Should I dose nitrate/PO4?

JDCagley

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My ~ 185G (total) system is a little over 4 months old (XXL750v3). I would say moderate-heavy stocked on fish and moderate stock on coral frags. About a month ago my nitrate/phos levels dropped to ZERO - overnight. This roughly coincided with coral additions. Within 2 weeks I had a dino outbreak that consumed every crevice in the tank. I also recently installed the redsea 1200 reef mat (burning through rolls in 3-4 days). A quick reactionary purchase of pentair 40W UV is now in place (3-4 days ago) and am aggressively removing the dino's manually. Water is clearer than it's ever been. I auto dose alk/cal and manually dose mag. Levels are all in expected ranges Mag-1560, dKH-9.5, cal-420, ph-8.4 and then nitrate-0, phosphate-0.
Was thinking of starting to dose nitrate and/or phosphate but read on another thread to not dose these items if tank is <1 year old.
What say you all?! I feed 3 times a day (up from 2) - I feed frozen foods and pellets. Frozen food are blood worms, mysis and spirulina. I had intentions of making my own food, and will eventually, but have been consumed recently with the dino issue and $ headed towards UV and filter rolls.

Thanks for any input.
janson
 
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My ~ 185G (total) system is a little over 4 months old (XXL750v3). I would say moderate-heavy stocked on fish and moderate stock on coral frags. About a month ago my nitrate/phos levels dropped to ZERO - overnight. This roughly coincided with coral additions. Within 2 weeks I had a dino outbreak that consumed every crevice in the tank. I also recently installed the redsea 1200 reef mat (burning through rolls in 3-4 days). A quick reactionary purchase of pentair 40W UV is now in place (3-4 days ago) and am aggressively removing the dino's manually. Water is clearer than it's ever been. I auto dose alk/cal and manually dose mag. Levels are all in expected ranges Mag-1560, dKH-9.5, cal-420, ph-8.4 and then nitrate-0, phosphate-0.
Was thinking of starting to dose nitrate and/or phosphate but read on another thread to not dose these items if tank is <1 year old.
What say you all?! I feed 3 times a day (up from 2) - I feed frozen foods and pellets. Frozen food are blood worms, mysis and spirulina. I had intentions of making my own food, and will eventually, but have been consumed recently with the dino issue and $ headed towards UV and filter rolls.

Thanks for any input.
janson
Obviously there is more to it than a simple yes, but I definitely am in the yes camp. I had the same issue, dinos for months. I am dosing both nopox and nitrates and phosphates to keep the swings from going up or down. No dinos for 6 months, no algae outbreaks. I am still trying to get my PO4 and No3 levels in check..but system is happy by keeping JUST enough fertilizer in the water. Literally dosing MAYBE 0.02 phosphates a day and 3 nitrates a day. Not enough for a run away escalation in the tank, but JUST enough that there is a constant supply in the tank.
 
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JDCagley

JDCagley

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Thanks Randy. I just read your recommended items to use for dosing and ordered loudwolf sodium phosphate and food grade sodium nitrate. I purchased the stump removal stuff yesterday, but was hesitant to dose that - especially once I saw that you recommended other products - i'll go dump that on my stumps!

Thanks
 

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My ~ 185G (total) system is a little over 4 months old (XXL750v3). I would say moderate-heavy stocked on fish and moderate stock on coral frags. About a month ago my nitrate/phos levels dropped to ZERO - overnight. This roughly coincided with coral additions. Within 2 weeks I had a dino outbreak that consumed every crevice in the tank. I also recently installed the redsea 1200 reef mat (burning through rolls in 3-4 days). A quick reactionary purchase of pentair 40W UV is now in place (3-4 days ago) and am aggressively removing the dino's manually. Water is clearer than it's ever been. I auto dose alk/cal and manually dose mag. Levels are all in expected ranges Mag-1560, dKH-9.5, cal-420, ph-8.4 and then nitrate-0, phosphate-0.
Was thinking of starting to dose nitrate and/or phosphate but read on another thread to not dose these items if tank is <1 year old.
What say you all?! I feed 3 times a day (up from 2) - I feed frozen foods and pellets. Frozen food are blood worms, mysis and spirulina. I had intentions of making my own food, and will eventually, but have been consumed recently with the dino issue and $ headed towards UV and filter rolls.

Thanks for any input.
janson

You definitely need to start dosing. Reach out if you need help. I can help you figure out the doses for your tank and also guide you on how much to dose safely.

Stop the roller mat. The tank needs the organics. Otherwise the Dino’s will get ridiculous, but sounds like you’re already there.
 
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JDCagley

JDCagley

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You definitely need to start dosing. Reach out if you need help. I can help you figure out the doses for your tank and also guide you on how much to dose safely.

Stop the roller mat. The tank needs the organics. Otherwise the Dino’s will get ridiculous, but sounds like you’re already there.
Thanks for the offer of help. i have found the links to a calculator from the forums for the addition of sodium phosphate and sodium nitrate. Those items should be here in the coming days.

As far as the filter, I did the sump modification to accommodate the installation of the Reef Mat - I can't go back to socks - at least not easily. However, with aggressive manual removal, the added UV light and some adjustments to the filter, the water is looking great today. Sunday is water change day, and looking at the tank this am - it's beautiful and the dinos are definitely in recession. They are not 'regrouping' like they were on the sand bed EVERY morning and zero on the front glass today (that is a first). The octospawn and hammer corals are 'happy' today as well - and they have looked pretty retracted for last 2 weeks or so.
 

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Thanks for the offer of help. i have found the links to a calculator from the forums for the addition of sodium phosphate and sodium nitrate. Those items should be here in the coming days.

As far as the filter, I did the sump modification to accommodate the installation of the Reef Mat - I can't go back to socks - at least not easily. However, with aggressive manual removal, the added UV light and some adjustments to the filter, the water is looking great today. Sunday is water change day, and looking at the tank this am - it's beautiful and the dinos are definitely in recession. They are not 'regrouping' like they were on the sand bed EVERY morning and zero on the front glass today (that is a first). The octospawn and hammer corals are 'happy' today as well - and they have looked pretty retracted for last 2 weeks or so.
I found this one to be the best and is frequently mentioned by the the chemist gods on this forum.

 
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ok forum people - here is the issue now. The UV (I am running at a measured 180gph - Pentair 40W - right in the middle range for protozoa elimination) seems to working on the dino issue. I am actively scrubbing the rocks 1-2x daily, dosing very minor amounts of NaNO3 and Na2HPO4 (sodium concentrations of nitrate and phosphate) @ ~0.88 ppm and ~0.05 ppm respectively. Made 1 each dose daily for 2 days. I am now detecting each substance at very trace amounts so far and feel this is good to finally get above 0/0.
The issue now is cyano is rapidly growing in the place of the dinos. Is this normal, or should I be doing something different? The cyanos lead me to think "high nutrients", when in fact, quite the opposite is true. I am just not sure what, if anything, I should do about this current development.

Other tank parameters are - Mag-1320, dKh - 10.4, CAL - 440, PH - 8.4, nitrates came in somewhere between 0-5 using API test kit and Hanna Low range was 0.08 ppm phosphate.

Thanks for any advice!
Janson
 
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It will take some time for the new trace nutrient levels to have an impact on good guy bacterium populations which will out compete the Dino’s when provided stable water chemistry. I’m guessing a month or so, you’ll see the difference.

Ensure you clean your filter media every morning before lights on. You’ll need to help keep it tidy during this period.

Cyano should also dwindle over the next 30 days. I have no issue with removing Cyano last after Dino’s, you can easily chemi clean that.
 
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JDCagley

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It will take some time for the new trace nutrient levels to have an impact on good guy bacterium populations which will out compete the Dino’s when provided stable water chemistry. I’m guessing a month or so, you’ll see the difference.

Ensure you clean your filter media every morning before lights on. You’ll need to help keep it tidy during this period.

Cyano should also dwindle over the next 30 days. I have no issue with removing Cyano last after Dino’s, you can easily chemi clean that.
Thanks for the reply - just wanted to ensure that there wasn't some other reason I was overlooking causing this. This is my first dry rock tank in this 'new' era of tanks! My last tank (12 years ago) getting TO 0/0 was goal - and now it's too easy.
Also, I am using the red sea reef mat 1200 for filtration. So far, so good - other than initial usage was 1 roll in 3 days = $10/day! I raised the unit by 3/4" and cut usage by 75%. Flow rate is an estimated 1500gph - well below max flow rated and now the fleece looks dirty rather than barely dirty.
 

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You definitely need to start dosing. Reach out if you need help. I can help you figure out the doses for your tank and also guide you on how much to dose safely.

Stop the roller mat. The tank needs the organics. Otherwise the Dino’s will get ridiculous, but sounds like you’re already there.
I’m about to start my journey of dosing no3 and Po4 could you send me a message and and we can go over some stuff
 
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I've become less of a fan of dosing N03 & P04. It's really easy to add too much and create additional issues outside of the one you're trying to address. Instead, I focus on reducing the effectiveness of my system's nutrient reduction and feed more with the expectation that it might take a few weeks to get my parameters back where I want them.
 

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I've become less of a fan of dosing N03 & P04. It's really easy to add too much and create additional issues outside of the one you're trying to address.
Not really. If you know how much adds what, then it’s pretty straightforward. Maybe on the first dose, but after that nothing changes.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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They are both listed as 99% pure. Why not TSP?

He had a bad experience with it, but I strongly disagree that there is anything different or undesirable about it if it is food grade or otherwise pure enough.
 
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I was about to ask the same! I went with sodium phosphate dibasic at Randy's suggestion and food grade sodium nitrate with good results. My dinos have died and new algae's are starting to replace the empty spots. Last test was 10 ppm NO3 and 0.8 PO4. Dosing 10 ml NaNO3 (0.44ppm) every other day and 10 ml of Na2HPO4 (0.8 ppm) daily. I am testing about every 3rd day right now until I see how things settle out.
 
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