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Old 03/28/2017, 04:53 PM   #1
greengeco82
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Performing PO4 experiment relating to SPS color/growth

My goal is to raise phosphates from 0 to a detectable range. I am hoping to see improved colors in my SPS. 2 corals on my frag rack will be the test subjects. I will update corals when there is a noticeable change or about once a week.

About my tank
My SPS are growing, but seems to lack that vibrant color. Growth is adequate, but IMO slow.
My phosphates read 0 via Hanna Low range, and API. My Nitrates are 15ppm via Red Sea Nitrate Pro. My Ca is about 440, Alk 8. Mag unknown. Every 2 weeks I do a 25 gallon water change with Reef Crystals. My feeding is pellets only via an auto feeder.

Day 1.
Added NeoPhos 3ml to my 180 gallon display. Per instructions 3ml should raise my PO4 to .02. Retested with Hanna and results are 0. Added another 3ml, and per instructions PO4 should raise another .02. Hanna results again 0. Per hanna there is an accuracy of +-.04, so I added another 3ml. I retested with Hanna and results are PO4 .07.

Day 1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]
Day 1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]
Day 1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]


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Old 03/28/2017, 05:29 PM   #2
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I can't wait to see your results. I'm having the same issues with almost identical parameters.


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Old 03/28/2017, 06:36 PM   #3
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You should be using the Hanna phosphorus tester. It is more accurate in the ranges we test for.


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Old 03/28/2017, 07:43 PM   #4
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Following along. What have you been using prior to this to achieve 0 phosphate?


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Old 03/28/2017, 10:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vhuang168 View Post
You should be using the Hanna phosphorus tester. It is more accurate in the ranges we test for.


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I agree, it's very likely he does have some phosphates. Interested to see what comes of this.


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Old 03/31/2017, 03:10 AM   #6
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You are more likely to get better growth and polyp extension than colouration.

I think slightly elevated nitrates will have a more profound impact on colouration in that coral colours will get deep and saturated.


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Old 03/31/2017, 02:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DiscusHeckel View Post
You are more likely to get better growth and polyp extension than colouration.

I think slightly elevated nitrates will have a more profound impact on colouration in that coral colours will get deep and saturated.
I agree and IMO elevated Nitrate is helpful for colors. But he stated that his Nitrate is at 15ppm which seems good to me. I also agree to verify your Phosphates using the Hanna "Phosphorous" tester. Though some may disagree, I found it to be more accurate than the ULR Phosphate checker.

I honestly don't really know what to suggest. Your parameters look good as well as your lighting. Are you dosing anything? Do you run Carbon, maybe something in the water effecting lack of coloration?


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Old 03/31/2017, 02:54 PM   #8
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Just to be clear, Hanna makes two "phosphate" checkers - the Low Range (LR) Phosphate which reads in PPM, and Ultra Low Range (ULR) Phosphorus which reads in PPB.

I ordered myself a phophate checker years ago not realizing there were two versions. Obviously it's much better than a color test (salifert, api, or the like) but I do wish I had gotten the ULR. Just can't bring myself to spend $50 again for a bit more accuracy.

OP keep us posted on this - I'm curious to see what it does to your nitrate levels. Are you running a refugium or anything that will eat up nutrients?


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Old 03/31/2017, 07:49 PM   #9
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I also believe there are/were phosphates, but my checker is not able to detect the low amount. I also wish I had the Ultra Low Phosphorus Hanna, unfortunately I'm not going to purchase one.
At this point, seems the tank is eating the phosphates very fast. I am repeatedly adding more and more phosphate solution to get about .06 on my Hanna. After 24 hours, I get a reading of 0, and have to add more. Nitrates have lowered to 10. I do run a small amount of carbon, but it hasn't been changed in about 3 months, and I wont change it during this experiment. The only things I add to my tank is 2-part dosing from BRS. No other additives.
The corals seem to be doing good. I'd like to believe the coral color is improving, but I usually see what I want to see. Ill take pics of the corals at the 7 day mark.

I am considering an increase in feeding, if my Nitrates lower more.


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Old 04/01/2017, 07:21 AM   #10
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I'm following along and would like to share my personal findings. I have a 1 yr old 150g mixed reef with 3 tangs and 5 wrasses among a total of 17 fish. I began feeding the tangs a sheet of seaweed daily 2 months ago and feed tank quarter size piece of either rods/mysis/bloodworms 1x/day.

My tank has been very stable for months, ph 7.9-8.15 daily range, Alk 10ish (Hanna), Ca 450 (salifert). I run a 2 stage CArx controlled with apex, skimmer, bag of carbon, and nothing else.

I've never had any algae issues and my coral growth and color is not an issue. I test my Alk weekly, do 30G water changes weekly (RS coral pro) if not every 10days, and otherwise don't test since everything looks great.

After seeing posts about phosphate I took a water sample to LFS and they reported nitrate/phosphate of 0 and .25. Not really trusting this I ordered a Hanna phosphate test kit and it arrived last week just as I saw this thread about PO4 experiment.

My phosphate was .50 and .51 in my first 2 Hanna readings. After a scheduled water change this morning it reads .43 Old nitrate test kit shows colors matching closest to 10 level.

Phosphate.43 and good SPS growth & color with birdsnest, orange digi, sunset monti, green slimer, red planet, etc. + no algae.





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Old 04/01/2017, 11:16 AM   #11
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PS, here's my high phosphate reef at 1 year. First corals went in 3/26/16.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcEuJyrYRHY&sns=em




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Old 04/04/2017, 03:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optionman View Post
PS, here's my high phosphate reef at 1 year. First corals went in 3/26/16.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcEuJyrYRHY&sns=em
Beautiful tank. When you reference high phosphate swhat are the values you run in the tank? What about nitrate levels?


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Old 04/04/2017, 04:39 PM   #13
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Update
day 1 vs day 7 pictures
Day 1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]Day 7 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]
Day 1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]Day 7 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]
Day 1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]Day 7 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]

Notes: the first frag got spun around, pic is from different side. Phosphates today are .11. Nitrates are between 15-20. Algae growth on glass seems to be increased. No obvious increased algae growth on rocks. I will update again on day 14.


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Last edited by greengeco82; 04/04/2017 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 04/04/2017, 04:51 PM   #14
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Beautiful tank. When you reference high phosphate swhat are the values you run in the tank? What about nitrate levels?


Hanna phosphate test (2x) showed .50 and .51. I ordered a new nitrate test kit which should arrive this weekend. Will update with level when I test with new kit. Prior to two weeks ago I wasn't testing for PO4, only Alk and Ca, but decided to check after seeing numerous posts about GFO reactors and benefits of low phosphate levels.


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Old 04/04/2017, 07:32 PM   #15
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Would be interesting to track alk usage during this also! Interesting thread, following along.


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Old 04/12/2017, 03:52 PM   #16
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day 1 vs day 15
Day 1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]day 15 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]
[url=https://flic.kr/p/Taf2gZ]
Day 1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]day 15 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]
Day 1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]day 15 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]


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Old 04/12/2017, 03:57 PM   #17
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Not seeing the reaction i wanted. I will probably stop this experiment soon. I'm going to try something else. Possibly adding t5 supplement, and documenting the results. I may keep adding the phosphates for another week, but may not post results unless worthy, or requested.

STILL SEARCHING FOR THAT CANDY LAND COLOR!


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Old 04/12/2017, 04:56 PM   #18
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Has alk consumption changed? Might be too short of time to tell though.


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Old 04/12/2017, 05:30 PM   #19
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Could it be not enough light or flow that is causing less color? Im not saying you have inadiquite equipment but maybe more on placement of the corals. I had a frag rack on the corner of my tank and all the frags started looking less colorful. When I moved the rack to a higher light and flow area the color improved. Also my Tri Color Valida used to look almost strictly green with lighter colored green tips. It was growing but looked bad so I moved it up further in the tank and it improved drastically and actually looked how it should. Doubt this is your problem but just my experience


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Old 04/12/2017, 11:15 PM   #20
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My all consumption has increased. I can't say by how much. I have an auto doser and it always doses the same amount. Usually my all is about 9 dkh. I checked last week and it was between 7 and 8 dkh. I run 2 x 250w halide with a led supplement along the front of the tank. The frags are in the middle of my tank, so they have a light on each side. There is no shadowing, but the lights are not very intense there. I'll keep up the experiment, since people seem interested.


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Old 04/13/2017, 02:39 AM   #21
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If that much growth is slow for 15 days then my corals are hibernating.


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Old 04/13/2017, 04:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
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If that much growth is slow for 15 days then my corals are hibernating.


I know, wish I had that kind of growth!


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Old 04/13/2017, 09:54 AM   #23
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My all consumption has increased. I can't say by how much. I have an auto doser and it always doses the same amount. Usually my all is about 9 dkh. I checked last week and it was between 7 and 8 dkh. I run 2 x 250w halide with a led supplement along the front of the tank. The frags are in the middle of my tank, so they have a light on each side. There is no shadowing, but the lights are not very intense there. I'll keep up the experiment, since people seem interested.
I find it quite interesting when someone takes the time to experiment around and finds out if something helps, hurts or has no effect on a problem we all run into.

Quote:
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If that much growth is slow for 15 days then my corals are hibernating.
+1 on that! Looks like I might need to change what Im doing so I can get that kind of growth LOL


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Old 04/13/2017, 04:28 PM   #24
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Quote:
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If that much growth is slow for 15 days then my corals are hibernating.

[QUOTE=bif24701;25045442]I know, wish I had that kind of growth!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JonezNReef View Post
I find it quite interesting when someone takes the time to experiment around and finds out if something helps, hurts or has no effect on a problem we all run into.


+1 on that! Looks like I might need to change what Im doing so I can get that kind of growth LOL
Thanks to all of you. I guess I couldn't see the growth, or just attributed it to a slightly different camera view. Its hard to see growth when you look at your tank 10 times a day.

Phosphate consumption seems to be slowing. I initially was dosing about 12ml of the NeoPhos once a day (sometimes twice). I would get a rise in measurable PO3, then 12 hours later, non detectable again. For the last 7 days I have decreased to 7.5ml once a day only. My tests result in PO4 of 0.0-.16 the several times I tested throughout the week. Since the .16 makes me nervous, i am going to reduce to 5ml/day.


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Old 04/16/2017, 03:16 AM   #25
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I'm really interested in this topic because it seems we chase numbers a lot and some tanks aren't stable enough to produce reliable results. I had a short spurt where I noticed my growth, then paeans went haywire from an alk overdose so now I'm recovering again, manual 2 part dosing is hard. Wish I had an auto dosing system.


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