Sixty’s Understanding of Nutrient Ratios

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
50,772
Reaction score
42,547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
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.

Any complete metabolism of organics ends as CO2. Most of the food you and fish eat ends as CO2. Same is also true of most heterotrophic bacteria, although some may leave it as ethanol (yeast does that) or other small molecules.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
50,772
Reaction score
42,547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
The question was just in general although I will be honoured if you are the one evaluating the preliminary information.
Ok,sorry, I thought you meant me.
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
Ok,sorry, I thought you meant me.
It works better, as you are the most knowledgeable and respected scientists on R2R, if you end up agreeing with the preliminary data, I believe someone with your knowledge could take it much further
 
Last edited:

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
50,772
Reaction score
42,547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
@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.

I do not think that one can conclude that DOC must be falling just because nitrate and phosphate are rising, if that is what you mean by this set of charts.

If N and P are coming from foods fed to fish and other organisms, and not adequately exported to offset the additions, they will rise, and that rise does not need to correlate with DOC in any particular fashion.
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
I do not think that one can conclude that DOC must be falling just because nitrate and phosphate are rising, if that is what you mean by this set of charts.

If N and P are coming from foods fed to fish and other organisms, and not adequately exported to offset the additions, they will rise, and that rise does not need to correlate with DOC in any particular fashion.
Sorry I haven’t explained myself properly

we need to add the known numbers to the ratio like the following:

FC27449F-19CF-4B68-BA76-EA6D8B42A760.jpeg

c:12400 N:147 + (x) no3 up P:1 (Y) po4 up

it’s with the indication that this two values are going up in the availability of residual unused nutrients that we could conclude that C is now less available in comparison to wend the tank was stable.
As I mentioned before it won’t tell the absolute value, just a indication that it is not at the same ratios as the other two that are starting to rise.
In conclusion if no3 and po4 are rising means that there is less available C to keep the overall formula in balance.

if the residual unused nutrients were to be decreasing then we would have to minus it to make sense on the formula.

the use of N-Doc testing could confirm this to. If the tank were to be tested at the balanced phase and retested after or during movements in residual unused nutrients were to be seen.
 
Last edited:
AquaCave Logo Banner
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
Having a balanced and stable tank always have been the key to success in our hobby, we normally only encounter issues wend the tank becomes unstable at the nutrient level, imo knowing what’s causing the tank to become unstable could be key.
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
Sorry I haven’t explained myself properly

we need to add the known numbers to the ratio like the following:

FC27449F-19CF-4B68-BA76-EA6D8B42A760.jpeg

c:12400 N:147 + (x) no3 up P:1 (Y) po4 up

it’s with the indication that this two values are going up in the availability of residual unused nutrients that we could conclude that C is now less available in comparison to wend the tank was stable.
As I mentioned before it won’t tell the absolute value, just a indication that it is not at the same ratios as the other two that are starting to rise.
In conclusion if no3 and po4 are rising means that there is less available C to keep the overall formula in balance.

if the residual unused nutrients were to be decreasing then we would have to minus it to make sense on the formula.

the use of N-Doc testing could confirm this to. If the tank were to be tested at the balanced phase and retested after or during movements in residual unused nutrients were to be seen.
Anyone on here good at maths? Is this the formula that will confirm that every tank has a optimum ratio of available nutrients that can be identified with the reduction or increase in residual nutrients, could this be the formula that will allow us finally to understate how nutrition works and how we could fix almost everything in our systems using mainly nutrients?
Am seeing the everything at a different level now is almost like a realisation moment that allows me to understand my system needs in a blink of an eye.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
50,772
Reaction score
42,547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
it’s with the indication that this two values are going up in the availability of residual unused nutrients that we could conclude that C is now less available in comparison to wend the tank was stable.
As I mentioned before it won’t tell the absolute value, just a indication that it is not at the same ratios as the other two that are starting to rise.
In conclusion if no3 and po4 are rising means that there is less available C to keep the overall formula in balance.

I do not believe that is a valid conclusion. You are assuming that N and P are controlled by DOC.

Let's assume that you have stable C, N, and P.

Then you add more photosynthesis by increasing lighting. N and P may fall and DOC may not change at all.

If you turn down the lights, N and P may rise (less photosynthesis) and DOC may not change at all.

Thus, I do not think DOC and N/P values are as interconnected as your prediction assumes.
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
It’s a unusual sunny day in the uk we do try and take the most of it, i’ll try and reply to the best of my capabilities.
I do not believe that is a valid conclusion. You are assuming that N and P are controlled by DOC.
It’s not a assumption, this is the result of carbon dosing, increase in N-Doc and it will reduce N and P, how many times have you seen thanks that are being adde organic Carbon and P starts to build up if limited by N. I would think many times. In reverse it will work also. If a tank is limited by C a build up of N and P it’s observed every time. Heterotrophs fix the C in our tanks.
Let's assume that you have stable C, N, and P.
Then you add more photosynthesis by increasing lighting. N and P may fall and DOC may not change at all.
In what situation would you be referring as there are many variables to account for many heterotrophic bacteria have the potential to be mixothrophic
If you turn down the lights, N and P may rise (less photosynthesis) and DOC may not change at all.
you assuming that all heterotrophic bacteria is photosynthetic, we do have Mixotrophic bacteria in our systems that’s one of the ways to outcompete non photosynthetic dinoflagellates, heterotrophic bacteria can use doc and N-Doc as a energy source hence controlling the C nutrient.

Thus, I do not think DOC and N/P values are as interconnected as your prediction assumes.
They not predictions, they just a theory, Wend logic is applied to it, it gives me a good understanding of everything that could be detrimental to our systems explained fairly easy.
 
Last edited:

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
50,772
Reaction score
42,547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
If a tank is limited by C a build up of N and P it’s observed every time. Heterotrophs fix the C in our tanks.

That's a flawed assumption.

Corals, macroalgae, etc. all export and reduce N and P without regard for DOC. All phosphate binders export P without regard for DOC.

If you have sufficient export by these means and other means, N and P will not rise no matter whether DOC is limiting bacteria or not.
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
That's a flawed assumption.
Not flawed

Corals, macroalgae, etc. all export and reduce N and P without regard for DOC. All phosphate binders export P without regard for DOC.

corals don’t need that many nutrients, although they need some, macro algaes need inorganic carbon to reduce N and P ( as you mentioned earlier in the thread) and they ideal to use in alternative to adding Doc to a tank.
Phosphates binders export P correcting the ratio although more abundance of C and N could do exactly the same using microbes (carbon dosing)
If you have sufficient export by these means and other means, N and P will not rise no matter whether DOC is limiting bacteria or not.

This methods work, it doesn’t mean the theoretical formula is wrong it’s just saying that there is less available nutrients. It’s not wrong to do it as stability can be achieved that way to.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
50,772
Reaction score
42,547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Sorry, it makes no sense to me to claim that rising or falling N and P in a reef tank tells you that DOC is limitingor not to something (bacteria? The whole tank? What?).

DOC is never limiting to macroalgae, although CO2 might be.
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
Sorry, it makes no sense to me to claim that rising or falling N and P in a reef tank tells you that DOC is limitingor not to something (bacteria? The whole tank? What?).

DOC is never limiting to macroalgae, although CO2 might be.
That’s still Carbon In the form of N-Doc, according to Triton N-Doc and Doc got a set ratio of 9:1 meaning that the decrease of one will bring the other one down also.

The theoretical formula say it does and logic says the same. And many bacteria manufacturers are actually exploring those niches, why is it that dosing heterotrophic bacteria is one of many products out there to remove Cyanobacteria? This formula wend applied to a tank that is suffering from a particular issue like Cyanobacteria can deduct what the Cyanobacteria is utilising to thrive in that system. And the many times I’ve applied it, the conclusion was the same as the bottle bacteria producers.
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
The conclusion of the formula is that Cyanobacteria is utilising the Carbon in a system to thrive, competing with heterotrophic bacteria for space and Nutrients.
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
The conclusion of the formula in most outbreaks of GHA is abundance in carbon making N-Doc more available for them to thrive

and so on… wend it’s applied it all makes more sense and it has the support of logic, at list for me.
 

Garf

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
2,438
Reaction score
3,012
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
BEEFINGHAM
The conclusion of the formula is that Cyanobacteria is utilising the Carbon in a system to thrive, competing with heterotrophic bacteria for space and Nutrients.
I’ve only seen cyano twice, both were associated with low flow, which would imply a nutrient gradient.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
50,772
Reaction score
42,547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
CO2 is not part of DOC. You can know the CO2 by pH if you want.

pH can impact growth of some types of macroalgae at otherwise identical conditions, but not for others that use bicarbonate (also not part of DOC) as their source of CO2.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
50,772
Reaction score
42,547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
The conclusion of the formula in most outbreaks of GHA is abundance in carbon making N-Doc more available for them to thrive

and so on… wend it’s applied it all makes more sense and it has the support of logic, at list for me.


If I add vinegar, DOC goes way up.
What are you predicting that does for algae, and why?
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
I’ve only seen cyano twice, both were associated with low flow, which would imply a nutrient gradient.
That’s a way to see it, although low flow alone can’t be the only way to justify the increase in nutrients.
Anecdotally how I see it since this thread has started is that the building up of nutrients could mean a rapid decrease of the nutrient C, and if we look at the Molar ratio in synechococcus is 301:49:1 things start to make more sense, Cyanobacteria has a high demand in carbon and if they are utilising most of the carbon available in a tank this would mean that the heterotrophic bacteria can become very week as they start to compete for nutrients. Hence my new thinking that Cyanobacteria is competing directly with heterotrophic bacteria for space and nutrients. Any tank that gets limited in C will always see a increase in N and P, not always as Cyanobacteria will need N and P to survive just not in the same amounts as the C nutrient.
 
OP
sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
3,547
Reaction score
5,536
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Reef
If I add vinegar, DOC goes way up.
What are you predicting that does for algae, and why?
If you Have enough available N and P most likely nothing, it only becomes problematic wend the system is stripped of the nutrients N or P or both imo. The nutrient C only builds up wend the Nutrient N or P is limited. That’s for rapid growth, having algae introduced in a system is not a nutrient issue, that’s just natural.
 
Avast

Peninsula Reef Tanks...

  • I currently have one

    Votes: 35 23.5%
  • I used to have one set up

    Votes: 6 4.0%
  • I would like to try one in the future

    Votes: 79 53.0%
  • No interest

    Votes: 29 19.5%
Coral Frenzy
Top