Low Nutrient Mixed Reef Feeding

Discussion in 'Coral Health' started by Reef Madness, Aug 3, 2012.

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  1. Reef Madness

    Reef Madness Flamingo Tongue

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    Recently my 75gal. Mixed reef has undergone some upgrades. I've added a wavemaker to gear up for some good sps flow and to try to lower nitrates (stuck at around 20) by kicking up more detritus that was hiding behind my live rock. Also, I added a BRS biopellet reactor (and turned up the skimmer to ensure proper skimming after the BP's). With these changes (and normal WC) I have seen nitrates dropping EXTREMELY fast from a rock solid 20ppm to 5ppm over the last week, and appear to be still dropping. My concern is that they will drop too low for some of my LPS and softies (already have a couple that appear fatter but not as far extended).

    To countermeasure this I've turned down the flow to the BP's (which may not be the cause of the nitrates dropping so fast, but I suspect will eventually lead to a ULNS). Since it appears that I would be able to feed more without an issue with the added N/P I would like to up my feeding schedule.

    Currently I feed NLS pellets to the fish. 1/4-1/2 cube mysis, 1/4-1/2 cube cyclop-eeze, ~7 squirts of phyto and roti feast (all mixed together and target feed) around 3 times a week.

    Anything that you guys strongly believe that I should add to my current list? I think that I will just up the number of days a week that I feed until I start to see a swing in nitrates.

    Also, with the BP's and the additional SPS focus on the tank anything that I should start dosing besides 2part calc. (which isn't needed most of the time due to WC's). Ammino acids needed at this point for best health/color?
     
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  3. Reef Madness

    Reef Madness Flamingo Tongue

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    Bump. Just retested and trates just above 0. My softess are starting to react negatively to the suddon changes. Anyone have any advice for this?
     
  4. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Feed more. With your nutrients that low, you need to add more fresh foods. Start feeding daily.
     
  5. Reef Madness

    Reef Madness Flamingo Tongue

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    Thanks grim thats what I had thought to do just wanted to reconfirm. Anything else that you would highly recomend feeding?
     
  6. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    what is your present stock in terms of fish?

    I have had LPS corals do OK with test kit levels of 0 most hobbyist test kits are just not
    sensitive enough to give excellent accuracy anyway

    rapid changes could cause issues though and that may be the issue here

    Amino acids , use with caution as they turn an ULNS system into a high nutrient system rapidly

    if your current stocking density will allow for it additional fish could be a solution as fish waste down through the levels of breakdown is also food for your corals

    Steve
     
  7. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    I would recommend that you check the expiration dates on the Phyto and Roti feasts, they don't have much shelf life.

    I LOVE Rods Food. it's by far my favorite. But what you are feeding is a great mix. just do it more often and possibly in lesser amounts. Feeding more often, but less quantity is a great way to get enough food in the water without causing waste problems, it's also healthier for the corals and fish.
     
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  9. Reef Madness

    Reef Madness Flamingo Tongue

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    Current stocking list is 4 clowns, hippo tang, flame angel, mandarin dragonet. I'm leaning more toward the feeding more route as it seems that I should be able to control the nutrients a little better while also providing a greater amount of food for the corals.

    I would LOVE to feed rod's and have looked into it, but it is not sold locally and shipping is just outrages on frozen foods. Think I'll see if my LFS will start carrying it. Is that the only thing you feed grim? I make sure to stay on the expiration times for the reef nutrition foods though.
     
  10. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    I feed lots of stuff. Rods food is my primary. But I'll dose some aminos (Warner Marine), Aquavitro Fuel, roti feast, PE mysis, and H20 stuff(my lfs has it and I buy something different nearly everytime) depending on the day (I like to give a mix of stuff to make sure I'm covering all my bases) and I have NLS pellets on an autofeeder 4 times a day.