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How do you increase or maintain Nitrates

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I've noticed my corals not growing as fast any more.   Bought a new set of Nitrate and Phosphate test kits , they're showing what I expect - I'm low on Nitrate.

  • Temp : 77F
  • pH:    8.05
  • Salinity :1.026
  • Alk : 8.0
  • CA: 493
  • Mg: 1360
  • Phosphate is at 44ppb/0.13ppm. (Hana HI736 ultra low range Phosphorus kit)
  • Nitrate is at best 0.2ppm (Salifert low range test, visually difficult)

I don't have a trend in time of my P and N03.   And I've never nudged these up chemically.   I've got a bunch of fish, and feed 6 cubes of food a day.

Standard suggestions will come;  feed more, turn off skimmer, dont change filter socks as much, add even more fish

My Question:   Besides Bio methods above, what do others use to increase or maintain higher nitrate levels?

(I'm not going fast, just looking for inputs so I can go slow.)

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I've noticed my corals not growing as fast any more.   Bought a new set of Nitrate and Phosphate test kits , they're showing what I expect - I'm low on Nitrate.
  • Temp : 77F
  • pH:    8.05
  • Salinity :1.026
  • Alk : 8.0
  • CA: 493
  • Mg: 1360
  • Phosphate is at 44ppb/0.13ppm. (Hana HI736 ultra low range Phosphorus kit)
  • Nitrate is at best 0.2ppm (Salifert low range test, visually difficult)
I don't have a trend in time of my P and N03.   And I've never nudged these up chemically.   I've got a bunch of fish, and feed 6 cubes of food a day.
Standard suggestions will come;  feed more, turn off skimmer, dont change filter socks as much, add even more fish
My Question:   Besides Bio methods above, what do others use to increase or maintain higher nitrate levels?
(I'm not going fast, just looking for inputs so I can go slow.)
Well the most obvious answer would be to dose nitrates. You can buy powder nitrate fertilizer pretty easily as it's a common supplement for planted freshwater tanks. You can also buy liquid form, but all that means is paying extra for water. Using powder is preferred (IMO) because you have much more control on the levels you're adding.

There's a good deal of online discussion about it. You have several options, each with their own drawbacks. I've used KNO3 a few times in my tank. It was in addition to multiple variables though so I can't speak to it 100%. However, if you don't have a bunch of algae that could be sucking up your nitrates and you're constantly at near-undetectable levels, nitrate addition may be something to look into.

Here's a quote from an article I pasted below: "The most common forms are Potassium nitrate (KNo3). Sodium nitrate (SNo3), Calcium No3(CaN03), Magnesium No3 (MgNo3), etc. The problem with using only one nitrate form, is that we may raise the other element to undesirable levels, or above natural seawater levels."

https://www.saltwateraquarium.com/news/understanding-nitrate-no3-supplementation-for-corals/

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I can just save my old saltwater from my water changes for you to add to your system.  You'll get plenty of nitrates from me. 🤣

My tank tends to be between 8 - 16 ppm NO3  and 0.05 ppm PO4 consistently.

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2 minutes ago, SuncrestReef said:

I can just save my old saltwater from my water changes for you to add to your system.  You'll get plenty of nitrates from me. 🤣

My tank tends to be between 8 - 16 ppm NO3  and 0.05 ppm PO4 consistently.

And that may be why your corals are growing so well!     But do you add anything specific to achieve these results - or is it just Feeding well.   Add anything else?

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1 minute ago, obrien.david.j said:

And that may be why your corals are growing so well!     But do you add anything specific to achieve these results - or is it just Feeding well.   Add anything else?

I feed my fish 2 cubes of frozen LRS Reef Frenzy per day, and feed my corals Reef Roids once per week.  No other additives.

 

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Mine nitrates were always 0. I have to dose daily Reef Energy AB+ plus I feed my fish 1-2x a day flake/pellet and about 3-4 cubes worth for dinner of frozen (mixed LRS/Mysis/etc cubes). Dose acropower once a week. After all that I read about 2 now (Salifert).

 

I was dosing ME Coral nitrate for a bit, I’m ok with my reading at 2 now so haven’t been messing with dosing it now. I have some sodium nitrate granular if I decide to bring it up again higher.

 

on my tank I think the marine pure is keeping it so low along with all my LPS of course :)

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Gee you can just have some of the water from my bedroom tank was battling 40-80 nitrates at times before I installed an algae scrubber, I really like fat fish so I feed a lot, now Target feeding several times a day. You would think I would have had terrible algae in that tank but I didn't. I wish I had the problem of low nitrates I follow Melevsreef and have heard of others with this "problem" using Brightwell Neo Nitro to dose nitrates with good success. Did all of you with undetectable nitrates start with dry rock???

 

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Thanks for the inputs everyone.   The word Brightwell came up in the feedback, and it made me realize - I may have a 3yr old Brightwell Xport-N03 dimpled brick in the sump.   Sure enough, I checked my purchase records and one of my bricks is N03 reducing brick.  Now removed.

Whats left is a normal Xport-BIO dimpled brick, and a basic bio plate.  (pict below)

  • Ancient Brightwell Xport-N03 brick Removed.
  • I've been dosing Brightwell Amino at 1.5ml/day.   Just increased that to 3.0ml/day.]
  • I've been feeding 6 cubes a day, just increased to almost double of that - of reef frenzie
  • I've been target feeding alternatively reef roids & bennipets, every 2-3 days.   Increasing to every 1-2 days.

Think I'll run this way for two weeks, and see where it lands.    After that, may still give specific Nitrate additive a try.

 

What remains in the sump now.

IMG_7066.jpg

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I'm having the same issue and it's really dulling out my corals. I've upped feeding flakes and just bought some neonitro off Amazon. 

Who would of thought keeping your aquarium clean would be a bad thing.

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I have been dealing with low nitrate and phosphate in my new system. Besides feeding more, I've started running my skimmer on a timer, so I only am skimming for about 8 hrs per day. This has helped raise my nitrates and phosphate. I would try this before dosing any nitrate.

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52 minutes ago, Lexinverts said:

I have been dealing with low nitrate and phosphate in my new system. Besides feeding more, I've started running my skimmer on a timer, so I only am skimming for about 8 hrs per day. This has helped raise my nitrates and phosphate. I would try this before dosing any nitrate.

Grrr - I love skimming.   If it smell like crap, it should be removed from my system.  It's got to be pulling more out than just NO3 and PO4.    I'd rather dose these back in, in pure form.

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Dealing with the same [language filter]................ I feed 3 cubes plus a day and also toss roids in the tank and also phyto and whatever else I can think of..............took my kimmer off line for 2 weeks and well was able to get them up almost to 1.............talk about lame.............

 

You think 3 tangs, 4 anthias and 4 wrasses would create something................,

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1 hour ago, reefnjunkie said:

PO4 and NO3 are dosed daily to maintain

.16-.25 PO4

4-6 NO3

 

both food grade purchased off of Amazon 

 

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/calculator.htm

C4862561-28D3-407F-96AF-6F577B0F45E0.jpeg

This is interesting. Have you always run your DT at those numbers?  Just curious since you probably have had the most impressive colonies I have seen on the forum. I know there are other SPS masters out there as well but I’ve seen the evidence in your case 😁

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For those that dose to increase nitrate regularly, I would suggest using Potassium Nitrate KNO3 and Sodium Nitrate NaNO3 alternatively or mix 50/50 in a container

to use till all gone then mix more.

This is to prevent build up of Potassium especially if no water change system. Level above 460ppm would cause rtn on acropora

Potassium Nitrate is the best to increase nitrate level quick, sodium nitrate not as much ime of using booth

As for PO4 I am using Trisodium Phosphate Na3PO4

 

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11 hours ago, reefnjunkie said:

PO4 and NO3 are dosed daily to maintain

.16-.25 PO4

4-6 NO3

both food grade purchased off of Amazon 

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/calculator.htm

 

 

57 minutes ago, goldenbasketreef said:

For those that dose to increase nitrate regularly, I would suggest using Potassium Nitrate KNO3 and Sodium Nitrate NaNO3 alternatively or mix 50/50 in a container

to use till all gone then mix more.

This is to prevent build up of Potassium especially if no water change system. Level above 460ppm would cause rtn on acropora

Potassium Nitrate is the best to increase nitrate level quick, sodium nitrate not as much ime of using booth

As for PO4 I am using Trisodium Phosphate Na3PO4

I suspected there was dosing going on.   Thx.

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1 hour ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

this is what I used

nitrate.jpg

This product has impurity mix in, even Randy Holmes not recommend using it.

Food grade is the best to use

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The skimmer and other mechanical filter now days are better / very efficient in transport out nutrients and trace elements 

this situation makes the system depleted of the resources.

Watching out minor and trace elements by doing icp test at interval will help us gauge our system

We are too focus on major elements sometimes we forget that minor and trace are equally important even when you do water change

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3 minutes ago, goldenbasketreef said:

This product has impurity mix in, even Randy Holmes not recommend using it.

Food grade is the best to use

I have always wondered about that but I know several people seem to use it successfully.  I just can't get past the scary label 😄... besides, I manage to find other ways to inadvertently kill off my coral 😞

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Increasing NO3 and PO4 is very easy you don't need calculator because each system is unique.

The way I am doing it is test the NO# / PO4 level  than add 1/16-1/8 of a teaspoon into the sump,

wait for 4-6 hrs then test the level. You will find out how much increase and you can gauge how much do you need

to get a desire level.

Once you reach the level you want, keep testing once a day till the level drop then you know how much to add and every how many days.

When coral start growing and more coral added it will consume more that is why once a week test should be done

 

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13 minutes ago, goldenbasketreef said:

This product has impurity mix in, even Randy Holmes not recommend using it.

Food grade is the best to use

I always worry about using products like this in my tank.  Super easy to have metal shavings/etc impurities in it, and still meet it's original purpose.

7 minutes ago, goldenbasketreef said:

The skimmer and other mechanical filter now days are better / very efficient in transport out nutrients and trace elements 

this situation makes the system depleted of the resources.

Watching out minor and trace elements by doing icp test at interval will help us gauge our system

We are too focus on major elements sometimes we forget that minor and trace are equally important even when you do water change

I'm currently running AWC at to 2.4gal(9,000ml) per day, done three different 3,000ml slots.  I'll have to watch minors more carefully in the future.

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8 minutes ago, albertareef said:

I have always wondered about that but I know several people seem to use it successfully.  I just can't get past the scary label 😄... besides, I manage to find other ways to inadvertently kill off my coral 😞

Just like playing russian roulette, win some loose some.

I have bad contamination once when using it and that one time bad experience enough for me not to use it anymore

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1 minute ago, obrien.david.j said:

I always worry about using products like this in my tank.  Super easy to have metal shavings/etc impurities in it, and still meet it's original purpose.

I'm currently running AWC at to 2.4gal(9,000ml) per day, done three different 3,000ml slots.  I'll have to watch minors more carefully in the future.

Another option is to turn off skimmer for a couple days to see if the NO3 and PO4 level at your favorable level

O2 level may drop if you don't have enough surface agitation when turning off skimmer, this could result in lower ph

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