Sps high nutrients myth?

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

  1. Scubabeth

    Scubabeth Well-Known Member

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    Roger that! We'll stay the course and increase NO3 slowly...and I'll keep checking this thread for extra info!! Thanks!
     
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  2. Vaughn17

    Vaughn17 Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree! IMO, my acros seem to prefer the PO4 around .1 to .25 ppm (I maintain my NO3 between 2-5 ppm by dosing sodium nitrate). My 38 sps tank is so growing so fast (my two-part dosing has doubled over the last few months) that there's no room in the tank. Phosphate(s) seems to be the limiting nutrient, and I've noticed that if I don't dose PO4 and/or dump copious amounts of food into the tank, my PO4 is nearly zero...which might lead one to erroneously conclude that I run a low nutrient system. SPS feed heavily on the reef, I suspect, and then we stick them into aquariums and starve them, then wonder why they're so sensitive to the least little water parameter changes. Well, IME, they're not nearly as persnickety when they're well feed. Anyway, my 38 is really dirty right now, as I'm getting ready to take it down and move everything into a 180 (which will be large enough to support algae eating fish species, not that I have algae issues in the 38, LOL). Anyway, the 38's so dirty that the water is kind of yellow and when you stick your arm in it comes out smelling really bad...well, the corals are loving it.
     
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  3. Luis Figueroa

    Luis Figueroa Well-Known Member

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    If your water is yellow and smells wouldn't carbon help that out? My water parameters are like yours no yellow water tho, and my acros love it! Hoping that it out competes algae and I can wake up to an algae free tank.
     
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  4. Vaughn17

    Vaughn17 Well-Known Member

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    I usually do run carbon as needed, I've just been a little lazy because the tank is coming down soon.
     
  5. Luis Figueroa

    Luis Figueroa Well-Known Member

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    I can understand that. I went a month with no water movement and one of my led fixtures on my 90 gallon when I downgraded to my 30 gallon .
     
  6. Sahin

    Sahin Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Very interesting thread. Would love to learn about more sps tanks with high nutrients. Please post more. :)
     
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  7. Mattrg02

    Mattrg02 Well-Known Member

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    I'm having to dose phosphates each day now, nitrates every 3 days. My corals have definitely responded with color. Strangely enough, I don't have any algae aside from the brown stuff on my glass and a random bubble algae here and there.
     
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  8. Flippers4pups

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

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    As long as you keep your NO3 up above your PO4, you shouldn't see any algae issues.
     
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  9. Donovan97

    Donovan97 New Member

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    I've been searching for the answer for long and have found mixed opinions - which I expected based on how differently everyone runs their tanks. I'm new to SPS and would like to ask for advice.

    I recently reduced my NO3 and PO4 down to undetectable levels on my test kits using an algae reactor. I had been plagued by hair algae for very long due to tank neglect and a lack of reliable export (other than a skimmer). I have scrubbed my rocks bare of hair algae and for now, the tank looks gorgeous again. I understand that the very act of scrubbing the algae released nutrients into the water so I spread the scrubbing over a few days (in an attempt to allow the chaeto in the reactor to aid in the absorption of said nutrients) and spending much too long trying to net all the particles in the water column! I recently acquired my first ever acropora and have had a birdsnest frag for about a month (which is showing some nice growth.) Long story short: due to my inexperience with acropora and my desire to give my coral the best possible conditions, as well as the highly helpful information I have found about acropora care on this forum, I am trying to determine what to do with my tank's nutrient levels. Would it be recommended for me to maintain the low nutrients I have now to try to prevent the hair algae regrowing or conversely raise my nutrients and feed more to benefit the acropora and other corals? I'd like to mention that my CUC is terrible as I struggle to find members at my local fish stores (I live in South Africa). I, however, am on the lookout for some snails and hermits and will buy as soon as I find some. I do have one juvenile foxface which has his work cut out for him though! My tank is a 75 gallon and has been running for about 2 years. Id also like to mention that I tried this exact scrubbing algae off the rocks method when the tests said 0.01 PO4 and 2 NO3 - and the hair algae just grew back. Also, I have a lot of bare rock in the mid to upper tank levels which I am reserving for acros (which may be prime algae growing areas). Maybe the lack of a CUC and dense coral population may mean that the algae can keep growing back. I am more interested in keeping my acro happy and healthy though and will sacrifice clean rocks for the acro if I must. Lastly, I must mention that the hair algae was over all the rock and carpeted the back glass, long and flowy, just to illustrate the magnitude of hair algae growth.

    Thank you for any advice and if I have posted this inappropriately I apologize as I am new to forums and hence very ignorant! XD Thank you to all the experts in the hobby who always help us rookies with our algae problems XD
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  10. dave57

    dave57 Well-Known Member

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    I’m going through this at the moment...
    Neglected my tank for about 3 months, nitrates 0 phosphates were 0.034 with an abundance of nuisance hair algae throughout my whole tank. I began nopox dosing thinking it would bring my nutrients down to fight and control the algae. I was able to bring my nutrients (phosphates 0.001) down to undetectable levels and as a result my sps corals completed paled out. My tank would always run low nutrients but not that low which in turn created an imbalance of nutrients allowing for nuisance algae to take advantage of the remaining nutrients in the water...(phosphates). So basically what happened was the algae outcompete the corals with nutrients. In order to balance things out I decided to dose nitrates with kn03 to 2-5ppm.. I also upgraded my refugium light to the h380 kessil and now my cheato is growing like a beast. Due to these changes my nitrates tank so fast that I have to keep up with the Nitrate dosing as the cheato is now blooming with growth. 1 week in and I have noticed a decrease in the growth of nuisance algae in the display tank. Not completely eliminated but slowly getting there.. I would personally suggest keeping your nutrients detectable nitrates 2-5 and phosphates below .1, that however doesn’t mean your tank can’t tolerate higher levels, just a ball park that will keep things in check... try keeping them stable.. that can be tricky with all these types of filtration methods we have on the market now days. Now people like me suffer from too clean of a tank which can also lead to problems unfortunately.. you can also get away with keeping sps with undetectable nutrients by feeding heavily or supplementing with amino acids and what not but I feel like it’s more work and also more risky. I’m no expert but if anyone else can give some insight would be cool..

     
  11. Donovan97

    Donovan97 New Member

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    Thanks for the response. Glad to hear that your algae problem seems to be beaten. I'm definitely going to slowly raise my nutrient levels as you suggested, first by feeding more, then with dosing if necessary. It's only been a few days since I scrubbed all the hair algae - but fortunately, I see no signs of it regrowing. I plan to stay at the 0 ppm NO3 and 0 ppm PO4 that my tests show just for another week, just to try to make sure that the hair algae won't return, and then proceed to raise my tanks nutrient levels. For the time being, I see no difference in my coral, but I'm making sure to spot feed them a little more just to be sure they arent nutrient deprived, just in case. I'm also on the lookout for some algae eating snails to help prevent another breakout. I think maybe I have underappreciated the effect a good CUC can have on algae prevention - I focused much more on the cause of the problem. Can you suggest a good food for acropora and birdsnests? Ive read that oyster eggs and rotifers work well, any experience with these? My acro doesnt seem to be eating the copepods and small particles that come with frozen mysis shrimp, but this may just be because it is new to my tank.
    Once again, thank you for the help!
     
  12. gone_phishin

    gone_phishin Active Member

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    i just read through all 18 pages of this thread and would like to bump it since it has so much great info and helped me a lot.

    keep it going!
     
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  13. Juano908

    Juano908 Member

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    Same here but I’m just on page 2 and learning, lol.
     
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  14. saltyfilmfolks

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

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    Petty mind blowing stuff isn't it?
     
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  15. gone_phishin

    gone_phishin Active Member

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    so it sounds like if i up my coral and fish feeding, i would will raise both nitrates and phosphates...but if i wanted to raise my nitrates without raising my phosphates, can i do this by feeding just the fish?

    i would prefer not to dose anything just for nitrates, as i have a ton of coral food and fish food. if i feed pellet food to just my fish in small amounts, as to not leave any leftovers to fall to the rock/sand, do fish break the food they eat down into nitrates AND phosphates? i know spot feeding my corals will increase the phosphates as a lot of the leftover food goes into the water column...

    but if i feed my fish something like twice a day, and make sure there are no 'leftovers', will i see a rise in nitrates and not phosphates? or are there other things like phosphates that are released from fish waste?

    hope my rambling makes sense!
     
  16. saltyfilmfolks

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

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    Yea, kinda makes sense. I think you may have missed a bit in the thread.
    Higher N/p levels can have little to no visible effect on the tank or coral health.

    You have N/p in poo and also decomposing leftover foods. The rate at witch they break down and become available to test for or be used by organisms is extremely difficult to calculate. And frankly not worth the worry.

    Honestly, feed the fish as healthfully as possible. If nutrients drop to low , add a little more for the tank.
     
  17. gone_phishin

    gone_phishin Active Member

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    well my problem is i have less than 5 nitrates at pretty much all times. however, i have higher phosphates, always greater than 0.1.

    i have to clean my glass every, or every other day. i have zero algae on the rocks, but i do get cyano on the sand every now and then whether i feed the corals or not. i have also been told that my digitata may have slightly browned due to my phosphate level.

    i'm trying to understand the balance between the the two.

    this thread led me to believe i shouldn't be worried about my nitrates as much as my phosphates, that some phosphate is good, while too much can cause browning.

    i don't think the thread taught me that it's as easy as just adding more food if the tank needs it. in my case my nitrate is low, but my phosphate is not, so adding more food would raise both.
     
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  18. saltyfilmfolks

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

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    You need to export the excess, in those tanks a balance has been reached to where the uptake of the corals is as great as the supply.
    A refugium is a good example of this.

    Also if it's a younger tank , it's really hard to do as the bio filter is not really very mature yet and isn't processing the food well.

    If you notice the levels are both being raised and youre on the edge of starving the fish , yoll want to consider more agressive export means, Ie more water changes , carbon dosing and skimming , or a larger skimmer or refugium.
     
  19. Abhishek

    Abhishek Well-Known Member

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    There's no point in worrying over nutrients when you love 2 things together and strive to grow them in the same tank - acroporas and non-photosynthetic gorgorians. Well sadly I am on that boat . Not sure if many are in the same boat though.

    Hence I feed my tank 4 times a day , twice with live phyto and mix of other stuffs including oyester feast , rotifeast, reef roids, LRS , mysis . On top of everything I keep anthias - Randalls and blue star leopards and Anampses red tail wrasses and copperband butterfly that needs food frequently.

    Nitrates range between 25-30 ppm and phosphates around 0.2. I have 20 liters of siporax, dose lanthanum chloride everyday in filter sock as GFO does nothing and have a bubble king 150 on my 90 gallon system.
    Lights - halides all the way with ushio 14k after switching from radiums as I love whiter tanks even whiter than radiums run on M80 ballast .
    Just a small personal observation - high lights when you have elevated nutrients in the tank makes it amazing for acros.

    Am in the middle of setting up an automated freezer dosing system for dosing foods more than 4-5 times a day as my gorgs are suffering. They are open now a days only after feeding them and I have lost a couple of blueberries :(

    Its only with this high amounts of feeding that I have managed to keep nps gorgs alive for the first time for over 5 months now .

    Best part is I haven't had any STN / RTN issues or even bleaching after moving to high nutrient system with stable ALK at 8 - 9 and extreme high lights and crazy high flow. When I say high flow it is high by many standard - in my 30 in x 30 in x 18 in tank , I have 2 tunze 6095, 2 tunze 6105, 1 tunze 6040 and a gyre 150 and return has a seasweep connected to my red dragon pump.
    With high flow and high light, I have perceived that acros tend to grow much more compact and base out for ages. It would seem as though they don't grow at all but when I compare my old pics, they do appear wayy thicker.

    Nuisance algae - Not much as I have like 20 turbos, 30 astrea and trochus snails. i do have pacthes of GHA and cyano but who cares ! Its not a reef tank without algae. Without any algae it looks like a showpiece, laboratory experiment , not a piece of ocean.
    Aiptasia - a lot !!! They love high nutrients but after 5 months I think they are in check with nudis decimating them . My CBB hardly tocuhes them though !!!

    I know it sounds stupid but I intend to try and keep nps gorgs alive and perhaps someday growing alongside my acros with heavist feeding possible. May be the calcification of acros will be reduced due to high nutrients - I son't know !! But the goal remains. infact am looking to add some more gorg varieties and once tank is 1.5 - 2 years old will start adding other NPS too .

    Sorry for the quick cell phone snap but here it is - around 10 months old sps and gorg tank :-

    geissemann tank copy.jpg

    Regards,
    Abhishek
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 12:34 AM
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  20. saltyfilmfolks

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

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    My always brown tricolor vileada finally turned purple and tri colored. With a chili coral and four dendros a black sun coral and a stylo that became the size of a foot ball.
     
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