Controlling NO3 & PO4 ???

HI people, been hearing more ways to deal with NO3 &PO4 than I wish to almost care about and just hoping for some other insights. I understand it plays a big role when dealing with these what kind of tank one is running (SPS, Mixed reef with LPS or FOWLR etc...) but there seems to be very differing opinions on how best to manage them. Each of the following seems to have their benefits, but...?

1)Vodka dosing
2)Distilled white vinegar dosing
3)RedSea NO3;PO4-x dosing
4)Bio-pellet reactors (I use and really like)
5) etc..?

I know about ryanr experience with RedSea NO3O4-x that quit working but why...? Others have been using this long term with great results?! We both use Bio-pellet reactors now for good reason which IME is the best solution but I was just interested in the others as well.

* Just curious how others on this forum who are not using bio-pellets are liking the results of these other methods.
 
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Thanks 1971roadrunner.
I use biopellets and chaeto and vodka but then I feed my young fish fairly heavy plus the corals. This is on the 120 gallon.
On the seahorse I vodka dosed at first but then switched to biopellets.
I don't do either on the 36 g at this point.
I am going to read the article you attached.
 
The Bio-pellets will kill off any need for the other methods eventually (my chaeto died). I run a Reef Octopus BR 110 in my 125g with a Sicce 600gph pump with a total now of 600ml of pellets.

I started with 200ml. of BRS brand bio-pellets then increased every month at this rate and this seems to take longer than I had hoped to get the desired results. The flow rate had to be adjusted for a while but when set-forget and let it run now.

* I'm still interested in dosing though for an SPS tank only . I would think the minute controls every day or other day would be a good thing vrs the "set it and forget it" for three months at a time for the likes of sensitive corals. Would this not be better for the health of the coral overall?

* calcium reactor too is in question vrs a dosing pump etc...
 
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HI roadrunner,

A couple of other threads:



When my NOPO stopped working. The theories were
- The alcohol part of the NOPO evaporated or the NOPO went stale somehow (I had a large bottle and using very little)
- The tank became 'immune' (suggestion from another forum)
- Skimmer wasn't adequate (can't see how, a Tunze 9011 on my tank is already overkill)
- Over-dosing NOPO
- I wasn't dosing correctly (probable candidate, as the dosing time wasn't consistent)
- Combination of some or all of the above.

My understanding is that the bacteria required to break up the NO3 and PO4 is quite sensitive. When one uses a DSB, these bacteria naturally form in the anaerobic parts of the sand bed, and in the anoxic areas, which ultimately result in NO3 being converted to nitrogen, and often get trapped deep in the bed (along with other toxic compounds). Hence the reason most suggest extreme caution if one is going to remove a DSB. It's also why they say that you should never disrupt a DSB.

When it comes to liquid carbon dosing, those that have the best and long term success are either very diligent with the dosing times and amounts, or have hooked the ingredients (be it RSNOPOX, Vodka, Vinegar etc) to a dosing pump. They also tend to test regularly (i.e. at least once a day).

For me, the bio-pellet reactor is pretty much "set and forget" - Each day, I have a quick glance to make sure there is still enough pellets, and that they are still tumbling, adjusting the input flow if required.
 
LOL - my original sump layout was for a 6" sand bed.

They are "old school" - but very reliable and stable, once established.
 
Hi, up early rebuilding a 1986 M6, I'm sure you know this car well.

I like the idea of a DSB "anoxic" and would really like to run one some day though my beds are at 2" and things are fine as they are with my filtration and flow.

I would like to keep this thread going so I'll follow up, have a nice day !
 
I'm wondering why GFO isn't mentioned as a PO4 reducer. Are you guys not using it? If not, I'd like to know if (1) Is it bad for your tank inhabitants? and (2) Is it taking away essential nutrients?, or (3) do you still want some amount of PO4 as an essential nutrient?
 
matsungit

The idea of carbon dosing is that it keeps both NO3 and PO4 at near undetectable. PO4 below 0.1ppm, NO3 at 0.

See Mike's review: https://www.fishlore.com/biopellets.htm

Now that said, some find that running GFO (Granular Ferric Oxide) alongside the carbon dosing can help if PO4 is too high (refer Redfield Ratio). I still have RowaPhos that I'll use if PO4 starts to creep up (if I'm nitrate limited). Generally though, the recommendation for best success with carbon dosing is to not interfere with the process by using other methods of nutrient reduction.

IIRC - roadrunner was running a fuge with chaeto alongside the bio-pellets, and eventually ended up with the chaeto dieing off due to lack of nutrients (bio-pellets removed most all of the nutrients).

When it comes to nutrient reduction, the aquarist needs to choose a method, and stick to it. Bio-pellets in particular are like a good red wine..... just keep getting better with time. It's not until about the 6 month mark that bio-pellets really kick in. The big caveat with carbon dosing, you've gotta have a decent skimmer!
 
matsungit

The idea of carbon dosing is that it keeps both NO3 and PO4 at near undetectable. PO4 below 0.1ppm, NO3 at 0.

See Mike's review: https://www.fishlore.com/biopellets.htm

Now that said, some find that running GFO (Granular Ferric Oxide) alongside the carbon dosing can help if PO4 is too high (refer Redfield Ratio). I still have RowaPhos that I'll use if PO4 starts to creep up (if I'm nitrate limited). Generally though, the recommendation for best success with carbon dosing is to not interfere with the process by using other methods of nutrient reduction.

IIRC - roadrunner was running a fuge with chaeto alongside the bio-pellets, and eventually ended up with the chaeto dieing off due to lack of nutrients (bio-pellets removed most all of the nutrients).

When it comes to nutrient reduction, the aquarist needs to choose a method, and stick to it. Bio-pellets in particular are like a good red wine..... just keep getting better with time. It's not until about the 6 month mark that bio-pellets really kick in. The big caveat with carbon dosing, you've gotta have a decent skimmer!

Good to know. Thanks!
 
I'm using BRS brand GFO in both my BRS dual reactors which are the exact same set up (same pumps too) for either of my tank systems and check my PO4 levels with a Hanna Checker and this works very well for my needs.

I did however only add GFO after four months after my BP reactors were running to give the BP's a chance to seed/colonize which is recommended.

* they now have BP's combined with GFO which fascinates me but I found out about these a little too late, oh well . see attachment below about these new BP's...
 
I actually have been vodka dosing for almost 4 months now and am seeing amazing results with almost no to barely any NO3 & PO4 even on heavy coral feed days on a very heavy stocked mixed reef coral wise in my opinion. They also say all reef/tanks/setups are different I guess I will find that out here in a few weeks when I get my Frag Tank setup going if it differs any from my main DT.
 

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