Nutrients Bottoming Out?

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Sdot

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I dose phytoplankton daily. Does nothing to raise phosphate in my tank.
Depends on how much.... i can assure you it will. Live phyto will consume nutrients in the tank... so dose enough to the point where you are getting a reading. I was dosing 150ML of phyto every morning. Initially my phos went to .5... I reduced my dosage to 75ML and so far when i test....my phos is .08.
 

Lavey29

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Depends on how much.... i can assure you it will. Live phyto will consume nutrients in the tank... so dose enough to the point where you are getting a reading. I was dosing 150ML of phyto every morning. Initially my phos went to .5... I reduced my dosage to 75ML and so far when i test....my phos is .08.
Well true if you significantly overdose a food source the organic waste will lead to nitrates and phosphate but that opens a door to others problems too. Bunch of organic waste in the tank is not beneficial.

And I'm pro phyto I think it's helps the tank.
 
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Depends on how much.... i can assure you it will. Live phyto will consume nutrients in the tank... so dose enough to the point where you are getting a reading. I was dosing 150ML of phyto every morning. Initially my phos went to .5... I reduced my dosage to 75ML and so far when i test....my phos is .08.
I dose phyto daily to lower Nutrients
 

sixty_reefer

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Okay, my brain just exploded. Maybe I can simplify this for myself. I have algae and I have low nutrients. Which should be my biggest concern. Or, since the algae is not really that bad and the system is only 5 months old, do I need to just sit back, smoke a lucky, continue to keep the system as clean as possible and let it continue to mature and it will work itself out over time. Corals and fish all look happy and healthy. Am I tinkering too much At this early stage?
The simple answer is yes, let your system find its balance and only intervene if nutrient become depleted or too high, if they fluctuate at normal residual just leave it be. My earlier comments were just to point out if you need to intervene choose wisely the type of nutrients that will help you the most and not add to the problem. Calcium nitrate is a safe choice as only raises calcium and nitrates for example.
 

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I'm curious, how does dosing phyto lower nutrients in a tank?

I can see it if the phyto is consuming nutrients and then skimming the phyto out via a skimmer. That would lower nutrients by whatever that phyto consumed, but if you are adding phyto that consumes nutrients that aren't being skimmed out... don't the nutrients just get released back into the tank/system when the phyto dies? or when the phyto gets consumed?

can someone explain the mechanism for how phyto would lower nutrients in a tank?

seems the phyto themselves are just more nutrients... being added to the tank. how does adding phyto remove nutrients? addition by subtraction how?
 
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sixty_reefer

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I'm curious, how does dosing phyto lower nutrients in a tank?

I can see it if the phyto is consuming nutrients and then skimming the phyto out via a skimmer. That would lower nutrients by whatever that phyto consumed, but if you are adding phyto that consumes nutrients that aren't being skimmed out... don't the nutrients just get released back into the tank/system when the phyto dies? or when the phyto gets consumed?

can someone explain the mechanism for how phyto would lower nutrients in a tank?

seems the phyto themselves are just more nutrients... being added to the tank. how does adding phyto remove nutrients? addition by subtraction how?
It’s not just phytoplankton, almost every photosynthetic organism in our systems have the ability to lower nutrients this is due to the sugars produce and stored as carbohydrates that break down to glucose (sugar)
One example that is fairly common is after adding a algaecide to a system, the algaecide doesn't have any capabilities to lower nutrients although all that algae once it starts to decomposition it will release N and P as is commonly known and in addition will release all the sugars that will work as carbon dosing, this is why we observe nutrients lowering after killing vast amounts of algae in the tank.
Most of the nutrients are removed via skimming as you mentioned and by heterotrophic levels, Dissolved organic carbon will raise bacteria numbers then ciliates will prey on bacteria and other ciliates Protozoa and so on… completing the cycle.

phytoplankton will only raise nutrients due to the nitrates and phosphates residual in the brine water from the fertiliser, phytoplankton alone won’t raise nutrients as the molar content is higher in carbon in comparison to nitrogen and phosphorus.

there is a thread on this forum that demonstrates those abilities utilising phytoplankton and a fertiliser with less phosphates content. They allows phytoplankton to carbon dose a system and enrich the biome of a salt water aquarium by introducing the lowest trophic level known to us. It may have more abilities that haven’t been studied yet like reducing the co2 in a home etc…
 
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Sdot

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I'm curious, how does dosing phyto lower nutrients in a tank?

I can see it if the phyto is consuming nutrients and then skimming the phyto out via a skimmer. That would lower nutrients by whatever that phyto consumed, but if you are adding phyto that consumes nutrients that aren't being skimmed out... don't the nutrients just get released back into the tank/system when the phyto dies? or when the phyto gets consumed?

can someone explain the mechanism for how phyto would lower nutrients in a tank?

seems the phyto themselves are just more nutrients... being added to the tank. how does adding phyto remove nutrients? addition by subtraction how?
Valid question.... phytoplankton is a plant....just like algae consumes nutrients as it grows phyto does the samething. When growing phytoplankton...you dose f2...which is a fertilizer....as it grows it consumes this... it will do the same in your aquarium consuming phosphates and nitrates until it either dies (add nutrients) or get consumed by something. I can attest live phytoplankton lowering nutrients....its a thing. If you dose dead phytoplankton...then it will only add nutrients

 

LeftyReefer

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phytoplankton will only raise nutrients due to the nitrates and phosphates residual in the brine water from the fertiliser, phytoplankton alone won’t raise nutrients as the molar content is higher in carbon in comparison to nitrogen and phosphorus.

there is a thread on this forum that demonstrates those abilities utilising phytoplankton and a fertiliser with less phosphates content. They allows phytoplankton to carbon dose a system and enrich the biome of a salt water aquarium by introducing the lowest trophic level known to us. It may have more abilities that haven’t been studied yet like reducing the co2 in a home etc…

Right, but as far as I know, none of us dose that kind of low phosphate phyto to our tanks.

Is the phyto that we are all ordering/buying from online vendors and our LFS that is dark green lowering phosphates in our tank like that stuff has the ability too?

I've had a monthly subscription for live phyto for several months, dosing it daily.
my nutrients are already next to zero and I need to dose nitrates to keep them off 0.

So should I not be dosing phyto? if dosing phyto lowers nutrients, then you shouldn't dose phyto if your nutrients are already too low?

looks like I need to stop my monthly phyto subscription then.

I had always assumed dosing live phyto was a net add when it came to nutrients.
 
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sixty_reefer

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Valid question.... phytoplankton is a plant....just like algae consumes nutrients as it grows phyto does the samething. When growing phytoplankton...you dose f2...which is a fertilizer....as it grows it consumes this... it will do the same in your aquarium consuming phosphates and nitrates until it either dies (add nutrients) or get consumed by something. I can attest live phytoplankton lowering nutrients....its a thing. If you dose dead phytoplankton...then it will only add nutrients

So you saying that the molar composition of phytoplankton is just nitrogen and phosphates? Redfield would disagree greatly 106:16:1, what happens to all that carbon? Disappears in the tank?
Do you know that phytoplankton once eaten by a copepod 90% of the nutrient consumed are released back into the water column trough the digestive system waste?
 

sixty_reefer

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Right, but as far as I know, none of us dose that kind of low phosphate phyto to our tanks.

Is the phyto that we are all ordering/buying from online vendors and our LFS that is dark green lowering phosphates in our tank like that stuff has the ability too?

I've had a monthly subscription for live phyto for several months, dosing it daily.
my nutrients are already next to zero and I need to dose nitrates to keep them off 0.

So should I not be dosing phyto? if dosing phyto lowers nutrients, then you shouldn't dose phyto if your nutrients are already too low?

looks like I need to stop my monthly phyto subscription then.

I had always assumed dosing live phyto was a net add when it came to nutrients.
The amount of residual left over in the culture will depend greatly on the person responsible for the culture itself, some business that mix they’re own f2 may reduce the phosphates content to deliver a better product to the consumer with less unwanted residual nutrients in the brine water.

as far as stopping dosing phytoplankton is a personal choice I believe, you will have to decide on what you think your tank benefits more from.

just consider that you can have both as well. I’m my experimental system for example is no hassle for me to add nitrates and phosphates every now and then wend required. At the moment I just need to add 0.2 ppm phosphates every other week and nitrates are solid at 10 every now and den moves and I add 5 ppm. Both from inorganic sources that will raise nitrates and phosphates almost instantly. In addition I add 3ppm of nitrogen daily that never becomes nitrates as it all goes to my macro algae collection and coral.

in addition it saves me a tone of €€ every year in medias 30$ buys me all the nutrients I need to add for a year. that in my view is much cheaper than buying GAC and GFO every week for the rest of my reefing days.
Using nutrients efficiently saves me around 30 dollars a week on reef maintenance.
 
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Sdot

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The amount of residual left over in the culture will depend greatly on the person responsible for the culture itself, some business that mix they’re own f2 may reduce the phosphates content to deliver a better product to the consumer with less unwanted residual nutrients in the brine water.

as far as stopping dosing phytoplankton is a personal choice I believe, you will have to decide on what you think your tank benefits more from.

just consider that you can have both as well. I’m my experimental system for example is no hassle for me to add nitrates and phosphates every now and then wend required. At the moment I just need to add 0.2 ppm phosphates every other week and nitrates are solid at 10 every now and den moves and I add 5 ppm. Both from inorganic sources that will raise nitrates and phosphates almost instantly. In addition I add 3ppm of nitrogen daily that never becomes nitrates as it all goes to my macro algae collection and coral.

in addition it saves me a tone of €€ every year in medias 30$ buys me all the nutrients I need to add for a year. that in my view is much cheaper than buying GAC and GFO every week for the rest of my reefing days.
Using nutrients efficiently saves me around 30 dollars a week on reef maintenance.
This
 
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You want nitrates at 10 and phosphate. 05 to .1. You will have a huge struggle with SPS in a 5 month tank. Add those corals at one year or later.
The statement about huge struggle in a 5 month old tank isn’t always accurate. It all depends on how the tank was started.
 

Lavey29

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The statement about huge struggle in a 5 month old tank isn’t always accurate. It all depends on how the tank was started.
Well yes that is true and very experienced reefers can be successful with newer tanks to but most of the time if someone is asking for guidance on here they are probably a novice reefer like the majority of us trying to get better at the hobby.
 

92Miata

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It’s in the bottle instructions, neonitro is not designed to raise nutrients, it’s designed to raise nitrogen in aquaria that is beneficial to aid coral growth and by effect algae as they require the same type of nutrients.

....
This product will only become nitrates if no algae is present and if the system is carbon limited.
Not sure what you're arguing here.

My bottle absolutely says its designed to raise nitrate, and I see nothing on the label that indicates it needs a bacterial process to raise nitrates. It says it will lower phosphates through bacterial processes.

Brightwell sells 4 products as a suite - neonitro (nitrate), neophos (phosphate), reef biofuel (carbon), and Microbacter7 (heterotrophic bacteria). The instructions largely describe how these products interact - but there's nothing on the bottle that says it's anything but a mix of potassium nitrate/sodium nitrate/etc - and nothing on the bottle wouldn't apply to dosing sodium nitrate/sodium phosphate/vodka/etc.
 

sixty_reefer

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Not sure what you're arguing here.

My bottle absolutely says its designed to raise nitrate, and I see nothing on the label that indicates it needs a bacterial process to raise nitrates. It says it will lower phosphates through bacterial processes.
If bacteria is consuming phosphates won’t that mean that the bacteria is consuming nitrates also? Not heard of any bacteria species that only consumes phosphates. If you know thr answer to that you should see we’re I’m coming from.
Brightwell sells 4 products as a suite - neonitro (nitrate), neophos (phosphate), reef biofuel (carbon), and Microbacter7 (heterotrophic bacteria). The instructions largely describe how these products interact - but there's nothing on the bottle that says it's anything but a mix of potassium nitrate/sodium nitrate/etc - and nothing on the bottle wouldn't apply to dosing sodium nitrate/sodium phosphate/vodka/etc.
Do you really believe mb7 is just heterotrophic bacteria? Can you really lower nutrients with adding heterotrophic bacteria on its own? Every system has heterotrophic bacteria present. Source aquabiomics. Mb7 is only good for folks that don’t know how nutrients are used in a reef tank imo.
 
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Guess I should jump back in since I started this Thread. I went with two options to raise my NO 3 and PO4. First, fish got real happy, because I started feeding more. Good feedings at 09:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Also, Around noon to 1:00 PM I put up two good sized algae clips. The four tangs and two Bellus angels Love that. I also got neoNitro and NeoPhos. I dose about 20 ml of NepNitro and 10 ml of NeoPhos twice a week. My numbers now stay at about NO3 10-12 and PO4 0.02-0.03. Seems to be working well and most of my nuisance algae has dissipated. That may be more from tang grazing, snails and urchins than anything else. Tank is going on 7 months now and coraline is starting to pop up everywhere. Life is good.
 

92Miata

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If bacteria is consuming phosphates won’t that mean that the bacteria is consuming nitrates also? Not heard of any bacteria species that only consumes phosphates. If you know thr answer to that you should see we’re I’m coming from.
Yes, I understand the process - and that process has nothing to do with whether or not neonitro raises nitrates. To use an analogy - the fact that your fish make flake food disappear doesn't change the fact that you added flakes.

Dosing any source of nitrogen in a nitrogen limited tank will cause consumption of phosphate (as long as the tank is not also carbon limited) and consumption of nitrogen and carbon. No source of nitrate will meaningfully and sustainably raise nitrate levels until the tank is no longer nitrogen limited. This is not unique to neonitro.

Corals don't make meaningful use of nitrate - the entire point of dosing nitrate, and keeping the tank from being nitrate limited is that it creates blooms of pelagic heterotrophs that skimmers can remove, corals can consume, and algae can't consume. It locks up micronutrients in little free floating food packets that are inaccessible to organisms we don't want. Corals are incredibly inefficient at using inorganic nitrate as a nitrogen source. They'd much rather have ammonia - it's got way more energy.

Do you really believe mb7 is just heterotrophic bacteria? Can you really lower nutrients with adding heterotrophic bacteria on its own? Every system has heterotrophic bacteria present. Source aquabiomics. Mb7 is only good for folks that don’t know how nutrients are used in a reef tank imo.
Yes, tanks have heterotrophic bacteria in them - but that's irrelevant to whether or not mb7 is primarily heterotrophic bacteria. "Heterotrophic bacteria" describes approximately 70% of marine biomass. There are species of heterotrophs that don't survive long term in marine conditions but will rapidly process nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon - they're frequently used in wastewater processing, and are almost certainly what are in mb7.


And again, nobody is claiming mb7 is only heterotrophic bateria - and whether or not is irrelevant in the discussion of neonitro.

So you saying that the molar composition of phytoplankton is just nitrogen and phosphates? Redfield would disagree greatly 106:16:1, what happens to all that carbon? Disappears in the tank?
Do you know that phytoplankton once eaten by a copepod 90% of the nutrient consumed are released back into the water column trough the digestive system waste?
This is the problem here.

Redfield studied deep water ocean plankton - and not as individual species, but as melted down biomass. He did not study reef ecosystems at all. And his thesis wasn't that 16:1 was a holy number - it's that the ratio of elements in plankton would match the water conditions that the plankton grew in. In deep water, in the Atlantic and parts of the Indian ocean, where he took his limited samples, he got 16:1. He extrapolated that to everything.

And here's the fun part - Redfield's general thesis is right - but for the wrong reasons - and everything else he did is wrong. The actual ratio of carbon to nitrogen to phosphate in areas he studied is really 166:20:1. And the ratio of nitrogen to phosphate in healthy marine environments varies from as much as 60:1 to as little as 6:1.

His idea that C:N:p in plankton would match the environment is generally correct in marine environments - but that's not a result of those plankton coming to equilibrium with the water column like he thought - it's largely a result of different mixes of plankton species specializing to those environments - so unless you can match the species mix of a specific area, there's no benefit in trying to match the exact ratio.
 

sixty_reefer

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Yes, I understand the process - and that process has nothing to do with whether or not neonitro raises nitrates. To use an analogy - the fact that your fish make flake food disappear doesn't change the fact that you added flakes.

Dosing any source of nitrogen in a nitrogen limited tank will cause consumption of phosphate (as long as the tank is not also carbon limited) and consumption of nitrogen and carbon. No source of nitrate will meaningfully and sustainably raise nitrate levels until the tank is no longer nitrogen limited. This is not unique to neonitro.

Corals don't make meaningful use of nitrate - the entire point of dosing nitrate, and keeping the tank from being nitrate limited is that it creates blooms of pelagic heterotrophs that skimmers can remove, corals can consume, and algae can't consume. It locks up micronutrients in little free floating food packets that are inaccessible to organisms we don't want. Corals are incredibly inefficient at using inorganic nitrate as a nitrogen source. They'd much rather have ammonia - it's got way more energy.
The results of nitrogen based products that don’t affect calcium, alkalinity or potassium. Will always have macro and micro algaes as a direct user for urea and ammonia this are the main ingredient in most nitrogen based products. I can’t find any literature that illustrates neonitro raising calcium, alkalinity or potassium. I do find literature that we have to wait 24 hours to re testing after dosing, if calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate were part of the main ingredient the results of dosing would be available to interpret in a short peri
Yes, tanks have heterotrophic bacteria in them - but that's irrelevant to whether or not mb7 is primarily heterotrophic bacteria. "Heterotrophic bacteria" describes approximately 70% of marine biomass. There are species of heterotrophs that don't survive long term in marine conditions but will rapidly process nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon - they're frequently used in wastewater processing, and are almost certainly what are in mb7.


And again, nobody is claiming mb7 is only heterotrophic bateria - and whether or not is irrelevant in the discussion of neonitro.
it comes in the discussion as most cleaning bacteria based products contain phosphates and dissolved carbon. The reason they work is once carbon and phosphates are added to a system that is limited by carbon and phosphates it aids cleaning of build up detritus. Most systems that have great benefits from this products will always have a higher nitrates and less po4 available. Dosing po4 and organic carbon would have a similar effect imo.

This is the problem here.

Redfield studied deep water ocean plankton - and not as individual species, but as melted down biomass. He did not study reef ecosystems at all. And his thesis wasn't that 16:1 was a holy number - it's that the ratio of elements in plankton would match the water conditions that the plankton grew in. In deep water, in the Atlantic and parts of the Indian ocean, where he took his limited samples, he got 16:1. He extrapolated that to everything.

And here's the fun part - Redfield's general thesis is right - but for the wrong reasons - and everything else he did is wrong. The actual ratio of carbon to nitrogen to phosphate in areas he studied is really 166:20:1. And the ratio of nitrogen to phosphate in healthy marine environments varies from as much as 60:1 to as little as 6:1.

His idea that C:N:p in plankton would match the environment is generally correct in marine environments - but that's not a result of those plankton coming to equilibrium with the water column like he thought - it's largely a result of different mixes of plankton species specializing to those environments - so unless you can match the species mix of a specific area, there's no benefit in trying to match the exact ratio.

Our system are not for the greater part limited by N or P. Matching residual N an P with redfield is just a waste of energy. Understanding C in the other hand is a great tool for the hobby and unlocking new possibilities.
 
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