Phytoplankton Dosing Amount? Is Dosing Zooplankton Actually Very Beneficial?

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Ok, so I was just wondering how much live Phyto I should be dosing to my tanks daily...the bottle says 5-10 ml every other day but doesn't say for what volume of water (it does give the phytoplankton species if that is important to list here). Also, is dosing zooplankton very beneficial for tanks started with all live rock and sand? I already have copepods and amphipods in my newly started tank and I'm sure heterotrophic bacteria (including bacterioplankton) are present as well to some degree although not at high population levels right now since not carbon dosing as I don't want to lower my already low nutrient levels. Of course the company says it's best to use their brand of zooplankton if using their phytoplankton but I'm not sure how much it would actually help anything...
 
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What size tank and corals do you have? This will help as well :)
Well the tank I'm primarily curious about is a new system that's only 20 gallons... I'm actually running a short observational study involving starfish species and am currently using the live phyto to add nutrients to the tank to aid in the biofilm health and growth (natural biofilm should already be present since the rock is right out of the ocean) but I know some nutrients are still required. I do plan to add a fish or two within the next couple days to help add nutrients since I'm not a huge fan of ghost feeding pellets and since it's an observational study, the more natural, the better. I don't plan to add any corals in the near future since I'll be primarily focusing on the starfish species's behaviors to learn all I can about their behaviors (which we know very little about).
 
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Well the tank I'm primarily curious about is a new system that's only 20 gallons... I'm actually running a short observational study involving starfish species and am currently using the live phyto to add nutrients to the tank to aid in the biofilm health and growth (natural biofilm should already be present since the rock is right out of the ocean) but I know some nutrients are still required. I do plan to add a fish or two within the next couple days to help add nutrients since I'm not a huge fan of ghost feeding pellets and since it's an observational study, the more natural, the better. I don't plan to add any corals in the near future since I'll be primarily focusing on the starfish species's behaviors to learn all I can about their behaviors (which we know very little about).
Wow! That sounds very cool! There are many more than me experienced with phyto. Usually we dose to assist corals, filter feeders, copepods, etc. In just an observational tank with no corals at 20g I would start with about 10ml or so every week and observe nutrients and effects. Fish will absolutely assist the nutrients as well. Once again, this is an estimated guess & I wish you the best of luck :) Make sure to make a build thread so we can follow
 
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Wow! That sounds very cool! There are many more than me experienced with phyto. Usually we dose to assist corals, filter feeders, copepods, etc. In just an observational tank with no corals at 20g I would start with about 10ml or so every week and observe nutrients and effects. Fish will absolutely assist the nutrients as well. Once again, this is an estimated guess & I wish you the best of luck :) Make sure to make a build thread so we can follow
Would you add it all at once or like 2ml per day to reach that 10 ml mark to avoid any possible nutrient spikes? Thanks btw!
 
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I think a couple ml every day would be fine and a good place to start. You can usually increase the dose as the tank matures :)
And btw, I actually have started a thread with my observational study...I can find it and send you the link!
 
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Please do :)

I just got started with it because I needed time to collect materials, find 3 Fromia genus species, and plan things out...I know it's far from perfect but I think anything we can learn about species from a genus so commonly kept (more accurately attempted to be kept) that we know so little about could be helpful and lead to future studies yielding discoveries and findings which could really contribute to our knowledge on a much deeper level
 

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I just got started with it because I needed time to collect materials, find 3 Fromia genus species, and plan things out...I know it's far from perfect but I think anything we can learn about species from a genus so commonly kept (more accurately attempted to be kept) that we know so little about could be helpful and lead to future studies yielding discoveries and findings which could really contribute to our knowledge on a much deeper level
Very cool! I will be reading this shortly :) Thank you again and best of luck!
 
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Hi, to affect nutrients with phytoplankton I tend to see the most impact between 1.5 and 3 ml per gallon a day.
You said between 1.5 and 3ml per gallon a day so youre recommending between 30 and 60 ml a day total for a 20 gallon? Also, after adding a fish would you scale this back some? If so, how much?
 
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Sorry, I re read that as well. I may be way off then, my apologies. I figured without any corals or anything you wouldn't need much...
I've got a feeling he's going to say after adding a fish those numbers can be reduced dramatically... we'll see though... regardless, I think live phyto is very important for any tank since it makes up the base of the food chain and anything that would contribute to making the tank more natural would be a plus!
 
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Sorry, I re read that as well. I may be way off then, my apologies. I figured without any corals or anything you wouldn't need much...
By the way, here are a few pics of the stars...just thought you might like to see them... IMG_20220817_095940.jpg
F. milliporella IMG_20220817_150643.jpg
F. indica (not the best picture by me) IMG_20220817_101016.jpg
F. pacifica
 
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Beautiful! So you do have liverock and some coral it looks like.
It's 100% live rock straight from the ocean...the soft corals you're seeing are just hitchhikers from the live rock...I haven't added any corals...some mojano anemones as well I think...
 

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You said between 1.5 and 3ml per gallon a day so youre recommending between 30 and 60 ml a day total for a 20 gallon? Also, after adding a fish would you scale this back some? If so, how much?
The 1.5 to 3 ml/gallon would be the high dose for a medium stocked tank.

as phytoplankton is a source of organic carbon nitrogen and phosphorus with carbon being the highest content you should look at it the same way as you would implement other carbon dosing methods.

on a system that only has a small amount of fish i would normally start at the 0.5 to 1 ml/gallon a day and observe the nutrients for a week, if nutrients become stable just keep with the dose if nutrients still rising then increase the dose by 0.5 ml/gallon a week until a balance is reached.


A important note is that this method will be increasing nitrogen and phosphorus in the system and if it’s young and bare ( no coral or macro algae ) the organic nutrient released by the phytoplankton could aid the growth of nuisance algae if the dose is to high on a mature system with coral those organic nutrient would utilised fairly easily by coral and bacteria.
I wished I could help you further with the answers although I’m only halfway through with my test and at 2.88 ml gallon has brought down my nitrates from 40 to 10 in the course of a couple weeks, phosphates have bottomed out a few times not helping the experiment as the system has become phosphates limited a few times and on a few occasions phosphates stressed.
 
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