Sps high nutrients myth?

Discussion in 'General SPS Discussion' started by dave57, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. dave57

    dave57 Well-Known Member

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    For some long time reefers have strived to maintain low nutrients levels. Spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on mechanical, chemical and biological filtration in order to provide corals with a balance of nitrates and phosphates. Many have their own equations on what's best for sps corals. Some say 0 nitrates 0 phosphates, others say nitrates at 5 and phosphates at 0.03 for better coloration and growth. I have also heard anything above 0.03 phosphates and 0.5 nitrates will inhibit growth in corals.

    After Watching Sanjay talk about his 500 gallon reef tank and how he maintains his 50+ppm nitrates and 0.4 phosphates with little to no algae I was left speechless. It made me think how is it possible that he has many beautiful sps corals with such high nutrient levels with little to no coral browning ...all colorful and thriving, yet we sit here trying to tinker our nutrients to obtain the right balance... often killing our corals because we starve them to death..

    Just wondering if you guys have any input on high nutrients and thriving corals like Sanjays.

     
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  2. Zero Nitrates

    Zero Nitrates I love chalices R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Sanjay would know. He has been at this for a little while. ;)
     
  3. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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  4. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Mine is stable at:

    Dkh 9-10
    NO3 5-10ppm
    PO4 trace
    Mag 1440
    Ca. 440

    I feed heavy and have no algae and have excellent growth and color in my SPS and LPS.
     
  5. Diesel

    Diesel String Stalker. R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2018

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    Nothing new.
     
  6. ReeferCub

    ReeferCub Well-Known Member

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    I thought this would be nice topic to discuss. Surprised there is not many replies here. We all strive to bring down the nitrate and phosphates down to near zero. Yet we see these tanks with 40-50 ppm nitrates!
     
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  7. fragit

    fragit Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I have done best with SPS and dirty water. Most recently I attempted to start my new system as a ULNS and so far have managed to kill almost all SPS that I've tried to put in. I'm going back to basics and my old school technique.
     
  8. Zero Nitrates

    Zero Nitrates I love chalices R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    So did the original idea to keep low nutrients come from trying to mimic reefs in the wild?
     
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  9. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    algae risk reduction and a study on Po4 limiting coral skeleton growth and density I believe.
     
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  10. ReeferCub

    ReeferCub Well-Known Member

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    I have started experimenting with dirty tank. My sps have really slow growth despite near "perfect parameters". I have started feeding my fish more often. Let me see what happens.
     
  11. dave57

    dave57 Well-Known Member

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    Keep us posted, I turned off my skimmer.. hoping to increase my nutrients.
     
  12. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    Keep an eye out for browning, and IMO, reconsider your light level. Mike and Sanjay "Blast" it.
     
  13. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    You know what it is, when your cycling a tank, or maturing your tank, some can experience algae with higher nutrients. But when your tank is mature, packed with coralline, stoney and soft corals, higher nutrient levels arent very much an issue. I guess its the coral that takes all the available elements that will keep the algae from growing. Personally, i never cared about nitrate levels in my tank, i feel like it has absolutely nothing to do with stoney corals unless its 50ppm or higher. Otherwise with phosphate, ill see problems in my tanks when its .5 and higher. I dont think the sps color issue has to do with what your test kits tell you. Its more of a, how much of the nutrients that are lingering in your tank before their broken down type of thing. For instance, my tank can read 0 for nitrates, yet i just dumped a whole can of flake food in, except my filtration will export it from the system 5 hours after the incident. So if this is a reoccuring ordeal, sure your corals will be brown!
     
  14. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    The limiting factors to elevated NO3 is not to have PO4 above trace and differently not higher than NO3.

    I was old school about no nitrates and no phosphates for the longest time. Tying to keep a ULNS wasn't cutting it for me and I struggled with growth, bleaching/pale colors.

    Reading and seeing that elevated NO3 along with higher alkalinity changed that for me sometime ago. Just dosed 22ml of KNO3 to keep mine at 10ppm. Happy coral, happy me.

    Your mileage may vary.
     
  15. dave57

    dave57 Well-Known Member

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    I also believe in having a diverse life stock that will consume any algae that may come with elevated levels. If it weren't for these fish or inverts that are constantly grazing on this nuisance algae I feel like there would be a ton of visible algae growth.
     
  16. dave57

    dave57 Well-Known Member

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    Potassium nitrate is your best friend it can also boost your potassium levels :) I'm happy to hear your experiences with elevated nutrients
     
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  17. alten78

    alten78 Well-Known Member

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    I swapped tanks which seems to have set me back on the maturity aspect along with going bare bottom, I struggled with keeping both no3 and po4 detectable but ended up stopped testing all together unless something looked off. I too would have a bunch of algae just by looking at my overflow yet po4 is undetectable and no3 is around 10ppm, but, my foxface and tomini tang are constantly grazing and the tank is spotless.
     
  18. FDAWG

    FDAWG Well-Known Member

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    My acros don't mind having 40PPM nitrates but anything above 0.15PPM phosphate and they will start losing color and start to brown out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  19. greg 45

    greg 45 Well-Known Member

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    Following / old school guy here
     
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  20. Vaughn17

    Vaughn17 Well-Known Member

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