What to use... Phosphates

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Hi, I'm currently running an aquareef 195 with Sump with macro algaes, Skimmer, Nyos Phosi Ex in a reactor...

Stocking: 2 Clowns, 2 Chromis and 1 starry blenny, 4 hermits, 2 turbos, conch and emerald crab. I have various corals, zoas, softies, lps and sps.

I dose daily: cal, alk and carbon and carry out 25ltr water changes every single weekend.

My parameters (Salifert and Milwaukee for po4)
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
No3 50
po4 0
Alk 10.5
Cal 480
Mag 1410

My problem Is, despite the carbon dosing I have high nitrates but non detectable phosphates which I feel is a false reading because I am having terrible hair algae issues.. I pull the algae off the rocks on a regular basis but within a week it's back again. Since carbon dosing though I go longer between cleaning my glass and my water looks a lot clearer but I'm seeing no reduction in either my nitrates or algae.

The other day a friend recommended I use Continuum Exxodus Nitryx along side the carbon dosing to lower my nitrates but on looking into it a little more I'm thinking that Continuum Exxodus BAC would be better as that combats both Nitrate and Phosphates.

Help please?

ajm83

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Reply #1

Counter intuitive but you might have to stop your phosphate remover running to get the nitrate reduced.  The bacteria need both to grow.  So if the algae and the PhosEx are stripping the phosphate, the bacteria have nothing to work with.

I've even read before of people dosing potassium phosphate to bring the level up slightly to help things along. 

Asco1104

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Reply #2

Hi

You have a lot going on there, you don’t sound over stocked wich is good.

How much rock do you have?
How deeps your sand?
How longs it been set up?
How much are you feeding?

Depending on those answers this is what I would do.
Remove the macro algae, it won’t grow very well with nitrate that high so will die and re release nutrients back in to the water. Also if your iron and iodine levels are low that will stunt its growth.
Keep going with the carbon dosing and maybe up the dose, if I know what your dosing and how much I could give you a dosing figure. Keep the skimmer clean and skim very wet, at least a full cup of tea skim a day, make sure to keep a eye on your salinity as very wet skimming can make it drop.
If you get a bacteria bloom you have gone to high with the dose so back it off.
If the nitrates don’t go down the best way to add phosphate is chuck a cube of frozen food in.

I’ve probably missed something so ask any questions


Tim

onetanktyke

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Reply #3

The readings you are getting are not false.  Any tank that's full of algae will read zero phosphates because the algae is using them all up. 

To get rid of algae in the DT you need to do the following:

Get a powerful grow light for the fuge if you haven't already got one.
install a phosphate reactor if you haven't already.
turn off the DT lighting and cover the tank in a blanket if it's in a bright room.

Don't worry about the DT being dark.  The fish couldn't care less and corals will be OK for a few days at a time.  This sounds a bit drastic but it works.

Robden

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Reply #4

I was phos limited but nitrates were 50+ I had gha, dinos and cyano........drove me mad.
I got the PO4 upto around 3.0 and then, this brought the nitrates down and the phos with it. Now sitting at about PO4-0.05 and NO3- 15ppm. All the algae etc slowly started to disappear. Now been at these figures for a few months........and no 'orrible green/red stuff.

Shawzy10

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Reply #5

I have the opposite, I have high phosphate and almost zero nitrate and ammonia. I run a bio pearl reactor but I als have a small fuge with chaeto. I have been changing water over the last week and basically turned over the full tank water content but can’t get the phosphate below 0.4 ppm. My slimmer is only pulling out light tea coloured skimmate. Tank stock is 2 clowns, regal, blenny, goby and mandarin plus clean up crew I also think there is a pistol shrimp in there but never seen it but have heard the click!!
I have a picture of skimmate and tank attached.

Anybody any ideas?? I have lost a goby but I don’t know if this is causing it as water tests are showing ok apart from the PO4.

Robden

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Reply #6

That's the trouble with this game. A lot of tanks run differently. Tank A - high PO4, low NO3.....all good. Tank B -  Low PO4, high NO3.....all good.
 BTW, pistol shrimp clicking?  A lot of clowns (including my percs), make clicking noises sometimes.

ajm83

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Reply #7

I have the opposite, I have high phosphate and almost zero nitrate and ammonia. I run a bio pearl reactor but I als have a small fuge with chaeto. I have been changing water over the last week and basically turned over the full tank water content but can’t get the phosphate below 0.4 ppm. My slimmer is only pulling out light tea coloured skimmate. Tank stock is 2 clowns, regal, blenny, goby and mandarin plus clean up crew I also think there is a pistol shrimp in there but never seen it but have heard the click!!
I have a picture of skimmate and tank attached.

Anybody any ideas?? I have lost a goby but I don’t know if this is causing it as water tests are showing ok apart from the PO4.

Personally I'd make sure that nitrate stays above zero,  as that looks like the start of dinos to me on the substrate. Maybe cut back on the bio pellets for a while?

I think probably your tank is too clean, (hence the low nitrates and light skimmate) and the phosphate could be coming out of your rock (hence why water changes don't help).

0.4 is not ideal, but not the end of the world...better a little too high than too low.  If phosphate keeps going up,  run some RowaPhos or phosguard in a mesh bag until it gets down to 0.1 or less. This will take a while, if it starts rising again, change the media. Don't drive the level lower than 0.03!
Last Edit: Oct 16, 2019 7:58:39 pm by ajm83

Shawzy10

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Reply #8

I’m running SeaChem Phosnet currently. So your suggesting stopping the bio pellet reactor until the nitrates rise? Will I feed as normal? With nitrates rising will that promote phos to drop and then run the reactor again?

I have seen people blacking out the tank for 3 days. Should I keep running skimmer and will it be a wet skim?

Cheers

Shawzy10

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Reply #9

It’s more of cracking noise rather than clicking. I also wondered about adding additional bacteria, stop skimmer and reactor and wave makers for a few hours then add bacteria to out compete the Dino. Thoughts??

ajm83

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Reply #10

Both the algae and biopellets need phosphate and nitrate to do their work. 

But the corals and ecosystem in the tank need a little bit of both too.  If you don't have an ecosystem working, you get dinos filling that niche.

I haven't used Phosnet but it seems to be GFO like Rowaphos, so that should be fine.  You might need to change it quite regularly to make a dent in that level of phosphate though!

PS. have you checked your source water in case  it has phosphate in it?

Shawzy10

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Reply #11

I’m using RO and I make 200ltr drum through my RODI filter. I have checked for Total dissolved solids (TDS) which comes back at Oppm so the water is pure but is there a chance that the TDS won’t pick up phosphate. The drum I use for water storage is made of plastic so I am assuming I won’t leech into conditioned water. I will run a phosphate test on the RO as a check. I have shutdown the bio pellets but I would have thought the GFO would have reduced PO4. It’s been stable at 0.4 for over a week now with virtually full tank water change.

ajm83

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Reply #12

How regularly are you changing the GFO?  It's probably getting used up quickly at that level.  Especially if it's continuing to leach out of the rocks or sand.

A lanthanum based product would probably be a better choice,  check this link out:

https://reefbase.co.uk/colombo/phosphate-ex-review/

Shawzy10

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Reply #13

Cheers for the reply. I am changing weekly about 20g as I run a 120 ltr tank. Guidance is 50g for 200 ltrs so I went slightly under half to ensure I didn’t spike the levels and affect the corals. I have also had a look at my rear sump setup I think I will change this around. The bio pellet reactor and skimmer are in the same compartment  but the output of reactor is flowing away from the skimmer. I use a Bubble Magus 70 reactor which has an open overflow return and a simple lime wood air driven skimmer I was thinking of putting the reactor in line first with skimmer then downstream next to it then the normal flow will direct it to the skimmer surface area. The reactor is currently shut down to allow some build up of nitrates to then help with the uptake of phosphates. I was thinking could I possibly put a bag of gfo in the reactor with a floss partition to properly run the water through without necessarily tumbling the GFO??

I have another issue that needs addressing urgently it looks as though what I thought was a pistol shrimp could be a mantis as I have lost 2 fish in the last 4 days and the goby I bought to pair with it has had its tail fin bitten off so he might not survive....damn hitchhikers!!

Any answers to the above questions would be greatly appreciated. Do you know if Maidenhead aquatics stock that PO4 reducer that you linked me to??

ajm83

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Reply #14

Oh man, that's bad luck.  I know how you feel - i had bobbit worms from some live rock once! 🤢

Don't know if Maidenhead sell Colombo stuff,  you can get it online easily though https://www.clearwateraquatics.co.uk/colombo-phosphate-ex-500ml-670-p.asp

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