Nitrates stuck at 0ppm slow coral growth

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by Grantlewis1983, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. Grantlewis1983

    Grantlewis1983 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Temecula
    My Nano.jpg
    Hello I have a small mixed reef Nano AJ-45 tank that's been running solid for about 2 years. Not really had many issues until I recently got "re-involved" and started really checking parameters. I was dosing NO-POX for a long time to control algae and stopped to see if I could raise the Nitrate levels. No luck, tried a little over feeding and dosing reef energy a little more but still no luck. I have also added fire fish goby as well but I'm still reading zero. Nuisance algae has started to show back up and chateo in my mini fuge in the back of the tank is growing like crazy so I know there's nutrients on the water. What gives?

    p.s. I started to get concerned because I had really good growth and then it stopped and my green candy cane coral started dropping heads like it was melting or receding..I have also noticed tiny bubbles everywhere along with the green fuzzy algae.

    Parameters:
    SG: 1.024
    CA: 500 (bit high I know)
    ALK: 8 (usually 11, I missed a day or so dosing adjusting)
    NO3: 0
    Po4: .02

    Thanks for the help! Happy Holidays!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
    Tags:

  2. sfin52

    sfin52 Valuable Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,750
    Likes Received:
    1,669
    Location:
    Springfield il
    You can dose both phosphates and nitrates.
     
  3. nt152

    nt152 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Longview,Tx
    I also noticed similar things in my tank. Once I got my Nitrates and Phosphates down, my corals have all but stopped growing or sprouting new heads. Cant wait to see what everyone else has to say.
     
  4. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    27,558
    Likes Received:
    15,360
    Location:
    Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
    When nitrate is too low, corals certainly can suffer. Even more food, or dosing nitrate is a fine plan. :)
     
  5. eds22

    eds22 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I am having the same issues on a 60 cube. Following along to see what everone has to say.
     
  6. K. Steven

    K. Steven Active Member R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    554
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I had zero NO3 and PO4 also. I took out my skimmer and upped the CUC. I prefer to remove nutrient export instead of increasing nutrient import. The less tasks and equipment I have to do/use is better for me. You could shorten skim time, trim your macros or reduce water change frequency as well.
     
  7. Grantlewis1983

    Grantlewis1983 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Temecula
    Cool, what products do you recommend?
     
  8. mikeandkerry

    mikeandkerry Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    38
    Same problem
    Following
     
  9. hyprc

    hyprc Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    78
    Location:
    Cali
    Another nitrate-limited system checking in. My phosphate creeps about .15 a week so I run GFO to counter but still no detectable nitrate since month 2 (tank is nearly 2 years old). I've tried dosing ME Coral Nitrate but it sends the cyano into a frenzy and the rocks start getting fuzzy (Foxface doesn't mind heh) but the cyano is a problem. Tried running up to 7 fish in the system (43 gal total volume) and feeding heavy but get similar results.
     
  10. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    27,558
    Likes Received:
    15,360
    Location:
    Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
    For dosing nitrate, I'd use a food grade sodium or potassium nitrate. I won't link them since they change rapidly, but Amazon sells some and Loudwolf sells some that can be obtained on ETSY. Calcium nitrate is likely also OK and is often available.

    For dosing phosphate I'd use food grade sodium or potassium phosphate, and here there is substantial variability since you can have 1, 2 or 3 sodium or potassium ions per phosphate. All are fine if food grade, but the potency changes a bit. Same link issues.

    For dosing these materials, this calculator can often help:

    http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/calculator.htm
     
    Cory and Grantlewis1983 like this.
  11. bdejong1112o

    bdejong1112o Active Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    466
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    So I see some opt for adjusting the skimmer. I also would prefer a method that doesnt require adding more stuff if its already there. So I am also in a situation where Nitrates have been zero for some time. I like the idea of using the skimmer to control it. I still get a healthy amount of skimmate every week. Is it as simple as just adjusting the time the skimmer is allowed to run via my apex? Is it best to cycle it on and off durring the day or in one large block of time?

    Here is my cup after 7 days of running. Its a simplicity 540DC on a 220g tank. Funny part is its mostly green color but still smells. I blame the foxface and tang who are heavy eaters and, well, deficators. Lol
    20171225_162039.jpg
     
    sfin52 likes this.
  12. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    27,558
    Likes Received:
    15,360
    Location:
    Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
    FWIW, skimmers remove all sorts of crap and do not remove nitrate directly. Nitrate may rise if you skim less, but so will other things, such as organics generally, which also may include toxins, whole bacteria, etc.

    IMO, it makes more sense to remove as much generalized crap as possible and add back exactly what you want (whether that is nitrate, or something similar, such as amino acids).

    Skimmers also help a lot with O2 and CO2 gas exchange, and IMO, may be their most important feature in many tanks.
     
    Cory, cracker and bdejong1112o like this.
  13. bdejong1112o

    bdejong1112o Active Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    466
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    Thanks Randy. I will look at the other thread that talks about specific nitrate dosing. Didnt really want to mess with the skimmer since its doing a great job cleaning out some nice chunky stuff from my fishies.. messy eaters they are.
     
  14. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    27,558
    Likes Received:
    15,360
    Location:
    Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
    You're welcome and good luck! :)
     
  15. Mike220

    Mike220 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    28
    Hello Randy

    My Nitrate is 2-3ppm, but phosphate is zero. How I rise up phosphate about. 02.

    Thanks
     
  16. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    27,558
    Likes Received:
    15,360
    Location:
    Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
    Dosing phosphate is a fine way. Do you use any phosphate export media now?
     
  17. Newb73

    Newb73 Valuable Member Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,266
    Likes Received:
    922
    Location:
    Southeast
    I believe modern tanks problems are being caused in large part by running too clean and with too low levels/not feeding enough/understocking fish. Basically the opposite problem from what we had 10 years ago.

    I stopped skimming a while ago but always run a skimmer for gas exchange.

    I feed Seachem Phyto and Zoo once a week on Wednesday and Reef Energy A &B once a week on Saturdays. My tank is becoming more and more atypical by the minute however. (note, the ozone/skimmer and ((soon) UV are turned off for 12 to 24 hours when I dose.)

    Sulfur Denitrator
    Continuous Water changes 3.5gpd
    Ozone to Skimmer
    Large Chateo Bed under H380
    Dose Iron and other trace elements every 40 gallons or so of water change in very small amounts (with just a tad extra iron)
    Just ordered, a 50 Watt High output UV ( BRS did 10% off plus an extra $50 flat off plus $37.00 in strore credit so....it was almost $150 off total so they got me to bite....)
    GAC and GFO, but I run no GFO when if my monthly phosphate test is any where near low levels.
    I feed a LARGE amount of food and have 4 tangs and a rabbit fish (so far). 2 Small squares of Nori daily, about 8 pinches of seaweed extreme daily, about 20 pellets of new life spectre daily, 2 to 4 cubes of mysis daily, once or twice a week they get a rotation or two of Neptune apex food, once a week or so I feed BRS reef chili, once a week or so I feed a cube of frozen coral snow, once a week or so a chunk of freeze dried brine and or krill.....plus what ever else strikes my fancy to feed them.

    Even with all that my monthly Hannah phosphate test often reads zero, it will read as high as 0.3 rarely. My Elos Nitrate usually reads undetectable. I do get a few small patch of cyano and/or diatoms but they clear when I go on business trips as my wife will feed 1 to 2 cubes of frozen mysis for 4 or 5 days and nothing else. I come home to dirty glass and almost zero cyano/diatoms after such a trip..which happens once or twice a month.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
    Cory and Grantlewis1983 like this.
  18. Mike220

    Mike220 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    28
    No, I don't use any phosphate accept running carbon.
    What's phosphate for dosing. Can you let me know please.

    Thanks
    Mike
     
  19. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    27,558
    Likes Received:
    15,360
    Location:
    Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
  20. Grantlewis1983

    Grantlewis1983 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Temecula
    Ok finally got some potassium nitrate. Took a while but amazon always pulls through. Now the next step to start dosing. I was playing around with the calculator that was linked. But what range ppm should I shoot for? I have mainly LPS with 1 little monti frag. 2ppm enough for good growth or higher?

    IMG_1258.jpg
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Loading...