Jump to content

Can you have too low of Nitrates? Dumb question?


drfu

Recommended Posts

Last week I have added a AC20 that I had laying around, ordered a In Tank media basket & 10W submersible light for it to grow some Chaeto in if for nutrient export. My trates were never that high but phosphorus has been as its only 2 months old and has quite a deep sand bed and the live rock I purchased was only partly cured.

 

Last week my nitrates were between 2-5, I’m thinking that good for a weeks level after a wc and lets see what happens now with the chaeto.....well a day after my weekly 15% wc my trates are now .2 (Salifert, looking from the side barely detect a color change).

 

Below are the rest of my parameters:

SG 1.025

Ph 8.0

Mg 1350

Phosphorus 36 ppb or .11 phosphates in ppm

Ca 531

Alk 119

 

My questions are as follow:

1) I know some corals like "Dirty" water, will nitrates this low cause an issue?

2) Depending on what if any levels of nitrate rise next week should I skip a water change?

3) Phosphorus levels still being high be a concern?

 

Here is my set up below with hardware, livestock and corals. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and recommendations.

 

 

Hardware:

Aqueon 15 gallon column tank kit w/8W Power-Glo 18K T5 light fixture, 2* TrueLumen Pro 12” Marine Fusion LED’s, 1 * TrueLumen Deepwater Blue 12” LED, TrueLumen 10” LED Moonlight, Fluval 105 External Canister filter (Live Rock, Filter Floss, ChemiPure Elite, Purigen, Phosgard), Fluval Surface Skimmer, Aqueon QuiteFlow 10 (Cheato & Filter Floss) Fuge Conversion w/IM 4W SkyyeLite, Marina 100W heater.

 

Livestock/Invertebrates:

Hi Fin Goby mated w/ Pistol Shrimp, 2* Peppermint Shrimp, Rock Flower Anemone

 

Coral:

LPS Hard Corals: Frogspawn, Candy Cane, Branching Hammer, Orange Tube Coral

SPS Hard Corals: Orange Montipora Digitata, various Birdsnest, Hyacinthus Acropora, Neon Green Horn Hydnophora

Sea Fans: Corky Finger Gorgonian

Soft Corals: Devil’s Hand, Colt Tree, Toadstool Mushroom Leather, White Pom Pom Xenia

Mushrooms: Hairy Green Rhodactis, Various Rhodactis, various Ricordea, Watermelon, various Mushrooms

Polyps/Zoas: GSP, Bam Bam, Devils Armour & various Zoas, Button & various polyps in various colors.

 

CUC:

Snails: 7 Ceriths, 5 Nassarius, 2 Bumble Bee & 4 Trochus

 

Décor:

15 lbs Live Rock, 10lbsCaribSea Fiji Pink Aragonite sand

Link to comment

My questions are as follow:

1) I know some corals like "Dirty" water, will nitrates this low cause an issue?

I wouldn't think that it will cause problems, but it might affect growth rates.

 

2) Depending on what if any levels of nitrate rise next week should I skip a water change?

Since, for you, water changes probably won't be driven by nitrate levels, you might adjust your water change schedule accordingly.

 

3) Phosphorus levels still being high be a concern?

I would think that high phosphate levels can affect the calcification of stony corals (with lessor negative affects on soft coral). Unfortunately, high phosphate levels are a leading cause of algae problems.

 

Here is my set up below with hardware, livestock and corals...

 

Coral:

LPS Hard Corals: Frogspawn, Candy Cane, Branching Hammer, Orange Tube Coral

SPS Hard Corals: Orange Montipora Digitata, various Birdsnest, Hyacinthus Acropora, Neon Green Horn Hydnophora

Sea Fans: Corky Finger Gorgonian

Soft Corals: Devil’s Hand, Colt Tree, Toadstool Mushroom Leather, White Pom Pom Xenia

Mushrooms: Hairy Green Rhodactis, Various Rhodactis, various Ricordea, Watermelon, various Mushrooms

Polyps/Zoas: GSP, Bam Bam, Devils Armour & various Zoas, Button & various polyps in various colors.

That's a wide variety of coral. The ideal nutrient levels for growth and coloration will vary with the type of coral. While SPS might do well with low phosphate levels, that might slow the growth of some soft coral. It can be a bit of a balancing act.

Link to comment

I used to run a Biopellet reactor and a GFO reactor to keep my water crystal clear, then I talked with a friend of mine who is a marine biologist and he actually said that you can harm corals when you 'strip' your waters chemistry like that. So this is a very good question because I always thought that Nitrates and Phos were the evil villians

Link to comment
ragtimewilly

Did you have any algae problems? Like the previous posts said I think having water that is too clean, can cause issues with growth rates and you may need to spot feed your lps corals. What I've found is that sps corals are more sensitive to high levels of nitrates than softies and lps corals. If those were doing fine and you had no algae issues I probably wouldn't change anything.

Link to comment
Did you have any algae problems? Like the previous posts said I think having water that is too clean, can cause issues with growth rates and you may need to spot feed your lps corals. What I've found is that sps corals are more sensitive to high levels of nitrates than softies and lps corals. If those were doing fine and you had no algae issues I probably wouldn't change anything.

 

Cause the tank is still fairly new, i still get a bit of golden. brown diatoms at the bottom in a couple of low flow spots & on my powerheads up top. Get a bit of very light green stuff on the glass that i need to clean with my float mag every other day but nothing i would say is a problem wike when i cycled it back in jan.

Link to comment

I used to run a Biopellet reactor and a GFO reactor to keep my water crystal clear, then I talked with a friend of mine who is a marine biologist and he actually said that you can harm corals when you 'strip' your waters chemistry like that. So this is a very good question because I always thought that Nitrates and Phos were the evil villians

 

I did the exact same thing for almost a year. All of my corals were barely hanging on, and the colors were pale. I stopped GFO and only run about a tablespoon of pellets.

 

Now there is a some phospate and nitrate in the water and the corals have shown a huge improvement.

 

But since you are running a canister and skimmer I doubt your lvls are in the ultra low level zone. If your tank is only 2 months old I still think you have a few more months to go until the tank matures enough and stabilizes on its own. You have such a wide variety of corals that some will do better than others just due to the fact that they require different levels of light and water quality.

Link to comment

I did the exact same thing for almost a year. All of my corals were barely hanging on, and the colors were pale. I stopped GFO and only run about a tablespoon of pellets.

 

Now there is a some phospate and nitrate in the water and the corals have shown a huge improvement.

 

But since you are running a canister and skimmer I doubt your lvls are in the ultra low level zone. If your tank is only 2 months old I still think you have a few more months to go until the tank matures enough and stabilizes on its own. You have such a wide variety of corals that some will do better than others just due to the fact that they require different levels of light and water quality.

 

Im thinking that time will tell as well with its young age. Im hoping that the placement of my corals should take care of any lighting issues, i have three powerheads that I'm always playing around with to make sure all corals are happy. As for feeding, its pretty light as my bioload is from a livestock standpoint & besides my rock flower anemone & tube(orange sun) coral the rest don't really need to be fed.

 

On a side note my rock flower anemone went for a walk, was positioned nicely up front, very open and looked awesome, a few days ago it decided to go to the back near a powerhead, its now not very expanded? I know they move a bit when they are unhappy, just wondering why it wasn't happy? From what i read they don't want too much flow and don't need to be fed daily? Was it hungry and went looking for a better place for food? Does it want high water flow and my research was wrong? Can i safely move it back and feed it daily, i don't want to ruin its foot?

Link to comment

What kind of water are you using for water changes?

I have been buying rodi water from a store that advertises that they use a 9 stage filter. I tested their water w/ my hanna ultra low phosphorus checker, it measured over 20 ppb or .06 ppm phosphates. I do not know how accurate that is as I'm not sure that checker/reagents work on ro water but i bit the bullet and ordered on line a SpetraPure cpdi90 unit, sounds like its one of the better units (girlfriend lost her mine $$$) so we shall see if this make a difference.

 

At the end of the day i would love to keep nitrates down around 1-2ppm and phosphorus down to around 10ppb or .03 ppm of phosphate, that I'm hoping will be a good balance or all the different corals i have.Latest pic on how its looking right now, sorry for the quality, iPad camera

post-82698-0-02586100-1397058523_thumb.jpg

Link to comment

From what i read they don't want too much flow and don't need to be fed daily? Was it hungry and went looking for a better place for food? Does it want high water flow and my research was wrong? Can i safely move it back and feed it daily, i don't want to ruin its foot?

Definitely don't try to move it off its rock. However, you can move the whole rock if you wish (if that's possible).

 

I should probably try to feed my Flower Anemones more, but I've gone months without target feeding them. At best I'll get a turkey baster and pick up some flake food that hit the ground and redirect it to the anemones. I'll do that every now and then.

 

They would probably like lots of food, but I don't (and wouldn't) feed them everyday. Once or twice a week is plenty.

Link to comment

Definitely don't try to move it off its rock. However, you can move the whole rock if you wish (if that's possible).

 

I should probably try to feed my Flower Anemones more, but I've gone months without target feeding them. At best I'll get a turkey baster and pick up some flake food that hit the ground and redirect it to the anemones. I'll do that every now and then.

 

They would probably like lots of food, but I don't (and wouldn't) feed them everyday. Once or twice a week is plenty.

 

Thanks, that is what i though as well and they would catch the odd piece of food from my daily feeding of my hi fin goby so i was maybe feeding once a week. Could be a phosphate issue or it just wanted more flow?

Link to comment

In my experience, they seem fine with relatively high phosphate levels. Also, they don't seem to crave flow. IDK, some of mine are in low flow areas, and some are in medium flow areas, but I don't have any of them getting hit with a lot of flow. Although, I think they would be fine as long as it isn't a direct flow hitting them hard.

Link to comment
In my experience, they seem fine with relatively high phosphate levels. Also, they don't seem to crave flow. IDK, some of mine are in low flow areas, and some are in medium flow areas, but I don't have any of them getting hit with a lot of flow. Although, I think they would be fine as long as it isn't a direct flow hitting them hard.

 

And thats why I'm a bit confused as to why it moved so close to a powerhead, its almost getting ripped around, guess i will wait & see

Link to comment

Sometimes they make bad decisions. :unsure: To me, they seem to prefer good light over flow. They also seem to like a nice indentation in the rock. Also, sometimes they bury their foot in the sand (as long as it's still attached to something solid).

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

You can absolutely have too low of nitrates. That is what they call a ULNS (ultra low nutrient system). Having a bit of the bad stuff, and i say that loosly, but bad stuff as in nitrates, some inverts and corals enjoy that stuff, such as clams, and mushrooms and zoas.

Link to comment
Sometimes they make bad decisions. :unsure: To me, they seem to prefer good light over flow. They also seem to like a nice indentation in the rock. Also, sometimes they bury their foot in the sand (as long as it's still attached to something solid).

 

Well i moved him back, used an ice cube and out him back, has stayed they all week but now I'm also spot feeding him. Funny thing i noticed yesterday is it left a little one attached to the rock where he moved to before. Could be the reason it moved, i thought they needed to be paired up, maybe it was prego when i got it a month ago?

Link to comment

Possibly. The babies seem to be able to survive without the protection of an adult. However, maybe this relationship helps more survive when there are predators around. I know (in the first group) the baby that survived seems content to be covered most of the time by an adult. However, I haven't noticed this behavior with the second group of babies (yet).

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...