Nart's Kno3 Dosing Journal

Discussion in 'Advanced Saltwater Aquarium Topics' started by Nart, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Hi All,

    In this thread I'll be documenting a low nutrient system and dosing NO3 (Nitrates) to help corals grow during it's photosynthesis (zooxanthellae) process.
    I've been thinking about it a lot and told @grantm91 and @stella1979 about it... so I'm finally going to try it out. Very hesitant and nervous for sure, especially with lots of money spent and hard work on my reef tank.

    I'll write more as I progress but I want to document the process and whoever wants to follow long to see if it works or if I crash and burn... whomp whomp.

    Before dosing parameters:
    Alk: 11.5
    Nitrates: 3-4ppm (less than 5ppm)
    Phos: couldn't register any, so it's between 0.02 - 0.001 at least
    Mag: 1440
    Calcium: 470

    KNO3 of my choice is Spectracide Stump Remover (granules). That's right. That is a tree stump removal formula, essentially it has 100% potassium nitrate.

    The theory is I have high Alk and low nutrients, which in my system isn't too bad, but if it's a SPS dominant tank, apparently I would run into lots of issue with coral tissue recession etc...

    I'm going to start dosing potassium nitrates in my tank to get the Nitrate readings around 8PPM. The challenge is that my fast growing corals will eat up the nitrates like candy whereas my LPS and SPS corals will consume to very little. This is the challenge with mixed reef tanks, doing enough to keep everything balanced, thriving, and happy. So in my tank, if the theory of dosing KNO3 holds true per my Alkalinity, lighting, Nitrates, and Phosphates... my faster growing corals (like zoas/gsp) will take off with noticeable growth, LPS corals will show some signs of growth, and my SPS corals will show slower growth.

    I dosed 3 ml of my KNO3 mixture... I'll test in a few hours to see if my Nitrates went up at all. I also took before pictures which I will post soon.

    Why am I doing this?
    My tank consistently tests Nitrates @ >2PPM and Phos @ > 0.02PPM. In the articles and threads I have found through my research is that corals require nitrates (nutrients) and adequate lighting to promote growth, color, and health of the corals. So I have identified my tank being in the low nutrient range and have definitely seen some of my corals not as bright as before when I bought them from the store as well as o-kay growth. So the theory is to bump up my nitrates and keep my ratio of Nitrates/Phosphates I think either 16:1 or 10:1 and see by the end of this experiment if dosing KN03 works or not.

    For now... fingers crossed

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  2. NartWell Known MemberMember

    FTS last night 8/2/17:

    Tested 1hr after dosing 3ml my nitrates were definitely in the 5ppm range now. Also cut back my chaeto light by 1.5 hrs.

    AM Nitrate test = 5ppm
    Dosed another 3ml KNO3

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  3. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Interesting! I didn't know corals used photosynthesis to grow. I thought they were alive and actually ate stuff.

  4. NartWell Known MemberMember

    @Culprit In the coral world, they call it zooxanthellae. Look it up. If you haven't seen already, I highly recommend you watch "Chasing Coral" on Netflix.
  5. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Lookin' good @NART I'm so glad you will be recording and sharing this information. It's going to be helpful to all of us and makes it feel like we're a part of your experiment. :D
  6. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    I don't have netflix :shifty:. But I'll look it up!
  7. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Been trying to lower my salinity in my tank so haven't really honed in on the dosing and observing the corals growth. Will continue again starting next week.
  8. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Almost 2 weeks into keeping my Nitrates between 6-10PPM. Finally got my salinity back in check @ 1.025.

    Looks like the Tubbs Stella is really starting to take off with its growth. I notice my acan's colors are more vibrant and also my original frogspawn that had a brownish tinge to it now has it's bright green back. See pictures below.


    Frogspawns on the left are now bright green

    With the trim of my chaeto taking nearly half of it away and dialing back down the chaeto lights seemed to be keeping my nitrates at a stable 6-10PPM without dosing KNO3 anymore.
  9. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Looking good!
  10. grantm91Fishlore VIPMember

    I love this tank you have a proper mixed reef now, a bit of everything even a nem! The ai prime is a little power house man you can see how small it is but supports all that. Best nano reef on here. Those gsp are mad bright too.
  11. NartWell Known MemberMember

    @grantm91 thanks man. some days when I mess with the tank it really feels like "when am I going to mess up and crash the system?"

    So about the AI Prime's.... I have to check back on my total watts used currently. It's no where near the recommended "watts" needed for some of the corals, I'm just really confused about PARs at this point. I can't wait to borrow my clubs PAR meter to test out the PAR levels. With that said... I have the Prime's at pretty low settings too compared to other Prime users. Currently holding my breath to see if the RBTA is getting sufficient lighting. Doesn't your green BTA reside in the bottom of your tank Grant? What intensity do you run your LEDs at?
  12. grantm91Fishlore VIPMember

    Im a cowboy with this black box thing, since i started running it i ran the blues at about 40% and the rest at 20% as im scared of bleaching stuff, then when i got the BTA i placed it at the bottom and it scaled the biggest rock so i kept putting it back to the bottm and started to ramp the light up to now 80% blue and 40% white. The lights 165watt and the nem is now happy as its been locked in for a couple weeks now and i seen its full size lol, i just worry about my torch as its higher up, but I'm watching it close. I also shuffled the light forwards off of the torch a little its not a big move but in my head i think its better than doing nothing or having to move the torch. I run at the 80%-40% for about 8 hours and then go right down to 30%- 10% for a further 5-6 hours. Its a mad schedule and its all guess work hence me wanting a programable light to stop all the mad timings but yeah the nem is my most demanding thing and it told me this by moving, the condy is easy, does not give a hoot. A par metre would help me to work it out but at the end of the day keeping a bta your gonna need a timer light like yours as it just becomes a nightmare trying to regulate the light. 801acfa1d0dbae81f68878fe868bd7b0.jpg a pic of full intensity through my iphone cam.

    Attached Files:

  13. NartWell Known MemberMember

    @grantm91 So your lights are 165w @ full intensity. If you normally run at B 80% and W 40%

    I'm just doing a quick calculation... not sure if this is how your lights work... but say 165W and you have Blue and White channel...
    82.5W each channel
    82.5w x .80 = 66W
    82.5w x .4 = 33W

    Total = 99w

    Blah blah... my head hurts trying to figure it out haha. I guess i'll know if my RBTA is happy or not in a week or two with my light settings.
    Your tank is looking good Grant.
  14. grantm91Fishlore VIPMember

    Yeah my head hurts too over this light, if the nems happy and not moving and nothings melting I'm happy its just all experimental there is no book with this light, theres nothing even written on the circuit boards not that i would be able to work anything out from it i just looked when I opened it to drill the case lmao, but it does the job it just requires common sense and guess work. A par metre would not go a miss just to work something out. But buyers beware with this light il always say that, i wish i spent a little extra deep down.
  15. NartWell Known MemberMember

    I'm with you. That's what I try to tell everyone. If you have two choices, just wait that extra few weeks or months to save up for the better one lol.
    I want Radions now... whomp whomp. I wonder if I can sweet talk my way into getting one while at MACNA :D
  16. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Still dosing Nitrates... I try to keep it around 10 PPM.. it's starting to drop to 5PPM Nitrates by the end of the week.
    It's been 20 days now since I have been dosing. Went a little off track due to my salinity issue, but here's what I can tell...

    This is a pic of the Tubb Stella on Aug 14th.

    This is a pic of the Tubb Stella taken on Aug 18th. Just 4 days later... Notice the base, in just 4 days... you can see it having new polyps and encrusting more on the base.

    FTS taken on Aug 18th: GSPs and Acans have a noticeable growth. The Acans are scaring me at the growth rate they've been having. I will get closer up shots of all the corals from here on.
  17. LJC6780Well Known MemberMember

    Following along here too.
  18. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Oooh, very interesting...:watching: I think this may be my new favorite thread to follow. Can't wait to see those close-ups and what your results will be in the long run.
  19. LJC6780Well Known MemberMember

    Wondering if just keeping nitrates and phosphates at a certain level will do the same as dosing ... I'd be scared to death to put that in my tank but I can definitely leave some nitrates!
  20. NartWell Known MemberMember

    @LJC6780 of course. It's the same idea. I only dose because my system lacks excess nutrients. Make sure you read up on "ultra low nutrient system" before you start to let your nitrates creep up. Essentially if you have Alk around 8 you want nitrates around 5ppm.

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