Problem -(N,P) +(Ca,Mg,K,I,Sr,dKH)

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by I_Broke_It, 16 Oct 2009.

  1. I_Broke_It

    I_Broke_It

    Joined:
    13 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB
    Hi, Just like to know some things. I am trying to figure out the best way to run my tank. I would like things to make sense in a logical way. Please do not try because I say so.

    Minus (what we need to take out)
    -----
    We add N and P to our system by feeding. This will most likely have a N : P relationship if the same food is fed all the time. It would most likely be very similar for every one.

    I know that growing plants take these two out in a N : P relationship. I was wandering how close this and our feeding input is.

    I see there is a lot of technology happening with N but P seem to be still a problem. or are there good ways to deal with P. Biological?

    The only real technology that take out P is foam fraction and algae. In my limited knowledge

    Foam fraction does not take out any N or P just the food that causes it. So that leave us with algae. (that is if you mind taking the food away)

    If algae need a N : P relationship to grow well eg. in a scrubber or plants in the sub. Is it not a bad idea to remove all the N by other methods. Will this not cause the P to stay behind because the plants cannot utilize it as there is no N.

    Plus (the stuff we need to add)
    ----
    Here I have lost the plot completely. The only thing that kind of make sense here is to dose Kalkwasser, change some water and pray. This is very scientific. But it seem to work for most. Can I please have some guidance here? How and why? What is the different methods?

    Thanks.
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    8,384
    Likes Received:
    286
    Location:
    Joe's Mountain
    First off WELCOME to MASA I Broke It.

    This is a very complex subject and the way you have put it confused most because it does not make sense. However i will attempt to help put you on the right track.

    By "N" i assume you mean NO3 (Nitrate) There are other "N"'s that you might be referring to NO2 (Nitrite), NH3 Ammonia and NH4 Ammonium. All directly and indirectly effected by food source input into a tank. As a starting point it is very important to know and understand how the above are produced. I suggest you look up the "nitrogen cycle" on wiki and get a good understanding of the principle.

    By "P" i assume you refer to PO4 (Phosphate) We will handle this one once the basic filtering principle is understood.

    Whilst most, but not all of the chemical aspects are interlinked it is best to deal with them in sections. So read up on The "nitrogen cycle" get a basic understanding of the N's as you put it and we can continue further. You will get lost in the subject otherwise.
     
  4. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    24,229
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Point Waterfront Durban
    Hey dude. Sorry , but I cant seem to make sense of your first half of the post, please do as NJ mentioned.
    Ok, Kalkwasser (Calcium Hydroxide) is one of the easiest ways to dose Ca as well as Alk together. At the same time it also increases Ph. There are many methods to dose Kalk, via an Auto Top up unit, drip method or even the slurry (which I use).
    Kalk slurry method - Additives and Chemicals
     
  5. clinton stanford

    clinton stanford

    Joined:
    11 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    East London
    very interesting info there mekaeel:thumbup: thanks man.
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    KZN
    Wow, quite a post. lets try make sense of the process.
    Firstly Nitrate and Phosphate dont have a relationship[that i am aware of] as Phosphate is added to the system in some or other form. Nitrate on the other hand results from Amonia which will start with biological processes like fish breathing or fish eating and then producing waste in the water.
    Not only does algae need No3 and Phos to survive, but so do our corals, so it is needed in the reef system but in very low amounts No3 less then 5ppm and Phos around 0.02ppm.
    At these levels the corals[higher life forms] are able to out compete the algae for the food and thus problem algaes are kept at bay.
    No3 is also kept in check with Deep Sand Beds, refugium and skimming aswell as the use of materials such as Zeolites.
    Phos is kept in check with Skimming, adding of Kalk, refugium and Phos removers.
     
  7. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    3,370
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Alan nicely explained...
     
  8. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,779
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Joburg
    I think far to dificult a subject to even try to explain in detail on a forum such as this. Our typing fingers will fall off.

    A couple of good books will discuss all these topics in length. Then come back with what you need fine tuning with.

    Not trying to give you the hand off, but you need to do this for all the topics that need to be understood. :)
     
  9. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    8,384
    Likes Received:
    286
    Location:
    Joe's Mountain
    Rob i agree. that is why i refer @I Broke It to the nitrogen cycle first.

    @Alan, Most have in mind that PO4 is an inorganic compound. However PO4 can also be found in organic compounds and is set free in the decomposition process. So when a substance decomposes (nitrogen cycle) PO4 can also be released.
     
    Last edited: 17 Oct 2009
  10. I_Broke_It

    I_Broke_It Thread Starter

    Joined:
    13 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB
    Thanks for every one that spend time trying to help me understand this complex subject. Even if it is just to read my post.

    I have this talent to make thing as clear us mud. So let me try and shed some more light.

    Nemos Janitor: by N I mean all four products as they are the steps that are taken by the N cycle. I am well versed in the cycle as I used it previously with quite some success. P is for all the P products as well PO4 is one but there are others as well.

    Mekaeel: Kalkwasser (Calcium Hydroxide) is great! I am just warried that it trap P in your system that can lead to algae growth or is it a good thing do we need this P for something else to happen.

    Alan: N and P relationship => food is made up of NPCHO and a bunch of other elements if we feed fish flesh the chemicals will be present in ceartain amounts that is what I mean by relationship. It is not the right word but it was the best I can come up with. My problem is not removing N as it is well studied and every one is happy that the process works. It is P. Kalk just trap it in your tank. Chemicals is expencive and can be danderuos. Skimming remove food and ones the P is in element form useless. The only way else seem to be plants.

    Bob the (reef)builder: I agree I am not realy interested in the how each process work. I am interested in what processes and the balance between them that is optimum.

    So for an example => I feed and intriduce 20g of N and 15g of P. The alge stripper will remove them in a 1 N 1 P relationship so I need enought of that to remove 15N and 15P the rest of the N need to be removed by a deep sand bed. to get that the stripper needs to be 20cm2 and the deep sand bed needs to contain 2kg of sand.

    Hope I did not confuse more.

    Thanks for the interest in my post.
     
  11. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    8,384
    Likes Received:
    286
    Location:
    Joe's Mountain
    @I Broke It, I take it you also understand the Phosphorus cycle?

    Skimming does remove Phosphate. But it needs to be bound to an organic substance. I take it you know that Kalkwasser raises the pH and prevents Phosphates from dissolving. PO4 can then be skimmed out.

    With regards to your last paragraph mostly correct. However don't loose sight of the fact that N (nitrogenous compounds) & P (Phosphorus compounds) are consumed by the corals and living organisms. So 15 in does not mean 15 out. The organisms also do not consume N & P in a 1 to 1 ratio. I believe it is around 16:1
     
    Last edited: 17 Oct 2009
  12. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    24,229
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Point Waterfront Durban
    Calcium Hydroxide, binds phosphates (Po4). Now, if you running a tank with out a skimmer and/or no water changes, that Calcium Phosphorous (Calcium Hydroxide + Phosphates = Calcium Phosphorous) will leach back causing Algae issues. So bottom line, skim well and keep up with water changes to extract the phosphates that have been trapped with the use of Calcium Hydroxide :)
     
  13. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    8,384
    Likes Received:
    286
    Location:
    Joe's Mountain
    Phew MEK, my head is starting to spin. Maybe caused by the carton of red.:)

    OK skimming will remove "undissolved phosphate" and phosphate bound to organic compounds. It will not remove phosphate bound to carbonate. Well it does, ever so slightly, but not to the same effect as if it were bound to an organic compound. The Kalkwasser keeps the pH high to stop the Phosphate leaching back. The problems associated with kalkwasser and phosphate trapping are when the pH drops, mostly in DSB's and Plenums. this releases the PO4 back into the water column and algae blooms manifest.

    As Bob the (reef ) builder says, this one is going to go round and round. But hay those that read will learn a lot and brush up on the reef chemistry. ;)
     
  14. Tony

    Tony

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Honeydew, Johannesburg
    See my answers in red

     
  15. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    24,229
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Point Waterfront Durban
    lol NJ, my head is not functioning anymore. Bloody chemistry,I was useless at it in school, but it somehow makes sense in reef keeping :p
     
  16. I_Broke_It

    I_Broke_It Thread Starter

    Joined:
    13 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB
    Nemos Janitor: Thanks I read up on the P cycle. So kalkwasser kind of imitate this by binding the P to the rocks and substrate. I am not convinced that this is the best way to deal with P. For instance will you recommend someone to get rocks high in P content to put in his tank? Thanks for the ratio THIS is some real meat that we need to know.

    2nd post: Ca-P has to be removed manually by sucking it out of the substrate and off the rocks.

    It will also get released if rotting food is trapped next to it.

    [FONT=&quot]Mekaeel[/FONT]: I agree with NJ the skimmer is of little use. I also think that if you do not manually siphon off the Ca-P with the water change it will also have little affect on the P content of your tank.

    Tony: The N molecule is what makes protein a protein. Without it is will be a carbohydrate. I agree with the rest except that skimmers remove lots of Ca-P and plants growing without any N or P. In the garden there are natural processes that replenish these sources.

    Conclusion: It seem that algae can remove the P without any N in the water as there are species that can produce their own N. These species though are not the most effective for doing this. Are we not creating a P problem by removing the N not in conjunction with the P. It is then only possible to remove it chemically via Ca addition or other chemical extraction methods or by struggling algae.

    It seam that the best way to get rid of N and P is algae scrubber alone. It needs to be big enough though. Please help me if this is not correct? Please say why you are saying so? I am just trying to make sense of this.

    Thanks.
     
  17. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

    Joined:
    5 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    387
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    JHB
    Conclusion: It seem that algae can remove the P without any N in the water as there are species that can produce their own N. These species though are not the most effective for doing this. Are we not creating a P problem by removing the N not in conjunction with the P. It is then only possible to remove it chemically via Ca addition or other chemical extraction methods or by struggling algae.

    Your question answered, there are media's that can be placed in the aquarium that will absorb the P from water that passes through them (Rowa Phos, Elimi Phos, Phosban etc etc)
     
  18. I_Broke_It

    I_Broke_It Thread Starter

    Joined:
    13 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB
    ADVdiver: I am trying to stear clear of these due to their cost and because they can be dangeruos. I have small children.

    But I think that this could be a good solotion for many others.

    Thanks.
     
  19. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    8,384
    Likes Received:
    286
    Location:
    Joe's Mountain
    No the addition of kalkwasser keeps the pH high which prevents P from binding to inorganic substances. So P does not dissolve. However it binds to organic substances which can be skimmed out. Baylor et al (1962)

    It should also be noted that most aquarium test kits only measure P when it is bound to an inorganic substance. This gives one the impression that the Kalk addition is removing P when in fact it is present but bound to an organic substance.

    I agree that Algae scrubbing is the most cost effective way of removing P. and to an extent N.

    I posted this article on another thread. But it gives you an indication of some experiments done on the subject.
    Down the Drain, Exports from Reef Aquaria by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D. - Reefkeeping.com
     
  20. I_Broke_It

    I_Broke_It Thread Starter

    Joined:
    13 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB
    When you refer to N do you mean it does not remove all the N or that it is not the cheapest way.

    Thanks.
     
  21. Tony

    Tony

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Honeydew, Johannesburg
    One can get rid of nitrate and phosphates through probiotics which is the introduction of bacteria to a system to reduce nutrients. I have 1ppm nitrate and zero phosphates without a DSB, denitrator or ATS. I just allow the deep crevices in the live rock to do the denitrating. This method works without ozonisers or UV filters. One can also use zeolites to reduce ammonia
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Problem +(Ca dKH) Forum Date
Urgent help needed Regal skin problem Urgent Help Needed 27 Jul 2016
Mg problem General Discussions and Advice 1 Jun 2016
Hair alge problem General Discussions and Advice 30 May 2016
Red sea max skimmer problem. RSM Red Sea Max tanks 24 May 2016
overflow problems Beginner Discussions 21 May 2016
New tank problems or not? Nuisance Algae 2 May 2016
Cyno bacteria problems General Discussions and Advice 15 Mar 2016