Sixty’s Understanding of Nutrient Ratios

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Would this sketch shed any light at all on a example of sudden carbon abundance in a tank to understand step 1?

Stable system:

167F7C49-98FC-4641-A4E7-47167448054B.jpeg


stable system after organic carbon addition:

52FEB668-61C5-4214-8D18-AEC7912AC090.jpeg


correction of the nutrient ratio in the event of the additional carbon had a natural occurrence:

3DAC4149-F3B8-4AC2-8F71-AAB760ABE7C3.jpeg


microbes in this sketch means all different bacteria that lives in our systems including nitrifying and heterotrophic.
 
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In the sketch above I would know that was Doc the route cause of the imbalance as I would see residual unused nutrients lowering.
And we would also be able to observe that the ratio is not between the residual unused nutrient of no3 and po4 but yes in the nutrients available in the system. That in my belief makes the hole difference in understanding ratios to work to our advantage in a systems.
 
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Would this sketch shed any light at all on a example of sudden carbon abundance in a tank to understand step 1?

Stable system:

167F7C49-98FC-4641-A4E7-47167448054B.jpeg


stable system after organic carbon addition:

52FEB668-61C5-4214-8D18-AEC7912AC090.jpeg


correction of the nutrient ratio in the event of the additional carbon had a natural occurrence:

3DAC4149-F3B8-4AC2-8F71-AAB760ABE7C3.jpeg


microbes in this sketch means all different bacteria that lives in our systems including nitrifying and heterotrophic.

this diagram/sketch represents my hole thinking that knowing how ratios work can be very helpful to the hobby with the ratio having direct affect on residual unused nutrient, the only way I can see now to be wrong is for someone to show me that the top diagram doesn’t exist in our system, as I strongly believe that that’s how our systems work, not knowing the absolute values of the diagram doesn’t mean that they not there imo.
This discussion really comes down to this sketch existence or not. Knowing that exists and we can move forward to a more constructive and enlightened conversation about nutrient, tell me that I’m making things up and we finally prove that redfield doesn’t exist in our hobby at list.
 
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@Randy Holmes-Farley if we where to add the average ratio for a balanced system reached by Triton to the sketch instead of redfield as a average quantity of available nutrients in a salt water aquarium, would that help validating where the ratio could be found and move the discussion forward to debate the theoretical formula and how it could be interpreted and implemented under several different conditions that we encounter and deal in our aquariums?

 

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Those charts look pretty much like what I would expect to happen for folks dosing organic carbon: a bigger drop in nitrate than phosphate. How big, and the relative size of the N and P drop, depends on many factors.

I do not know that any corrections are inherently needed ( I never corrected N or P despite dosing large amounts of organic carbon daily, via vinegar, vs no dosing).
 
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Those charts look pretty much like what I would expect to happen for folks dosing organic carbon: a bigger drop in nitrate than phosphate. How big, and the relative size of the N and P drop, depends on many factors.

I do not know that any corrections are inherently needed ( I never corrected N or P despite dosing large amounts of organic carbon daily, via vinegar, vs no dosing).
We don’t need to correct if we are knowingly adding carbon although if the end user has a very low residual unused po4 the theoretical formula says that disaster may happen. if we know what we adding we know that at some point we should stop before we run out of residual unused nutrients. The formula is useful to have a indication of what’s happening wend we are not purposely adding carbon to a stable tank, if my tank was running for months at a set residual nutrient concentration and all the sudden I would notice a spike in the drop of residual concentration of no3 and po4, using the formula I would have a indication that there’s a unknown source of carbon being added to the tank, making me look for the unexpected source of carbon th could be as simple as a few snails that died or some algae that went asexual. Correcting the formula could save the end user a lot of losses including coral bleaching that is associated with very low to no nutrients left available on the system.

I’ve used a known road as a example of what could happen in this situation as it’s a common practice and understood by many and use that to illustrate the potential of the formula to identify other problems with the help of a simple theoretical formula.

the same diagrams could be helpful to understand where is the ratio and what we can use to interpret the changes in the ratio.

although the potential doesn’t stop here, if a tank gets affected by Cyanobacteria for example I believe we could read the formula to interpret what the Cyanobacteria is using to stay alive and build a tactical way to correct the availability of nutrients in our favour to starve the Cyanobacteria without affecting the overall health of the system.
 
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@Randy Holmes-Farley

Could this work in reverse if we where to only got the information below:

59F23A87-8642-4A0F-A2E5-C5DC0431FB68.jpeg
Could I use the information known to get to this diagram:
99DB98C5-0115-4A94-A810-159880DD3FE3.jpeg

im using triton ratios for less confusing and just adding known factors to create a chart of what’s probably happening regarding available nutrients in that particular system. Only knowing the no3 and po4 residual unused concentration and assuming that our tank has a ratio of available nutrients.
 
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Wouldn't decomposing detritus add enough carbon to facilitate what is needed by heterotrophic bacteria?

That was my assumption but it's not showing itself in my experiment since Sept 2021 where I've performed no water changes outside of recently cleaning my HOB filter out. No sump. No skimmer. No socks. No mechanical removal of detritus. Nature the only means to remove it.

Part of my experimentation is allowing nitrates to escalate by increasing flow and inhibiting denitrification. Last run my nitrates were at 160 ppm and phosphates at 2 ppm. This dropped my DKH to 7 ppm. Started dosing NoPox at 2 ML although initial dose was 10 ml which did cloud the water for a couple of days and had the fish breathing heavy with the latter not being an effect I noticed in the past. Have done this a dozen or so times.

This dropped my nitrates to under 5 ppm, DKH back to 10 ppm and phosphates around 1 ppm. I'm speculating that my phosphates might have bottomed out but as nitrates dropped they then started to rise again. This is consistent with prior tests. I've found there is a correlation where both are required but don't test often enough to find valid points. Test ran from April 5th to May 11th.

Next round is adding PhosGuard to bottom out nitrates and determine if nitrates stay below 5 ppm or rise. My assumption being that nitrates will rise but we will see.

Odd outcome is that since I last had an algae outbreak and reduced my lighting intensity and duration that has not reared it's ugly head again. Fact is I lost my urchin and suspect either the high nitrates did it in or lack of food. Did try supplemental feedings in the past and this isn't the first time it was exposed to high nitrates bu perhaps overtime it took a toll. Yet I don't have an algae issue but there's enough to keep my margaritas happy since they keep producing more. BTW, Only had GHA in the very beginning post diatom phase and one more when the algae outbreak had occurred which I now conclude had more to do with lighting than nutrient overload. GHA has always been extremely minimal to the point i hand picked them out and was less than a dozen occurrences.

Ultimate goal is to test a theory I've taken recently where I believe that in a heavily fed environemnt one could keep nutrients bottomed out and not see any pesky dinos or cyano. Neither have I ever experienced but we will see. Detritus as a source of carbon hasn't turned out as I previously suspected and I've confirmed there's a ton of detritus on the rocks with a turkey baster which cloudied the water to the point visibility was near zero. Unconventional but I seek reduced maintenance so I can enjoy my reef vs laboring over it. Time will tell.
 
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Ultimate goal is to test a theory I've taken recently where I believe that in a heavily fed environemnt one could keep nutrients bottomed out and not see any pesky dinos or cyano. Neither have I ever experienced but we will see. Detritus as a source of carbon hasn't turned out as I previously suspected and I've confirmed there's a ton of detritus on the rocks with a turkey baster which cloudied the water to the point visibility was near zero. Unconventional but I seek reduced maintenance so I can enjoy my reef vs laboring over it. Time will tell.
It seems very plausible to do imo if the balance is kept
 

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It seems very plausible to do imo if the balance is kept
I suspect that nutrients throughout the day never remain zero therefore trying to bottom them out under heavy feeding should provide that which inhabitants require without allowing them to get out of balance. For me, simpler to take something away then to try and measure exactly what is needed to bring it in balance. Don't bother measuring an exact dosage of NoPox, just add 2 ml daily and that's done with a 3 ml dropper which means it's usually more than 2 ml. Hasn't caused any issues.
 
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I suspect that nutrients throughout the day never remain zero therefore trying to bottom them out under heavy feeding should provide that which inhabitants require without allowing them to get out of balance. For me, simpler to take something away then to try and measure exactly what is needed to bring it in balance. Don't bother measuring an exact dosage of NoPox, just add 2 ml daily and that's done with a 3 ml dropper which means it's usually more than 2 ml. Hasn't caused any issues.
It seems to me a risky approach to nutrient control, I’ve borrowed my kids pencils do make some nice charts for no reason.
 

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It seems to me a risky approach to nutrient control, I’ve borrowed my kids pencils do make some nice charts for no reason.
That’s not what I’m seeing. Bottomed out my nutrients including phosphates last I ran adding NoPox with slow flow to maximize denitrification and no nuisance side affects. Granted there’s no corals, which wouldn’t fare well considering the constant elevation to conduct these tests. Yet if it was T cause issues then not having corals shouldn’t prevent dinos or cyno from showing themselves. The former I’m going to try inducing to test my theory on using sediment filtration to remove the free swimming type. Along with ich. Future projects which require a larger tank due to the additional filtration required.

Won't know until you know
 
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this diagram/sketch represents my hole thinking that knowing how ratios work can be very helpful to the hobby with the ratio having direct affect on residual unused nutrient, the only way I can see now to be wrong is for someone to show me that the top diagram doesn’t exist in our system, as I strongly believe that that’s how our systems work, not knowing the absolute values of the diagram doesn’t mean that they not there imo.
This discussion really comes down to this sketch existence or not. Knowing that exists and we can move forward to a more constructive and enlightened conversation about nutrient, tell me that I’m making things up and we finally prove that redfield doesn’t exist in our hobby at list.
what exactly is residual unused nutrient ?
 

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Reef tanks are obviously carbon limited for many species of bacteria. That's why organic carbon dosing works to drive bacteria.
Randy,

Wouldn't it be logical to assume that an aquarium containing large amounts of decomposing detritus would release the necessary amount of carbon needed by the heterotrophic bacteria? That's not what I'm seeing and forced to dose carbon. Your thoughts, please.
 
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what exactly is residual unused nutrient ?
Probably what most would call parameters, on the larger picture what we measure is just what’s not being used, it doesn’t mean that that’s the total availability of that parameter as chemicals reaction are constantly happening in a tank producing and removing nutrients 24/7

if you look at the chart at the top of the page you may see that on the pic 3 after correcting the ratio the parameters (residual unused nutrient) were reduced but the ratio of nutrients available was increased for correction.
 
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Would this sketch shed any light at all on a example of sudden carbon abundance in a tank to understand step 1?

Stable system:

167F7C49-98FC-4641-A4E7-47167448054B.jpeg


stable system after organic carbon addition:

52FEB668-61C5-4214-8D18-AEC7912AC090.jpeg


correction of the nutrient ratio in the event of the additional carbon had a natural occurrence:

3DAC4149-F3B8-4AC2-8F71-AAB760ABE7C3.jpeg


microbes in this sketch means all different bacteria that lives in our systems including nitrifying and heterotrophic.

@Randy Holmes-Farley

Could this work in reverse if we where to only got the information below:

59F23A87-8642-4A0F-A2E5-C5DC0431FB68.jpeg
Could I use the information known to get to this diagram:
99DB98C5-0115-4A94-A810-159880DD3FE3.jpeg

im using triton ratios for less confusing and just adding known factors to create a chart of what’s probably happening regarding available nutrients in that particular system. Only knowing the no3 and po4 residual unused concentration and assuming that our tank has a ratio of available nutrients.

Are we going to stop the conversation here? This close, I would think that the above could be considered substantial evidence for the existence of a nutrient ratio that is not talked about.
 

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Randy,

Wouldn't it be logical to assume that an aquarium containing large amounts of decomposing detritus would release the necessary amount of carbon needed by the heterotrophic bacteria? That's not what I'm seeing and forced to dose carbon. Your thoughts, please.

I'm not sure but I expect not. Organic detritus overall has the C, N P ratio similar to organisms. As it decays (just like being consumed by a fish), some organic C is turned into CO2 and is lost, but the N and P are not lost that way. Hence a deficiency in organic carbon, and a benefit from dosing organic carbon.

I never removed any particulate detritus and it collected a deep mud on my sump bottom. I dosed massive amounts of vinegar (up to 400 mL per day to a 120 gallon display with total volume about 250-300 gallons) and except for cloudy water at very high doses, I did not see any apparent problems, especially at a more typical dose for me of 100-150 mL per day.
 

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Are we going to stop the conversation here? This close, I would think that the above could be considered substantial evidence for the existence of a nutrient ratio that is not talked about.

Besides answering others questions, leading discovery at biotech company, and spending time with my family, this is my number one priority in life. lol

I'll get to it when I get to it. lol
 
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I'm not sure but I expect not. Organic detritus overall has the C, N P ratio similar to organisms. As it decays (just like being consumed by a fish), some organic C is turned into CO2 and is lost, but the N and P are not lost that way. Hence a deficiency in organic carbon, and a benefit from dosing organic carbon.

I never removed any particulate detritus and it collected a deep mud on my sump bottom. I dosed massive amounts of vinegar (up to 400 mL per day to a 120 gallon display with total volume about 250-300 gallons) and except for cloudy water at very high doses, I did not see any apparent problems, especially at a more typical dose for me of 100-150 mL per day.
Need to research how organic C converts to CO2. I'm aware nitrification results in CO2 but wasn't aware that decomposition had that affect. Always thought it was the end result once nitrification processed the ammonia produced.
 
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Besides answering others questions, leading discovery at biotech company, and spending time with my family, this is my number one priority in life. lol

I'll get to it when I get to it. lol
The question was just in general although I will be honoured if you are the one evaluating the preliminary information.
 
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