Phosphate and Nitrate control

Discussion in 'Triton Applied Reef Bioscience' started by Robert's Reef, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. Robert's Reef

    Robert's Reef Member R2R Supporter

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    Hello,

    I started using the Triton method on my established 100gal mixed reef on the first of November. However, I've noticed that my PO4 and Nitrate levels have risen to unacceptable levels since converting.

    The phosphate levels have kept rising since I switched from BRS GFO High Capacity, https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/brs-bulk-gfo-granular-ferric-oxide-high-capacity.html, to Triton's AL99, https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/al99-phosphate-remover-triton.html.

    The current phosphate reading is .26ppm, whereas before it was .04. The RO water used for top off reads, .02 ppm phosphate. My feeding habits have not changed since the switch over. I have increased the amount of AL99 used for my 100gal tank, from 250ml to 500ml. I've tried increasing/decreasing the reactor's flow. This past week, after I changed the AL99, my numbers went from .26 to .13 a few days later and now 8 days later is back at .24. My reactor is the BRS GFO-Carbon Reactor deluxe, https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/brs-gfo-carbon-reactor-deluxe1.html.

    I irregularly monitor my Nitrate , because for the past years it has been low, <2ppm. For the first two months after the change over the Nitrate levels remained at that level. But in the last month it has gone from 2 to over 64ppm. I do not have a refugium but a Pax Bellum ARID. I have cleaned that out every two weeks and the algae thrives in it. At first I dosed the Iron and Manganese as well as the N + MO. But I have stopped that, probably a month ago or so.

    I've cleaned the sump and protein skimmer and I continue to replace both carbon and AL99 every two weeks and change my filter socks twice a week, whether or not they are overflowing or not. My maintenance routines have not change since switching over.

    It has been 10 days now since I increased my flow to about 800gph. This has disturbed the sand-bed so some detritus may have come from that. But before switching I would vacuum the sand once a month. I have only added to small frags to the bioload since switching. So I don't think this is the problem.

    I must admit that the only outward signs of this pollution is some stubborn diatoms on the sand bed.

    Any ideas on how these numbers have gotten so out-of-hand? I know I can get these numbers under control by water changes and going back to BRS GFO, but that won't solve the problem. Is this sort change expected/accepted in the Triton method?

    Thank you,
    Robert
     

  2. Shigshwa

    Shigshwa Active Member

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    What do you run to deal with the nitrates? Do you grow macroalgae?
     
  3. Robert's Reef

    Robert's Reef Member R2R Supporter

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    Yes, my Pax Bellum is an ARID and in it I have Chaeto that has managed the Nitrates.

    I just got back from the LFS and they tested my water. They thought my nitrates were fine. My Nitrate test reagents may be bad, though they have an expiration of 2019 on them. I'm using the Red Sea Pro Nitrate test kit.

    Thank you, Robert
     
  4. Chris Villalobos

    Chris Villalobos Active Member

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    I had to buy an inexpensive API kit to test along side my Red Sea kit just to keep my sanity. Sometimes that Red Sea test will look super dark in the specialized holder. When I start to freak out that my nitrates are through the roof I bring out the API kit and see that I'm still under 5 ppm. :)
     
    HolisticBear likes this.
  5. Robert's Reef

    Robert's Reef Member R2R Supporter

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    Thank you for telling me of your experience. I'll need to order a backup test kit and re-test and re-test. Again, thanks.
     
  6. reefluvrr

    reefluvrr Member

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    I am struggling with the same problem. No3 over 16ppm. PO4 over 0.6. It has been this way for over 6 months. Anytime I tried to bring it down, i see my sps start to stn. I now am using a Pax Bellum as well. It has been one month. Numbers still the same. When I test my rodi water, numbers are good. I am using red sea pro test for NO3 and Hana URL for PO4. Time to go to fish store and have them check my water and buy a new test kit...
     
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