Which is worse: high nitrates or high phosphates?

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Mhart032

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I don't see anything wrong with .08 - .10 po4 and 2-4ppm No3 I have seen very nice full sps tanks running higher end with beautiful colors. I run full Zeovit so I'm on the near zero spectrum but I have to dose to keep colors nice. If I don't my sps pale out. I have switched to Phols concentrate and that has darkened and helped color up. But my sps grow well and have nice colors. If I could get .08 and 2ppm I'd be a happy camper.
 
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paul barker

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I don't see anything wrong with .08 - .10 po4 and 2-4ppm No3 I have seen very nice full sps tanks running higher end with beautiful colors. I run full Zeovit so I'm on the near zero spectrum but I have to dose to keep colors nice. If I don't my sps pale out. I have switched to Phols concentrate and that has darkened and helped color up. But my sps grow well and have nice colors. If I could get .08 and 2ppm I'd be a happy camper.
my no3 a low like 0 ppm I feed a lot more to get them up I don't charge the water but ones a month so I don't drop to low I going to have to start and no3 I think just do know what one to buy thanks the feed back
 

hart24601

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Hans - the chemist for tropic Marin and inventor of the balling method now recommends 0.1 for phosphate based of studies and his own work and observations. He and Randy are pretty much *the* chemists for reefs so it’s worth consideration.


 
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I have seen very little correlation in my tanks between measured levels of nitrates/phosphates and coral health. Phosphate has been mostly stable at around 0.2 for a while now and I have no algae problems. Nitrates did spike up to 50 ish a while back, thought here was no observable impact on coral health. Added a sulfur denitrator which has swapped elevated nitrates with sulfur. Hasn't made much difference other than the denitrator is a pain to dial in.
 

paddle41773

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Life, er, uhhhh, finds a way....

Above everything I think balance/stability is the most important. These animals can survive just about anything in a stable environment. They die in situations where the tank owner obsesses over something. Every time you force parameters in a certain direction, you're fighting the tanks natural balance. This includes lighting. Small forced changes over long periods of time while letting nature play out is key.
 

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Belgian Anthias

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So high nitrates aren’t the main culprit of algae issues? It’s phosphate?
Growing algae need phosphorus and nitrogen in their natural ratio.
If you have a reserve of 0.1 ppm phosphate and 10ppm nitrate, if the algae use the nutrient reserve for growth, when all phosphate is used up, 9 ppm nitrate is left over. This means the phosphate reserve may become the growth limiting factor. Wich, I do not prefer. I would bring down the nitrate reserve to < 1ppm.
What is measured is what is NOT used or is NOT useable at the moment of measuring.
 
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Belgian Anthias

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Nitrate, phosphate, and CO2 are endproducts of aerobic remineralization, breaking down organic waste to its essential components.

These components, the basic elements, may be reused for algae growth. All of them play an essential role, not only phosphate and nitrate. It is about reusing all building materials to close the carbon cycle in which algae play a very important role.
Algae are not the enemy and can be used for managing the nutrient content and nutrient balance in the system as their growth and growth rate easily can be managed using AAM! ref: MB CMF De Haes 2017-2021

Nitrate is safely stored nitrogen.
Increasing inorganic nutrients levels are the messengers of something going wrong and are the result of an existing problem, very exceptional the cause.
Why inorganic nutrients slowly can build up in a well-lit aquarium and are not used up?

When nitrate is used as a nitrogen source instead of ammonium, growth rates are reduced drastically.
it is a myth thinking nitrate does increase algae growth. Nitrate-nitrogen is constantly exported due to natural denitrification, ammonia-nitrogen stays in the system. If algae become a problem having a high nitrate level, imagine what would be the situation when the nitrogen present in the nitrate reserve would have been stayed available as ammonium-nitrogen.

It has been shown high nitrogen availability may be responsible for coral bleaching during periods of increased growth (increased temp?) due to phosphorus starvation, the phosphorus supply not being able to follow the fast increasing demand. Using nitrate-nitrogen slows down growth rates and it is very unlikely nitrate may be responsible for phosphorus starvation.

So, what would be the emergency included in the presence of nitrate?

Phosphate and phosphorus?
It has been shown a high availability of phosphate increases the calcification rates of corals. ref: MB CMF de Haes 2017-2019
 
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