Still have algae with low nutrients and how reliable are Hannah phosphate checkers?

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Leon Gorani

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Hi so I have a pretty new tank, only 5 months old about, and I have two things I am questioning. First, I had somewhat high phosphates in July they were about .48, and my nitrates have never been higher than 6ppm on my Red Sea test kit. But I have a lot of green hair algae, which I thought came from the phosphates but now after a few months I have had a phosphate reactor running and I have gotten my phosphates down I think. I have been measuring either .02 or 0 phosphates the past couple days and last week. They were .13 three weeks ago so they have been constantly going down, and I just took the reactor off because i thought it did it’s job. but I still have a lot of green hair algae. I heard that the algae is still there because the phosphates are trapped in the algae so would I have to remove it by hand? I will post a pic of the tank too.

I have been using a Hannah phosphate checker H1713 low range, but I am worried would it be giving me wrong results? It is about 8 months old but I haven’t been using it every week. I just don’t want to end up with the wrong results thinking I have super low levels of phosphate.

I will be trying to keep my phosphates and nitrates a little higher because I know it is not good to have levels completely at zero. Any tips and thoughts on this will be greatly appreciated!

Oh I have a 45 gallon Red Sea 170, with a blue tang, two wrasses and a Bangai cardinal, but I was thinking of adding some more fish since my levels are super low?

Thanks.

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Mywifeisgunnakillme

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Hi so I have a pretty new tank, only 5 months old about, and I have two things I am questioning. First, I had somewhat high phosphates in July they were about .48, and my nitrates have never been higher than 6ppm on my Red Sea test kit. But I have a lot of green hair algae, which I thought came from the phosphates but now after a few months I have had a phosphate reactor running and I have gotten my phosphates down I think. I have been measuring either .02 or 0 phosphates the past couple days and last week. They were .13 three weeks ago so they have been constantly going down, and I just took the reactor off because i thought it did it’s job. but I still have a lot of green hair algae. I heard that the algae is still there because the phosphates are trapped in the algae so would I have to remove it by hand? I will post a pic of the tank too.

I have been using a Hannah phosphate checker H1713 low range, but I am worried would it be giving me wrong results? It is about 8 months old but I haven’t been using it every week. I just don’t want to end up with the wrong results thinking I have super low levels of phosphate.

I will be trying to keep my phosphates and nitrates a little higher because I know it is not good to have levels completely at zero. Any tips and thoughts on this will be greatly appreciated!

Oh I have a 45 gallon Red Sea 170, with a blue tang, two wrasses and a Bangai cardinal, but I was thinking of adding some more fish since my levels are super low?

Thanks.

image.jpg
Looks like you could take rock out and remove hair algae. Keep numbers in the ball park. Dont stress. Tank will just take time...
 

Chrisv.

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Chances are good that your algae is consuming the phosphate as quickly as it is coming into the tank. You may have good luck using CUC to eat the algae, process the po4 back into solution and then removing with your gfo reactor.

It's counterintuitive that phosphate can be zero, but still there... But the algae is very efficient at pulling it from solution. This is why algae based export methods are popular
 

Danroo

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My tank is also newish around 8 months old, I also had a bit of GHA issue, started growing on my power heads and a tiny bit on the sand bed. Due to my trochus snails avoiding these two places. What I notywas there were no detectable nutrients in the tank until I manually removed them.
 
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Timfish

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Like corals, algae can use dissolved organic phosphorus which we can't test for. Coral photobiology can be severely affected with low phosphate (dissolved inorganic phosphorus) levels making it harder to compete against nuisance algae fo rthe available nutrients. Your system is also still maturing during wihich time it's easier for nuisance algae to grow. I'd let phosphate rise to above .03 mg/l and get urchins and/or other aggressive algae eaters and use just manual removal with water changes to deal with it. Here's some stuff on phosphorus you may find informative:

From this paper on phosphorus metabolism in corals:
DIP DOP POP.jpg

Phosphate Deficiency:
Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching:

Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont:

Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates

Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach

High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata

Phosphorus metabolism of reef organisms with algal symbionts


Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges

Here's some videos on microbial stuff as the works hand in hand with carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus:

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas"

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)

Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"
 

Mywifeisgunnakillme

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I think in addition to manual removal of the hair algae, follow above posts, and add bunch of easy corals (softies and LPS) that will suck up nutrients and add beneficial bacteria to the tank that are helpful in ways we are only just learning about... a good coral population is a common thread to a stable, nuisance algae controlled, tank---it's not just an end goal but a good starting point...
 

keithw283

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Hi so I have a pretty new tank, only 5 months old about, and I have two things I am questioning. First, I had somewhat high phosphates in July they were about .48, and my nitrates have never been higher than 6ppm on my Red Sea test kit. But I have a lot of green hair algae, which I thought came from the phosphates but now after a few months I have had a phosphate reactor running and I have gotten my phosphates down I think. I have been measuring either .02 or 0 phosphates the past couple days and last week. They were .13 three weeks ago so they have been constantly going down, and I just took the reactor off because i thought it did it’s job. but I still have a lot of green hair algae. I heard that the algae is still there because the phosphates are trapped in the algae so would I have to remove it by hand? I will post a pic of the tank too.

I have been using a Hannah phosphate checker H1713 low range, but I am worried would it be giving me wrong results? It is about 8 months old but I haven’t been using it every week. I just don’t want to end up with the wrong results thinking I have super low levels of phosphate.

I will be trying to keep my phosphates and nitrates a little higher because I know it is not good to have levels completely at zero. Any tips and thoughts on this will be greatly appreciated!

Oh I have a 45 gallon Red Sea 170, with a blue tang, two wrasses and a Bangai cardinal, but I was thinking of adding some more fish since my levels are super low?

Thanks.

image.jpg
the hannah phosphate checker is awesome if you keep it clean and follow the directions. If you don't keep it clean you might as well just guess what your nitrate is. When i first got mine it was all over the place. I literally have never touched the 2nd vial with my bare hands and it is much more consistent and seems accurate.
 
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