In the past, Nitrates always read non-detectable using Salifert Test kit in high resolution mode. Phosphates will normally hover around .06-.08ppm. When phosphates creep up above .08ppm , I normally would add 2 tablespoons of GFO mixed together with my weekly 1 cup of Rox .8 carbon and packed tightly using filter floss. This would bring it back down. I can get it a little further without GFO into the .02 ppm range by tweaking the amount of food. I'm a heavy feeder so when I say reduce food the fish are still well fed.
Since nitrates have always shown as non-detectable, I decided to give KNO3 dosing a try and see if can get phosphates lower without having the adjust feeding schedules or occasional use of GFO.
When running a ATS and your nitrates are not zero then you may need to make adjustments to your scrubber lighting or flow. If that doesn't resolve then your feeding too much or your ATS is just not sized well enough for your system.
I purchase the Spectracide Stump remover for my initial testing and runs about $7.
You can buy in bulk for substantial cost savings and I suspect it is higher grade for long term use. I picked up 10lb bag of 99.8% pure from DudaDiesel.
Mix 1/2 cup of KN03 ( Potassium Nitrate ) with 1 Gallon of RO/DI water.
For my system, 60mil of the solution will raise Nitrate to .2 - .5ppm range.
By the end of the ATS ( Algae Turf Scrubber ) light cycle. Nitrates will be at undetactable levels and Phosphate levels tested using Hanna Checker ULR Phosphorus Checker ( Model HI736) will read 0-1ppb ( < .01ppm ).
Since running ATS for nearly 5 years, coraline algae rarely grows on rocks and never on the glass. Within the first 2 weeks coraline algae was quite noticable on both the rocks and starting to form on the glass.
Coral coloration and expansion. No noticable difference. Never had any complaints on coral coloration prior to dosing and have not seen any noticable difference or pastel colors. I highly suspect corals are still getting some nitrate/phosphate during the day from feeding the tank. When the main tank lights are out and the ATS running it's likely removing all the excess. If I were not feeding daily I might expect to see negative coral reaction.
I do seem to have an increased amount diatoms on the glass and throughout the week some diatoms on the substrate. After weekly substrate siphoning its nice and white again. I'm hoping this will lessen overtime. I have been adding the KN03 in the morning, perhaps waiting until the evening may reduce diatoms on the glass that I have been seeing.
I haven't noticed an increase in the weekly Algae Harvest, it seems to be about the same amount and consistancy. However, the color of the algae is a much darker green.
At this time it is still a manual dosage of 60mil per day with an occasional skip if I haven't feed as much as normal or just simply forget to. I may automate with dosing pump at some point in future but not until I'm fully comfortable with the results.
Unrelated Just for Fun:
Here is a pic feeding the gonipora. Hole in the cap for syringe to add gonipower or any other filter feeding food products. Let it sit for a few minutes to protect from water flow and mostly fish.
I'm excited about my newest additions. I have a ORA red gonipora again. I had a frag several years back that grew into a nice sized colony in 18months time that yielded 17 frags. However, the piece I kept for myself dwindled away. I made a trade with Li ( Clownnut ) to try the ORA red gonipora again.
Second item was a new fish. I went to Saltwater Empire wanting to get a new wrasse like a solon fairy wrasse. Unfortunately didn't see any available but as usual didn't come home empty handed. I picked up a Lamarcks Angelfish for a really good deal. This has been a fish on my wish list for a while. I have always had dwarf angels but nothing that would grow any larger. Hoping for a long and happy life.
Finally, whats an update without a new full tank shot of the 180g show tank:
Tanks are clean and ready for the meeting. 7-9PM Brooklyn Center:
If you would like to attend: http://www.tcmas.org/v4/forums/showthread.php?63077-Meeting-in-Brooklyn-Center&highlight=Brooklyn+Center
180g show Tank + 29g little in-wall that are plumbed together.
Pictures Taken Today:
Just hit the 2 year anniversay of Near Zero Water change philosophy. My additive page has been updated to reflect the latest changes.
Quickest turn around yet. Sent sample on March 1 and got results 1 week later March 8.
My dosages seem to be pretty dialed in. No real surprises.
Zinc was a little high but that is becuase I doubled the dosage to see what effects it would have. I will just skip a month on zinc.
Lithium as always registered as red but the value has been slowly going down and most importantly not accumulating. Highest is has ever been was 436ppb.
Not going to make any changes to my monthly dosages as things look to be pretty darn close.
One time adjustments:
1 Teaspoon Borax in heated RO/DI to increase approx 1ppm in 200g.
1 additional cup of the strontium
Lots of my zoanthid colonies had become infested with blue cloves. They tend to spring up in small patches everywhere. Left unchecked they mix in with your zoanthids colonies and make it hard to resale once they are contaminated.
Someone in our local club was asked the same question and there was a link to this article:
I decided to give it a try as a dip.
Happy to report that this was done in October 2016 and as of February 2017 there is no signs of any blue clove polyps returning.
1gram of the 22% Fenbendazole( Safeguard Dewormer The less than 10lbs dogs one ) mixed in 1 gallon of RO/DI.
Dip is 1000ml of tank water and 40ml of solution.
I have it container floating on the sump to keep temperature. .
Leave the frags in the solution for 24-48 hours.
Return frag to the Tank:
Remove the frag from the solution and give it a good rinse in a seperate container of saltwater.
DO NOT ADD THE FRAG BACK TO THE TANK DIRECTLY !
The cloves will look withered and the connected tissues will be gone or partially gone.
1 week after placing the frag back in the tank the cloves will dissapear.
Rinse in saltwater BEFORE returning it to the tank.
After dipping the smaller ones for testing, I started dipping all the larger colonies and other live rocks that contained blue cloves.
Some of the medication made it into the show tank from not rinsing. I know this to be true becuase I later realized that other areas that have not been dipped yet had dissapeared in the show tank. The only way that could happen is too much medication made it into the system.
The after math:
Corals that were killed by the medication getting into the show tank.
Nice side benefit was all zenia and green star polyps also erradicated.
ORA Vargas Cespitularia
Green Star Polyps
Other types of clove polyps
Finger Leather Corals.
Inhabitants that were not effected:
All fish, shrimps, urchins snails were fine.
Other soft corals such as toadstools, colt coral, and thicker finger corals were fine.
All lps, sps were also fine.
Did 4 40g water changes within about a two week period and ran carbon. I waited about a month before reintroducing another Green Nepthia that I got from a reefing buddy.