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Lower No3 and Po4..

Discussion in 'Newbies Corner' started by Stalaly, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Stalaly

    Stalaly Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Need advice: 55g tank is 8 months old. 10 fish. 15 various LPS/Softie frags (healthy but not growing so much)
    Po4- stable at 1 (high?)
    No3- stable at 40 (high?)
    Alk- 9-10
    Cal- 420
    Temp- 77.5-78.2

    I don’t have a proper stand so no sump. HOB Aqueon filter w/ Chemi-pure and No3 and Po4 pads and HOB fuge with a good softball size of Chaeto. Tried everything to lower Nitrates and Phosphates nothing made them budge. I started with 3ml/day NoPoX. No skimmer- and all of the sudden, more algae on the glass then ever.

    I should mention that at he same time I added the NoPox I added 2 T5 bulbs (actinic and ATI blue+) to my existing Orbit IC LED.

    So is the NoPox or the addition of the T5 growing the glass algae?

    CuC is good assortment of Hermit crabs and various snails and conch. They do a good job on the rock and in the sand but…..

    Should I let it roll with the higher but stable No3 and Po4 or….? I like the lights with the combo LED/T5
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  2. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I'd say given the age of the tank being relatively young (8 mos) and your numbers not being outlandish, that you are better off with more moderate approaches. Also, with your corals not straight up dying, I'd say you are on the right track. What's your water change schedule like (frequency/volume)? When you started the tank, what kind of rock did you use? (live, dry, real reef, etc.)
  3. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Did you start with dry rock?
    I agree tank is still pretty young and pretty normal not to see good growth until well after a year. So I would just opt for keeping it stable. The more you try and change it the more instability you could introduce. Your numbers aren't off the charts and with saltwater stability is the key to success.
    Give it another 4-6months and watch what it does imo

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using MASC mobile app
  4. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Ditto what the other two said. Nothing good happens fast in this hobby.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  5. flagg37

    flagg37 Amphipod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Nothing good ever happens quickly with reef tanks. No3 of 40 is on the high side but I’ve seen and had tanks that run in that range. The po4 I would be more concerned with. Recommendations vary widely about what should be targeted but I personally don’t like it to go above 0.3, but you are doing softies and lps so they may be a little more tolerant. Elevated po4 is known to slow the coral’s ability to grow its skeleton which will effect your lps more than your softies.

    To lower either value you can increase your export efforts or decrease their import. It sounds like you’ve tried a couple options for export. For the po4 I’ve had good success with Phosguard. Unlike gfo that should tumble, it can be put in a media bag and just dropped in your HOB filter wherever there’s room.

    As far as the import goes, what, and how often are you feeding? What fish do you have? 10 fish can be a lot depending on their size for a 55g tank.
    Dr.DiSilicate likes this.
  6. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Before you chase phosphate, get a Hannah Ultra Low Checker - no need in using anything but this. Nitrate test kits are all just a swag, but some are still better than others like a Salifert - they are not good for much except to get you close.

    40 N and 1.0 P is not good. Some inverts might not care about these levels, but many will slow down all growth or die.

    Chaeto does work wonders, but it might need slightly lower levels and more than a softball size. It also needs time to work. Once it gets going, the stuff is awesome.

    NoPox is organic carbon - it will not work without a skimmer.

    Nitrate should lower on it's own if you have real live rock and/or a few inches of sand. You will need to be patient and not add chemicals that can disrupt the anoxic bacteria from growing. If you started with dry/dead rock, then this can take a few years. Since you were adding the organic carbon, you could have been starving the anoix bacteria that lives in the sand and it might take even longer to get going.

    IMO, get a sump and a place for a skimmer and a larger fuge. Outside of this, water changes (which are cheap) and some media is all that you can do.

    If you can get the N and P below about 10 and .25, then pincushion urchins are wonderful algae eaters, but they cannot tolerate high building block levels... and even 10 and .25 might be pushing it a bit.
  7. CrashReef

    CrashReef Copepod

    What does your aqua-scape look like? Do you have plenty of big thick rocks with a sand bed?

    If so, then it takes the longest for the bacteria that consumes NO3 to take residence deep in the rock. This bacteria doesn't like oxygen, so you need the environment for it to take residence. It will take 12+ months for you to see these levels start to drop on their own. Until then, regular water changes will help to keep these levels under control.

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