Utilising the CNP in phytoplankton to carbon dose my system.

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You are not alone. I am the worst sometimes, and have paid the price more than once. It is great to get professionals like @Randy Holmes-Farley involved to keep us from making bad assumptions and smack us around a little when we misunderstand or misapply the science.
I agree, where would we be today without Randy. I have learned much from him
By the way, I am in the process of building your phyto "reactor" for use on my tank right now. It looks way more efficient than culturing phyto in batches. I'm a little leery of the phosphate issue, but it does not seem to be a problem in your set-up.
Yes, this time around phosphates seem to be going down fairly well, I’m getting to a point we’re I am concerned with how low they are, I’ve just retested tonight and phosphates are almost gone from the tank very close from the 0.02 that is border line on my test kit just a very slight blue to the testing water, nitrates have gone downhill to and they around the 1ppm mark I think I will artificially raise them tonight as I don’t feel comfortable being on the border line of the testing capacity, just one mistake away from dinoflagellates.
If you decide to go this route just make sure you have your protein skimmer on at all times after the first week you will se a large reduction in scum some days there’s almost nothing being produced although bacteria needs to be actively exported to reduce phosphates, that was my mistake last time and phosphates did increase eventually. Nitrates did bottom out at one point with 35 fish in the tank and 6 cubes of feeding daily. It appears to be a good way to carbon dose although it’s not as easy to control as the conventional ways of Doc dosing. The correction to the dose in the event of nutrients start to decline need to be made weeks in advance.
 
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Sticks under orange filter, this entry is important as I believe I may be days away from the second phase of the test, the brown stick to the right of the video is starting to colour up, it seems that it will have a vivid red and green body.
Growing stocks and growing macro algaes is starting to look very similar to me regard nutrients. Let’s see how it goes.



I’ve also increased the nutrients artificially tonight, the way that things were going was leaving me worried.
 

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You are not alone. I am the worst sometimes, and have paid the price more than once. It is great to get professionals like @Randy Holmes-Farley involved to keep us from making bad assumptions and smack us around a little when we misunderstand or misapply the science.

By the way, I am in the process of building your phyto "reactor" for use on my tank right now. It looks way more efficient than culturing phyto in batches. I'm a little leery of the phosphate issue, but it does not seem to be a problem in your set-up.
The problem will be getting the same Fertilizer that he uses
 

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I agree, where would we be today without Randy. I have learned much from him

Yes, this time around phosphates seem to be going down fairly well, I’m getting to a point we’re I am concerned with how low they are, I’ve just retested tonight and phosphates are almost gone from the tank very close from the 0.02 that is border line on my test kit just a very slight blue to the testing water, nitrates have gone downhill to and they around the 1ppm mark I think I will artificially raise them tonight as I don’t feel comfortable being on the border line of the testing capacity, just one mistake away from dinoflagellates.
If you decide to go this route just make sure you have your protein skimmer on at all times after the first week you will se a large reduction in scum some days there’s almost nothing being produced although bacteria needs to be actively exported to reduce phosphates, that was my mistake last time and phosphates did increase eventually. Nitrates did bottom out at one point with 35 fish in the tank and 6 cubes of feeding daily. It appears to be a good way to carbon dose although it’s not as easy to control as the conventional ways of Doc dosing. The correction to the dose in the event of nutrients start to decline need to be made weeks in advance.
Would be possible to run the skimmer on a timer instead and balance the nutrients based on that?
 

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I will use that instead, just thought sps normally doesn’t get affected during short air exposure, it’s fairly common in the sea for that to happen and in our systems during water changes. If it will benefit the results of the experiment I will keep them in the tank and find a way to introduce scale maybe use the tags attached to the coral as reference point
Put a small measuring stick in the sand next to the frag, like a small acrylic rod with notches for measurements. I like your setup.
 
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The problem will be getting the same Fertilizer that he uses
Did you look at the options on the other thread? It’s complicated for me to search for USA products although you may have similar available, the fertiliser is produced to dose planted aquariums as a all in one solution, if you were able to search for some we could compare the ingredients on the thread.
 
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Would be possible to run the skimmer on a timer instead and balance the nutrients based on that?
You could run it in the timer although this could affect aeration, the goal in carbon dosing is usually to remove nutrients and if the skimmer is working properly it should aid the process my next update in a couple hours will illustrate this.
 
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Put a small measuring stick in the sand next to the frag, like a small acrylic rod with notches for measurements. I like your setup.
Thank you, i like that idea I may have to stick it to the plug as I clean the sand bed every now and then
 
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Awkward update, I may have underestimated the Dissolved organic carbon capability in phytoplankton, I was so eager to illustrate the nutrient reduction capability that I’ve increased my daily dose to the maximum amount that the reactor could deliver.

here’s what happened the last few days.

nitrates have reduced to 1 and phosphates where around 0.02, I believe that my test kits are unable to test with accuracy this low and I’ve been having zero nutrients for a few days, last night I’ve observed small bubbles on the sand bed on what I initially thought to be diatoms consuming silica from the new sand.

as a precaution I’ve dosed 20ppm of nitrates and 0.05 ppm of phosphates, this morning the phosphates were at 0.08 which sounds reasonable although my nitrates were near zero again. This left me baffled and I’ve increased nitrates this morning to 40ppm to try and identify what’s happening.
there could be some more test error involved although my protein skimmer reservoir is pointing out to the Carbon dosing amount is way to much for my current tank load.

protein vessel on Monday morning

877AD59E-BC17-4CE6-961F-42B17F856BB0.jpeg



protein vessel on Wednesday morning (today)


012F0F80-7B1C-402D-BC17-223A6B9AF63D.jpeg
012F0F80-7B1C-402D-BC17-223A6B9AF63D.jpeg
 

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Even if the water were very carbon rich, do you think that bacteria could be present in a density that would explain the results this quickly?
If you had a microscope you could see how much Phyto is being exported by the skimmer. If you are actually exporting a lot, that might explain the unexpected effectiveness of the Phyto input.
 

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The source of saltwater is natural sea salt from the Red Sea
D062D7F4-0B72-4AB3-A8C9-64CD5017870F.jpeg



The top is indeed open, bacteria can’t affect a strong culture. It will only crash if it becomes limited in nutrients using this method.
Looks good enough to eat!
 
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Even if the water were very carbon rich, do you think that bacteria could be present in a density that would explain the results this quickly?
If you had a microscope you could see how much Phyto is being exported by the skimmer. If you are actually exporting a lot, that might explain the unexpected effectiveness of the Phyto input.
I need to find the kids microscope as this would be interesting to know. I just got home will be doing some more testing soon.
 
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Just retested the tank

Phosphates at 0.02 again added 0.05 ppm to the system

Nitrates are near 20 leaving them as they are and retest in the morning again

I will be reducing the dosage of phytoplankton further down to 24ml a day.
 

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Just retested the tank

Phosphates at 0.02 again added 0.05 ppm to the system

Nitrates are near 20 leaving them as they are and retest in the morning again

I will be reducing the dosage of phytoplankton further down to 24ml a day.
Wow... roughly a 20 ppm drop in N and .03 ppm of P in 10-ish hours. Would you expect more P to be used when N falls 20 ppm? I suppose the P usage in the process could be higher but being replaced by the P in the Phyto solution.
 
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Wow... roughly a 20 ppm drop in N and .03 ppm of P in 10-ish hours. Would you expect more P to be used when N falls 20 ppm? I suppose the P usage in the process could be higher but being replaced by the P in the Phyto solution.
I’m still baffled myself it seems a lot in a short period of time, think it’s as you say, it’s hard to quantify for phosphates usage as they are being regularly introduced by the culture water.
this swings in nutrients may also be detrimental for coral and I’m still to see the effect on them. For now they still alive the brown one is almost there colour wise I can now see the colour in the full body just not as vivid yet.



2A7918A5-3888-40A4-B5B8-C10389D5EA27.jpeg
 

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Wow... roughly a 20 ppm drop in N and .03 ppm of P in 10-ish hours. Would you expect more P to be used when N falls 20 ppm? I suppose the P usage in the process could be higher but being replaced by the P in the Phyto solution.
Yea might be excess carbon sucking in those nitrates.
 
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Slightly better pictures to aid the colouration phase

stick 1

77AA69C3-829C-4E16-B77E-53B26504574A.jpeg


stick 2

21CD22AD-E8BD-401F-8C71-8A6099721F00.jpeg


stick 3

9890063A-7202-4276-85E3-BDFA5C1E8F78.jpeg


stick 4

9B8E5826-4940-465A-9AF7-00ADEF5D0C48.jpeg


stick 5

C12E8D77-0E33-4C21-B5F4-8A74E8C2949E.jpeg


I had to bring them close to the front glass pane to get half decent pictures to get the existing colouration, all pics under DD orange filter.

* may retake pic 3 if the polyps open up eventually
 
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I’ve reduced the reactor last night to 1ml per hour and it seems to help stabilise things nitrates this morning are just below 20 and phosphates at around 0.8.

will measure in 12 hours if nitrates and phosphates are still stable I will increase phytoplankton additions again, trying to understand how much i need in ml to reduce and how much I need to stabilise.

what it seem to be diatoms have cleared up also once nutrients where raised yesterday, I’m under a suspicion that it could have been dinoflagellates, will look at them under the microscope tonight as some still in the glass.
 
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Had a look under the microscope and seen this

4DE55480-56A8-4026-8A50-8532D7E0506E.jpeg


it could be dinoflagellates although there was no movement, they were very still and in small numbers. The sand bed is fully clean

im approaching week 3 of dosing

nutrients are stable again

phosphates 0.08ppm

Nitrates 20ppm

photoreactor was increased to 2ml per hour last night

coral and tank looking fine for the time being, no losses to report at the moment.


A044E438-3A54-41DE-A719-4F31629D7FAA.jpeg



C7BC1CA5-EDFF-474E-A6D7-FCFB4B29EDFF.jpeg
 

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