Phosphate testing and dosing should be part of the tank cycle process.

BRS

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This is a really interesting discussion, and I agree it should be covered in the 'Dry Rock' cycling guide.

There are a couple of things to note - which others have pointed out above - and should be updated in the cycling guide:

1) Its likely better to include some non-mined dry rock in your tank - this will supply the PO4
2) Its better yet to include some live rock - even if a couple of pieces in the overall mix of your rock
3) Dosing is an option but I would suspect (without evidence) is inferior to 1 & 2

Lastly:
4) It may be possible to mitigate some of these effects by adding significant coral frags after Nitrate cycle has been established. We're working on this in another thread and will hopefully be able to pull together some data which may demonstrate this use case.
 
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MrMreef

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This is a really interesting discussion, and I agree it should be covered in the 'Dry Rock' cycling guide.

There are a couple of things to note - which others have pointed out above - and should be updated in the cycling guide:

1) Its likely better to include some non-mined dry rock in your tank - this will supply the PO4
2) Its better yet to include some live rock - even if a couple of pieces in the overall mix of your rock
3) Dosing is an option but I would suspect (without evidence) is inferior to 1 & 2

Lastly:
4) It may be possible to mitigate some of these effects by adding significant coral frags after Nitrate cycle has been established. We're working on this in another thread and will hopefully be able to pull together some data which may demonstrate this use case.
1) could also be achieved by including a big bag of that natural coral CaRX media - stuff's full of phosphate, right?

Bonus is you could actually refine a dose level for it (e.g. 1l / 100l tank volume)
 

jhuntstl

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This would make sense in my situation.

I started with about 17lbs of caribsea liferock and 10lbs dry special grade 6 months ago. About 24g total volume. First 5 months I tested often and worked to keep PO4 detectable. I had to dose neophos a handful of times, but mostly just fed heavy frozen and pellets. I've definitely hit a threshold in the last month. The PO4 seems to be leaching back out and trying to find a balance.

My logs would show my PO4 averaging around .05 in the first 5 months. The last 30 days have shown an average closer to .2 PO4. The change was sudden.

A couple months worth of logs before the sudden increase on 9/19. I was feeding heavy frozen and a mix of pellets throughout the week. After 9/19 I adjusted to less frozen feedings and cut out dry completely. I do a 20% WC every Sunday.

7/5 - .04
7/24 - .01
7/29 .06
8/22 - .02
8/30 - .05
9/6 - .06
9/16 - .04
9/19 - .16 (20% WC)
9/24 - .25
9/26 - .25 (20% WC + 1/4 dose of phosguard)
9/27 - .17
9/28 - .2
9/30 - .16
10/1 - .19
10/3 - .15 (20% WC + removed phosguard)
10/6 - .33 (1/2 dose of phosguard)
10/9 - .23
10/10 - .07 (20% WC + removed phosguard)
10/11 - .08
10/13 - .12
10/15 - .15
10/16 - .16
10/18 - .16

I'm not using phosguard anymore. I do think things are starting to balance a bit. Another couple weeks of testing should paint a better picture.
 

Lasse

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edit: obviously I'm talking about a dry rock start here. I've had live rock before in the 90's, was a fun and wild ride.

Just ask your LFS or a friend for 2 or 3 handfuls of gravel from a good working tank and do not clean it to much

This would make sense in my situation.

I started with about 17lbs of caribsea liferock and 10lbs dry special grade 6 months ago. About 24g total volume. First 5 months I tested often and worked to keep PO4 detectable. I had to dose neophos a handful of times, but mostly just fed heavy frozen and pellets. I've definitely hit a threshold in the last month. The PO4 seems to be leaching back out and trying to find a balance.

My logs would show my PO4 averaging around .05 in the first 5 months. The last 30 days have shown an average closer to .2 PO4. The change was sudden.

A couple months worth of logs before the sudden increase on 9/19. I was feeding heavy frozen and a mix of pellets throughout the week. After 9/19 I adjusted to less frozen feedings and cut out dry completely. I do a 20% WC every Sunday.

7/5 - .04
7/24 - .01
7/29 .06
8/22 - .02
8/30 - .05
9/6 - .06
9/16 - .04
9/19 - .16 (20% WC)
9/24 - .25
9/26 - .25 (20% WC + 1/4 dose of phosguard)
9/27 - .17
9/28 - .2
9/30 - .16
10/1 - .19
10/3 - .15 (20% WC + removed phosguard)
10/6 - .33 (1/2 dose of phosguard)
10/9 - .23
10/10 - .07 (20% WC + removed phosguard)
10/11 - .08
10/13 - .12
10/15 - .15
10/16 - .16
10/18 - .16

I'm not using phosguard anymore. I do think things are starting to balance a bit. Another couple weeks of testing should paint a better picture.
A classic example of PO4:s ketchupeffect You have built up the storage and reach equilibrium for the tank at this stage. Use GFO but take it away when you reach 0.08 - 0.05

Sincerely Lasse
 

kmanuele

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Currently cycling a 20g tank with live rock, live sand and macro algaes. Tank has been up for 10 days but only a couple days ago I replaced my crap lighting with a half decent system.

Curious as to how big of a dino/diatom/nuisance algae bloom I'll get. Ever since I set up the new lighting system the culpera has been pearling like crazy, and there's lots of air bubbles coming out of the rock and sand, which is assume is from photosynthetic activity from dinos or whatever.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
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