nutrient levels too high?

deansreef

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I have a 225 with the following nutrient levels and parameters

salinity 1.025
temperature 77-77.3
calcium 440
magnesium 1325
PO4 0.04 ULR
No3 24.3 ppm
alk- 8.4


are these nutrient levels to high for SPS acroporas? I run a calcium reactor, a kalk reactor, a protein skimmer and a algae scrubber.... want to add SPS but dont know if i am ready with the parameters stated above

reef1050821.jpg
 
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deansreef

deansreef

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No reason why you couldn’t be successful with those parameters. Many successful tanks with very similar parameters on here.

The only one that appears to be “high” in comparison to the “norm” would be Nitrates but definitely not crazy high
thanks! the nitrates were my major concern... wish i could get them lower but with the fish load its always steady 23-24.5...what should nitrates level should i try for in order to have a successful parameters for SPS?
 

PatW

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I would say the nitrate is high at 24 ppm. You want it below 10 ppm. There are different takes on this. Some say below 2 ppm. I know if I have detectable nitrates, every thing is happy. But my tangs get nori and they are poop machines.

Phosphates should be below .03. But some say higher is fine. Again, corals need some.

You might try an easy and cheap SPS as a test subject.
 
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deansreef

deansreef

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I would say the nitrate is high at 24 ppm. You want it below 10 ppm. There are different takes on this. Some say below 2 ppm. I know if I have detectable nitrates, every thing is happy. But my tangs get nori and they are poop machines.

Phosphates should be below .03. But some say higher is fine. Again, corals need some.

You might try an easy and cheap SPS as a test subject.
i guess ill pass on the sps as below 10 is not possible for me regarding nitrates... thanks for info. Br, D
 

AJsReef

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thanks! the nitrates were my major concern... wish i could get them lower but with the fish load its always steady 23-24.5...what should nitrates level should i try for in order to have a successful parameters for SPS?

I can only speak based on what I have been unsuccessful with which is 0 nitrate. Recently I’ve been targeting 5-10 personally and seeing what I consider good color and strong encrusting. Same with phosphate around .03-.06 is what I am targeting.

It’s a highly debatable topic and many on here have much more experience than I. That said, there’s some notable tanks with 15-30 nitrate. Some of which I’ve seen in person and are stunning.
 

Uncle99

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I’d reduce nitrate to 2-10ppm maybe through carbon dosing and I would run phosphate more like 0.05ppm at the min and .1ppm at the max.

Check to ensure your coral friends don’t mop up that phosphate and make it bottom out, if they are sucking up more than what’s added in foods, dose Neophos to maintain appropriate levels.

If the tank is more than 1 year old, ok to bump phosphate a bit higher.
 

blasterman

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I know plenty of stunning SPS tanks that run nitrate over 20ppm, but it's not the issue.

The REAL issue is where the SPS came from. Many commercial fraggers keep their frags in low nutrient tanks because they are less maintenance. Virtually all SPS including acropora can acclimate to > 20 nitrate levels, but over an extended period of time. If you put that same frag in a 24ppm tank (yours) and it comes from a tank with barely 1ppm of nitrate you *will* have issues ,especially with acros or more sensitive SPS. This is why I often test the water the frag comes in to see what the coral is used to. If there's a massive difference in nutrient levels then you should quarantine the frag in a tank with intermediate nutrient levels. Corals can acclimate quickly between tanks with different calcium levels and alk levels provided they are within reason. A 20 point jump in nitrate through combined with having to adjust to different lighting causes 90% of new SPS acclimation issues.

In fact, if you are spending some money on frags from a single source I would insist on knowing their params. If their tanks have 0 nitrate...yeah...you will have issues putting them in yours. I guarantee it.

For mixed reef I feel more comfortable running nitrate at 5-10 ish because you have wiggle room both ways. You can get away with higher *if* it's stable higher and corals are used to it.

Stupid nitrate trick: if you have sump get a jar of bio pellets, put them in a media bag and throw them in your sump. You do not need a reactor - just a gimmick. They take a few weeks to ramp up, but once they do a pound of biopellets will crush nitrate.
 
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deansreef

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I know plenty of stunning SPS tanks that run nitrate over 20ppm, but it's not the issue.

The REAL issue is where the SPS came from. Many commercial fraggers keep their frags in low nutrient tanks because they are less maintenance. Virtually all SPS including acropora can acclimate to > 20 nitrate levels, but over an extended period of time. If you put that same frag in a 24ppm tank (yours) and it comes from a tank with barely 1ppm of nitrate you *will* have issues ,especially with acros or more sensitive SPS. This is why I often test the water the frag comes in to see what the coral is used to. If there's a massive difference in nutrient levels then you should quarantine the frag in a tank with intermediate nutrient levels. Corals can acclimate quickly between tanks with different calcium levels and alk levels provided they are within reason. A 20 point jump in nitrate through combined with having to adjust to different lighting causes 90% of new SPS acclimation issues.

In fact, if you are spending some money on frags from a single source I would insist on knowing their params. If their tanks have 0 nitrate...yeah...you will have issues putting them in yours. I guarantee it.

For mixed reef I feel more comfortable running nitrate at 5-10 ish because you have wiggle room both ways. You can get away with higher *if* it's stable higher and corals are used to it.

Stupid nitrate trick: if you have sump get a jar of bio pellets, put them in a media bag and throw them in your sump. You do not need a reactor - just a gimmick. They take a few weeks to ramp up, but once they do a pound of biopellets will crush nitrate.
can i achieve the same result just carbon dosing with some cheap 80 proof vodka vs bio pellets?
 

jda

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I do not believe and have never found that ALL acropora can acclimate to nitrate over 20. However, there are a good many that do not care at all - many are beautiful and hardy. If you are doing everything OK and you just cannot keep one or two, then so what... just move along to ones that work.

Just remember that nitrate numbers are not nutrients or energy and it is a poison in some degree. Your acropora cannot use nitrate in that form - they get their nitrogen from ammonia or ammonium or if they can catch some bacteria in their slime coat or catch other things (not likely in our tanks). So the nitrate level just interrupts cellular function at higher levels, but the level of interruption is highly variable by individual and there is no set level where you cannot keep acropora - just know that the higher it gets, the subset gets lower where even some will thrive over 100, but not as many as at 20.

If you do decide to lower your nitrate, do it by increasing export and DO NOT decrease import. The import is what gives the corals what they need, so never cut back on that. You can keep your no3 at levels where IC test is needed to detect them and they will thrive if you keep import (availability) high.
 

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