Recent tests suggest that aquariums effectively utilising algae filtration have lower counts of nitrifying bacteria. But out compete isn’t a suitable description in the sense that these specific bacteria are not wiped out, just less in number than in a system solely utilising nitrification/de-nitrification for inorganic nutrient export. This isn’t a negative, or unexpected. Algae assimilate NH3/4, NO3, NO2, & PO4 as a result of photosynthesis.It’s just a feeling, but I think if it is added at a wrong time and/or wrong amount / photoperiod, it can outcompete beneficial bacteria for ammonia and nitrite
By “imbalance” do you mean some specific NP ratio figure, or zero readings of NO3/PO4?and push/keep the tank in an imbalanced state, which might lead to dinos/cyanos ultimately.
If true, wouldn’t other corals be a greater concern than algae, considering the corals are competing for the same specific trace elements other corals use?I also think it competes for trace elements with corals, and in some cases this could lead to growth/coral color issues.
I don’t know of algae consuming bacteria?Or it competes with some type of bacteria that’s present in the system and corals feed on those.
Could be coincidence, anecdotal all the same, but skimmers collect organics. Algae exude some organics (exudates). Take away the exudates & the color of the skimmate may change. This in itself is neither good nor bad. Your corals may have colored up because your inorganics levels were previously too low? which means you were over filtering.Might be a coincidence, but I’ve pulled mine after 3 years, and the skimmate is lighter now & corals have a deeper color.
Feeding the algae, the corals, & whatever else is in your tank.I’ve tried dosing no3/po4 before, but I think I still was mainly feeding the algae in the fuge with that approach.
Thanks for the input. Currently here is what I run on my 55G (4ft)reduce the length of the photo-period
Just to confirm, I was talking about the photo-period for the lights running your refugium.Thanks for the input. Currently here is what I run on my 55G (4ft)
(2) 110W T12 VHO Super Actinic Aquarium Bulb - 11hrs/day
(2) 110W T12 VHO Aquasun Aquarium Bulbs - 9hrs/Day
I do have new LED lighting, just have not switched out
yet. I have heard some not-so-good things about these,
So I am still on the fence about swapping out.
Mention phosphate to a reefkeeper and the images that come to mind are often those of a tank overrun with algae. In truth, phosphate can be a difficult nutrient to limit in a closed reef system. But what exactly is phosphate, where does it come from and how can one deal with it?Maybe a rewording of the question for noobs (me) could be:
Chemically (GFO / Aluminium Oxide)
Naturally (I have no excess organophosphate, and never detect a level of phosphate that bothers me)
Mechanically (I filter out excess organophosphates before it turns into phosphate)
Nothing (What's phosphate?)
Always appreciate your take on things. ThanksLet us kill a huge reefing myth once for all - High PO4 levels do not cause algae overtake by itself. The truth is that all levels of measurable PO4 can cause algae overtake if the competition and the grazing not are large enough. Low PO4 and no flux of PO4 will cause corals that not will thrive. The measured PO4 level in the water column do not reflect how much PO4 that´s in its move in the system - its only reflect the left over - the amount not used for the moment.
The thing that´s most interesting with measure the left over level of PO4 in the water column is that you will have a picture if it is the production or the consumption of PO4 that´s most important at the moment. If the concentration is rising - production is higher than consumption - if the concentration decrease - consumption is higher than the production.
For me it does not so important what the actual figure is (I want to have around 0.04 - 0.1 as a left over concentration in the water column. For the moment - in order to have it stable - I have to add around 0.06 ppm PO4 every day. Because I´m adding - i could go lower in the left over concentration but if I´m above 0.04 - I know that I´m for sure have some PO4 in my system. I use Hanna ULR phosphate meter (ppm PO4) - but I do not really relay on it. For three months I read 0.1 ppm - my corals look awful. No growth whatever. I try with GFO to bring it down - I could not get it lower than 0.08 ppm. Send in a Triton test and the result show 0.018 ppm. I check with another Hanna that for long time has been showing the same as Triton and -my real figure was below 0.02. Start to dose PO4 every day. The corals start to grow again and look fine. My ULR still show 0.08 - 0.12. Have sent in another Triton test - will see what that show.
What I want to say - you will have a risk for algae take over regardless your PO4 level - in reality - in very low PO4 concentrations for a prolonged time - algae will win because they are often better to utilize low PO4 concentrations in the water than the coral - especially the brown diatoms. The only way to handle this, especially in the start - is to use grazers like snails, hermits, urchins, tangs, lawnmower blennys and so on. And to put them in the same moment you put on the light. Decide which left over concentration of PO4 you want to have with your measuring set - use GFO if it rise - dose if it decline. If you have huge problem to get the PO4 level down with using GFO - probably you are near 0 and your test equipment is not optimal. Measure the same time when you want to compare. I use to measure in the morning - the left over concentration is normally at its highest point before your light goes on. I dose during daytime.
Check out info about the Redfield Ratio. You should have 106:16:1 C/N/P.I’m sure you came across the new optimal phosphate level thread judging by this post.
To answer your questions, and I hope this doesn’t cause any confrontation, is nothing really.
I test phosphates daily ensuring they are at the approximate range I want which is always ~5x N/P. In absolute terms, I maintain nitrate at .5 and phosphate at .1. I only use chaeto to ensure phosphates don’t go too high.
I primarily use carbon dosing to attack nitrates and end up having to dose about .01-.02 phosphate a day.
So no one gets upset at me referring research on the impact of phosphate deficiency on corals, other people have success at other ranges*
I’ve found the research to indeed be very impactful in my reef and maintaining a low N/P has led to much faster growth than I witnessed before.