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Thread: Dosing "" N03 "" are you crazy!!! maybe I am.

  1. #1
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    Dosing "" N03 "" are you crazy!!! maybe I am.

    Well i'll start with I began last night dosing spectracide stump remover after a good bit of research on the web about methods of increasing nitrates to a detectable level. like 1 part per million sort of range still very very low but at least detectable.

    Occasionally a tank will be up taking more nutrients than your adding. Between water changes and other factors "Red field ratio" balance of p04 n n03 is one term for it. you can actually starve your corals.

    After my LPs system went several months without a WC i decided i better make sure my trace elements were in check and did a 15%WC which didn't go very well so a few weeks later i did another. mind you this system is way over stocked with LPS corals. the two yr old 30 gallon red sea 130d holds well over 50 frags fully encrusted plugs and a half dozen torch colonies and six large anemones and six small fish.

    So the only ingredient is potassium nitrate in the stump remover which breaks down to potassium and nitrate in the system. both of which are readily uptaken by plants mostly.

    The goal here is to feed the zoznathelle algae in the corals tissue the free nitrate so they may fed the coral. They don't need much and they can uptake it rather quickly.

    A lot of folks make a stock solution and dose it along with there 2 part system n so forth.

    I will set up a schedule based on my uptake in the system and then update the post as I go. Many folks have already done this and documented it so i have a good idea what will be needed. But the key was to recognize that another water change was gonna be a bad thing and stop. I keep pretty good records of the tank parameters on all the systems and they all always run 0 nitrates and 0 phosphates. I do not feed heavy and I am crazy about tank maintenance. That usually means too clean and starved corals. and no algae to speak of.

    A good lesson here is 0 isn't best. and know whats your tanks parameters are. and where they should be for the type of coral you are keeping. fish only systems are not an issue with regards to this obviously and 0's make maintenance easier.

    I talked to two local store owners about dosing nitrate "n03" on purpose and they all admitted they do use "something" sometimes like Fresh water planted tank liquid nitrate supplements, sometimes iron, sometimes raw ammonia, sometimes more fish food and more fish" time to time to get nitrates "N03" and possibly at the same time other micro nutrients like p04 "phosphate" or K "potassium" to a normal level if they become too depleted on reef systems. The point is to balance the amount of waste your producing with what your corals are up taking and make small corrections if they get out of balance.

    A system with tons of frags and no fish and no attached fish system will certainly experience an issue with no raw materials for the coralst to use for building blocks for growth.

    A consistent result of 0 nitrates on a reliable test kit for several months and slow if any coral growth may lead you down this same path. fingers crossed.. everyone looks god this morning after the first dose. ill will do three doses then test the water to see if anything is detectable yet. its common for you to dose it daily and the result to men 0 again 24 hours later. which is also the case with iron and iron test kits which need to be tested immediately after you does it as its up taken in the system very quickly.

    Wish me luck and add anything you think is relative. I'd love to hear what other folks have done or think about this topic.
    Four individual systems Right now.
    Modified Red sea 250 with attached 20 gal frag system XR15 pro light on FRAG tank, combo t5 reef bright led on main tank, now @100 gal total mostly sps tank, auto WC, Custom life reef filtration system Fuge and skimmer. KALK ATO chiller mp10's.
    30gal red sea 130d lps/softies/anemone tank, kalk ato, reef bright led strip.
    40 quarantine set up.
    500 total gallon marineland 300 DD main system 9 months old now and stabilized. T5 VHO lights/ BLUE led strip, Fully custom built LIFE REEF sump and FUGE, AWESOME 48" tall skimmer, and 1000+ gallon rated custom Ca reactor, attached SPS frag system and LPS frag system.
    I am expanding into this one ATM bit by bit,

    Still lots to learn about the hobby but I have amassed a great collection of real beauties and a FRAG saw will be in my future I think. I have broken past the stage of keeping things alive and now there actually growing out. Which is a big hurdle for many beginners I must admit. Good information and advise is hard to get sometimes and the club has done wonders with respect to quality advise and help in the hobby.

    THANKS Orlando Reef Educators Organization!!!!

  2. #2
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    Some additional conversation on this includes the following to consider and i will research it a bit more now.

    a fellow member informed me One element I may want to look into is manganese. It helps with the absorbtion of phosphate and nutrients. This may help the fact it is used in photosynthetic and scavenging of enzymes. There is not much at all for info on aquariums so you may have to look through some of the general scientific info out there. If you want any I have manganese chloride or manganese sulfate.

    this is interesting and consider i don't have any p04 or no3 on my test kits.. so in the absence of both i may find my "red field ratio" may get off.

    i figure spare p04 will be easier to sustain naturally than spare no3. hence i began dosing it. but another issue may be low manganese as suggested above.

    so far so good over all. No adverse effects no huge revelations maybe a small improvement in color. i look at it so much I'm not gonna say yes its working for sure by any means yet. i have not tested for the presence of no3 yet.. i suspect at one week i will still see zero as the corals uptake it rapidly in there zoozanthelle algae. but at some point i will either see an issue or test will show an issue coming.

    this is kinda looking for small things in a big sea. but i have a good hunch my tanks are "too clean" which can be common now days with higher quality fish foods and equipment and better knowledge.. just the fancy carbon with p04 removers n so forth can cause issues with the balance of nutrients in the water which can cause issues for some hobbiest.
    were talking about .02 ppm phosphate vs 1 ppm nitrate here. and remember I have a 2 yr old BB tank and all new rock and very little fish compared to most hobbiest. But I have a huge coral load now. which I'm sure are scavenging everything. I'd prefer not to shut off the skimmer or other things like increase feeding since its not as stable as a dosing regiment.
    Four individual systems Right now.
    Modified Red sea 250 with attached 20 gal frag system XR15 pro light on FRAG tank, combo t5 reef bright led on main tank, now @100 gal total mostly sps tank, auto WC, Custom life reef filtration system Fuge and skimmer. KALK ATO chiller mp10's.
    30gal red sea 130d lps/softies/anemone tank, kalk ato, reef bright led strip.
    40 quarantine set up.
    500 total gallon marineland 300 DD main system 9 months old now and stabilized. T5 VHO lights/ BLUE led strip, Fully custom built LIFE REEF sump and FUGE, AWESOME 48" tall skimmer, and 1000+ gallon rated custom Ca reactor, attached SPS frag system and LPS frag system.
    I am expanding into this one ATM bit by bit,

    Still lots to learn about the hobby but I have amassed a great collection of real beauties and a FRAG saw will be in my future I think. I have broken past the stage of keeping things alive and now there actually growing out. Which is a big hurdle for many beginners I must admit. Good information and advise is hard to get sometimes and the club has done wonders with respect to quality advise and help in the hobby.

    THANKS Orlando Reef Educators Organization!!!!

  3. #3
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    Hanna makes a low range hand held unit for phosphate in increments of .01 ppm. Jim I have one you can borrow if you would like. Great thread!

  4. #4
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    Actually I have the h 713 phosphate low range tester. I find its sort of hard to use. You have a very limited time to get a very small amount of reagent into a small perfectly clean glass tube and into the checker before it times out n shuts off or takes the reading and then self shuts off. its one of those things you can't do when your distracted and you have to have it all set up and ready to go before you start the test procedure.

    I find it almost always says 0 on all the water tests, occasionally .02 i believe i have seen, on the test which makes me question the meter sometimes. But I do not have phosphate related issues in any tanks that i know of.. more likely lack of actually. I don't completely trust the unit i don't think. maybe some day i will send my water out to be tested at a test facility when i really think i have hit that sweet spot. that way i know what such a spot should be. I'm definitely finding the way the corals look Vs the way there supposed to look is a skill that takes time but speaks volumes about what is going on in there. Having all the test kits and doing them regularly helped me link what i see to what the issue is much faster over the past few years.

    So far i always read zero's on the nitrate and phosphate tests which has lead me to this topic. Ultimately i may have to dose a small amount of p04 as well but i believe the ultra low amount would be much harder to manage effectively VS the nitrate at 100X as much being tolerable Vs phosphate levels. most of this should be coming in with my food and even some in my water change salt. Which leads me to a brief point of what your salt mix has in it.. in my case i would likely benefit from a salt mix that was actually real sea water and contained 1 ppm of nitrate and .02 ppm of phosphate in it Vs what is sold as salt mix with no phosphate or nitrate in it.
    I suspect thats why at the reef shows they use the jugs of sea water. As well as the convenience of it. but its actually as close as you can get to correct sea water and only small adjustments for regional salinity for certain coral regions would be needed if anything at all.

    Over all I'm already nearly sure dosing nitrate is helpful for my system. Its pretty obvious already something good has changed in multi tanks. Though only one of them i am dosing consistently "the sps system". the other one i dump in a bit every once and awhile. I don't have a second doser system dedicated for the lps tank yet.

    I actually dumped in a chunk into the big 300 to start getting the nitrate up a bit out there as well. I'm sure its all 0's as well and right now a small test bird nest coral branch peels off to white in about a week or two. I don't think its light, i think its either a pollutant in the KALK mix I'm am using, which i got from a break down tank system and it smelled bit funny to me "like your grandmothers laundry soap sort of smell" or to low nutrients. They don't ever brown at all they just peel off n die. more testing and some more time will help me dial in the cause out there. i ran a bunch of carbon on it so i think its more likely low nutrients too new "Clean" water.
    Four individual systems Right now.
    Modified Red sea 250 with attached 20 gal frag system XR15 pro light on FRAG tank, combo t5 reef bright led on main tank, now @100 gal total mostly sps tank, auto WC, Custom life reef filtration system Fuge and skimmer. KALK ATO chiller mp10's.
    30gal red sea 130d lps/softies/anemone tank, kalk ato, reef bright led strip.
    40 quarantine set up.
    500 total gallon marineland 300 DD main system 9 months old now and stabilized. T5 VHO lights/ BLUE led strip, Fully custom built LIFE REEF sump and FUGE, AWESOME 48" tall skimmer, and 1000+ gallon rated custom Ca reactor, attached SPS frag system and LPS frag system.
    I am expanding into this one ATM bit by bit,

    Still lots to learn about the hobby but I have amassed a great collection of real beauties and a FRAG saw will be in my future I think. I have broken past the stage of keeping things alive and now there actually growing out. Which is a big hurdle for many beginners I must admit. Good information and advise is hard to get sometimes and the club has done wonders with respect to quality advise and help in the hobby.

    THANKS Orlando Reef Educators Organization!!!!

  5. #5
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    Having a zero reading and a .02 reading makes sense due to the test kits limits. If you fear it maybe wrong you can double check it with another. I think it sounds spot on as you think you have too low of a level. I would say keep using it and keep up with the trend of the kit as the trend is better to see than nothing.
    As for the kalk if it smells funny or is not pure white ditch it and get some new stuff.
    Seawater over synthetic is always a great choice if collected correctly. Unfortunately with you working on a fine line with a finding a perfect balance you would have to pick one of the two for stability. Fine tuning levels like this is a daunting task, but is at the pinnacle of reef keeping. Keep up the good work.

  6. #6
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    I ended the Kalk last night on the big 300. since I'm still fish only out there and just testing corals.. i may do a large water change then begin my auto WC schedule and add talk back in later. the ph made it to 8.45 and stable the last few weeks just before i stopped using it. ill see how far its drops back down with the ca reactor running out there.. its on real low so i expect very lil effect.

    Ill ask run some good carbon after the big water changer i think.

    on to the results so far on the sps stump remover tank. so far things look good bit more growth in the FUGE i think. corals seem a bit more inflated. test still show 0 so ill stay on course another week and maybe up the dose a bit. I'm in no hurry here as things look pretty good anyway.. but i can tell after so long now.. that i just don't have enough nitrate in there i think.

    Stoping the auto water change would let the water get dirty as would stopping the skimmer but the adverse effects are more of an issue than the dosing schedule n set up of the P03 dosing i think at this point. if there were other issues i may choose a different solution. next week ill run a p04 test as well make sure that is still very low or 0.

    I'll try n post some pictures when I get a minute.
    Four individual systems Right now.
    Modified Red sea 250 with attached 20 gal frag system XR15 pro light on FRAG tank, combo t5 reef bright led on main tank, now @100 gal total mostly sps tank, auto WC, Custom life reef filtration system Fuge and skimmer. KALK ATO chiller mp10's.
    30gal red sea 130d lps/softies/anemone tank, kalk ato, reef bright led strip.
    40 quarantine set up.
    500 total gallon marineland 300 DD main system 9 months old now and stabilized. T5 VHO lights/ BLUE led strip, Fully custom built LIFE REEF sump and FUGE, AWESOME 48" tall skimmer, and 1000+ gallon rated custom Ca reactor, attached SPS frag system and LPS frag system.
    I am expanding into this one ATM bit by bit,

    Still lots to learn about the hobby but I have amassed a great collection of real beauties and a FRAG saw will be in my future I think. I have broken past the stage of keeping things alive and now there actually growing out. Which is a big hurdle for many beginners I must admit. Good information and advise is hard to get sometimes and the club has done wonders with respect to quality advise and help in the hobby.

    THANKS Orlando Reef Educators Organization!!!!

  7. #7
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    Well today i did the full work up.. n03 0, po4 0 , alk 9.1, ca 440, mag 1420, temp 80, orp 395, salinity 1.026

    all normal. no algae growth anywhere including in fuge unfortunately.. growth seems a tiny bit up. colors seem a bit different. skimmer seems unaffected. no adverse effects thus far no other changes other than stump remover. I doubled the dosage and made a larger batch. I'm now dosing 50 ml of solution a day which is .5ppm a day of nitrate. 10 ml a day of all mix. fully saturated kalk in the ATO. and Coral colors 1 mil of each once a week. Feeding light twice a day.
    Four individual systems Right now.
    Modified Red sea 250 with attached 20 gal frag system XR15 pro light on FRAG tank, combo t5 reef bright led on main tank, now @100 gal total mostly sps tank, auto WC, Custom life reef filtration system Fuge and skimmer. KALK ATO chiller mp10's.
    30gal red sea 130d lps/softies/anemone tank, kalk ato, reef bright led strip.
    40 quarantine set up.
    500 total gallon marineland 300 DD main system 9 months old now and stabilized. T5 VHO lights/ BLUE led strip, Fully custom built LIFE REEF sump and FUGE, AWESOME 48" tall skimmer, and 1000+ gallon rated custom Ca reactor, attached SPS frag system and LPS frag system.
    I am expanding into this one ATM bit by bit,

    Still lots to learn about the hobby but I have amassed a great collection of real beauties and a FRAG saw will be in my future I think. I have broken past the stage of keeping things alive and now there actually growing out. Which is a big hurdle for many beginners I must admit. Good information and advise is hard to get sometimes and the club has done wonders with respect to quality advise and help in the hobby.

    THANKS Orlando Reef Educators Organization!!!!

  8. #8
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    Jim, if your hanna constantly says 0 or .02 then you can get the ultra low phosphate tester HI736. That might give you a better reading. Maybe someone has one you can borrow to see if there is a difference.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eg8r210 View Post
    Jim, if your hanna constantly says 0 or .02 then you can get the ultra low phosphate tester HI736. That might give you a better reading. Maybe someone has one you can borrow to see if there is a difference.
    I do not have the ultra low hi736 model i have the low range hi713 model.
    i would be interested in trying the hi736 model.

    I fully believe there is nearly 0ppm. I have none of the normal high p04 related issues. I don't mind 0 p04 so much, its the nitrate thats usually 100X as high as the p04 in your tank.. the 1 ppm vs the .02 ppm as common targets. sometimes as much as 5 ppm or higher and .02 ppm for some folks.
    Last edited by Jim28fl; 02-12-2016 at 08:12 PM.
    Four individual systems Right now.
    Modified Red sea 250 with attached 20 gal frag system XR15 pro light on FRAG tank, combo t5 reef bright led on main tank, now @100 gal total mostly sps tank, auto WC, Custom life reef filtration system Fuge and skimmer. KALK ATO chiller mp10's.
    30gal red sea 130d lps/softies/anemone tank, kalk ato, reef bright led strip.
    40 quarantine set up.
    500 total gallon marineland 300 DD main system 9 months old now and stabilized. T5 VHO lights/ BLUE led strip, Fully custom built LIFE REEF sump and FUGE, AWESOME 48" tall skimmer, and 1000+ gallon rated custom Ca reactor, attached SPS frag system and LPS frag system.
    I am expanding into this one ATM bit by bit,

    Still lots to learn about the hobby but I have amassed a great collection of real beauties and a FRAG saw will be in my future I think. I have broken past the stage of keeping things alive and now there actually growing out. Which is a big hurdle for many beginners I must admit. Good information and advise is hard to get sometimes and the club has done wonders with respect to quality advise and help in the hobby.

    THANKS Orlando Reef Educators Organization!!!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim28fl View Post
    I do not have the ultra low hi736 model i have the low range hi713 model.
    i would be interested in trying the hi736 model.

    I fully believe there is nearly 0ppm. I have none of the normal high p04 related issues. I don't mind 0 p04 so much, its the nitrate thats usually 100X as high as the p04 in your tank.. the 1 ppm vs the .02 ppm as common targets. sometimes as much as 5 ppm or higher and .02 ppm for some folks.
    I have been working with Hanna, and have those for sale in large scale, from the general; feedback I got is when you test with them always do a first test and then a second one 9 out of 10 times the 2nd and the 3rd test will be very close if not exact
    55 Gl. non drilled, Mix reef, HOB protein skimmer, BRS bio Pellets reactor, 180W led.
    29 Gl. Biocube stock Mix reef
    75 Gl. Rimless drilled, Vertex IN250 protein skimmer, BRS Biopellet reactor in serie with carbon reactor, return Eheim 1262, 180 watts LED, 3 pump doser for A-B, strontium and magnesium
    Reef keeper eliteV2 Controler
    and feeding like crazy, no more low nutrients, yes to a high nutrients and explosive growth

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    Another quick update.. things have been very steady. i have remained at the same dose for the past two weeks.. i may up it a bit more next week to try n find the upper limit.

    I still show 0 on my test kits. But i can tell there is more nutrients in the water now zoas are doing better over all "larger". Over all coloration and growth have improved. if anything the monti plates may have some adverse effects like white around the rim in certain spots. but by no means am I'm saying its from the No3 dosing.. too many other factors are possible ATM including growth rate increases. once i find some sort of upper threshold then ill know for sure if the occasional white color at the new growth edge of the monti caps is related to no3 amounts of not.

    I'm sure its had over all positive effects at this point but i'd not say its amazing or anything. just noticeable positive. its possible i can double the dosage again and still not have an issue as i have a high quality skimmer and good husbandry with Auto WC an all that which would keep things in check anyway. no new algae growth increase either.
    Four individual systems Right now.
    Modified Red sea 250 with attached 20 gal frag system XR15 pro light on FRAG tank, combo t5 reef bright led on main tank, now @100 gal total mostly sps tank, auto WC, Custom life reef filtration system Fuge and skimmer. KALK ATO chiller mp10's.
    30gal red sea 130d lps/softies/anemone tank, kalk ato, reef bright led strip.
    40 quarantine set up.
    500 total gallon marineland 300 DD main system 9 months old now and stabilized. T5 VHO lights/ BLUE led strip, Fully custom built LIFE REEF sump and FUGE, AWESOME 48" tall skimmer, and 1000+ gallon rated custom Ca reactor, attached SPS frag system and LPS frag system.
    I am expanding into this one ATM bit by bit,

    Still lots to learn about the hobby but I have amassed a great collection of real beauties and a FRAG saw will be in my future I think. I have broken past the stage of keeping things alive and now there actually growing out. Which is a big hurdle for many beginners I must admit. Good information and advise is hard to get sometimes and the club has done wonders with respect to quality advise and help in the hobby.

    THANKS Orlando Reef Educators Organization!!!!

  12. #12
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    So far so good. colors have picked up growth has picked up. skimmer out put is normal. no nitrates are detectable still. I'm going to maintain this dosage for another month i think and make sure results are related to only this.

    Im honestly very happy and i do believe its of value. i would start slow of course. If anything i would watch montipora caps type corals for any signs of white areas which seem to indicate a upper limit possibly.. i read this else where as well. I do dose a far larger amount in my small 30 gallon LPS tank and also see good results there also. I do not test for nitrate in that one though. I just dump some in "two caps full ish" when i think about it.
    Four individual systems Right now.
    Modified Red sea 250 with attached 20 gal frag system XR15 pro light on FRAG tank, combo t5 reef bright led on main tank, now @100 gal total mostly sps tank, auto WC, Custom life reef filtration system Fuge and skimmer. KALK ATO chiller mp10's.
    30gal red sea 130d lps/softies/anemone tank, kalk ato, reef bright led strip.
    40 quarantine set up.
    500 total gallon marineland 300 DD main system 9 months old now and stabilized. T5 VHO lights/ BLUE led strip, Fully custom built LIFE REEF sump and FUGE, AWESOME 48" tall skimmer, and 1000+ gallon rated custom Ca reactor, attached SPS frag system and LPS frag system.
    I am expanding into this one ATM bit by bit,

    Still lots to learn about the hobby but I have amassed a great collection of real beauties and a FRAG saw will be in my future I think. I have broken past the stage of keeping things alive and now there actually growing out. Which is a big hurdle for many beginners I must admit. Good information and advise is hard to get sometimes and the club has done wonders with respect to quality advise and help in the hobby.

    THANKS Orlando Reef Educators Organization!!!!

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