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  #1  
Old 10-18-2016, 05:14 PM
griff500 griff500 目前離線
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Default Phosphate but zero nitrate

A bit of background.

I am using Zeolite, Zeobak and Start3 - flow and doseage as recommended for my tank volume. I also have a block of Marine Pure.

This was a conversion from Triton, so LOADS of algae to cope with and it's taken about 7 months to turn the corner.

I have now gone from not being able to get nitrate below 10 (Red Sea test kist) to the point where I cannot get a reading, regardless of how much I feed. This did seem to coincide with adding the Marine Pure block, although it could of course be coincidental.

I have a heavy bioload and no shortage of fish poop going into the system.

I have a fairly small amount of GHA left but what remains has become very pale and I expect it to be gone within a week or so. The GHA situation was not getting particularly better before adding the Marine Pure block, although that doesn't mean it wouldn't have improved if I hadn't added the block.

I have been getting wildly varied phosphate readings from my Hanna Phosphorous test kit. For the last 2 years I was getting consistent readings, although usually quite high, but recently the readings have been hugely inconsistent (sometimes from zero - rarely - but more often from around 0.05 to .15 on consecutive tests, which I have put down to the reagent batch). The usual reading is probably between 0.03 and 0.1.

I wonder if the GHA dying off is releasing phosphate (or other nutrients) back into the system and contributing to the variations in test readings.

So I have much higher levels of phosphate than I want, although the GHA dying shows that phosphate is going in the right direction.

I have been using Zeozym with a double-dose of Biomate a couple of times a week and this usually gives a higher phosphate reading initially which then lowers over the following days. The high levels have been getting lower, so I presume it is pulling phosphate out of the rock (where the GHA was growing) and the levels in there are now diminishing.

I also use Biomate with Coral Snow a couple of times a week, along with Sponge Power.

I have around 10 SPS frags. They are now surviving (a big change!) and I have even seen some significant growth on some over the last couple of weeks. Things are therefore going in the right direction at last.

One odd thing is that my alkalinity reading (Hanna test kit) has actually gone up during the last week or so from 7.5 or lower to 8.5, although it seems to be dropping again. While corals were struggling I stopped using my calcium reactor and I just change about 8% water volume each week (using Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt). It seems odd that alkalinity was not dropping during the period prior to the rise and yet I have been seeing coral growth and improvement in their health and colours - perhaps they are using nitrate and contributing to the zero reading?

So... should I just keep doing what I am doing until the GHA is completely gone and phosphate should drop eventually or add a supplement (perhaps Amino Acids) to put more nitrate into the system (assuming it would do that) to help phosphate drop?

Any thoughts on that or anything else would be appreciated.

Other than that, Zeovit has absolutely helped me recover from the mess that Triton made of my tank and I am confident that the tank is on it's way to being what I want it to be.

Last edited by griff500; 10-18-2016 at 05:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2016, 02:58 AM
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G.Alexander G.Alexander 目前離線
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Can you please share some more information about your system including your full dosing regimen also the zeovit quantity and the flow through the reactor ?

http://www.zeovit.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14

G.Alexander
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2016, 06:05 AM
griff500 griff500 目前離線
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I hadn't done that as I wasn't looking for base dosing recommendations, but if you think it will help...

1. Gross water volume of your complete system (incl. sump etc.) - US gallons / UK gallons / liter 350 litres
2. Net water volume (incl. sump etc.) - US gallons / UK gallons / liter probably 280 or a bit more
3. Are you using a CaCO2 reactor or other technique Dastaco offline
4. Are you using a PO4 reactor (how long, how long ago, etc.) No
5. Are you using Ozone No
6. Are you using UV No
7. What skimmer are you using (type, rated water volume) Deltec 1351, rated for up to 500 L
8. What are your actual PO4 and NO3 levels in my original post – nitrate zero and phosphate variable
9. What are your actual Ca, Alk and Mg levels Ca measured quite high at 580 last week - need to check again. Alk in post - went up to 8.5 but going down again and was usually 7.5. No idea about Mg.
10. What filtration method do you use (refugium, DSB, Miracle Mud, etc.) Real Reef Rock ( over two years in the tank that was covered in GHA), Marine Pure block, Zeolite
11. Type of light (Watt, color temp, how old, etc.) 2 Radion Gen 4 Pros - modified AB+ schedule at 90%
12. What corals do you keep SPS
13. Tissue color (light or dark) Neither – colours appear good to me at the moment
14. How long has the tank been running over two years but using Zeo since about February 2016
15. Why do you want to use the ZEOvit system Nutrient control after these got out of control using Triton
16. Any supplemental dosing (type, amount, why, etc.) 3ml Coral Booster and Flatworm Stop each night (to help with some tissue loss in the middle of some corals and it seemed to help), 6 drops Biomate with Zeozym twice per week and with Coral Snow and 3 drops of Sponge Power twice per week. Coral Vitaliser once in a while on the basis that GHA was grabbing all the nutrients before the GHA started dying.
17. Live rock (how much, how old, etc.) Guessing 30Kg - over 2 years
18. Any present problems phosphate high
19. Problem description (tissue loss tips, tissue loss base, diatom bloom, algae, etc.) Corals were not surviving, Brown sand and GHA - all problems diminishing
20. What test kit do you use (how old, recently switched, etc.) Red Sea alk, Hanna for others
21. Present dosing, amounts and intervals (ZEOvit, ZEObak, ZEOfood, ZEOstart, ZEOspur2, etc.) Zeobak twice per week, Start diluted and dosed 6 times per day - from memory it was 0.6 ml per day undiluted. 3/4 litre Zeolite and flow gives 1 litre every 12-14 seconds
22. Other water parameters and water stability (salinity, temp, etc.) temp 79, salinity 35
23. Which salt brand do you use Tropic Marin Pro Reef
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2016, 01:34 AM
mefisto mefisto 目前線上
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Since you are converting from a Triton based system my best quess is that the biology of your tank is not completely stable in terms of Zeovit-conditions.

It sounds to me, because of your heavy feeding regimen (fish) and the GHA (green hair algea) your system has a phosphate depot which takes a long time to disappear. As confirmed by your different reading and up-down effect after using Zeozym.

In order to remove phosphate biologically both carbon and nitrogen have to be available, preferably in an organic way.

Your system seems to lack sufficient nitrogen as it is undetectable so I would suggest the following options:
- use small ammounts GFO to target remove the phosphate surplus; Use 100 ml of GFO in a steady setup (not tumbling), phosphate will drop, test weekly, and replace the GFO as soon as the level rises again, within a couple of weeks/months the level should stabilize, then reduce the amount of GFO in order to get the phosphate be removed by the Zeosystem only;
OR
- add nitrate (calciumnitrate) to make this not the limiting parameter untill phosphate is within the expected range, this will take a much longer periode and might enhance the growth of algea.

Both suggested solutions are not 'supported' by Zeovit, but work well.

From my personal experience: a high fish load = heavy feeding = high phosphate levels. Balancing this one requieres some 'fingerspitzengefhl'.

Can you please also post some pictures of your system.
30 kg of life rock sound fair to me for a 350 liter system.
The Marine Pure Block basically sounds like a dirt trap to me (my suggestion would be to remove it, but that is up to you).
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2016, 02:42 AM
griff500 griff500 目前離線
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Cheers. The phosphate level was not caused by heavy feeding – the heavier feeding has been recent and only since nitrate dropped to 0. I was hoping to avoid using GFO and that the dosing would eventually take care of it but concerned that zero nitrate would limit my ability to drop phosphate. The sump remains fairly clean and I use filter socks, so the block doesn't seem to be any shoe in that regard. I did wonder if it was possible to have too much filtration but bacteria should presumably be limited by available food sources.

I don't think I'm over feeding the fish but of course the food can introduce phosphate. Perhaps it can contribute, although I do feel that The primary issue was that phosphate head accumulated in the system.

Perhaps nitrate dosing would help.
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2016, 04:11 AM
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G.Alexander G.Alexander 目前離線
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Thank you for the details, you mention you use zeolite, is that the ZeoVit material or some other kind of Zeolite ?

Please also tell us how much material you use and what exactly the flow through the ZeoVit reactor is (measured).

The constant up and downs of the PO4 in this relative big range is really unusual, are you really sure it is not a issue of the test ?

G.Alexander
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2016, 04:21 AM
griff500 griff500 目前離線
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Zeovit Zeolite.

I am certain the variation in consecutive tests is down to the reagent. I expect a higher reading after Zeozym as it should be releasing stuff from rocks and substrate and it then goes down.

The only issue is that phosphate remains relatively high against zero detectable nitrate. Of course, if the phosphate levels were that bad then I would not expect GHA to be dying.

I am using approximately 2/3 of a pack (if memory serves me correctly) and, again from memory, it produces 1 litre (I would need to check the measuring jug that I use) every 12 to 14 seconds. I worked out the required flow and checked against recommendations for the same size tanks on here and that was the recommended flow.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2016, 03:04 PM
griff500 griff500 目前離線
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Two consecutive phosphate readings - 0.15 and 0.09. Obviously not great reagent BUT either way it's too high. Dosing Biomate and Sponge Power still.

Thoughts?
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2016, 01:57 AM
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G.Alexander G.Alexander 目前離線
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Lets try to dose 6 drops BioMate daily for one week, that should usually decrease the PO4.

G.Alexander
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2016, 03:23 AM
griff500 griff500 目前離線
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Thanks. I had a feeling that might be the suggestion and I'll give it a go.
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2016, 05:31 PM
griff500 griff500 目前離線
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I'm not having much luck with this.

Nitrate went up, along with phosphate, but it might have been that the Zeolite needed changing, which has been done.

Nitrate now at 1 and phosphate is now varying between 0.1 and 0.2 - far worse than it was and the corals are feeling it. One coral had looked bad but was really coming back strong and has now gone completely as the phosphate has risen. This is after perhaps 10 days of dosing 6 drops per day without missing many.

Kh was around 6.5 to 6.7 for the last week or so but today gave me 7.67 - no water change or additives during the period from the previous reading (6.55 yesterday from the same test reagent). Seriously? I thought things were becoming stable.

Should I just keep double-dosing the Biomate? I have complete one week of the new Zeolite media with daily Zeobak. Nitrate seems to be fairly stable but perhaps on the rise, although I expect it to sort itself out as the new media comes online. Algae is still diminishing.

I had thought I was over the hill and that things were heading in the right direction, but a couple of the corals are telling me otherwise.

Frustrating.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2016, 02:52 AM
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G.Alexander G.Alexander 目前離線
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In you r first post you have mention that your system has a heavy bioload, can you please post a list of fish and their sizes ?

Please also measure the flow through your zeovit reactor by collecting the water from the outlet for 30 seconds with a smaller container. Multiply this volume by 120 and you will get the output per hour.

Please also tell me how deep the sand in the system is and when you have exactly started Zeovit.

I would recommend to continue dosing 6 drops BioMate every other day at the moment.

G.Alexander
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2016, 05:14 AM
griff500 griff500 目前離線
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Alexander View Post
In you r first post you have mention that your system has a heavy bioload, can you please post a list of fish and their sizes ?

Please also measure the flow through your zeovit reactor by collecting the water from the outlet for 30 seconds with a smaller container. Multiply this volume by 120 and you will get the output per hour.

Please also tell me how deep the sand in the system is and when you have exactly started Zeovit.

I would recommend to continue dosing 6 drops BioMate every other day at the moment.

G.Alexander
I have been running Zeovit since around February 2016, so it's had around 9 months. The year prior to this was using Triton and this created significant algae issues. There is no question in my mind that phosphate had been allowed to build up in the system and once it showed in tests it was already absorbed into the rocks and sand.

1 litre every 13 seconds or so is the rate of flow. The sand bed is probably up to 3 inches at the ends and goes down to nothing at the center. I was considering trying to clean it out and even it up but the flow tends to create this.

I have the following fish:

- Yellow Tang (probably 4 inches or so - possibly a bit more).
- Purple Tang (as above).
- Powder Blue Tang (as above).
- Dot Dash Blenny (as above - possibly a bit less).
- Clownfish (about 2 inches).
- Matted File Fish (for the Aiptasia and perhaps 2 inches max).
- Cleaner Wrasse (for the PBT - max 3 inches).
- Scribbled Anthias x 7 (varying from 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches).
- Chromis (around 2.5 inches).

Perhaps as the algae dies off from the rock where I presume it could have been consuming phosphate the phosphate is being released.

As I mentioned previously, nitrate was a zero and wouldn't move up regardless of how much food went in. I am fairly certain that the Zeolite was beyond needing to be changed and this has been done, although perhaps the rise was linked to the phosphate level. Nitrate is currently around 2 using the Red Sea kit, so it isn't particularly excessive and I expect it to come back down as the Zeolite change kicks in and when phosphate drops.

Start3 is dosed automatically. I checked calibration and it was spot on. I believe it is 0.6ml per day, dosed 6 times per day.

I'll continue with 6 drops every second day of Biomate. The glass needs cleaning every day or so since increasing the dosage. Perhaps some more Zeozym would help.

It's odd that the phosphate level was under control when I initially posted about this issue and I simply wanted to drive it further down, but since increasing the dose of Biomate the levels appear to have risen. Perhaps the increased dose is forcing it out of the rock and sand and thus giving a higher reading? Whatever is happening it's certainly not making the corals happy, which is frustrating as I had seen significant improvements and it looked like things were finally on track.
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  #14  
Old 11-15-2016, 02:57 AM
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Thank you that all sounds good except the bioload you have already mention. The more fish are in the system the longer it will take until you notice a decrease of PO4.

I would recommend you to continue dosing as you already do, additional I would recommend to vacuum the sand while each water change to remove all the mulm coming from the deeper sand layers, maybe it also makes sense to replace the sand partial.

Make sure to adjust your skimmer to skim on the wet side while cleaning it daily to export as much as possible. It might also help to replace some of your rocks with good quality live rock.

G.Alexander
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2016, 04:36 AM
griff500 griff500 目前離線
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Alexander View Post
Thank you that all sounds good except the bioload you have already mention. The more fish are in the system the longer it will take until you notice a decrease of PO4.

I would recommend you to continue dosing as you already do, additional I would recommend to vacuum the sand while each water change to remove all the mulm coming from the deeper sand layers, maybe it also makes sense to replace the sand partial.

Make sure to adjust your skimmer to skim on the wet side while cleaning it daily to export as much as possible. It might also help to replace some of your rocks with good quality live rock.

G.Alexander
Thanks for that. I do try to keep my hands out of the tank as the Powder Blue gets stressed very easily (who would have thought).

Perhaps a wetter skim wouldn't be a bad idea at all and I'll certainly give some serious consideration to sorting out the sand. If starting the tank again I would have less sand in there and so perhaps at least a partial and gradual replacement would be useful.

I'll also continue with the Biomate dosing. I wonder if the phosphate spikes are simply related to the algae dying off, rock being exposed and then phosphate being released from the rock instead of being used by the algae and thus showing on the test kit. Does algae use nitrate as well? If it does then perhaps less algae would be a reason for more nitrate showing on tests until the bacteria can catch up. As the phosphate started to lower initially and algae started dying from the rock I got some algae growth on the sand but now there is none on the sand, which should hopefully indicate that there is not quite so much bound up in the sand.

With regard to bioload, as I had zero nitrate for quite some time would that not indicate that the system is capable of dealing with the nutrient export? Remember that I have a marine pure block for bacteria along with the Zeolite and I did leave the Zeolite too long before I changed it.

This hobby is as fascinating as it is frustrating. Love it.
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