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Thread: Ultra-high PO4 & NO3

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    Ultra-high PO4 & NO3

    I just got done evaluating a tank maintained by an LFS. The Phosphate is 10 (API, verified by 10:1 and 20:1 dilution with fresh saltwater) and Nitrate is at 200-250 (verified the same way).

    I seem to remember reading that a scrubber will grow black under these conditions until the nutrient levels drop. Is this correct?

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    Re: Ultra-high PO4 & NO3

    Yes, you'll need to clean every two days for a while. Also starting out with temporarily extra high wattage will speed it up.

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    Re: Ultra-high PO4 & NO3

    Thanks for the quick reply. Also, this is unfortunately a Copper tank - Salifert 0.5-1.0ppm (300 gallon acrylic). The LFS is using it as a crutch I believe, less algae, less maintenance. I will need to add a bunch of carbon to remove the copper. I am also assuming that I will have to keep the carbon in there for quite a while as the copper leeches out of the system (I have no idea how long the tank has been treated for). Does this present a different problem? I read the copper thread. Just wanted to verify.

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    Re: Ultra-high PO4 & NO3

    Also, to your knowledge, has anyone tried installing a scrubber on a tank with 200 ppm nitrates and 10 ppm phosphates? How long does a brand-new scrubber take to knock the nutrients down?

    Another tank I am working on building one for is currently at about 1/2 that. 125 gallon, 100-120 nitrates, 2-4 phosphates. This one will be getting an 80g PWC tomorrow, so hopefully the levels will be down low enough to reduce the break-in time. Still, at 40-50 nitrate and 1-2 phosphate, same question?

    What about using a pre-grown screen from another tank? I could make another screen and sandwich it over the one on the 120 I have viewtopic.php?f=3&t=743 and get it seeded for a week or two. Would that help speed up the process, or and I still going to ge the black oily sludge?

    What is that stuff anyways?

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    Re: Ultra-high PO4 & NO3

    A scrubber will work with any high amount of N and P... it will just grow darker and need cleaning as soon as the dark stuff covers the screen. Again, extra temporary very-high-lighting will speed it up.

    Algae removes copper, too. So if the copper is not too high, you can get some growth and it will pull the copper out.

    Don't use a screen from another tank. It will just die in the high N and P of the new tank. Let the new tank grow the stuff it can grow on it's own.

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    Re: Ultra-high PO4 & NO3

    That is perfect! I can knock the copper down with pad & carbon before running the ATS (right now at 0.5-1.0) and replace the substrate and decor.

    Here's the big question: will I be able to add inverts and corals down the line after running an ATS for a while? Will the copper be reduced enough?

    It's an acrylic tank, not sure if that makes a difference

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    Re: Ultra-high PO4 & NO3

    You'll have to use a copper test.

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    Re: Ultra-high PO4 & NO3

    I know that. What I was asking is will the scrubber remove copper to the extent that snails and other inverts will be able to be added to the tank at some point in the future. I have read varying opinions regarding being able to put inverts and corals in a tank after copper treatment. I plan to replace everything but the tank, sump, and pumps. Maybe this is not related to the ATS at all, but more of a copper question, since there are pads that filter out copper too.

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