High Nitrate and phosphate

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by nly04, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. nly04

    nly04 Guest

    I use Red Sea test kit and my number are:

    Nitrate: 4ppm
    Phosphate: 0.45

    I think they are high in my 120g but I seen some other system is higher but coral thriving in those system. I mainly has softy in my tank right now. I also use dual brs reactor with carbon and GFO. Any other way to reduce phosphate and nitrate level. Btw, I have cheato in my sump, too.
  2. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    30% 7-10 water changes
    Don't waste the time on tests
  3. nly04

    nly04 Guest

    You mean change water 30% every 7-10 day, or change 30% of water 7-10 times?
  4. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    The first one is what Erin does. What's your water change schedule like? How much gfo do you use and how often do you change it?
  5. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    A hefty water change is probably in order. That's the safest way to reduce nutrient levels. Is this a fairly new tank?

    I wouldn't worry so much about the nitrate levels yet. That's high, but it's still in the safe zone, especially for a softy tank. It can be remedied by keeping up with your water changes.

    For your phosphates you might want to consider a lanthanum chloride product like Phosphate-E. These are liquids that can rapidly reduce high phosphate levels. It would be easier (and cheaper) to do that that to use GFO to get your levels down to reasonable levels. Regardless of what you use, make sure to reduce your phosphate slowly over a week or two in order to avoid negative side-effects of the change in water chemistry.
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Those numbers are not so scary. You might see some extra algae of Cyano, but not a major deal.
    Suggest just using a bit more GFO, more water changes, and take it slow.
    Perhaps feed a bit less.

    That phosphate level is a bit surprising if you are running GFO.
    Did you get some dry-live-rock recently? Sometimes that can leach phosphates for months.

    Be careful - "fixing" things rapidly can cause more issues that the original problem.
  7. nly04

    nly04 Guest

    I replace GFO and carbon every last day of the month, water change twice a month but only around 15%, about 20-25g for the 120g system with 50g sump.

    I use about a cup of GFO and full load of the carbon on the BRS dual reactor.

    Let me try to do more water change and increase to 30%.
  8. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    Are you using RODI for changes and top-off? These values seem rather high for an aquarium of that volume.
  9. Thales

    Thales Past President

  10. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

  11. nly04

    nly04 Guest

    Yes, I use RO-DI from Aqualife delux filter system (60gpd). The TDS read around 10ppm for good water which is high but I test RO-DI water from three LFS anf they are all above 15ppm using my TDS.
  12. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Strange to get 10 ppm out of a DI...
    Basically if suggest larger volume water changes and use two cups gfo instead of one.
  13. swk

    swk Guest

    Nitrates are probably fine. I wish mine would get that high. I've cut my vinegar dose over 60% and finally can reach about 1ppm.

    Phosphate seems high obviously. What export methods are you using? Mine reads 0 on hanna, but my macroalgaes grow so I think it's false. In a perfect world I would love to see .03

    Edit - sorry I just saw that you have chaeto. Is your skimmer adequate?
  14. nly04

    nly04 Guest

    I have the SRO-2000 skimmer and it pulled nasty stuff out. Cheato growing fast too.
  15. nly04

    nly04 Guest

    After 4 and half week running bio pellet (Dr. Tim) I see just a tinny result, Phospahte is 0.8 (before is 0.8) and Nitrate is 30 (from 34). I experience cyano algae on my tank right now.
    I'm using Reef Octopus BR-110 reactor with the outlet of the reactor plump to the inlet of the skimmer. I turned off my BRS dual reactor (GFO and Carbon) while running bio pellet. what should I do next?

    1/ Should i turn on the dual reactor (GFO/carbon)?
    2/ Should I increase the amount of bio pellet or increase the flow of the reactor? pump is 650gph and turn down 30%.
    3/ How much longer should I wait? I did a 30% water change two week ago, should I continues water change?
    4/ The SRO2000int skimmer got a lot of nasty stuff, I bought the SRO-3000int and it should arrive by today, should I change it now (it will take a week to break in) or wait?

    At the moment, my three color blasto colony is dying, one of the lobo is not happy right now. all other LPS seem doing fine.
  16. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    How stable is your Alkalinity?
    Not asking about current level so much as the range over the last 4 weeks or so.

    All those changes you made tend to mess with Alk levels.
    And at least for me, big Alk swings (regardless of PH) seem to cause issues with LPS.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  17. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    1)I to have a BR110 and I was running the BRS Duel Reactor and when I started the Bio-pellet reactor I removed the GFO and kept running the Carbon.

    2)It depends on the tumble of your Bio-pellets in the reactor not too fast and not too slow

    3)How long to wait ....well my Bio-pellet adventure first started with the BRS Bio-pellet reactor and their pellets and I ran it for close to 8 months with little to none results and getting advice from a fellow reefer up in Canada and he was helping threw this transition....we were also feeding the Bio-pellet reactor with Microbactor7....We came to the conclusion that the BRS Bio-pellet reactor (Even after moding the inner canister) was crap....so I bought the BR-110 with a Mag -3 pump to drive it and I also changed from the BRS pellets to Ecobak Plus Bio-pellets and I also used temporally NOPOX to help lower my nitrates and phosphates (Be very careful if you use Nopox) alos the Mag-3 pump also drives my BRS carbon reactor also, but I might go up to a Mag-5 or Mag-7 so I can get better adjustment flow from either reactor because now the valves are completely open to get the correct tumble...lol

    After I made the change of the reactor and the Bio-pellets I got a big difference in the drop of NO3 & PO4!!!
    on my worst time I had NO3 @ 50 & PO4 @ .4 and in a month went down to NO3 @ .35 & PO4 @ 0.03 ( I know it was a huge drop in a short time and I was worried about my corals but most did fine .....I lost only two corals in this adventure...lol

    Also remember the Redfield Ratio....ratio is found to be C/N/P = 106:16:1
  18. F6553066

    F6553066 Guest

    I've done a lot of research on nitrates and phosphates and the range of good vs bad is very wide. Rich Ross has tested his much higher than yours and his aquarium is fine. I have three aquariums and all have different numbers, but all are doing fine. As for nitrates I don't worry as long as they are under 10 ppm. Some believe that is actually good to have some nitrates. As stated by other posters water changes are the best thing we can do in my opinion. As for phosphates higher readings seem to be caused by over feeding so I would watch how much you feed , Ross admits he feeds a lot. In the end if the corals and fish look good don't worry about trying to reach some magic number.
    Dick flanagan
  19. nly04

    nly04 Guest

    very stable, ALK at 9.5 for the last three month.

  20. nly04

    nly04 Guest

    After 11 weeks of running Dr.tim biopellet. here is my update:
    I notice my nitrate is go down from 36 to around 16ppm using Redsea Test kit, but Phosphate go up from 0.08 to .45 and Im having brown cyano algae on the sand bed. I did water change three time in the last 11 weeks each time with 30% (around 40 gal), I also vacuum those algae every water change. During this time, I dose Microbacter7 for five day to seed the process.

    Since it help to reduce the Nitrate, Im thinking of back the GFO and carbon. By the way, I upgrade my skimmer from SRO-2000int to SRO-3000Int and it pull out a lot of nasty stuff.

    What should I do next? Any suggestion?

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