Sixty’s understanding of nutrients 2.0

Randy Holmes-Farley

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So my hanna reads 0.03
My Triton reads 0.25
So they suggest I use GFO to bring po4 way down.
If my hanna is already pretty much at zero how can I measure the huge difference Triton are asking if I can't measure it?
That was my query really I guess I can only tell by icp which kinda makes my home test kits useless

0.03 ppm is not pretty much zero. It is well above ocean levels and is fine for a reef tank. I would not use GFO.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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* Organic : Inorganic ratio?

There is no fixed ratio in the ocean, or in a reef tank, nor any reliable info whatsoever on what ratio is optimal.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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@Randy Holmes-Farley
Ok thanks for that …by non sensible i mean I don’t understand … please explain…
Given the difference in what ICP vs Hanna P measures consist of, what then should be the reefer standard? ULR or ICP?

Should we expect ICP P to be higher than ULR? How specifically?

Is there a standard ratio Organic:eek:r is it altogether too complex : What specifically is Inorganic Orthophosphate (ULR) vs Organic (ICP)? You state that ULR should not be higher than ICP- please explain

should the reefer standard be inorganic or organic P?

what takes place in the sample / storage to complicate a readout?

Bacterial metabolism, precipitation, etc. it may also partly be inaccurate icp data itself.
 
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sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

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Thank you I found this part of what you posted very interesting.
It could be another reason why people can end up running into Dino's and cyano.
I basically ignored what Triton asked me to do as I'm not happy just throwing GFO at a "problem" I cannot test for...surprised BRS hasn't done a video on this tbh.
Thank you, I wouldn’t think it’s the kind of stuff BRS would put on the spotlight as it’s understandable confusing. On a different thread I wrote about the possibility that the limitation on nitrogen and phosphorus could cause organic carbon to become more available in a system and be the connection for Cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates to bloom by looking at their molar ratio we can see that this organisms are highly dependent on carbon to survive.
 

Smokey the reefer

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0.03 ppm is not pretty much zero. It is well above ocean levels and is fine for a reef tank. I would not use GFO.
Fair enough but it's nearly as low as my hanna will go.
I just get confused as Triton tell me to drastically reduce phosphate from 0.25 but I have no way of knowing how to do this apart from visually monitor the tank
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Fair enough but it's nearly as low as my hanna will go.
I just get confused as Triton tell me to drastically reduce phosphate from 0.25 but I have no way of knowing how to do this apart from visually monitor the tank

If it was 0.25 ppm, I'd use GFO too.

But I believe the Hanna over the ICP in this instance, and being too low is a worse problem than being too high.
 

Smokey the reefer

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If it was 0.25 ppm, I'd use GFO too.

But I believe the Hanna over the ICP in this instance, and being too low is a worse problem than being too high.
This is why I didn't listen to the Triton result.
I'm not sure if carbon dosing affects the icp test somehow.i do use nopox.
 

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They also have me a phosphorus reading and when I challenged them explaining I do Hanna tests they came back and told me that hobby grade test kits will not measure the phosphate levels they can detect.
The ICP measures phosphate and all other forms of phosphorous in the sample. The Hanna only measures phosphate. It is conceivable that your sample has a little bit of phosphate and a much larger amount of other forms of phosphorous. It is equally possible that Triton is being a tiny bit dishonest and not admitting that phosphorous is a troublesome element for the ICP method. Also keep in mind that ICP vendors provide no warranty about the accuracy of their results.

If you have the money, send Triton multiple samples of the same water samples on different days and see for yourself how consistent the results are.
 

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The ICP measures phosphate and all other forms of phosphorous in the sample. The Hanna only measures phosphate. It is conceivable that your sample has a little bit of phosphate and a much larger amount of other forms of phosphorous. It is equally possible that Triton is being a tiny bit dishonest and not admitting that phosphorous is a troublesome element for the ICP method. Also keep in mind that ICP vendors provide no warranty about the accuracy of their results.

If you have the money, send Triton multiple samples of the same water samples on different days and see for yourself how consistent the results are.
Exactly!tbh I only use it for testing trace elements and even then I'm pretty sceptical
 

ceaver

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Bacterial metabolism, precipitation, etc. it may also partly be inaccurate icp data itself.
I was going to ask what you were referring to when you say there are problems with samples being in storage before ICP testing. Is this the answer to that question, these things can be occurring in the sample while it's in transit and storage before testing? Thanks!
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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I was going to ask what you were referring to when you say there are problems with samples being in storage before ICP testing. Is this the answer to that question, these things can be occurring in the sample while it's in transit and storage before testing? Thanks!

Yes, as well as algae growth and death and decay of organisms and organics too.
 
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sixty_reefer

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Yes, as well as algae growth and death and decay of organisms and organics too.
This happened to be once, my sample took a month to get analysed and the nutrients were way off.
 

ceaver

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@sixty_reefer
Thanks for the recent write ups!!
I have been trying to better understand the whole nutrient situation in our tanks. I appreciate your explanation of the difference between organic forms of nutrients in the water and the inorganic residuals that result from unused organic forms. I have some questions about this and how it relates to carbon dosing, which you briefly touched on in your article.

When providing usable nutrients for our corals (e.g, acropora), would it be best to provide organic forms of nitrogen and phosphorous, as opposed to inorganic forms of nitrate and phosphate? My understanding from your article is the answer is "yes". If so, then what are some options for providing organic forms of N and P, aside from feeding the fish?

Following from the question above, when we carbon dose, are we basically converting the residual inorganic nitrate and phosphate into organic forms of nitrogen and phosphorous that corals can readily use? Is this one legitimate pathway to add organic forms of N & P for our corals, assuming that we prevent nutrients from bottoming out to zero?

Thanks!
 
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sixty_reefer

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@sixty_reefer
Thanks for the recent write ups!!
I have been trying to better understand the whole nutrient situation in our tanks. I appreciate your explanation of the difference between organic forms of nutrients in the water and the inorganic residuals that result from unused organic forms. I have some questions about this and how it relates to carbon dosing, which you briefly touched on in your article.

When providing usable nutrients for our corals (e.g, acropora), would it be best to provide organic forms of nitrogen and phosphorous, as opposed to inorganic forms of nitrate and phosphate? My understanding from your article is the answer is "yes". If so, then what are some options for providing organic forms of N and P, aside from feeding the fish?

Following from the question above, when we carbon dose, are we basically converting the residual inorganic nitrate and phosphate into organic forms of nitrogen and phosphorous that corals can readily use? Is this one legitimate pathway to add organic forms of N & P for our corals, assuming that we prevent nutrients from bottoming out to zero?

Thanks!
Hi, thank you
I would like to mention that this is all very new and was hoping that the article and the treads could promote some healthy discussion on the subject.

fish waste is well known for being the main source of Organic Carbon, Nitrogen and phosphorus the amount of each nutrient will be depending on the different types of foods that are feed to them, the fish will assimilate what they need for energy and everything else will be released into the water column as waste.
In answer to your first question the only way to increase the availability of nitrogen or phosphorus alone would be by utilising the several different brands of artificial nutrients available to the market.
In my particular case I have been able to grow a large variety of macro algaes with a very small amount of fish it’s to my thinking that most organisms in our systems will be able to utilise organic nutrients better than inorganic nutrients as you mentioned earlier.

in answer to your second question all I can say is that I’m not sure at this point, organic Carbon will increase heterotrophic bacteria in a system, they will be assimilating nutrients as they grow in numbers, I’m still to determine if they assimilating organic or inorganic nutrients primarily. I am keen to believe at this stage that they would mainly be assimilating inorganic forms of nutrients as this is were the limitations are observed and as organic forms of nutrients get limited change to inorganic forms to get energy from this could be a reason to why we observe coral starvation once one of the nutrients is depleted.

i apologise if this is not the answer you looking for at this point, I have been concentrating my time in understanding the limitations on Cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates not as much in the benefits for coral.
 

ceaver

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Hi, thank you
I would like to mention that this is all very new and was hoping that the article and the treads could promote some healthy discussion on the subject.

fish waste is well known for being the main source of Organic Carbon, Nitrogen and phosphorus the amount of each nutrient will be depending on the different types of foods that are feed to them, the fish will assimilate what they need for energy and everything else will be released into the water column as waste.
In answer to your first question the only way to increase the availability of nitrogen or phosphorus alone would be by utilising the several different brands of artificial nutrients available to the market.
In my particular case I have been able to grow a large variety of macro algaes with a very small amount of fish it’s to my thinking that most organisms in our systems will be able to utilise organic nutrients better than inorganic nutrients as you mentioned earlier.

in answer to your second question all I can say is that I’m not sure at this point, organic Carbon will increase heterotrophic bacteria in a system, they will be assimilating nutrients as they grow in numbers, I’m still to determine if they assimilating organic or inorganic nutrients primarily. I am keen to believe at this stage that they would mainly be assimilating inorganic forms of nutrients as this is were the limitations are observed and as organic forms of nutrients get limited change to inorganic forms to get energy from this could be a reason to why we observe coral starvation once one of the nutrients is depleted.

i apologise if this is not the answer you looking for at this point, I have been concentrating my time in understanding the limitations on Cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates not as much in the benefits for coral.
No apology needed, thank you for your insight!
 
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sixty_reefer

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No apology needed, thank you for your insight!
This may be helpful to the information you seek


I can’t find the original thread although several Years ago there was a chap in Taiwan that was dosing milk and honey to his acropora Dominate reef with great results.
The milk Is a source of concentrated organic nitrogen and the honey would work as a organic carbon source.
now I’m not saying anyone should dose milk and honey as we have much better sources of nitrogen and carbon available to us today a combination of amino acids and organic nitrogen of the shelf would do the exact same thing in a safer way.
Something to consider is that the increase in the availability of organic Nitrogen will also benefit algae as they have the same needs as coral regarding nutrition.
This is one of the reasons if I was a actively growing acropora or other sps I would never utilise a algae bed as a means to control nutrients, the reason is that this algae bed in theory is competing directly with the coral for nutrients and trace elements, I would always choose the bacteria method over algae as some corals would be able to also digest some of the bacteria.
keeping a small piece of algae in the display or sump is only helpful to determine if we have enough Nitrogen and phosphorus available in the system the reason is that if we have a small algae like dragons breath that is generally considered a slow grower we could observe colour and growth rates, if the algae is growing at a rapid rate it would mean that the nutrients are just right if there was no growth or slow growth most likely will mean that there isn’t enough nutrients in the system other things like colour can indicate the availability of trace elements.
This method is also utilised by bonsai masters they always keep a small weed in the same pot as the tree and observe the weed colour, growth to determine if the tree is getting enough nutrients and water.

other things to take in consideration is the system volume in gallons, larger systems will always have more nutrients available in comparison to smaller systems that run at a similar concentration of residual. Meaning that a larger system will always be able to have more nutrients available for a longer period.
 
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sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

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This is the thread I was referring above


one important aspect to take from his thread is that he only start to add organic nitrogen to his system once it’s mature and algae free, he really highlights this, as if unwanted algaes are not under control or eradicate from the system they will explode in growth once extra nitrogen is added to the system
 
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ceaver

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This may be helpful to the information you seek


I can’t find the original thread although several Years ago there was a chap in Taiwan that was dosing milk and honey to his acropora Dominate reef with great results.
The milk Is a source of concentrated organic nitrogen and the honey would work as a organic carbon source.
now I’m not saying anyone should dose milk and honey as we have much better sources of nitrogen and carbon available to us today a combination of amino acids and organic nitrogen of the shelf would do the exact same thing in a safer way.
Something to consider is that the increase in the availability of organic Nitrogen will also benefit algae as they have the same needs as coral regarding nutrition.
This is one of the reasons if I was a actively growing acropora or other sps I would never utilise a algae bed as a means to control nutrients, the reason is that this algae bed in theory is competing directly with the coral for nutrients and trace elements, I would always choose the bacteria method over algae as some corals would be able to also digest some of the bacteria.
keeping a small piece of algae in the display or sump is only helpful to determine if we have enough Nitrogen and phosphorus available in the system the reason is that if we have a small algae like dragons breath that is generally considered a slow grower we could observe colour and growth rates, if the algae is growing at a rapid rate it would mean that the nutrients are just right if there was no growth or slow growth most likely will mean that there isn’t enough nutrients in the system other things like colour can indicate the availability of trace elements.
This method is also utilised by bonsai masters they always keep a small weed in the same pot as the tree and observe the weed colour, growth to determine if the tree is getting enough nutrients and water.

other things to take in consideration is the system volume in gallons, larger systems will always have more nutrients available in comparison to smaller systems that run at a similar concentration of residual. Meaning that a larger system will always be able to have more nutrients available for a longer period.
Thank you for sharing this info, I will check it out!
 

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