License to krill

Should I chase lower numbers?

Jonathan Chia

Supporting Member
I just did a 5G water change on my nuvo 40(probably 35G of water volume, maybe a little less) and my after water change results were:
Nitrate: ~2.5 - 5PPM
Phosphate: 0.08 PPM

Usually after a week of no water change, my numbers sit at:
Nitrate: 5 -10PPM
Phosphate: .12PPM

I'm not overly worried about my nitrate numbers since I can keep them in check with water changes, however, my phosphates aren't quite as low as I think they need to be? SPS coloration is okay, but I feel like it could be more vibrant.

I run GFO out of a media rack, but I feel like it doesn't do much or gets exhausted quickly...Is it worth using phosphate RX or Phosphat -E to get these numbers lower to the .03 range?
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
Well, you could try it and see.
Do a 5G water change twice a week for 3 months.
Then decide: Is the difference in coral color (if any) worth the hassle of the water change.
 

iCon

Supporting Member
Chasing is bad. Stability is good.

Lowering nutrients via macro algae is much preferred over GFO and all the other stuff you can add to a tank.
 

Jonathan Chia

Supporting Member
Yea I have a Santa Monica dropx algae scrubber but it doesnt seem to be growing anything...Really not sure if dropping from .08 phos to .03 is really going to help with color though
 

Wlachnit

BOD
Staff member
I would have to agree with everyone here. I don’t test anymore either. Occasionally Alk, but that’s it.


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Kensington Reefer

Supporting Member
the water change needs to be large enough to matter!
you can't do a water change that is too large (assuming that the new water is "ideal"...proper temp and salinity)
if you're using a mix, it is generally safe to assume that what is on the label is in the bucket or bag.
that said, the purpose of the water change is to remove undesirables (nitrates, phosphates, hormones,...etc.)
AND to replenish the elements that have been pulled from solution in biological processes

don't waste you money on the "rainbow' of bottles and powders
just DO the WATER CHANGES

the said, I do add a buffer for pH
and I do use NSW

just my $0.02
 

Flagg37

Supporting Member
I have a range for most things. Some are somewhat tight and others are super loose. Specific gravity I try to keep pretty tight (+/- 0.001) It’s also one of the easiest to control. Temp is another that I keep pretty tight (+/- 0.5 degrees); again pretty easy to control (except when it gets hot in the summer). No3 and po4 is pretty loose though. I like 5-10 ppm for no3 but I’ve had as high as 40 with no real problems. Po4 I try to keep low but wouldn’t want it to go below 0.03. It got up to 0.3 once and corals didn’t like it.

When I see something going awry I’ll try and slowly steer it back but only if the livestock is telling me there’s something they don’t like.
 

JVU

BOD
Staff member
I just did a 5G water change on my nuvo 40(probably 35G of water volume, maybe a little less) and my after water change results were:
Nitrate: ~2.5 - 5PPM
Phosphate: 0.08 PPM

Usually after a week of no water change, my numbers sit at:
Nitrate: 5 -10PPM
Phosphate: .12PPM

I'm not overly worried about my nitrate numbers since I can keep them in check with water changes, however, my phosphates aren't quite as low as I think they need to be? SPS coloration is okay, but I feel like it could be more vibrant.

I run GFO out of a media rack, but I feel like it doesn't do much or gets exhausted quickly...Is it worth using phosphate RX or Phosphat -E to get these numbers lower to the .03 range?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with having target values for key parameters, and making slow changes, with the goal of stability within your target ranges.

When you say “chase numbers” it automatically gives an intentionally negative connotation that everyone will agree isn’t good. If you yourself think of it as chasing, then don’t.

For what it’s worth, your recent testing results are within a lot of people’s optimal range so I would not worry about pushing them lower personally.
 

Jonathan Chia

Supporting Member
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm currently running an XR30 on AB+ at about 85% intensity on my nuvo40.

Trying to get my acro colors to look like what they do online (big mistake I know). I figured maybe the slightly higher than "ideal" phosphate levels might be contributing so I'd want to drive it lower, but it seems my tank stabilizes out at the .1 level..Everything is still growing so nothing is broken and its probably best to keep it that way
 

Coral reefer

BOD
Staff member
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm currently running an XR30 on AB+ at about 85% intensity on my nuvo40.

Trying to get my acro colors to look like what they do online (big mistake I know). I figured maybe the slightly higher than "ideal" phosphate levels might be contributing so I'd want to drive it lower, but it seems my tank stabilizes out at the .1 level..Everything is still growing so nothing is broken and its probably best to keep it that way
.08-.1 is fine. If you want yours to look like pics online then take pics of them under blue lights and use post productions tweaks.
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
the water change needs to be large enough to matter!
you can't do a water change that is too large (assuming that the new water is "ideal"...proper temp and salinity)
if you're using a mix, it is generally safe to assume that what is on the label is in the bucket or bag.
that said, the purpose of the water change is to remove undesirables (nitrates, phosphates, hormones,...etc.)
AND to replenish the elements that have been pulled from solution in biological processes

don't waste you money on the "rainbow' of bottles and powders
just DO the WATER CHANGES

the said, I do add a buffer for pH
and I do use NSW

just my $0.02
You make giant water changes sound so simple. :)
And I have seen you do one, and with your setup it is pretty easy.
But not everyone has a 500G salt water storage tank or wholesale connections to get NSW delivered relatively cheaply and regularly.

But I do agree at least for the more trace elements:
You can mess with all these funky bottles, powders, tests, and so on, and still not get it right.
Water changes are really hard to beat.
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
.08-.1 is fine. If you want yours to look like pics online then take pics of them under blue lights and use post productions tweaks.
Agree!
The only reason to really worry about getting phosphate lower than those levels would be if you have a Cynao outbreak.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
Coral color is not dictated only by the nutrient levels. It's the major and minor trace elements, ligts flow..ect
While nutrient levels can tend to impact how deep or light coral color is, it's a combination of all of the above what decide the final results.
Moral of what am trying to say. Do not chace a paramater or 2 in isolation. Mature your system, make paramaters rock solid especially kh and have a good nutrient level that is steady..
Your coral will color up.

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