Nutrients bottomed out and cyano issue!

AVVITT

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All seemed ok until about 3 weeks ago when I started getting the brown slime on the sand.
PO4 had been between 0.08 - 0.03 for a good few weeks and NO3 sat at 10
I tested a few days after seeing the cyano and my PO4 was at 0.08 but NO3 was 5 so I'm thinking maybe the cyano was caused by the nutrient imbalance.
A week on from those tests and my PO4 is reading 0 and NO3 is at 2.5

I can only think of a 25% water change as being the only significant change in the tank as it was the first WC I'd done in weeks.
My PO4 just after the WC was 0.11 so I dosed a very small amount of lanthanum chloride over the course of 2 days then tested on day 3. PO4 back down to 0.05
As well as upping my bacto balance dosing, I halved my heavy feeding regime in my tank to try and bring down the PO4 so that the nutrient ratio was more in line.
Now that I've hit rock bottom, I switched off my skimmer and fed my fish a bit more tonight.

Any recommendations for getting my PO4 and NO3 back up?
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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All seemed ok until about 3 weeks ago when I started getting the brown slime on the sand.
PO4 had been between 0.08 - 0.03 for a good few weeks and NO3 sat at 10
I tested a few days after seeing the cyano and my PO4 was at 0.08 but NO3 was 5 so I'm thinking maybe the cyano was caused by the nutrient imbalance.
A week on from those tests and my PO4 is reading 0 and NO3 is at 2.5

I can only think of a 25% water change as being the only significant change in the tank as it was the first WC I'd done in weeks.
My PO4 just after the WC was 0.11 so I dosed a very small amount of lanthanum chloride over the course of 2 days then tested on day 3. PO4 back down to 0.05
As well as upping my bacto balance dosing, I halved my heavy feeding regime in my tank to try and bring down the PO4 so that the nutrient ratio was more in line.
Now that I've hit rock bottom, I switched off my skimmer and fed my fish a bit more tonight.

Any recommendations for getting my PO4 and NO3 back up?

I personally do not think that dropping phosphate can "cause" cyano. I see no plausible mechanism, unless somehow the low phosphate killed whatever was on the sand and now it is being physically replaced at that location by the cyano.

The alternative, that increased cyano growth dropped phosphate seems more likely to me.

If you want to increase N and P, both feeding more and dosing will do it.

My usual recommendations for cyano are more flow, reduced organics, manual removal, less organic carbon dosing (if any), and possibly adding competitors such as other bacteria that are less unsightly.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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You can dose them directly, I know Brightwell makes both formulations. I've also heard that potassium nitrate can be dosed for nitrates and is sold as stump killer at home improvement stores but I don't have any experience with it.

I do not recommend stumpkiller. It is both a suboptimal chemical form (can possible raise potassium), and is of unknown purity.

I also do not recommend the Brightwell product since it too is of unknown purity, and is costly.

I recommend food grade sodium nitrate for dosing nitrate. It is cheap and easy. Loudwolf is a good brand, but there are others.
 
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I personally do not think that dropping phosphate can "cause" cyano. I see no plausible mechanism, unless somehow the low phosphate killed whatever was on the sand and now it is being physically replaced at that location by the cyano.

The alternative, that increased cyano growth dropped phosphate seems more likely to me.

If you want to increase N and P, both feeding more and dosing will do it.

My usual recommendations for cyano are more flow, reduced organics, manual removal, less organic carbon dosing (if any), and possibly adding competitors such as other bacteria that are less unsightly.
I've upped my feeding and knocked the skimmer off for a few hours.

I will look at adjusting my flow to try and direct it more to the lower levels as this is where 95% of the cyano is.
I have some bacteria inbound and so will also stop dosing bacto balance for the time being
Cheers!
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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FWIW, I think upping feeding and reducing skimmer will make cyano worse, not better, but let us know how things turn out!
 
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FWIW, I think upping feeding and reducing skimmer will make cyano worse, not better, but let us know how things turn out!
Well I guess inkeeping with your theory of low phosphate not causing cyano, I'm guessing upping phosphate won't get rid of it.
I guess I'm really dealing with 2 issues then.
Cyano being one and low nutrients the other.
For the sake of my corals I need to make sure my phosphate stays above 0 and deal with cyano as you've suggested.

I will indeed report back with the outcome!
 

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Well I guess inkeeping with your theory of low phosphate not causing cyano, I'm guessing upping phosphate won't get rid of it.
I guess I'm really dealing with 2 issues then.
Cyano being one and low nutrients the other.
For the sake of my corals I need to make sure my phosphate stays above 0 and deal with cyano as you've suggested.

I will indeed report back with the outcome!
You are sure this is cyano?
 
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Dburr1014

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Going by what I'm told, yes.
It's a brown velvety looking "blanket" which is slimy and has lots of bubbles lifting up through it. I don't have a picture but this is the best I can describe it
Brown with bubbles, me thinks of dinos. Though, it could be cyano.
Post a pic when you can.
 

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Well I guess inkeeping with your theory of low phosphate not causing cyano, I'm guessing upping phosphate won't get rid of it.
I guess I'm really dealing with 2 issues then.
Cyano being one and low nutrients the other.
For the sake of my corals I need to make sure my phosphate stays above 0 and deal with cyano as you've suggested.

I will indeed report back with the outcome!

I agree you do not want nutrients too low to prevent dino risk and coral starving.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Brown with bubbles, me thinks of dinos. Though, it could be cyano.
Post a pic when you can.

Dino’s would definitely be cause to boost nutrients to drive growth of competitors.
 

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Well I guess inkeeping with your theory of low phosphate not causing cyano, I'm guessing upping phosphate won't get rid of it.
I guess I'm really dealing with 2 issues then.
Cyano being one and low nutrients the other.
For the sake of my corals I need to make sure my phosphate stays above 0 and deal with cyano as you've suggested.

I will indeed report back with the outcome!
Is the NP-bacto balance you using? Are you adding amino acids to your tank also?
 
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AVVITT

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In my experience the drop in nitrates probably caused the cyano issue. I generally try to keep it above 5ppm for that reason.
I've always had high nutrients in my tank. A few months ago my phos was at 2.5ppm! My nitrate has been at about 10 for months. I can't understand what has made them plummet so quickly.
 

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Yes it is, NP bacto balance I'm using. I don't use aminos
That’s strange, NP bacto balance contains phosphorus and nitrogen to avoid nutrients going to zero, how it works is replacing inorganic nutrient by organic nutrients that are preferred by coral and other organisms, if your phosphates are bottoming out you may have another source of N-Doc in your tank unless if you are aggressively removing phosphates wile using NP bacto balance normally the bacteria that the product encourages to grow is enough to keep phosphates at a desired level and I’m most cases phosphates absorbing media are not required.
 
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In my experience the drop in nitrates probably caused the cyano issue. I generally try to keep it above 5ppm for that reason.

I’ve not seen many clear reports of low nutrients encouraging pests except Dino’s, and that’s likely from reduced competition by something else.
 

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I've always had high nutrients in my tank. A few months ago my phos was at 2.5ppm! My nitrate has been at about 10 for months. I can't understand what has made them plummet so quickly.

Maybe the cyano is consuming the nutrients?
 

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