Nitrates & Phosphates

Iggy305

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Happy Holidays Fellow Reefers,

Here’s the skinny… I have a Coral/Invert QT with a few frags in it, nothing flashy, couple of smallish rocks, frags, and some snails. Nitrate & Phosphate are consistently reading 0, everything seems happy, save a temperamental Kenya, but otherwise good. My concern is, obviously, the potential for something like dinoflagellates. So I’m planning to start dosing nitrate & Phosphates. Based on what I’ve read it’s looking like Sodium Nitrate & Phosphate are pretty DIY friendly solutions, and the calculator is helpful as well.

My question is… Should I dose both solutions or start with Nitrate solution only and go from there?

Thanks in Advance!
 

ScottB

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Happy Holidays Fellow Reefers,

Here’s the skinny… I have a Coral/Invert QT with a few frags in it, nothing flashy, couple of smallish rocks, frags, and some snails. Nitrate & Phosphate are consistently reading 0, everything seems happy, save a temperamental Kenya, but otherwise good. My concern is, obviously, the potential for something like dinoflagellates. So I’m planning to start dosing nitrate & Phosphates. Based on what I’ve read it’s looking like Sodium Nitrate & Phosphate are pretty DIY friendly solutions, and the calculator is helpful as well.

My question is… Should I dose both solutions or start with Nitrate solution only and go from there?

Thanks in Advance!
Always start with PO4 first. It may take A LOT more dosing than you expect. The first liter or two (depending on volume of rock and sand) will bind with the aragonite before it starts leaching back into the water.

In a depleted system, adding NO3 first will crush whatever trace amounts of PO4 are there and all your corals will hate it.
 

ScottB

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If you mix your own phosphate, be sure to get genuine trisodium phosphate and not a common substitute called TSP that will include detergents. I used this food grade version but there are others:

 
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PatW

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I run pretty low nutrients. I have found that I can have less than 1 ppm nitrates and 0 phosphates but with feeding and fish poo, my acropora, montipora and even my various LPS corals do fine. But I use chaeto for nutrient removal so it needs SOME nitrates and phosphates. I dose Sodium Nitrate (food grade) and keep nitrates at a measurable level and I dose phosphates (trisodium phosphate food grade or analytical grade) to hit a measurable level (Hanna phosphorous ULR).
 
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Iggy305

Iggy305

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I run pretty low nutrients. I have found that I can have less than 1 ppm nitrates and 0 phosphates but with feeding and fish poo, my acropora, montipora and even my various LPS corals do fine. But I use chaeto for nutrient removal so it needs SOME nitrates and phosphates. I dose Sodium Nitrate (food grade) and keep nitrates at a measurable level and I dose phosphates (trisodium phosphate food grade or analytical grade) to hit a measurable level (Hanna phosphorous ULR).

I appreciate your input.
 
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ScottB

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I certainly know some very accomplished reefers that run super low residuals like @jda , but they feed SUPER frequent and pretty heavy with a lot of fish. To me, that is a key but often overlooked feature of being successful with "lower" nutrient systems.
 

ScottB

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Hello, How do you mix this?
This is a fairly diluted solution, but I had a cheap doser on a timer then.

2 grams per liter of RODI

IIRC, 25ml would add about .01 ppm to a 200G system but your mileage may vary. The first many doses will likely bind to your rock and sand until they saturate. I dosed a full liter of solution before I could hold >0 phosphate.

You must use one of the Hanna ultra low range checkers to measure.
 

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