Need suggestion - nitrate 0ppm, phosphate 0.20 ppm, lots of green hair algae

Zpmada

New member
It looks like my nitrates are the limiting factor. My chaeto isn't growing as quick as green hair algae. My bicolor blenny isn't interested in eating the green hair algae. I have plenty of snails but the green hair algae maybe too long for them. Some clumps 4" before I brushed them with a toothbrush.

Should I use GFO to get the phosphate down?

Or should I dose nitrate to get the chaeto growing and consuming the phosphate?

Is there any food that is only nitrate without phosphate?

I tried feeding R.O.E. straight from the bottle. Could that be why my phosphate are much higher than nitrate?

Thanks
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
I wouldn't mess with nitrate or phosphate. I would be aggrssivelly removing hair algae with manual removal. When I'm called in to get nuisance algae it's not unusual to see low nitrates or phosphate numbers and to see the algae dissappear without changes or to see the numbers rise. And there's plenty of examples of systems with high numbers and no nuisance algae. FOrest Rohwer discusses the equilibium of reef ecosystems in his book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" and how the "steady state" may be favorable to corals or to algae. Also keep in mind corals and algae use other forms of phosphorus and nitrogen we can't test for like dissolved organic forms. Below are two threads on the local forum on how I shifted the equilibrium without adding or removing nitrates or PO4.

http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/34556-hair-algae-a-case-study/?tab=comments#comment-275433
http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic...econd-case-study/?tab=comments#comment-325744
 

monkeysee1

Member
Interesting, Timfish.
Was going to suggest Zpmada use RowaPhos but the articles you posted make more sense.
SMALL water changes most effective in bringing it down? Large ones are actually counterproductive??
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
I haven't seen teh connection between high phosphate and nuisance algae as has often been pointed out. Before I stumbled across the research done by ROhwer and others showing the antagonistc relationship between algae and corals it seemed obvious to me having tanks with "high" phospphate and not nuisance algae issues there was something a lot more complex happening. Richard Ross's video by BRS does a good job discussing this.

As far as size of the water change controlled studies I'm pretty sure would show an optimum percentage and frequency. I've settled on relatively small weekly or biweekly because in my experiences in dealling with these issues over the years larger ones, in the range of 30% to 50%, were a lot of work and didn't seem to me to be any more productive or quicker in reducing algae growth from week to week. I want to emphasize I do not have a magic number to use. Each system and each problem will have their differences. WHat I have seen is I would say seems a rough correltation to the general cycles given by Nilsen and Fossa in their books "The Mordern Coral Reef Aquarium".

One of my more educational expericenes was maintianing a reef system in a house that was unoccupied for 3 years. There were three separate occasions the system was crashed due to realitors or electricians leaving doors open or turning off power. Each time there were fish and corals that survived. Each time the owner choose not to put any effort in remediation, just continue basic weekly maintnenace which included 5%-8% water changes. Each time the system corrected it self and nuisance algae dissappeared over roughly 6-8 months. This was without the scrubbing or aggressive siphoning I did in the above links. This was a revelation to me nuisance algae could be corrected just with small weekly water changes.

Now, getting into the problems of reducing PO4 is another very complicated subject. Here's links if you want to dig into the research here's some links:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/jour...reef-corals/AFB1CF4CB68823BD13AD254623FD3C7C#
An Experimental Mesocosm for Longterm Studies of Reef Corals

Phosphate Deficiency:
Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching:
https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1661

Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont:
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2015.00103/full

Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17301601?via=ihub

Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022098111004588

High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata
http://jeb.biologists.org/content/214/16/2749.full

Phosphorus metabolism of reef organisms with algal symbionts
https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.w...98e60zfBEvx5IcIVGhmlpUYmzIJuqUNVm0sG8_0vth6lq

https://therichross.com/skeptical-reefkeeping-ix-test-kits-chasing-numbers-and-phosphate/

Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle
https://www.pnas.org/content/112/14/4191

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges
https://www.pnas.org/content/112/14/4381
 
Last edited:

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
One reason new folk have algae problems is rock and sand that lacks 'age'. But another very major reason is a weak (it'll do) skimmer for the tank size.
 

Oldreeferman

New member
It looks like my nitrates are the limiting factor. My chaeto isn't growing as quick as green hair algae. My bicolor blenny isn't interested in eating the green hair algae. I have plenty of snails but the green hair algae maybe too long for them. Some clumps 4" before I brushed them with a toothbrush.

Should I use GFO to get the phosphate down?

Or should I dose nitrate to get the chaeto growing and consuming the phosphate?

Is there any food that is only nitrate without phosphate?

I tried feeding R.O.E. straight from the bottle. Could that be why my phosphate are much higher than nitrate?




Have you considered a small Tuxedo Urchin? They are the smallest short spine urchin and a beautiful color i have one and its eating even my wire algae relentlessly. Mine is the size of my thumbnail & they grow slow if to even 3" max. Also ive had no issues with it bothering anything or bulldozing. Awesome clean up crew member and fun to watch as it likes to camoflage with things laying about. I had a long spine urchin once that just bulldozed everything so this was a last resort experiment i do not regret it now just had to research further about small urchins(eating crow) LOL.

Thanks
 
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