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high no3 and low po4 :(

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tebo, Mar 20, 2014.

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  1. tebo

    tebo Member

    Your recommendation is based on 350mA??,,,, Really is a big difference, I have them running at 650mA

    OK tonight will try to make a video, just yesterday I got to pruning and cleaning so I will be more clear view
  2. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    350 mA for starting the screen. After that, you can jump to 700mA as long as you don't "burn" the screen.

    My recommendation has always been for 700mA drive current, but when you start a brand new screen (one with zero growth) then you generally need to run at a lower drive current, or add a diffuser until you get consistent growth (meaning, the "holes" in the screen are filled in with algae, and they stay filled after the screen is scraped)

    Do you clean your screen every 7 days? Or do you wait longer sometimes?

    Do you have any pictures of the screen right after you have cleaned it?

    Do you just scrape the growth off, or do you scrub it with a brush?
  3. tebo

    tebo Member

    Turbo, really grateful for your time brother

    OK, but it's quite a difference, I have 6 on each side,,,, and your RECOMMEND 12 ufffff

    YOU think my problem is more light, my growth looks good and like I said my ats sucks phosphate then scary

    Every 7 days , not longer that

    Pictures the last week


    I scrape the growth

  4. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I can see part of the issue. With my screens, after about 6 weeks, almost all of the holes are filled in and stay filled in after scraping. The algae growth grows from these pockets of algae.

    Your screen material here has holes that are too large, so when you scrape the algae easily gets pulled out. The larger holes mean less surface area also. You can see in your pics above that the parts of the screen that are lower down have very few holes filled in.

    I use a 2 step roughing process and have been told by many that when they get my screens, they had no idea what "really rough" was.

    I am not sure how the flow looks while it is running, which is why I wanted to see a video of this. I have a theory, but I want to see if the video confirms it.

    When you do make the video, remove the LED fixture from one side and turn the LED fixtures off. Use a regular white light (flashlight, desk lamp, etc) when recording so that I can see the flow and growth.

    Also - how old is the Live Rock in your tank? How much do you have in there? Have you added any new rock or sand to the system in the last year?
  5. tebo

    tebo Member

    OK turbo I understand about screen , looking one for a little more holes ???

    And scrape much so it looks like a cactus

    Ok as I said yesterday clean the screen,,, do the video or wait for the other week having 7 days??

    My aquarium should be about 150 to 200 kilos of rock, 90% is Diy,, mounted the same time,,,, october 3rd birthday,,, no rock or sand since

  6. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Ok, that is another piece of the puzzle here.

    So what happened to the rock in your old tank, that was running the original scrubber?

    What might be happening here is that your new DIY rock, new to the tank in October, could be absorbing nutrients out of the water. This is a known phenomenon. So this might be the reason for low phosphates - possibly.

    This still does not explain the high nitrates. However I believe this is still related to the scrubber. It could be the screen material, the LED lights, or the flow, or a combination of all of these. These are all very important factors

    Regarding the screen - you want the #7 Darice Plastic Canvas, and nothing else.

    As far as roughing it up goes, you should do this in 2 steps. The "old" way (which was using a hole saw) is inadequate, in my opinion. Step #1 should be using a wire brush to take the "shine" off the screen, deep into the holes. I use a wire brush attachment on a drill while the material is clamped down to a work table. I run the drill at a low speed, and only make a few passes.

    Step #2 is using a sharp-tooth saw blade in small overlapping circular strokes. I made a video of this process but haven't had time to post it.

    Like I said though, I can do this for you and send you a roughed up screen if you have a hard time finding the material.

    Take the video now - it doesn't matter where in the "growth cycle" you are.

    I would let the scrubber grow more before cleaning. Perhaps 9 or 10 days. As long as you are not having algae detach, let it grow, for as long as 14 days. But, first, let it grow for 9 days and clean it and make sure that you are not getting any dying algae close to the screen, or weak attachment.
  7. tebo

    tebo Member

    Turbo, I start my tank with rock diy in October 2011 this October 2014 is 3 years old, is exactly the same rock with you start, not changed anything, and I never had problems no3 and po4, to not 6 to 8 months that I have problems with no3

    (excuse my bad English)

    Really what the diy rock and absorption of nutrients never contemplated, nor do I step through the mind, interesting

    You have to limit something,,, I spend a lot of time with po4 below 0.02 was not until very little maybe 3 or 4 months ago it started up, since my other aquarium corals give excellent with the slightly higher nutrient

    This could lead to not having the presence of po4 as it was slowly accumulating no3, not having the correct ratio of consumption of algae and bacteria, not a good theory is lol

    I think all my algae have a weak attachment

    i do the vĂ­deo tomorrow

  8. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Ah, ok - 3 year old rock it quite different! I misunderstood
  9. tebo

    tebo Member

    I can not make the video yesterday, but today we should do, now something else,,, you think if can be the rock or part, although there is something to do with ats, I have my doubts, as the algae grows, my simple thought is that if consumed nutrients
  10. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    My original thought was that the rocks were absorbing the phosphate by way of precipitation of calcium phosphate. This might still be happening if you are adding phosphate to the system.

    I am concerned about you adding the phosphate. This should not be necessary. If you are adding food, you are adding phosphate. Phosphate is in all food, it is converted from organic to inorganic by the inhabitants. There is also a process which converts inorganic to organic, I believe @Ace25 touched on this in the past.

    Many reefs have very low to undetectable (by hobbyist grade kits) levels of phosphates, so having these at a level that is not detectable in your aquarium does not mean it is not there.

    I fear you may be creating a future problem by adding phosphates to your tank. I would consider needing to do that a 'last resort'.
  11. tebo

    tebo Member

    Turbo greetings, THE PHOSPHATE POTASSIUM really was something that was recommended to me, and I think it worked, but not before a few attempts have GHA in my system

    IF memory ace25 theme, in fact seek to reread

    Currently I also have some small attempts of GHA, but nothing to worry,,,, last Friday stop adding potassium phosphate, on Thursday I measure to see how much low or remained stable at 0.06ppm was the as of this Friday,,,, my test is (hanna)

    I know the relationship between organic and inorganic phosphate test only reads the inorganic, believe and researched a lot about the ats in recent years, hence my desperation to know what happens
  12. Ace25

    Ace25 Member Trusted Member

    Simple solution to 'one off' nitrate problems, full water changes. If you know the system is just at its limits and can't reduce nitrates, but has the ability to keep them stable (even if stable means 100+), then a few daily water large changes (90-95%, just enough water for the fish at the bottom) will reduce nitrates to 0 in a few days. Done this a few times and it has worked perfect each time, having a neglected near death looking tank back to looking near pristine in less than a week. It is an expensive 'fix', but if you know your tank can maintain parameters, to me it is the fastest method to reducing bad parameters quickly without doing any harm.

    If it is a continuous problem, ie. you do large water changes, get nitrates down, and they immediately start rising again, then you need a larger anaerobic area. If you can't do this in a display or sump, the next best thing is a RDSB, remote deep sand bed (5G bucket with sand and slow water flow through it). It is the anaerobic bacteria that completes the nitrogen cycle, so if a tank is lacking that part, it is going to have a hard time at the last stage (removing nitrates). It sounds like the first 2 stages are good, ammonia to nitrites, nitrites to nitrates, its getting stuck at the nitrates to atmospheric nitrogen stage.

    ATS does not do anything as far as being part of the nitrogen cycle. Algae only has the ability to sequester some of the nitrates from the water, but it can't break down nitrates into nitrogen gas, so the only way algae can reduce nitrates is by absorption and removal, at which point it is more like a mechanical filter and not really a biological filter. An ATS is helpful for many things and makes a great supplemental filtration method, but it isn't the primary worker in regards to de-nitrification.
  13. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    But @Ace25 in theory, if a scrubber is growing algae fast enough and at a high enough volume, shouldn't it be able to be the sole source of nitrate removal?
  14. Ace25

    Ace25 Member Trusted Member

    Yes, but if that were to be true we would be talking about an algae scrubber screen so big it would be nearly unthinkable. I think too much credit has been given to algaes abilities in terms or N/P over the years. It does remove some N and a tiny amount of P, but usually no where near enough to keep a reef tank stable on its own. We now know algae does much better at removing N than it does P, but in order for an algae scrubber to take the place of anaerobic bacteria, you are going to need a giant screen, perfect conditions for algae to grow, and harvest it much more often than we typically do (there is a point of diminishing returns as algae grows and is scrapped off). It is much easier to create an anaerobic zone in the system than try and fine tune a big algae screen to work efficiently. As we also know, ATS screens are not a constant. Cleaning the algae off, while beneficial for the tank, creates time frames were filtration is at less than optimal, creating more of a yo-yo effect. When it is used as a supplemental filtration, it isn't that big of a concern having small fluctuations, but if it is used as a primary method to control a certain parameter, the whole 'stability' of the system comes into question.

    The same thing can be said for those that dump in Chemi-clean to solve a cyano problem. Cyano is a bacteria, Chemi-clean kills bacteria... indiscriminately. More often than not this leads to the tank ending up worse than before the treatment because you wiped out most of the good and bad bacteria, which was doing the vast majority of the filtration in the tank. It is basically Chemotherapy for a fish tank. I think so many overlook the importance of bacteria because we can't see it. We can see algae grow, skimmer cups fill up, filter socks clog, but hardly anyone pays attention to bacteria. Even with recent products like Dr. Tim's One and Only, which is a great product, most people don't care what it is or what it does to a system, they just care that it works. That same mentality can lead to problems down the line when one doesn't really understand the importance and how much work bacteria does for filtering an aquarium, which is a magnitude more than algae could ever do. Algae can't break down anything that I know of (by all means correct me if I am wrong about that), it can only capture it and use it for growth, which is where I think of it more as a mechanical filter than a biological one, even though algae is of course biological. I think of biological filtration as a type of filtration that is able to convert bad stuff in the water into good stuff, and that is something the algae doesn't do much of in our hobby, unless you are growing algae for fuel purposes. We know algae can create oils and lipids used for fuel, but neither of those are considered good in a reef tank in large amounts.

    By all means, anyone correct me on anything if you think I am wrong. I love debating things like this, and I don't think I know all the answers, so I welcome being corrected if I am wrong about something so I can learn the right stuff as well. :)
  15. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Yeah I wasn't necessarily thinking of scrubber and absolutely nothing else, but in general on a reef system where you have an appropriate amount of live rock, and an appropriately sized scrubber, that can be all you need. If your tank is short on rock per unit of water volume, you should be able to compensate for that with a larger scrubber. If you take it to the extreme, and have a massive amount of live rock (or other bio active surface) then you can, in theory, do without the scrubber. But the reverse is not necessarily true, or like you said, the scrubber would be ridiculously large.
  16. tebo

    tebo Member

    Ace25 greetings, discarded water changes, in my country is extremely expensive because it gets very little salt

    After hearing what he says I am sure my problem is my rock,,,, is lost over time anaerobic filtration, which gradually led to the rise of no3

    Turbo greetings, you also have a lot of reason, my aquarium was maintained for 2 years without any problkema ats only with live rock and proper

    Now I am in the manufacture of rock cylinders diy 10cmx10cm to attack this problem, I think it will be as effective a deep sand bed and more practical


    PD: Anyway tonight I upload my video ats

    PD2: Ace25 need a consultation on the subject of lights

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