GHA and Nitrate and Phosphate readings

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae' started by Rookie, 23 May 2013.

  1. Rookie

    Rookie

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    Hi all,

    When one has GHA in your tank, its normally said that the nitrate and phosphate readings per our test kits are misleading or false due to the GHA consuming the nitrates and phosphates (i.e. they are low due to it being consumed by the GHA). Algae scrubbers are normally used in order to keep nuisance under control. So now my question is, are the readings we get from our test kits also not misleading or false if we have a scrubber as part of our filtration system?
     
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  3. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    No, those reasings are quite accurate as the nitrates & phosphates are anyhow going to be removed from the system by removing the algae...
    It would definitely be inaccurate if you want to measure the complete system nitrates & phosphates as most of it would be captured in the gha & other algaes...
     
  4. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    GHA or any algae can "mine" the insoluble PO4 directly from rocks etc. remember test kits cant measure the PO$ that has precipitated out of solution, eg calcium phosphate but this can also be a food source for the algae.

    So while keeping NO3 and PO4 low via chemical and/or biological, good husbandry will take care of the rest
     
  5. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Macro algae have rudimentary root systems that are able to mine nutrients from rocks, however most of their nutrients are removed from the water, therby making tests kits inaccurate.
     
  6. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    I disagree with the above if you have GHA in your aquarium its due to the phosphates in your aquarium if you have no phosphate you would have no GHA. With an algae scrubber you have a dedicated place to grow your algae and in this enviroment its there because of the light you provide it and the light is the food source for it. When it grows it helps remove nitrates and phosphates from the water as this is also a food source for it. When you harvest algae from the scrubber you now open some space for new growth and as this quickly grows again you get a further drop in these levels.

    This is my understanding of how it works and i may be wrong but maybe @Adee can explain further.

    A test kit should be giving you the correct levels and it is possible for it to be incorrect.
    My point being if you have GHA in your tank you have phosphates too, should you have no phosphates in your tank you should have no algae there either.
     
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  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    GHA can grow where our test kits measure 0 PO4 in the water, why do we all forget that rocks, calcium phosphate precipitate etc are also food sources, organic or inorganic PO4 is PO4 and still "available" to algae
     
  8. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    @ADVdiverer you've have totally confused me:confused:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    Where did i go wrong :blush:
     
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  10. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    here
    contradiction?
     
  11. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all the responses. To be honest, this is a bit too scientific for me. The reason for my question is due to me having a GHA issue due to a neglect in husbanry over the last 2 months. I was considering adding a scrubber but it seems that a scrubber simply 'moves' the GHA from the display to the scrubber screen. I have started getting my husbandry in order again so hopefully I will get my nitrates and phosphates down.

    "So while keeping NO3 and PO4 low via chemical and/or biological, good husbandry will take care of the rest"

    I currently only run a skimmer and dsb with some chaeto and a few pieces of liverock on the DSB. Would like to keep my dsb, how could I compliment it to keep my nitrates and phosphates in check?
     
  12. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    @dallasg yes it is possible to get a false reading from your test kit if it is out of date or expired and most good kest kits will have an additional reagent to confirm the kit is good.

    Phosphate from the bond with calcium will still leach into your water and if you maintain low phosphates ie 0.01 to 0.03 you will and can get rid of them.

    Sorry for the confusion hope this explains it better.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  13. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    A couple months ago, in my frag tank, my nitrates were 0.00 - 0.07 & phosphates were permanently less than 0.01ppm. (confirmed with hanna checkers)
    I still had a thin layer of green hair algae growing against the glass after a couple months of almost 0 nutrients...
    I was running a 14000K 150Wmh over the tank. I then replaced the bulb with a 16000K & over the next week, the algae completely died off.
    In this case, it would have been nearly impossible for the algae to "mine nutrients" as it was on the clean glass...
    So in my case, the lighting still had a large effect on the algae growth...

    So i agree with some of the statements here, but from my experience, i have found that algae CAN grow in tanks with almost undetectable nutrients & unable to "mine" nutrients from rock / substrate.
     
  14. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Easiest & most effective way to remove nitrates is with biocubes & phosphates with GFO.

    Although algae scrubbers are very effective at consuming nutrients in a controlled area, the biocubes are far more effective & maintenance is almost non existent. You just have to replace it every 6-12 months...
     
  15. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    I had read up on bio cubes and have considered it. I will first get my husbandry right and if it does not improve, I will give bio cubes a go.

    Thanks:thumbup:
     
  16. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    @Rookie, adding biocubes IS part of good husbandry!
    Its nearly impossible to lower nutrients enough with only good husbandry/waterchanges to stop the growth of algae! So do yourself a BIG favour & first get some biocubes to bring down your nutrients & you can compliment thatwith some waterchanges & other good husbandry practices...
    You will be amazed at how much time biocubes can save you that you can rather use on keeping your reef building elements stable & enjoying your tank...

    You are more than welcome to ask anyone else that uses cubes how mich more enjoyable it is to keep a tank with cubes.
    @dallasg, @irie ivan...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  17. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    I hear what you are saying and it speaks to everything else Ive read bout bio cubes. The only thing is that I will have to remove my DSB if I add them. Please correct me if Im wrong.... And that I dont want to do at this time as I am afraid of losing the bacteria population in the DSB and having the cubes not become 100% effective immediatly resulting in ammonia spikes etc.

    I dont wanna frustrate you, I am just too scared to do anything that'll put my livestock at risk.
     
  18. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    Any and all guidance on how to go about the whole thing will be highly appreciated!
     
  19. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    well you just add them as on the instructions and thats it
     
  20. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Leave the DSB & just add the cubes... The DSB can still be beneficial by being a hosting place for detritus eaters & giving biological stability to the system.
     
  21. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    Okay cool. Thanks. I will work out how much I need to get for my tank and add them with an airstone.

    Once again, thanks guys.
     
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