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Thread: scrubber and limited waterchanges,water test results

  1. #1

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    scrubber and limited waterchanges,water test results

    Well my scrubber has bee my sole filtration for years now and I almost never change any water,however I have been having some small issues with the tank this year such as a lack of coraline and some bleaching sps corals. well I went to a good LFS who used new seachem test kits and here are the results:

    ph=8.3

    alk=10

    ca=600

    mag=1500

    amm=o

    trate=o

    phosphate=2 not .2

    strontium=7

    iron=

    I have a few questions.

    1. I dose Iron all the time,how can it be zero?
    2. My strontium is low,should I dose it? does coraline or turf algae use this?
    3. Why is my scrubber not removing any phosphate?

  2. #2
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    Iron is at naturally low levels in the ocean and gets consumed almost immediately. You can almost dose as much as you want and it will be gone in no time.

    I think my Strontium has always been zero. I dosed an entire bottle of Seachem Strontium and it went to 1 or 2, which is within the limits of variability of the Strontium test kit. I don't dose Strontium and I hate spending 35 minutes performing one test LOL.

    2.0 on P are you serious? Was that on a Hanna Checker or a liquid reagent kit? Ouch!

    You now join the "rising phosphate" club. Although the P in the dentist's tank bottomed out last week so I might be a goner from the club (took another sample today). But you are seeing Nitrate limitation and (new possibility) a lack of an algae strain that absorbs more P than N compared to the redfield ratio. Your solution is to take a VERY SMALL amount of GFO (like a teaspoon) and put it somewhere in an area of decent flow, which will SLOWLY reduce the level of P that has built up over time. If you really want to do this right, get a Hanna Checker Phosphate or Phosphorus (I have the first one) and learn how to use it, then test your water BEFORE adding the GFO, then 24 hrs after. GFO can take P out too fast if too much is used on a tank that has high P, and this will shock your tank (corals) and can cause issues. So use a small amount and note the change. Add more/replace when P levels stop dropping, and remove all together when P drops out completely. Continue normal feeding during this period. Once P is gone, remove GFO and test probably every other day or so. Write results down. P may leech out of rocks if it has been there for a long time so GFO may be needed on occasion to "reset" the system to zero. The scrubber should keep it in check for the most part, and use the GFO to keep it where it needs to be.

    Until there is some kind of further study into specific strains of algae in our tanks that can be translated into what you need, this is about all you can do. It may turn out that most of the algae we all need is already in our tanks, but different strains react to different wavelengths of light more efficiently than others. It may be that the type of food you feed or even the composition of your system mandates the dominant strain of algae on your screen (I'm reaching here, but it's possible). There are a number of factors that could explain the incidence of rising P. A weakness in your scrubber could also be one of them - that is a possibility that would be easier to solve than the rest of the above mentioned theoretical causes.

  3. #3
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    Let's have a look at your screen green machine. Something not right with your pH and calc.

    Usually get high calc with low pH as far as I know

  4. #4

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    thanks guys. My API test kits read this alk=11 ca=500 ph=8.3 mag=2000

    At this point I do not know what to think. So here is what the plan is, I put a can(250 ml) of seachems phosguard into a hob filter and that will run on the sump for the next 24 hours.

    Later tonight I will be doing a huge 75% water change. Then next week I will be purchasing some hanna meters,I feel like everything is a guessing game without them!!

    I will post some pics tonight! stay tuned!

  5. #5
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    Or just make the scrubber stronger.

  6. #6

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    Wa...75% water change....I would only do that if somehow I got toxic materials in the water, just for P, would rather do it slowly. Also, 250 ml of PhosGuard seems a lot to me.

  7. #7

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    santa/holidayz: I just made the scrubber as strong as I know how! It seems to be working much better now,I have just got better growth in 24 hours than I would normally get in a week!! But I HAD to take drastic measures to save the coral,,$150.00 does not come easy these days! I will post pics asap. Santa, are your phosphate and nitrate reading zero? what test kits do you use? And what about "cryptic" zones like your sump and overflow,,I just cleaned both of mine,each had about an inch of black mud that smelled like pure sulfer. and I had thousands of featherdusters in each area,,,my thinking was that the dusters wear catching and eating all of the corals food,,,so now my sump and overflow are clean as a whistle!

  8. #8

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    O..I'm just a newbie in the scrubbing world, no where near SM knowledge!
    Just sharing some of my experience in reef husbandry and from my experience, 75% watch change may actually do more harm than good. Just my 2 cents.

  9. #9

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    some pics

    here is the blacked out scrubber housing,my new gravity feed,some growth,and flow shots.
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  10. #10

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    holidayz, I know,,,,It was a risky move,,,,but I was willing to take the risk in order to get my levels where I wanted them,,,So far everything is doing ok,,,,so far lol

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