Tropic Marin plus np and bacto balance questions

tagraham

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Ok so today is day 2 of dosing plus’s NP to get my nutrients balanced and up to where I want them before starting bacto balance.

Yesterdays test was
Nitrate 10 ppm
Phos 0.02 ppm

I have a 35 gallon tank with maybe 25 gallons of water with all the rock and such so I stated with the recommended dose of 1mil per 100 ltrs

Todays test was
Nitrate 0.8
Phos 0.00

I realize what has happened what I’m asking is is this normal to see a sharp drop then a gradual rise as things balance out?

Should I increase the dosage or just keep going until the numbers come up?

My tank is sps dominant. So I’m conscerned about color fading.

Should I turn my lights down a tad due to the lower nutrients or not worry sense they are actually probable there just bound up in bacteria?

Should I shut off my skimmer or run less? Skimmer has gone nuts btw.

With the nutrients bound up in bacteria should I worry about Dinos?

Thanks for the help.
 

Pod_01

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Just a suggestion, maybe re test the Nitrate. Just to ensure it did decreased by factor of 10.

It is possible that you had elevated NO2 and that can increase the NO3 test reading. I had that situation, I tried to decrease my Nitrate but I actually had elevated NO2 (nitrite). Took me some time to clue in.

The drop in phos can be explained. Plus NP uses phosphate that current test kits don’t measure so it can take few days or more for it to show up. It eventually converts to orthophosphate that test kits pick up. At least that is the claim. I have not experimented enough with plus NP.

From my experience any time I use carbon dosing I find that it is best to start at 1/4 recommended dose and increase it slowly. Observe the tank for a week and increase. Otherwise I always ended up with undesirable results.

Good luck,
 
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tagraham

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Just a suggestion, maybe re test the Nitrate. Just to ensure it did decreased by factor of 10.

It is possible that you had elevated NO2 and that can increase the NO3 test reading. I had that situation, I tried to decrease my Nitrate but I actually had elevated NO2 (nitrite). Took me some time to clue in.

The drop in phos can be explained. Plus NP uses phosphate that current test kits don’t measure so it can take few days or more for it to show up. It eventually converts to orthophosphate that test kits pick up. At least that is the claim. I have not experimented enough with plus NP.

From my experience any time I use carbon dosing I find that it is best to start at 1/4 recommended dose and increase it slowly. Observe the tank for a week and increase. Otherwise I always ended up with undesirable results.

Good luck,
Thank you this was very helpful
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I really do not see why you are making it complicated by organic carbon dosing and adding nutrients at the same time to try to balance out.
 
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tagraham

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I really do not see why you are making it complicated by organic carbon dosing and adding nutrients at the same time to try to balance out.
Randy,

Please don’t take this the wrong way you are one of the most respected minds in the industry. Are you familiar with tropic Marin plus np and bacto balance? The plus np is nitrate and phosphate. They raise your levels until you decide you are where you want to be. Tehn bacto balance comes in to keep them there and feed the bacteria that the corals can consume. I’m probably preaching to the quire here. I can’t keep my nutrients up. I have fed so heavy that the fish can not eat what I put in. I have added more fish. I have dosed nitrate and phosphate for months to watch them drop. I’m chasing my tail. This product “claims” to bring them in balance and keep them there so I wanted to give it a try. I’m mearly trying to get a sense if what I’m seeing is normal for starting this method.
 

crazyfishmom

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Randy,

Please don’t take this the wrong way you are one of the most respected minds in the industry. Are you familiar with tropic Marin plus np and bacto balance? The plus np is nitrate and phosphate. They raise your levels until you decide you are where you want to be. Tehn bacto balance comes in to keep them there and feed the bacteria that the corals can consume. I’m probably preaching to the quire here. I can’t keep my nutrients up. I have fed so heavy that the fish can not eat what I put in. I have added more fish. I have dosed nitrate and phosphate for months to watch them drop. I’m chasing my tail. This product “claims” to bring them in balance and keep them there so I wanted to give it a try. I’m mearly trying to get a sense if what I’m seeing is normal for starting this method.
I’ve been using bacto balance for a while and used Plus NP prior to that. For the plus NP stage you’re largely going on faith. What I had to do to get numbers that I could measure was dose NeoPhos and NeoNitro until I dialed them to where I wanted and then started using plus NP and bacto balance for a short period of time to make sure that everything stayed steady and then I didn’t have to dose plus NP anymore and was able to just carbon dose. Every now and then my nítrate levels start to go down a little so I dose a bit of NeoNitro for a couple of days (I like to stay between 10-15) and then I stop and it is steady for 4-6 weeks and starts to decline slowly again but it’s become a sustainable effort. My Coral seem pretty happy. I’m getting amazing colors on acros in a fairly new tank and I clean my glass every 2-3 days because the amount of algae generated is very reasonable. Just my experience.
 
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tagraham

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Ok interesting. I was doing neonitro and neophos. If I stopped I would deplete in two days. I was hoping to get down to a single dose product and make corrections as needed like you have. From what I have read I didn’t know you could do both at the same time. I’m hoping that Lou chimes in on the TM face book page. I came here for Randy’s input but seems like maybe he leans more towards traditional approach. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do. I’m going to keep testing and if I can’t get it up I’m going back to what worked before and put them on dosers.
 

Pod_01

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Just to add, I do agree with Randy recommendation to feed more. That is natural way to increase both NO3, PO4 and maybe increase fish poop that will feed corals.
Adding NO3/ PO4 from a bottle works as well in increasing the numbers, but corals might not benefit from it since it is the end product. People believe that some ratios appear to keep some undesirables out but I had no luck with dosing NO3 or PO4.
 

crazyfishmom

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Ok interesting. I was doing neonitro and neophos. If I stopped I would deplete in two days. I was hoping to get down to a single dose product and make corrections as needed like you have. From what I have read I didn’t know you could do both at the same time. I’m hoping that Lou chimes in on the TM face book page. I came here for Randy’s input but seems like maybe he leans more towards traditional approach. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do. I’m going to keep testing and if I can’t get it up I’m going back to what worked before and put them on dosers.
I think that while from a chemical perspective we should be able to dose and maintain easily, the complexity of these multi factorial biological systems makes it so that what works in tank A will not work in tank B and that’s okay. We are running an experiment. I am an Analytical Development molecular biologist. I develop cell based and potency assays for a living. It takes years to develop a single assay that will work reproducibly but then there’s a kink, my controls are perfect and then I work on a cell product and every patient sample is different so making that assay that seems to be working perfectly reflect what I need it to tell me is even more difficult. So I develop 30 assays to tell me if a single lot of material is performing as I think it should be. That’s the same thing we are trying to do here. Not surprised that these systems are not falling in line with what we want them to do. Best of luck!
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Are you familiar with tropic Marin plus np and bacto balance? The plus np is nitrate and phosphate.

Sorry, you are right. I was confusing NP-bactobalance with Elimi-NP.

I don't see a reason for both N and P to drop when dosing it.

I'd still feed more, and/or dose N and P independently so you can control them at will.
 
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tagraham

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Sorry, you are right. I was confusing NP-bactobalance with Elimi-NP.

I don't see a reason for both N and P to drop when dosing it.

I'd still feed more, and/or dose N and P independently so you can control them at will

No need to apologize sir. You are absolutely right tho I should have stayed with what I was doing. The TM product seemed appealing as it claims to have very specific typ of carbon source that targets the good bacteria that the corals feed on. Thank you for all you do on here
 
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tagraham

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Today’s test results.
Nitrate 6.5
Phos 0.03

It’s possible I got a false reading but not probable as both were low. But maybe

Possible it just took time for the new method to show up on a test after stopping the old.

I don’t know.

I do appreciate everyone’s input. I know it seemed like i was being resistant to Randy but i was really just wanting to make sure he was understanding what i was doing. In no way do i disagree with him. I was hoping this method accomplished the same thing i was doing with two different additives. I’m going to give it some time and take it slow. As long as the nutrients stay up in safe range I’ll continue.
 
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tagraham

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As someone who is a worse tinker-er than you, I would listen to randy. Your starting parameters were pretty good.
They seemed good true. But that was hard to maintain. It took daily dosing of both and it wasn’t consistent. Goal was to get down to a single dose product (hopefully) and automate it. I’m not home all the time so automation is important to me.
 

crabgrass

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Today’s test results.
Nitrate 6.5
Phos 0.03

It’s possible I got a false reading but not probable as both were low. But maybe

Possible it just took time for the new method to show up on a test after stopping the old.

I don’t know.

I do appreciate everyone’s input. I know it seemed like i was being resistant to Randy but i was really just wanting to make sure he was understanding what i was doing. In no way do i disagree with him. I was hoping this method accomplished the same thing i was doing with two different additives. I’m going to give it some time and take it slow. As long as the nutrients stay up in safe range I’ll continue.

I had a similar experience a couple weeks ago. Someone suggested I make sure I am testing at consistent times of day and also give it 4 hours after feeding, scraping glass, feeding coral etc. Some of the variation could be time of test, how your testing, etc. at least in my own experience
 
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tagraham

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I had a similar experience a couple weeks ago. Someone suggested I make sure I am testing at consistent times of day and also give it 4 hours after feeding, scraping glass, feeding coral etc. Some of the variation could be time of test, how your testing, etc. at least in my own experience
Agreed I try to do that as well. Before feeding or cleaning or blasting rock. Could have been an anomaly. I should have retested but I had to head to work.
 

crabgrass

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They seemed good true. But that was hard to maintain. It took daily dosing of both and it wasn’t consistent. Goal was to get down to a single dose product (hopefully) and automate it. I’m not home all the time so automation is important to me.
Ditto, I am in the *exact* same boat as you. My tank has only been up 2 months and trying to dial in the sweet spot is basically impossible still. I am also starting to use NP balance + fuge. My numbers are current 14N and .08 P - which I am pretty happy about, except they will still fluctuate a lot :)
 

crabgrass

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Agreed I try to do that as well. Before feeding or cleaning or blasting rock. Could have been an anomaly. I should have retested but I had to head to work.
I know the feeling. I’ve gotten the 0.0 reading from the LR Hanna a couple times and am like oh crap. Then the next day it’s .17. So obviously test error, and I which I would have tested again
 
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