Phosphate / Nitrate fix for newish tank

PhilipSully

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Hello all!

Tank is roughly 9 months old and my corals are starting to have issues. LFS told me that I would not need to do water changes… Found out that was certainly not the issue. Working on water changes now, it is there anything I should do to get phosphates and nitrates under control faster other than monthly water changes?
my numbers are as follows:

160gal display 40gal sump
Filter socks, skimmer, fuge
Nems, gsp, torches, hammers zoas
Angels, wrassies, clowns tang, 12 in total
Good clean up crew

Ph 7.8
Salinity 0.026
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 20ppm
Nitrite 0
Alkaline 9.6dKH
Magnesium 1500ppm
Calcium 500ppm
Phosphate 0.45ppm
 
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reefsaver

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Chemical filtration like Purigen, GFO reactors all target Phosphates but they won't really pull out Nitrates.
You can do it with just waterchanges, idk what your LFS is talking about. Remember if there's a problem and you do a 10% waterchange, 90% of the issue is still in your aquarium. So the more water you replace, the better in terms of nutrient control or even toxic foreign pollutants. But yeah my biggest suggestion would be GFO, and maybe add something to use the nutrients too like so soft corals like Xenia just to syphon the nutrients into growth.
 

TX_REEF

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an algae turf scrubber will help. I've found that if you decide to do water changes weekly 10% is more manageable and effective than larger monthly water changes. 7.8 ph is also a tad low, you want to aim for 8 to 8.3 generally.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Chemical filtration like Purigen, GFO reactors all target Phosphates but they won't really pull out Nitrates.
You can do it with just waterchanges, idk what your LFS is talking about. Remember if there's a problem and you do a 10% waterchange, 90% of the issue is still in your aquarium. So the more water you replace, the better in terms of nutrient control or even toxic foreign pollutants. But yeah my biggest suggestion would be GFO, and maybe add something to use the nutrients too like so soft corals like Xenia just to syphon the nutrients into growth.

Just a clarification, Purigen won’t remove phosphate directly from seawater. There are too many competing negatively charged ions such as chloride and sulfate.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hello all!

Tank is roughly 9 months old and my corals are starting to have issues. LFS told me that I would not need to do water changes… Found out that was certainly not the issue. Working on water changes now, it is there anything I should do to get phosphates and nitrates under control faster other than monthly water changes?
my numbers are as follows:

160gal display 40gal sump
Filter socks, skimmer, fuge
Nems, gsp, torches, hammers zoas
Angels, wrassies, clowns tang, 12 in total
Good clean up crew

Ph 7.8
Salinity 0.026
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 20ppm
Nitrite 0
Alkaline 9.6dKH
Magnesium 1500ppm
Calcium 500ppm
Phosphate 0.45ppm

What issues are the corals having?
 
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PhilipSully

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What issues are the corals having?
Hi Randy,

I have an Acanthophyllia that appears to be trying to bail out, my gsp is all closed and turning smooth, (no bumps for the polyps to poke out of) most of the heads on my zoa’s are closed. I have 1 of 3 nems that has run and hid at the bottom of the tank under a rock, my other 2 are out and happy. Torches will open and close periodically throughout the day. Fish all seem very happy. I did check the TDS on my makeup water last night and it is up at 0017 so I will be changing out my filters before my water change this weekend.
I am also fighting green hair algae pretty bad with the high nutrients.
 

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Mark Hyman

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My 6 month old 85 gal has similar phos and nitrate numbers, actually a bit higher. I was using lanthanum Cl to drop phos (which it definitely does) but enough is bound up in the rocks and sand to keep pulling it back up; clearing it all out is a long process and you have to be careful. After researching, I decided to add a Pax Bellum algae reactor with chaeto. It's just started but looks to be doing well and should pull down both phos and nitrate with time. If you have sump space, a fuge could be an option for you; my space was tight so the reactor seemed to be a better option for me.

Also keep an eye on your feeding practice. Dry foods are quite high in phos, so reasonable feeding with frozen can help limit your phos additions while you try to get on top of the problem.

I'm sure others will share good perspective too. Best of luck!
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hi Randy,

I have an Acanthophyllia that appears to be trying to bail out, my gsp is all closed and turning smooth, (no bumps for the polyps to poke out of) most of the heads on my zoa’s are closed. I have 1 of 3 nems that has run and hid at the bottom of the tank under a rock, my other 2 are out and happy. Torches will open and close periodically throughout the day. Fish all seem very happy. I did check the TDS on my makeup water last night and it is up at 0017 so I will be changing out my filters before my water change this weekend.
I am also fighting green hair algae pretty bad with the high nutrients.

Sorry to hear about those issues. They do not seem likely to me to be related to nitrate and/or phosphate since some folks with much higher levels do not seem to report such issues, but I have no great suggestion for what the problem may be.
 

reefsaver

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Just a clarification, Purigen won’t remove phosphate directly from seawater. There are too many competing negatively charged ions such as chloride and sulfate.
My apologies I confused Chemi-Pure for Purigen. That’s what I use as a little boost to pull Phosphates and Nitrates out in conjunction with some GFO.
It’s more like a silver bullet, I know I shouldn’t use it all the time.
 

Miami Reef

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Tell me exactly what type of Angel fish and other fish you keep.

I have a lot of experience with trachyphyllia and acanthophyllia, and even the reef safe fish will sometimes eat them. I suspect the angel fish is eating them.

The picking is very subtle and difficult to spot. If you see the fish always near the brain coral, it’s likely they are also picking at it.

I have a list of fish that I visually caught consume my trachy/acantho corals. Most were known to be reef safe.
 

ReefMom5

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Tell me exactly what type of Angel fish and other fish you keep.

I have a lot of experience with trachyphyllia and acanthophyllia, and even the reef safe fish will sometimes eat them. I suspect the angel fish is eating them.

The picking is very subtle and difficult to spot. If you see the fish always near the brain coral, it’s likely they are also picking at it.

I have a list of fish that I visually caught consume my trachy/acantho corals. Most were known to be reef safe.
We have 2 Coris wrasses, a six line, a yellow angel, 2 platinum percula clowns, a flame angel, 2 storm clowns, a blue hippo tang, 2 red banded shrimp, a purple urchin, Pom Pom crab, emerald crabs, sea hare, 2 damsels, lots of hermits and snails and such.
 

Miami Reef

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We have 2 Coris wrasses, a six line, a yellow angel, 2 platinum percula clowns, a flame angel, 2 storm clowns, a blue hippo tang, 2 red banded shrimp, a purple urchin, Pom Pom crab, emerald crabs, sea hare, 2 damsels, lots of hermits and snails and such.
I personally witnessed my blue tang eat my trachyphyllia corals, which I rehomed.

The flame and yellow angel are large suspects.

Watch the tank to try to find the culprit. These corals are extremely susceptible to getting consumed by fish.
 

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