Would like assistance with nitrate consumption/alkalinity

Wasabiroot

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Hello!

I began dosing All for Reef about a month ago. Currently my dose is fairly small: about 8mL /day in approximately 60g tank. I've got a decent amount of coral but not many in terms of larger specimens - mostly frags with an octospawn/ some softies and gorgonians but not much coraline since I ceased dosing Vibrant about a month ago.
Some background on the tank: I have a refugium with chaeto. I am coming down from elevated phosphates (~0.2ppm) and currently have them at around 50ppb. My goal is around 10-40ish on my hannah ULR phosphorus test (0.03-0.1 ppm). My nitrates stay on the low end - 2-5 ppm.
Historically, my tank hovered around 8.5-9.5 dkH, but in the past 3 weeks or so it's been closer to 11-11.7. My corals seem happy for the most part, and are showing entrusting growth and good color.
I'm wondering if I should lower my AFR dose to about 6mL per day. My main concerns are the following:
1. Is it possible the consumption of nitrates is causing my alk to rise, and if so, is reducing my dose of All for Reef to compensate a good idea, or is this risky with the level of phosphates I have?
2. I have done less water changes since beginning all for reef - should I go back to my previous cadence? My thoughts were that it would help lower both alkalinity and phosphates, but I'm not sure if my corals would like that. I'm somewhat concerned about going higher than 12 dKh.
3. Would increasing my refugium lighting period have any notable effect on my alk/nitrate/phosphorus consumption?
4. What is the likelihood lowering my phosphates to a more reasonable level would increase my alk consumption and cause even better growth?


Thanks for your suggestions :) Sorry if this is a bit ambiguous. My tank feels like it's finally coming around the corner and just looking for some insight.
 
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blaxsun

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1. No.
2. Yes, less frequent water changes could be attributing to a slow increase in alkalinity - especially if your doaing has remained the same.
3. It probably would to some extent, yes (though you may not see immediate results).
4. A higher pH will probably (though not necessarily) lead to lower alkalinity, and I know this is what many reefers strive for. Lower phosphates is something to also strive for, but yours aren't ridiculously high.
 

taricha

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1. Is it possible the consumption of nitrates is causing my alk to rise,
not unless you were adding a bunch of NO3 constantly.
2. I have done less water changes since beginning all for reef - should I go back to my previous cadence? My thoughts were that it would help lower both alkalinity and phosphates, but I'm not sure if my corals would like that. I'm somewhat concerned about going higher than 12 dKh.
either more water changes or simply lower the AFR amount, both seem acceptable here.

3. Would increasing my refugium lighting period have any notable effect on my alk/nitrate/phosphorus consumption?
assuming it's already like 8-12 hours, you probably won't see much change from longer light.

4. What is the likelihood lowering my phosphates to a more reasonable level would increase my alk consumption and cause even better growth?
many people find it does. (some using that logic find dino outbreak pops up.)
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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1. Is it possible the consumption of nitrates is causing my alk to rise, and if so, is reducing my dose of All for Reef to compensate a good idea, or is this risky with the level of phosphates I have?

Nitrate can only cause an increase in alkalinity if it is declining or if you are dosing it. If it is steady, regardless of the level, it is not impacting alkalinity because the production and consumption of the nitrate deplete and add back the exact same amount of alkalinity (2.3 dKH per 50 ppm).
 
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Wasabiroot

Wasabiroot

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Awesome guys, thanks. I think I was overthinking this one. I will do a water change or two then check and adjust doseage as appropriate. Just didn't want to mess up whatever tenuous balance I had going on.
 

How much percent of space do you think your corals take up in your aquarium?

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