Increase Carbon Dose Amount?

Discussion in 'General Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Uncle99, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Uncle99

    Uncle99 Well-Known Member

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    For 10 months I have been carbon dosing with RS NoPox to keep nitrates in control.
    I have a target of 5ppm, using 10 ml per day, and I have maintained this level up til now.

    Over the course of the last three months or so, I have added another 20 or so Corals to the existing 30.

    I have noticed over the three months that nitrate (but not phosphate)has gradually increased to 20ppm. I would to go back to target. Feedings frequency,amount, and food types have not changed throughout.

    My question is does it make sense that as load increases, carbon dosing should increase proportionally?

    I am thinking of changing the daily dose from 10ml to 15ml in hopes that the bacterial counts also increases and thus reduce nitrates from 20ppm.

    Does that make sense?
     
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  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    What you plan makes sense, but consider that the more you use, the more nitrate consuming bacteria you will have in the tank. In a way, your "walking out on a limb" and you don't want to take things too far. Systems have crashed from overdoing the carbon dosing. However, I don't think you'll have an issue with what you plan.

    As usual the key here is to observe how well the fish and corals are doing. If they are doing good, make your changes very slowly. As usual, don't chase numbers.
     
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  3. SPR

    SPR Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong, (but keep that quiet! Lol) but I don’t think coral load increases Nitrate levels (unless your talking about the food your feeding them) They consume nutrients that maybe would turn into Nitrate eventually, as a food source?

    If you increase the NoPox dose just do it slowly maybe 1ml extra per day for a week and then increase again after a week and just make fine adjustments as it can be very powerful stuff and you are messing with bacteria in the system. If your getting bacterial slime just either increase flow to the area (I do this with power heads in the sump were slime forms) or back off on the dose as it can be a sign of overdosing along with cloudy water.

    To give you an idea I have a massive bioload and a 650 litre tank (probably 575 after displacement) and I’m currently dosing 19ml per day having just dropped back from 21ml.

    If I change the dose I do it slowly, at 1 or 2 ml extra/less and then test and adjust after at least a week as necessary. I wouldn’t recommend going from10 to 15ml as that’s a 50% increase per day and you could cause issues.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
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  4. Uncle99

    Uncle99 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting comments, I just seemed to jump to the conclusion that because I add a lot of corals (but no fish) to the DT, this would increase my nutrients, this then would increase my nitrates ( from 10-20ppm) and if I increase my bacterial population, those guys would consume more and drop the nitrates. Nitrate seems to have risen over the last 3 months, I have no idea why. No change at all in tank feedings.

    I have this benchmark of 5ppm, but all the inhabitants look great at 20ppm,so again, like PH, I find myself chasing the numbers.

    Since everything is doing so well, if the nitrate stays at 20ppm and everyone's happy, then, why do anything at all???

    If nitrate continues to rise, then I will only make the 1ml or 10% change for a week and see what happens to nitrate.

    My concern was that excess nutrients would lead to algae blooms, yet this has not happened.

    Perhaps the coral load with use a bit for food as SPR suggests.

    Thanks my friends for your usual kind and balanced advice.

    Steve
     
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  5. SPR

    SPR Well-Known Member

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    Your more than welcome Steve

    You didn’t mention your phosphate levels and from my own personal experience all of the algae I have ever had came from an increased phosphate level of 0.16ppm when I started out as NoPox wouldn’t keep it down. I added Rhowaphos in addition and keep it at an average of 0.03ppm, so very low.

    I use a Hanna tester for phosphate and I’m happy if it says 0 as I know it has a small margin of error and won’t actually be 0 because of the bioload/feeding. I’m actually getting to the point I no longer test phosphate every week, because I just change the Rhowaphos every 3-4 weeks and that locks it down

    I have zero algae and run my Nitrate at around 10-16ppm and the corals thrive and grow.

    I was in exactly the same mind process as you, thinking I must get Nitrate down when it first hit 16, then I thought why, it’s just a number, but I was still ‘uncomfortable’ at the start

    I would just increase your NoPox dose maybe 1ml/day every week until you get near to the number your after and then monitor it. Or just maintain as you are if 20 is ok, which in your case it seems to be and it’s only slightly higher than my system.

    The odd thing is that some of the best tanks in the world have high nutrient levels, but then others have ultra low.......
     
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  6. Uncle99

    Uncle99 Well-Known Member

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    SPR, phosphate has been running consistently for about a year now in the range of .07-.10. Right now, no algae issues, so this number seems to work.

    RED SEA agrees with your thinking of increasing very slowly by 1 ml per week until testing brings you down to your target nitrate range, 0 is not the number you want, they like 1-2.5 ppm, I had 5 ppm before and everything looked good.

    By increasing from 10 to 11ml per day, I am down from 20 to 10 ppm in four days. I will increase again(assuming the decrease stops) Next week by 1 ml, then again the following week by 1 ml until I get back to 5 ppm.

    RED SEA sees their product as a "management system" for largely nitrate and to a much lesser extent, phosphate. The label is the starting point and increases/decreases are done from there, every tank is different.

    Thanks again for your great comments and putting me certainly in the right (and balanced) direction.
     
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  7. SPR

    SPR Well-Known Member

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    Your more than welcome Steve.

    It is what they say, a management system, and it’s just a matter of balancing it out with your system and it’s relatively easy once you get into it.
     
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  8. Uncle99

    Uncle99 Well-Known Member

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    Again correct SPR!
    Nitrate back down somewhere between 3-7ppm, it only needed just 2ml extra daily to get me maybe a bit lower than before, I'm OK with that. Just want to be in that range consistently.
    We will now watch weekly.

    I also found that ROWA stuff you mentioned for phosphates, quite exotic phosphate absorption stuff, I am hoping to manage the phosphates in the .02-.04 range, although again, when you get that low, it's harder to get a perfect reading. Out a bit don't matter to me.

    Appreciate the tips! They are quite helpful!

    Steve
     
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    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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