Nitrates 0, phosphates 0 very little algae, weird bacteria since cycle-any advice?

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slojmn

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I had a delay in cycling my tank 9 months ago, the original saltwater sat in the tank for about 5 weeks and built up bacteria. Once I cycled the tank I had a big bacteria bloom. It worked itself out but i ended up with snot like bacteria all over. As time has gone on I have pale to white sps corals in the tank. I have been adding microbacter7 and vibrant alternating after a water change or at least once per week for a few months, while it has helped, it is still kind of sterile in the tank. I started adding amino acids once every other day ramping up slowly about a month ago. I have seen very little change in 8 months. There is some hair algae on the Vortechs and some on the sand bed, a small spot of cyano but otherwise a fairly sterile looking tank. There is some gloopy brownish stuff on the sand bed, which I suspect is that pesky bad bacteria. I shut my skimmer and UV down 2 months ago. It seems things got a little worse in that time. More of the bacteria stuff. Sps are slowly growing but pale and anemic until some perish. I only have 4 fish with 4 more in QT. I feed flake and pellet once per day and meaty foods once per day. I started the tank without live rock, I have man made rock. I added a fist size piece of live rock from the lfs, though it looked a little man made but all encrusted With coralline. Not much in the way of live stuff. I thought some good bacteria might be on the rock.

I have nitrate I can add, the question is will it just be consumed by the bad bacteria and algae? Is it worth adding the nitrate to just try and get the nitrate up in hopes of feeding the corals? I don’t want to OD the tank in the wrong direction but clearly I need to do more. The addition of Microbacter and Vibrant has helped but minimally. Any advice is welcome.
 
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Wolf89

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Why are you dosing aminos? What livestock do you have? Are your corals growing? Do you not have fish? Why dose nitrate when you can just put some fish in.
 
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slojmn

slojmn

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@Wolf89 , thanks for your questions. Per my post, I have 4 fish, I’ve had them for 7 months. I noted there are 4 more fish in a quarantine tank. They’ll go into the tank in a few weeks. The fish have made no impact on low nutrients. I feed twice per day, also in my post. I noted that I have 10 sps frags. I haven’t put more in since they are not all that happy. Also per my post the sps are growing , albeit very slow. Some have perished over the months. I felt the aminos might add some nutrients to the system. I am thinking of dosing nitrates since I am at rock bottom with no nitrates in the system after 9 months. I wanted to get some input on the situation.
 

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I've personally had very low numbers on several occasions and find that when the numbers near zero...you will start growing some funky stuff. Water becomes slightly cloudy. I would personally keep dosing the amino's at the recommended dose for your volume and also dose a small amount of NaNO3 and Na3PO4. You can find these food grade products at a company called LoudWolf. https://www.loudwolf.com/store/ Mix them up using a nutrient calculator to have 1cc to 3cc raise NO3 or PO4 very little. The key with these products is to go slow, test, and understand the effect the dose had before redosing.

Example:
NO3 only needs to be raised 1 ppm per dose. (These are both ballpark numbers that I personally aim for)
PO4 should only be raised 0.02 ppm per dose.

Bring your NO3 up to 5 and your PO4 up to 0.05 and I believe you will appreciate a big positive change in coral colors, health, and overall tank health. I would hold the Vibrant dosing during this time and only change these two things. Keep skimming and keep dosing the amino's slowly and make sure not to overdose.

Best of luck!
 
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slojmn

slojmn

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I've personally had very low numbers on several occasions and find that when the numbers near zero...you will start growing some funky stuff. Water becomes slightly cloudy. I would personally keep dosing the amino's at the recommended dose for your volume and also dose a small amount of NaNO3 and Na3PO4. You can find these food grade products at a company called LoudWolf. https://www.loudwolf.com/store/ Mix them up using a nutrient calculator to have 1cc to 3cc raise NO3 or PO4 very little. The key with these products is to go slow, test, and understand the effect the dose had before redosing.

Example:
NO3 only needs to be raised 1 ppm per dose. (These are both ballpark numbers that I personally aim for)
PO4 should only be raised 0.02 ppm per dose.

Bring your NO3 up to 5 and your PO4 up to 0.05 and I believe you will appreciate a big positive change in coral colors, health, and overall tank health. I would hold the Vibrant dosing during this time and only change these two things. Keep skimming and keep dosing the amino's slowly and make sure not to overdose.

Best of luck!
Thank you so much for your response. I like the way you outlined your proposed suggestion. I have pure reagent grade potassium nitrate, KNO3, that I plan on using...it's what I have at the moment so its what I will use. I will order some phosphate, Na3PO4. I am getting some fresh reagent for my Hannnah phospahte checker. I used some expired reagent so I want to be sure my phosphates are really 0 before I move forward. Thanks for the link to the calculator. I plan to go very, very slow and test, test, test.
 

Reefahholic

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Thank you so much for your response. I like the way you outlined your proposed suggestion. I have pure reagent grade potassium nitrate, KNO3, that I plan on using...it's what I have at the moment so its what I will use. I will order some phosphate, Na3PO4. I am getting some fresh reagent for my Hannnah phospahte checker. I used some expired reagent so I want to be sure my phosphates are really 0 before I move forward. Thanks for the link to the calculator. I plan to go very, very slow and test, test, test.
Excellent. Sounds like you're on the right path now. :)
 
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