Phosphates at 0 need advise

motoman37

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Hello!!
a little info......
150 gallon crystal dynamic tank
40 gal timeline sump
Bubble magnus d9 skimmer
100 lbs real reef rock
5-radion xr15
2-mp40
30 lbs live rock in sump
Dual brs media reactors one with brs gfo one with brs carbon rox running 1/4 of brs recommendation calculator
Tank has red carpet algae in patches all over the rock in display but starting to turn pink/ orange I’m assuming From the gfo.
corals look pale and polyps are sucked in
Alk 9.0
Cal 460
Mag 1400
Nitrate 4ppm
Phosphates 0
Salinity 1.025
 

ScottB

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Some pics (under white light) of the corals and the red carpet algae will help.

And a few questions you're going to be asked:

a) The red stuff is an algae for sure, right? Not cyano. You can't just vacuum it out, correct?
b) How old is tank?
c) What were phosphates before the GFO?

If you had higher PO4 before and rapidly stripped it, that would certainly upset some corals.
 
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motoman37

motoman37

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Some pics (under white light) of the corals and the red carpet algae will help.

And a few questions you're going to be asked:

a) The red stuff is an algae for sure, right? Not cyano. You can't just vacuum it out, correct?
b) How old is tank?
c) What were phosphates before the GFO?

If you had higher PO4 before and rapidly stripped it, that would certainly upset some corals.
1D29B963-3649-49DC-9A2D-3D7A98F0FA94.jpeg E7472550-1986-4A88-9E5E-ED4DA99752F1.jpeg
 
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motoman37

motoman37

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The algae is really tough and does not want to come off the rock even with a tooth brush. Tank was set up three years ago then I moved. Tank has been running for a year at my new place and phosphates have been undetected since I set it up

FE9FB061-B39D-4835-928B-C4E92E00BD9A.jpeg
 

IslandLifeReef

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What test are you using to test PO4?

If it is zero, take the GFO off line and wait to see if PO4 comes up slowly.
 
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motoman37

motoman37

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What test are you using to test PO4?

If it is zero, take the GFO off line and wait to see if PO4 comes up slowly.
I’m using a Hanna checker. I don’t really want to kill the gfo because I think it’s slowly killing the red turf algae
 

ScottB

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The risk of stripping with GFO is two fold:
a) SPS can/will pale out or bleach
b) Dinoflagellates can bloom

My GFO reactor is set to run about 4 hours per day in my DT; that seems to be the happy place for around .04 to .08 Once I start hitting the upper end, it is time to switch out the GFO.

In my basement frag systems, I actually dose trisodium phosphate throughout each day to keep PO4 in a similar range.

Once you have dealt with dinos, you will never ever run low nutrient again I promise. Turf algae is a joy relative to dinos.
 

Ubergroover

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Algae fuzzy or like scale? Hard to tell in pic. if it’s scale like it could be coralline algae.
I was never a fan of the Rox. It unbalanced my tank so I switched to pelletized carbon. It seems to be more gentle.
Running your tank at zero po4 is not necessarily a bad thing. If you do you will have to supplement amino drops a couple times a week or spot feed the green reef roids a couple times a week. I do the reef roids.
Make sure your lighting is 100% spot on. I switched to an upscale fixture a year ago and everything took off and grew.
BTW.. now I don’t use carbon pellets. Not opposed to, but I use a vortex filter twice a month and the tank likes it better. My 2 cents.
Nice tank! Good luck.
 
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motoman37

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F
Algae fuzzy or like scale? Hard to tell in pic. if it’s scale like it could be coralline algae.
I was never a fan of the Rox. It unbalanced my tank so I switched to pelletized carbon. It seems to be more gentle.
Running your tank at zero po4 is not necessarily a bad thing. If you do you will have to supplement amino drops a couple times a week or spot feed the green reef roids a couple times a week. I do the reef roids.
Make sure your lighting is 100% spot on. I switched to an upscale fixture a year ago and everything took off and grew.
BTW.. now I don’t use carbon pellets. Not opposed to, but I use a vortex filter twice a month and the tank likes it better. My 2 cents.
Nice tank! Good luck.
Fuzzy algae but is really attached to rock
 
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IslandLifeReef

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I’m using a Hanna checker. I don’t really want to kill the gfo because I think it’s slowly killing the red turf algae

Which Hanna checker, the LR or the ULR?

Running a true 0.0000ppm PO4 can happen using GFO and this is a bad thing. When you strip the food for the algae, you are also stripping the food for the zooxanthella. That is probably why your corals are paling.

You need to find something that will out compete the red algae you have. I would suggest trying Pods and phytoplankton. You could also try Vibrant, but I would try something else first. You could even take the rock out during your next water change and use a toothbrush to scrub the algae off of the rock in the water you took out of the tank. Then put the rock back in and start adding competitors.

If you are using GFO and testing with the Hanna ULR and reading o ppb phosphorus or 0.00 ppm PO4, depending on which version of the ULR checker you are using, you flirting with disaster IMO.
 
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motoman37

motoman37

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Which Hanna checker, the LR or the ULR?

Running a true 0.0000ppm PO4 can happen using GFO and this is a bad thing. When you strip the food for the algae, you are also stripping the food for the zooxanthella. That is probably why your corals are paling.

You need to find something that will out compete the red algae you have. I would suggest trying Pods and phytoplankton. You could also try Vibrant, but I would try something else first. You could even take the rock out during your next water change and use a toothbrush to scrub the algae off of the rock in the water you took out of the tank. Then put the rock back in and start adding competitors.

If you are using GFO and testing with the Hanna ULR and reading o ppb phosphorus or 0.00 ppm PO4, depending on which version of the ULR checker you are using, you flirting with disaster IMO.
Im using the Lr Hanna checker. It’s been at 0.00 for a long time. The red turf algae will not come off by scrubbing it at all. It’s some tuff stuff. I will try and take the gfo offline
 
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