redfield chart

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Iyad Aoun

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Hello
I have a problem with redfield chart which indicates best no3 /po4 ratios
According to the chart if as admitted no3 level should be around 5ppm then po4 would reach huge levels somewhere between 0.3 and 0.5 which is ten times the also admitted value of 0.04 of po4
I have algae issues because I feel that it is due to the bad ratio in my tank
I am raising on purpose the po4 level which was always between 0.02 and 0.04 knowing that my no3 level is 5ppm
Is it wrong
please help and give me the best value of no3 and po4
thank you
Dr Aoun from Lebanon
 

Retro Reefer

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IMO forget about the Redfield ratio.. I wouldn’t try to raise your P04 levels in your tank, .02-.04 P04 are perfect in combination with 5ppm N03.

BTW.. welcome to R2R! :)

7D96B5FC-4127-4A7B-9EDC-1DFB9566A853.gif
 

Gareth elliott

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Welcome to R2R!

This ratio is based on comparisons of living algae, not water content. N-P-C vary greatly in the ocean currents.
Agree with @Retro Reefer that your levels are fine.

Only ratio i found useful was for adding more if it drops n and p to a tank, 20>:1 even this is fine if overshoot n 2 or 3 fold.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hello
I have a problem with redfield chart which indicates best no3 /po4 ratios
According to the chart if as admitted no3 level should be around 5ppm then po4 would reach huge levels somewhere between 0.3 and 0.5 which is ten times the also admitted value of 0.04 of po4
I have algae issues because I feel that it is due to the bad ratio in my tank
I am raising on purpose the po4 level which was always between 0.02 and 0.04 knowing that my no3 level is 5ppm
Is it wrong
please help and give me the best value of no3 and po4
thank you
Dr Aoun from Lebanon
I do not think a Redfield ratio of nutrients is an appropriate way to decide on desirable levels. It truly makes zero sense to me. Both nitrate and phosphate should be independently targeted to a desirable level. If one or the other is unusually high or low, does that mean the other should be? In my opinion, certainly not.
 
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Iyad Aoun

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I do not think a Redfield ratio of nutrients is an appropriate way to decide on desirable levels. It truly makes zero sense to me. Both nitrate and phosphate should be independently targeted to a desirable level. If one or the other is unusually high or low, does that mean the other should be? In my opinion, certainly not.
I don't agree with you when you say phosphate and nitrate are independant.They are linked and I think you can't affect one without affecting the other because at the end in order to produce protein bacterias will use in proportion C-P04-NO3.If I understood well and I am not a chemist the redfield is finally the ratios within living cells and not in the water.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I don't agree with you when you say phosphate and nitrate are independant.They are linked and I think you can't affect one without affecting the other because at the end in order to produce protein bacterias will use in proportion C-P04-NO3.If I understood well and I am not a chemist the redfield is finally the ratios within living cells and not in the water.
In a reef tank they are somewhat independent because there are sources and sinks for each that do not impact the other, which is why some folks have relatively more phosphate and some have relatively more nitrate.

For example, denitrification reduces nitrate and not phosphate.

Binding of phosphate to rock and sand reduces phosphate and not nitrate.
 

IslandLifeReef

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I don't agree with you when you say phosphate and nitrate are independant.They are linked and I think you can't affect one without affecting the other because at the end in order to produce protein bacterias will use in proportion C-P04-NO3.If I understood well and I am not a chemist the redfield is finally the ratios within living cells and not in the water.
Hello
I have a problem with redfield chart which indicates best no3 /po4 ratios
According to the chart if as admitted no3 level should be around 5ppm then po4 would reach huge levels somewhere between 0.3 and 0.5 which is ten times the also admitted value of 0.04 of po4
I have algae issues because I feel that it is due to the bad ratio in my tank
I am raising on purpose the po4 level which was always between 0.02 and 0.04 knowing that my no3 level is 5ppm
Is it wrong
please help and give me the best value of no3 and po4
thank you
Dr Aoun from Lebanon

Your algae issues most likely are not caused by a lack of maintaining the redfield ratio. What you are measuring is what is available in the water, not what is being consumed by the algae, coral, and bacteria.

If you make more "food" available for the algae that you don't want, it will continue to grow. So, IMO, you have two options. One is to reduce the amount of food available for the algae and slowly starve it. The other is to manually remove as much of the algae that you can, and then employ a clean up crew to help manage the issue.

What are your current NO3 and PO4 levels? Are they 5 ppm and 0.02-0.04 ppm? If so, your nutrients are fine.
 
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Iyad Aoun

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In a reef tank they are somewhat independent because there are sources and sinks for each that do not impact the other, which is why some folks have relatively more phosphate and some have relatively more nitrate.

For example, denitrification reduces nitrate and not phosphate.

Binding of phosphate to rock and sand reduces phosphate and not nitrate.
I really appreciate your answers.In fact I am really having troubles with hair algae that's why I am trying to understand nitrates and phosphates,my tank is doing well since I raised the no3 because simply it was zero and that is wrong, I lowered the kh ,kept phosphates at the most 0.04 and ,still I have algae.I don't have dead spots,turn over rate is good,wave makers are active.Have you tried fluconazol antibiotics in order to kill these unwanted algae.If yes what is the dosage,for how long if infection is moderate to strong sometimes,impact on corals,does it stimulate other kind of algae or diatoms?Thank you
 
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Iyad Aoun

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Your algae issues most likely are not caused by a lack of maintaining the redfield ratio. What you are measuring is what is available in the water, not what is being consumed by the algae, coral, and bacteria.

If you make more "food" available for the algae that you don't want, it will continue to grow. So, IMO, you have two options. One is to reduce the amount of food available for the algae and slowly starve it. The other is to manually remove as much of the algae that you can, and then employ a clean up crew to help manage the issue.

What are your current NO3 and PO4 levels? Are they 5 ppm and 0.02-0.04 ppm? If so, your nutrients are fine.
OK.Nitrates are 5ppm,phosphates are 0.04 at the most,I feed once a day,sometimes twice beacause my chelmon is picky and shy and I have to feed twice in order to feed him.I sometimes remove mechanically algae but it is really something because my tank is large and I have lot of living rocks,so I use tooth brush and it takes ages.Have you considered fluconazol to kill those unwanted bacterias,dosage,period of time,coral toxixity? thank you
 

Gareth elliott

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Have a fts of your tank? Some pics of the algae you are dealing with on some white paper towel.
how long has the tank been setup?
Besides bryopsis i am hesitant to use fluconazole. Most times with algae its easier to go slow with remedies as the root cause is sorted out and causes less stress on the live stock you want to keep.

My own exemptions to this rule,

Bubble algae thats too numerous for
manual removal, i use vibrant

Bryopsis i use fluconazole.

but cyano, gha, turf algae, etc i have always had better luck not using chemicals and increasing tank maintenance or moving power heads. Very High po4 i do use phosphate removal compounds, i have no where near the patience to wait for water changes to help, you can change 100% water and next day will be the same as before as its released back from rock.
 
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Iyad Aoun

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Have a fts of your tank? Some pics of the algae you are dealing with on some white paper towel.
how long has the tank been setup?
Besides bryopsis i am hesitant to use fluconazole. Most times with algae its easier to go slow with remedies as the root cause is sorted out and causes less stress on the live stock you want to keep.

My own exemptions to this rule,

Bubble algae thats too numerous for
manual removal, i use vibrant

Bryopsis i use fluconazole.

but cyano, gha, turf algae, etc i have always had better luck not using chemicals and increasing tank maintenance or moving power heads. Very High po4 i do use phosphate removal compounds, i have no where near the patience to wait for water changes to help, you can change 100% water and next day will be the same as before as its released back from rock.
ok,So it's better not using fluconazol because it is not bryopsis,but what do you mean by vibrant,it might be a good thing to use
 

biophilia

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You may end up finding it’s easier to focus on increasing herbivores rather than particular ratios of N and P. Regular growth of algal biomass is a completely normal part of a healthy reef tank. The difference between tanks that are relatively free of nuisance algae and those overgrown by it is often just a difference in amount of grazing pressure present in the system IMO.
 

Gareth elliott

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ok,So it's better not using fluconazol because it is not bryopsis,but what do you mean by vibrant,it might be a good thing to use
Vibrant is a bacterial product that is marketed as a tank cleaner. Its not a cure all, and over dosing can have negative effects, theres a vibrant use thread on here by the maker. You can search, again i only like for large tank bubble algae out breaks. Nanos its faster just to remove the bubbles and be done with it.
 

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I don't agree with you when you say phosphate and nitrate are independant.They are linked and I think you can't affect one without affecting the other because at the end in order to produce protein bacterias will use in proportion C-P04-NO3.If I understood well and I am not a chemist the redfield is finally the ratios within living cells and not in the water.
This is not correct , Randy is 1000% , I just posted about my levels in my growout tank , which were po4 3.0 No3 45 which is the redfield ratio 16:1 , started to do my thing and dropped my po4 to .25 and no3 to 12 ish in a week I bound more p04 than the ratio by far. There is alot more to this also .
 
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