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Dosing KNO3 for Phosphate Control

Discussion in 'Marine Plants - Macroalgae' started by bretski, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. bretski

    bretski Junior Poster

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    Hey all-

    I'll try to keep this brief.
    I have a 20 gallon long mixed reef with a 12 gallon display refugium/sump. Upon initial setup I opted to buy what I thought was RO/DI water from a local bottler only to find out 6 months later that it had higher TDS than my tap water!
    I believe this has led to phosphates being bound in my live rock and sand and is slowly leaching out.
    I experience a daily bloom of some type of diatom/dinos that come and go with the light and cover my sand in brown dust.
    My corals are for the most part healthy although they are not growing much, and some of my ricordias are shrinking a bit.
    The macroalgae in the refugium isn't growing as fast as I think it should be. There is some macro in the display that grows fairly well however.
    My theory is that the bloom and macros in the display use up most of the available nutrients and my skimmer gets the rest, starving the refugium.
    The tank is stocked with only one clownfish, a shrimp and various CUC.
    I think that by dosing KNO3 I can reduce the phosphate levels and boost macro growth and hopefully achieve some balance.
    Am I on the right track here?
    If so, what would be reasonable dosing quantities?
    Any input is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If you have a DBS, then yes, this could be a reason for higher PO4, you might test to see before dosing NO3.
    I would opt for Ca(NO3)2 ove rKNO3, since added Ca++ will help and you can keep the Alk up with other salts if needed.
    Ca++, Alk, Temp, current, some nutrients, PO4 limiting mostly..............NO3 is fine up to about 10-20ppm.
     
  3. bretski

    bretski Junior Poster

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    My sand bed is only about 3/4 of an inch deep, but is it correct to assume that chronically high phosphate levels could eventually bind the phosphates to the rock and sand?
    I like the option of adding the additional calcium, although I have some leftover KNO3 from my last planted tank that I may use first.
    Any thoughts on dosing quantities for my particular system?
     
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