3 directly. Remember coral "nutrition" isn't only NO3, it everything on the N food chain starting from meaty fish food, to DOC/DOM, to amino acids, to NO3. In fact the no3 is for the most part used by the zoox while the rest of the "non-no3" types are what the polyps capture. I suspect that the addition of roller has decreased level of all the "non-no3" types that corals like. The drop in no3 is only the byproduct bc the "non-no3"s eventually break down to no3, but corals don't like no3 as much as it likes the "non no3s"
What is DOC/DOM? Sorry not familiar with those abbreviations. I’m dosing amino acids. I can’t really slow the roller - it’s automatic by the sensor and rolls about 1/2” once an hour. At any given time there is 8-10” of the filter material in the water.
Not sure how much more I can feed. I do have flakes and pellets I could add into the feedings - I just prefer the frozen as it seems to be more of it eaten vs falling to the sand bed and getting ignored.
 
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blasterman

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Many of us dose sodium nitrate and it works fine. Nitrates below 5ppm cause significant problems in my tank.

No, I'm not feeding more crap that cause more DOCs and I'm not buying more fish. Sodium nitrate does the trick, its cheap, and it works.
 

Dkmoo

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What is DOC/DOM? Sorry not familiar with those abbreviations. I’m dosing amino acids. I can’t really slow the roller - it’s automatic by the sensor and rolls about 1/2” once an hour. At any given time there is 8-10” of the filter material in the water.
Not sure how much more I can feed. I do have flakes and pellets I could add into the feedings - I just prefer the frozen as it seems to be more of it eaten vs falling to the sand bed and getting ignored.
Disolved organic compound/material

Nutrient break down in system in 3 stages - stage 1 is the solid foods, this becomes DOC stage 2, either by physical break down or bacteria or as fish waste, this then becomes stage 3 as bacteria beaks it further down to no3 and po4.

Im simply outlining how your tanks internal system may have changed from your prior levels as the result of you introducing rollers and highlights that dosing the "stage 3" levels is not going to fix the issue that your stage 1 and stage 2 levels have decreased, because roller is a lot more effective at taking the stage 1 out so it doesn't have as much chance to break down to stage 2

1/2 inch per hour for a 8 inch area means you are turning it over once every 2/3 days, so effectively you are switching the filter 3x every 2 days compared to 1 sock every two days. So if you want your roller to go back to the lower "sock efficiency", the put the roller on a controller and turn it on only 8 hours a day. If you want to decide which 8 hour period, I'd suggest during the day since most corals feed DOC at night when tentacles come out, keeping rollers off at night when you feed may be better to allow corals to capture and absorb food better
 
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Trouble1375

Trouble1375

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Disolved organic compound/material

Nutrient break down in system in 3 stages - stage 1 is the solid foods, this becomes DOC stage 2, either by physical break down or bacteria or as fish waste, this then becomes stage 3 as bacteria beaks it further down to no3 and po4.

Im simply outlining how your tanks internal system may have changed from your prior levels as the result of you introducing rollers and highlights that dosing the "stage 3" levels is not going to fix the issue that your stage 1 and stage 2 levels have decreased, because roller is a lot more effective at taking the stage 1 out so it doesn't have as much chance to break down to stage 2

1/2 inch per hour for a 8 inch area means you are turning it over once every 2/3 days, so effectively you are switching the filter 3x every 2 days compared to 1 sock every two days. So if you want your roller to go back to the lower "sock efficiency", the put the roller on a controller and turn it on only 8 hours a day. If you want to decide which 8 hour period, I'd suggest during the day since most corals feed DOC at night when tentacles come out, keeping rollers off at night when you feed may be better to allow corals to capture and absorb food better
Thank you for the explanation. I will see if I have another spare timer lying around. I just used my other spare to replace the one that went out on the Chaeto light
 

Dkmoo

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Thank you for the explanation. I will see if I have another spare timer lying around. I just used my other spare to replace the one that went out on the Chaeto light
Good luck. The "8 hr" is based on the assumption that "all else is equal" bwteeen the sock vs the roller mat. To get to the actual no3 levels you want, you can tweak the actual "on length". The longer you run the roller, the lower ur no3 will be
 
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bnord

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First of all, although the original post is little bit old, thank you for the completeness in the details Of your systems’ parameters. You taught me a lot about how to consider and report all of the key parameters of my tank.
I appreciate as well all of the suggestions and troubleshooting further in the thread.
It is threads Like these that make this site worth while
I too have issues with keeping my nitrates up high enough and find that when I leave the socks in an extra day or two edges back up. Plus it is a 4 sock stream and leaving the last two “cleaner” in longer is a baffle, while i can get the gunk out in the first one.
Have a “young” 180 that has always supported mushrooms, leathers, goniapora, etc, and only of late has started supported moderately rapid monti and acro growth. So perfect example of trying to balance the mixed reef conundrum.
Also found that a more regular chaeto harvest has allowed me to make the subtle adjustments needed for stability.
 
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Trouble1375

Trouble1375

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We wound up pulling the Chaeto and nitrates are up now (mid-20's and stable with phosphates around .1) and the corals overall are much happier. I was pulling too much with the combo and the roller mat is alot easier to maintain than the Chaeto.
First of all, although the original post is little bit old, thank you for the completeness in the details Of your systems’ parameters. You taught me a lot about how to consider and report all of the key parameters of my tank.
I appreciate as well all of the suggestions and troubleshooting further in the thread.
It is threads Like these that make this site worth while
I too have issues with keeping my nitrates up high enough and find that when I leave the socks in an extra day or two edges back up. Plus it is a 4 sock stream and leaving the last two “cleaner” in longer is a baffle, while i can get the gunk out in the first one.
Have a “young” 180 that has always supported mushrooms, leathers, goniapora, etc, and only of late has started supported moderately rapid monti and acro growth. So perfect example of trying to balance the mixed reef conundrum.
Also found that a more regular chaeto harvest has allowed me to make the subtle adjustments needed for stability.
Thank you for the compliment. I'm a bit OCD and when I try to read through other posts it drives me nuts not to have as much information available in the original post with things added later as people request them.
 
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