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Old 05-08-2019, 12:23 AM
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Default What to feed the tank?

Recently some of my SPS are looking a bit pale. I’m thinking they are starving, as nitrates are undetectable. I have 16 fish but most of them are smallish. I do feed generously, including frozen daily but I guess it’s not enough. I started adding BRS Reef Chili (with skimmer turned off overnight) a few weeks ago and I think I see some improvement. Now I’m thinking of adding Oyster Feast to the mix. Any thoughts, experience with this?

Interesting that we noobies are told to get an over-sized skimmer, which I think is what I did (Vertex 180 for a 110gal). And now there’s a school of thought that you can over-skim? I do get a very dark evil-smelling skim-mate, so I don’t think I need to make an adjustment there? I also have a large ball of chaeto in the fuge that I’m trying to remember to harvest more often. (Anyone need some haha)
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Last edited by Dash; 05-08-2019 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:42 AM
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I have had that problem with my tank. No matter how much I feed I can never get any nitrates. Without nitrates the colours of your sps will be pale.

I add NaNO3 to my tank daily to help keep my nitrates at 1ppm. You could try putting your skimmer on a timer to see if that helps. It didn't for me. I completely truned off my skimmer and still couldn't get any nitrates. I have added more fish and feed twice a day but still no nitrates.

If you choose to go the NaNO3 or KNO3 route be sure to monitor your phosphates because you can cause them to crash as I did. Zero phosphates is worse than zero nitrates. I have to add a little bit of KPO4 to help keep my phosphates from crashing.

Make sure to use a good nitrate test kit. ReaSea Pro is the best affordable option.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:23 PM
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If you start dosing nitrates and or phosphates, test the water before dosing and then again after. Then test again the next day. If you are like me the first few weeks you will be adding a crazy amount of stuff a day to get any readings.

That could have been because my N&P levels were truly 0. Something to keep in mind if you have trouble getting any reading
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:27 AM
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I’m not sure if I want to go down the road of dosing nitrates. Might be a can of worms I shouldn’t open. I am chicken & would rather take the slower less risky(?) route. I was thinking more along the line of coral food, AcroPower, more fish? Wondering if anyone had suggestions.

After using Reef Chili for a few weeks, I think I actually see a bit of improvement. Some of my more finicky zoas, which have shrunk down, look brighter. My colony of 20-30 Rastas had become a single tiny yellow dot, but yesterday I saw there were 4 yellow dots! Progress!

I used to to think my little fish were so neat & tidy, and was shocked when I saw my yellow tang’s poop the first time. Like, what!�� I don’t even see my other fish’s poop. Now I wish they would contribute more haha
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Last edited by Dash; 05-09-2019 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:00 AM
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More fish!! I have recently run in to the 1-2ppm nitrate and 0 phosphate situation. I feed regularly and quite heavy. I have larger fish for sure, maybe my system is finally maturing... I don’t know. I do know that at some point nutrients will be detectable with more fish and more feeding (overstocked tank when I dove in to the hobby)
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:34 AM
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Your corals can do fine with low nutrients, mine were doing OK for a couple years. However if you want sps that aren't brown or dull you need some nitrates.

Not sure dosing nitrates is a can of worms, although it is a bit of work because you have to monitor it. It is actually very effective and your corals will start colouring up very quickly, I was seeing results within a week.

Adding fish, feeding more and reducing your skimmer time can all help but the results are not as quick.

I had problems with Acropower causing Cyano bacteria. According to Reef2Reef amino acids can be like candy to Cyano. You don't have to have high nitrates and phosphates to have a Cyano bloom, hair algae or dinoflagellates for that matter. Just ask Llorgon.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:51 PM
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I would have to agree with Frogger. Dosing nitrates and phosphates isn't really a can of worms. As long as you test and don't add too much you will be ok.

The reason my tank looks like it does is because I was trying to grow algae to out compete the dinos. I intentionally had really high nitrates and phosphates for an extended period of time.

One thing to consider as well is adding all that coral food can(I say can because no one really knows for sure) help contribute to dinos. During my research many people had low nitrates and started to add various coral foods and ended up with dinos. Very possible it's a coincidence though.

I did however see a cool video of how one guy feeds his corals. He was using reef roids and would add a tiny bit of water to it until it's a thick paste. Then use a syringe to give each coral/head a bit of it. Really cuts down on the waste since he could give a little bit to each coral and only enough that it would eat. Might be worth a shot.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:40 AM
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The problem is Iím a bit lazy about testing. I am mulling over what fish to add, and probably going with a very light coral feeding routine
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dash View Post
The problem is Iím a bit lazy about testing. I am mulling over what fish to add, and probably going with a very light coral feeding routine
More fish!!! Nutrients will go up . Also then you can name them and take awesome photos
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:07 AM
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I canít seem to decide on which fish to add Anyway, in the meantime Iíve started a routine of adding Acropower at the lowest recommended dose. Weíll see how it goes. After sticking to a consistent schedule of adding Reef Chili, I have definitely seen improvement. Zoas that were fading away and shrinking have rebounded, and SPS have coloured up. Itís been easy to see with the Red Diablo for instance, that became a pale pink but has now deepened. I swear I see a hint of purple in the bonsai, which has never been purple but a light tan.

Iím hopeful to see what progresses.
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