Zoas start dying when nitrate is 0

Discussion in 'Zoa Discussion (CLUB ZOA)' started by KevsReef, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. KevsReef

    KevsReef Member

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    I have zoas and SPS in my tank. When my nitrate was 1ppm and phosphate 0.40ppm, my zoas were all thriving. Since I have SPS in the tank so I started running nitrate sponge. Now my nitrate is all 0, but my zoas are getting skinniest and eventually melt. Any ways to improve? I run a calcium reactor and chiller so my water cemestry and temperture are stable. Should I feed agreesively? Thanks for any feedback!
     
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  2. fragmatic

    fragmatic retired reefer R2R Excellence Award

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    I am in the feed aggressively camp, period! .. my answer is a resoundingly yes..... always. But you have to work up to it in tiny increments so you don't crash... and you can't back off the feedings quickly either. If you go on vacation you will have to have a reliable friend come by and feed.

    As your bacteria count climbs via aggressive feeding increases, if you stop you will get a bacteria die off... not good!

    This -> it was when I went on an aggressive feeding program that my tank turned the magical corner.

    What is my opinion of aggressive feeding? -> I have a 90 main display. It has 9 small fish, zoa, candies, small stonies, flowerpots, etc, you get the drift.
    I feed on a daily basis: 1/2 cube of frozen fish food, 1/2 cube of frozen coral food, 1/4 cube of shrimp, a tea spoon of phyto, a 2" square of kelp paper, and a couple algae wafers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  3. iiluisii

    iiluisii Valuable Member MTRCMember

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    This is my goal to get my system to be able handle aggressive feeding. Whats your filtration consist of

    Sent Via the R2R Forum APP
     
  4. KevsReef

    KevsReef Member

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    I have a skimmer and run chemeclean passively in sock and gfo in reactor. If I feed agreesively, my nitrate will stay at 0. It is the phosphate (now at 0.40ppm) that I am afraid would increase. I have a bit hair algae in the tank. I am in between now between feed or less feed.
     
  5. danimal1211

    danimal1211 Member

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    could you explain how you run chemiclean in a sock? did you mean chemipure??
     
  6. Ninjapotamus

    Ninjapotamus Active Member

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    Zero nitrates creates other problems. Cyano is very common with this type of imbalance. Phosphate tends to climb and without enough nitrate present the only thing that can grow effectively is often cyano(which can fix its own nitrogen). This is why even ULNS systems like zeovit can get cyano. Carbon dosing also can create this situation if used too aggressively.

    I carbon dose but I also add sodium nitrate to keep things adequately supplied with nitrate. I try to keep my nitrate in the 1-4 range using the red sea nitrate tester. I also dose microbakter 7 daily in the hopes of keeping my bacterial population thriving(honestly not sure this did much, but it didnt hurt either).

    This allows me to feed ULTRA heavy. My tank gets pellets 3x a day, 8 cubes of mysis half in the morning half at night, cyclops, goniopowder, reef chili, 70ml a day of phytoplex. I clean my glass maybe every 2 weeks, algae growth is very low. Gravel stays clean. I also run ozone, DIY sulfur denitrator, GFO, chemipure, rox8 carbon in various amounts. I feel the primary means of nutrient export is the nitrate/vinegar dosing producing a huge amount of skimmate. My nac 9 is full every 2 days with dark skimmate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  7. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Hmm I am not convinced your zoas are dying because of 0 nitrates.
     
  8. iiluisii

    iiluisii Valuable Member MTRCMember

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    Im with you cause Im running bio pelleta and my nitrates stay undetectable and my zoas are fine.
     
  9. Ninjapotamus

    Ninjapotamus Active Member

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    Nitrates can be kept near zero assuming there are small and continuous sources of nitrogenous waste available for the zoas. Fish poo/pee is an ideal source. It doesn't take much, but there has to be SOME present and available for the zoas/palys.

    So yes, your nitrates can read zero and you can have healthy zoas. But trust me, some form of nitrogenous waste is being produced and utilized by your corals before being processed away by carbon dosing/media. People get into trouble when their nitrogen sources are stripped from the water via media or carbon dosing in such a rapid and continuous manner that coral health suffers. Its not as simple as high/low nitrates good/bad and viseversa.

    Fun fact, zeovit and red sea carbon source products contain nitrate! Anyone who uses these products already doses Nitrate! Go put some zeostart in a nitrate test and prepare for a shock =)
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  10. larangcon

    larangcon Valuable Member

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    Did you say ChemiClean, if you use this you will need some aeration in the tank and need to change water after a couple of days.
     
  11. nhlives

    nhlives Member

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    Old tread I came across. I use nopox and found that nitrates were too low to support zoas. I feed more heavy now than is necessary for the livestock and dose Brightwell NeoNitrate. The Zoas are looking much better. It depends on the Zoa. Bob Marley seems particularly dependent on some nitrates. Others not so much but all suffered when zero.

    I was interested in the comment about Red Sea carbon dosing having nitrates. Since I use nopox and had a problem with low nitrates, I was curious if anyone could confirm.

    I use the Red Sea nitrate test which still test zero.
     
  12. rosshamsandwich

    rosshamsandwich Well-Known Member

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    Reef Roids!!
     
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