Phosphates stuck at 0, Neophos help?

christianscorals

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Hello. For the past month I have been struggling to keep my phosphates up and my nitrates just keep climbing. I have a 25g all in one with an aquamaxx 1.5 HOB skimmer and that's all i use for filtration. I noticed that ever since I dosed bacteria (prodibio) it seems that they consume my phosphates very quickly and nothing gets rid of the nitrates produced afterwards. I have dosed Neophos and fed a mixture of reef nutrition foods as well as benepets 3 times a week with my phosphates going as high as 0.02 then 0 24hrs later (using Hanna Phosphate ULR) meanwhile nitrates keep climbing from 14 up to 16.8 until I do a waterchange (Hanna HR).

My overall questions are:

should I just stick to dosing Neophos and gradually increase dosage day by day? i'm not sure if continuous dosing will shock the corals since i'm dosing X amount of phosphate and it keeps getting stripped. Do corals benefit and feed from Neophos as they do from Powdered foods etc?

should I dose reef biofuel in conjunction with Neophos? the bottle states that if no changes appear the system may be carbon limited but BRS stated if you have 0 phosphates you should not carbon dose so there's a contradiction there.

Thanks for any help!
 
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Reffetsevla

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Anecdotally I had an API PO4 test kit that was reading 0. I was dosing Seachem Flourish Phosphorus, 0's everyday. I bought a Hanna checker, I was up to 0.84. Have you checked with a different reagent batch or used another method to test to confirm accurate? If you're dosing and you think it should be rising, but it's not, always good to double check IMO.
 

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I had the problem getting my Phos up as well. Something in the tank was comsuming it heavily. I tested every day gradually increasing the dose until I was able to get a reading. To get my Phos up to .03 I should have had to dose about 1ml. I was dosing 9ml for a few days before it broke and I could get a phos reading 24 hours later. I then gradually backed it down until my phos stabilized naturally. The advice I was given was keep dosing until you get your phos to readable levels. It worked for me when feeding wouldnt alone.
 

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Hello. For the past month I have been struggling to keep my phosphates up and my nitrates just keep climbing. I have a 25g all in one with an aquamaxx 1.5 HOB skimmer and that's all i use for filtration. I noticed that ever since I dosed bacteria (prodibio) it seems that they consume my phosphates very quickly and nothing gets rid of the nitrates produced afterwards. I have dosed Neophos and fed a mixture of reef nutrition foods as well as benepets 3 times a week with my phosphates going as high as 0.02 then 0 24hrs later (using Hanna Phosphate ULR) meanwhile nitrates keep climbing from 14 up to 16.8 until I do a waterchange (Hanna HR).

My overall questions are:

should I just stick to dosing Neophos and gradually increase dosage day by day? i'm not sure if continuous dosing will shock the corals since i'm dosing X amount of phosphate and it keeps getting stripped. Do corals benefit and feed from Neophos as they do from Powdered foods etc?

should I dose reef biofuel in conjunction with Neophos? the bottle states that if no changes appear the system may be carbon limited but BRS stated if you have 0 phosphates you should not carbon dose so there's a contradiction there.

Thanks for any help!
Safest way to increase po4 is via feeding- not over feeding. While chemicals often work, they are an alternative And Not a solution
 
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christianscorals

christianscorals

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I had the problem getting my Phos up as well. Something in the tank was comsuming it heavily. I tested every day gradually increasing the dose until I was able to get a reading. To get my Phos up to .03 I should have had to dose about 1ml. I was dosing 9ml for a few days before it broke and I could get a phos reading 24 hours later. I then gradually backed it down until my phos stabilized naturally. The advice I was given was keep dosing until you get your phos to readable levels. It worked for me when feeding wouldnt alone.
did you lose any corals in the process?
 
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christianscorals

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Anecdotally I had an API PO4 test kit that was reading 0. I was dosing Seachem Flourish Phosphorus, 0's everyday. I bought a Hanna checker, I was up to 0.84. Have you checked with a different reagent batch or used another method to test to confirm accurate? If you're dosing and you think it should be rising, but it's not, always good to double check IMO.
I have not. I did run out of reagents so i refilled and still getting the same readings. I can see my corals are also telling me phosphates are low. although, I'm thinking of buying the phosphorus ULR for this reason
 
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christianscorals

christianscorals

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Safest way to increase po4 is via feeding- not over feeding. While chemicals often work, they are an alternative And Not a solution
Yeah I wasn't feeding exaggerated amounts but the problem with feeding is I still register no phosphates and get more nitrates. I don't want the ratio to go way off the charts because I have faced dinos before due to that same reason. Maybe something like some OG marine snow would help raise phosphates more than it would nitrates?
 

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I have not. I did run out of reagents so i refilled and still getting the same readings. I can see my corals are also telling me phosphates are low. although, I'm thinking of buying the phosphorus ULR for this reason
Might be worth while to check with a different kind of test. Salifert or Red Sea or something other than Hanna too. I've always tried to compare between multiple tests if possible.
 

Jib

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Might be worth while to check with a different kind of test. Salifert or Red Sea or something other than Hanna too. I've always tried to compare between multiple tests if possible.

The other thing you can do, take some neophos and dose some saltwater based on the instructions that you would get a reasonable reading. You can check you checker via this method.
 
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hart24601

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Yeah I wasn't feeding exaggerated amounts but the problem with feeding is I still register no phosphates and get more nitrates. I don't want the ratio to go way off the charts because I have faced dinos before due to that same reason. Maybe something like some OG marine snow would help raise phosphates more than it would nitrates?

My corals and clams consume a lot of phosphate, enough I have neophos on a doser. I already have an auto feeder that goes 4x a day and a large bioload. There is nothing scary or bad about adding chemicals - foods are chemicals. There are times it’s appropriate and easier to dose such in my case. The advise of checking with a couple different test kits then backing off when you notice a rise is good, many times once the rock binds phosphate from 0 you will see a sudden rise of phosphate since it’s no longer being bound so just watch levels. For me it’s more of a steady state dosing for consumption issue.
 

vetteguy53081

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Yeah I wasn't feeding exaggerated amounts but the problem with feeding is I still register no phosphates and get more nitrates. I don't want the ratio to go way off the charts because I have faced dinos before due to that same reason. Maybe something like some OG marine snow would help raise phosphates more than it would nitrates?
I suspect false readings
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Assuming phosphate is low, Neophos can work but is expensive and is of unknown purity and composition.

It can take large doses to bring phosphate up to detectable, and food or ACS reagent grade sodium phosphate is a good choices.
 

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My 12g nano has the same 'issue' as yours with 'undetectable' PO (Salifert) and around 10-15 ppm NO3. The PO4 has been this way for nearly it's entire 14 year life and the animals have done just fine (I feed the fish daily and the corals once or twice a week which supplies them with additional PO4).

I have tried to deliberately get a PO4 reading via feeding and after a few days of this many formerly absent pest alga started to make a come back at ~.03 - .05 ppm (no one's reef system is ever truly 'pest algae' free) and corals started to grow faster, as expected,

My personal take is that when the corals look healthy and grow slowly/moderately at undetectable PO4 levels in a mature system, dosing PO4 becomes a matter of whether the aquarist wants to accelerate the growth, or not, and whether dealing with the likely increased algae growth can be properly managed. In a small nano, one needs to be careful what one wishes for as many corals can outgrow the system relatively quickly and dealing with various pest alga is not so easy (a tang doesn't work so well in a 10g ;) ), whereas larger systems typically have more room to allow for the accelerated growth and more effective algae management via more effective herbivores.
 
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