Low nitrate and phosphate

jaBX1

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Manhattan Reefs
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Union County, NJ
Over the last 5 months I have had prolems with bacterial blooms. I finally determined that this was due to ultra low nutrient levels.

My nitrate and phosphate were both 0 for months.
SPS and LPS were surviving but definitely not thriving. I had large zoa colonies that all but melted away with only a few polyps left.

I have shut off my skimmer for the last 1.5 months and have increased feeding to about 1/2 cube of mysis a day as well as algae pellets for my blenny (clowns love that stuff too).
I went from doing a 15-20% WC a week to 10% every 3-4 weeks.


I can see brown algae growing on the back wall (something never seen before) which tells me there are nutrients in the tank.

My corals look a little better but the coloration is still pale. I have no more white slimy bacteria as well as no green hair algae, but the corals don't look as healthy as I think they should.

Do I need to dose nitrate/phosphate to get my coral coloration up?

I have also been looking for another fish or two to add to incase the bioload.


60 gal tank with ~15 gal sump
 

BYU

bob
Manhattan Reefs
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depends on the test you use some don’t detect low levels

if it truely reads zero i would dose neonitro and possibly phosphate
i have dosed neonitro in the past with some success but i never dosed phosphates
i always have some in my tank
good luck
 
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seldin

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You mentioned you are receiving very low readings on nitrate and phosphates. Since you are getting algae, algae may be consuming your nutrients.

As an aside, not sure what test you are using for phosphates. I hated using Salfiert because it was difficult to validate the color differences. I purchased the Hanna Phosphate checker and that is digital and is very accurate.

I would recommend checking on your clean up crew. I had a bad issue this year, and this was the solution to my algae problem. I had tried multiple solutions and this worked best for me.

Good luck.
 

jaBX1

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Manhattan Reefs
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Location
Union County, NJ
You mentioned you are receiving very low readings on nitrate and phosphates. Since you are getting algae, algae may be consuming your nutrients.

As an aside, not sure what test you are using for phosphates. I hated using Salfiert because it was difficult to validate the color differences. I purchased the Hanna Phosphate checker and that is digital and is very accurate.

I would recommend checking on your clean up crew. I had a bad issue this year, and this was the solution to my algae problem. I had tried multiple solutions and this worked best for me.

Good luck.
What do you mean by check on my clean up crew.

I have probably 5 blue leg hermit crabs and 4-6 nassarius snails.

I had closer to 15 crabs as well as about 10 astrea snails but most have died. Assuming low nutrients is the culprit.

I was using Red Sea Nutrient Pro & Foundation Pro for years.
Have recently switched to Hanna Ca & KH tests though.

I am on the verge of buying the Hanna phosphate test and possibly nitrate to confirm the red sea tests are correct


Really disappointed with Red Sea.
When I started the hobby about 10 years ago i thought Red sea was the best of the best.
 

seldin

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...What do you mean by check on my clean up crew
I have probably 5 blue leg hermit crabs and 4-6 nassarius snails.
I had closer to 15 crabs as well as about 10 astrea snails but most have died. Assuming low nutrients is the culprit....

I increased my clean up crew and replenish them every few months. Seems to keep my algae problem very controlled. I now like to feed heavy and see my fish and corals respond well to being well fed. I also like to add Copepods every few months. A product that I like is Atlantic 3000+ Live copepods Tisbe. Bottle comes very well populated.

For a 60 gallon tank, I would think you need more of a clean up crew. However, as you said, snails tend to die after a while when you have a large crew. I would just replenish them every 6 months or so. I personally don't like hermit crabs and love snails. I always think that the hermit crabs go after my snails. A munching machine is the sea urchin. Negative is they can bull doze corals. Make sure frags are secure. Mine takes everything in site,

...I am on the verge of buying the Hanna phosphate test and possibly nitrate to confirm the red sea tests are correct...

I love the Hanna Phosphate. No guess work. It is digital, so no guess work.

...Really disappointed with Red Sea.
When I started the hobby about 10 years ago i thought Red sea was the best of the best...

I thought that way about Salfiert test kits. Technology improves... Look at lighting. Years ago MH was the way to go and now LED is cheap...
 
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homegrowncichlid

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Manhattan Reefs
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I prefer hermit crabs over snails, since the crabs can live without algae, during the fallow times, whereas the snails die out.
What I did to increase the "dirtiness" of the water was simply to stop the skimmer, for 12 hours a day. After 2 weeks my nitrates and P04 went up from not detectable to the first color on my chart. With that, the water was cloudy, as I dosed with bacteria, I really don't see the need of adding specific nitrate products to the system. Might I suggest Dr Tim's Refresh and Waste Away products, works well for me. They have a dinoflaggellate control combo with detailed instructions. works on dinos, cyano, any of the nuisance, organisms you're talking about, and resets the biological micro fauna in your tank with planktonic species instead of benthic species (dinos and cyano are benthic, which is why they don't get skimmed out.)
BTW, in my 75 gallon and 40 gallon sump, I have over 100 to 200 hermit crabs, 30 large snails, upwards of thousand dwarf cerith snails and 3 urchins. My system is pretty hair algae free, but bits and pieces are starting to grown in, so I'll be adding another 200 tiny pea sized hermit crabs and 100 tiny pea sized astrea snails in the next month. They will grow as long as there's food, without over eating the environment, and once they do clear everything out, they will stop growing at that point, at status quo. I get the crabs and snails at lot prices per 100, on line.
 

vio

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You sure ,that " brown algae growing " is NOT dinoflagellates ?!
When you run ULN option , big chances to got it, also when your snail die is another sign,
Usually Dino feed with what ever die, toxins from dead snails , corals etc.
Use a pipette feeding , try to collect some , put one small coffee cup , locate close to one light fixture, swivel , by using the pipette or some disposal spoon, forks etc,
If, is form again , same shape like inside the tank, just like hair , or slim lines, NO need magnifier or microscope , is.........Dino.
Try this b4.

 
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