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Old 10/16/2021, 12:42 AM   #1
treesprite
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what coral (besides xenia) to take up nitrate?

I'm doing an experiment. Looking to maintain stability using the system instead of doing water changes or using chemicals.

This is a fishless tank with an in-tank DSB. The tank hasn't had a water change in over a year, nor any dosing or addition of anything during that time. The skimmer was off, but I turned it on a few days ago. Phosphate is below detection using color chart, but nitrate looks like about 10. I have theories about the nitrate, but I think I just need to find the right biological solution for it, regardless of the cause. I used cheap test kits because the better ones expired, but I'm chasing stability, not numbers.

Sad thing is, as long as I'm experimenting, I can't have fish. I have a pipe dream to one day be able to keep fish in it and still not have to do water changes - I doubt that dream will ever come true, so I'll just put fish off until I can stop working 6 days a week (in like 10 years.....).


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Old 10/16/2021, 01:57 AM   #2
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Fish don't mind nitrate as much as corals do, IME. On the other hand, also IME, the best way to handle nitrate is a better skimmer. I just finished a 2 year stint in which I was unable to do any water change or even get frozen food for my fish, and even the skimmer failed. The fish did ok. The corals, not so much. I'm now on a program of aggressive water changes, and have proper food again, plus the skimmer issue is solved. You can get by with an iffy situation much, much better if you have a potent skimmer taking care of waste the sandbed didn't handle.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Old 10/16/2021, 06:20 AM   #3
five.five-six
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All coral I know of will uptake nitrates. A skimmer doesn’t really pull nitrates from the system. It pulls organics before they break down into nitrates nitrites and ammonia.


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Old 10/16/2021, 12:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by five.five-six View Post
All coral I know of will uptake nitrates. A skimmer doesn’t really pull nitrates from the system. It pulls organics before they break down into nitrates nitrites and ammonia.
This.

The coral that will take up the most nitrates is the one that grows fastest. The problem with that is that if you get a fast-growing coral with the idea that it's job is to consume nitrates, sooner or later you'll end up with a single species coral reef, as any fast-growing coral worth its salt will overgrow other, slower-growing corals.

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Old 10/16/2021, 01:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anemone View Post
This.

The coral that will take up the most nitrates is the one that grows fastest. The problem with that is that if you get a fast-growing coral with the idea that it's job is to consume nitrates, sooner or later you'll end up with a single species coral reef, as any fast-growing coral worth its salt will overgrow other, slower-growing corals.

Kevin
That is precisely why I asked the question.

I don't ordinarily keep things like xenia, but decided I should try using it. But I don't want all this xenia everywhere, so I'm thinking maybe there are some soft corals that aren't particularly ugly and aren't as invasive as xenia. I'm not about to let that stuff touch my primary liverock structures.


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Old 10/16/2021, 02:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by five.five-six View Post
All coral I know of will uptake nitrates. A skimmer doesn’t really pull nitrates from the system. It pulls organics before they break down into nitrates nitrites and ammonia.
Agreed on both counts.

I know all corals use nitrate, just looking for the ones that will take more than the rest.

I haven't been putting food in the tank, so I felt like my skimmer, a Reef Octopus, didn't need to be running. I've been taking a baster to my liverock over the past few days, so I turned on the skimmer.


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Old 10/17/2021, 08:02 AM   #7
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Well, to be blunt, looking at the research and the issues hydrophillic and refractory DOC can cause with healthy microbial processes and corals and our inability to test or monitor for healthy and unhealthy DOC it strikes me as unrealistic to keep corals anywhere close to their life expectancies without water changes.

Ammonium Uptake by Symbiotic and Aposymbiotic Reef Corals
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conten...00004/art00011

Amino acids a source of nitrogen for corals
https://journals.biologists.com/jeb/...o-acids-by-the

Urea a source of nitrogen for corals
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...22098105005538

Diazotrpophs a source of nitrogen for corals
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27335448/

Context Dependant Effects of Nutrient Loading on the Coral-Algal Mutualism
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...lgal_mutualism



https://www.cambridge.org/core/journ...D254623FD3C7C#
An Experimental Mesocosm for Longterm Studies of Reef Corals

Phosphate Deficiency:
Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching:
https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1661

Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont:
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles...015.00103/full

Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...601?via%3Dihub

Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...22098111004588

High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata
http://jeb.biologists.org/content/214/16/2749.full

Phosphorus metabolism of reef organisms with algal symbionts
https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wi...Vm0sG8_0vth6lq

https://therichross.com/skeptical-re...and-phosphate/

Indirect effects of algae on coral: algae‐mediated, microbe‐induced coral mortality
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...8.2006.00937.x

Influence of coral and algal exudates on microbially mediated reef metabolism.
Coral DOC improves oxygen (autotrophy), algae DOC reduces oxygen (heterotrophy).
https://peerj.com/articles/108/?utm_...medium=TrendMD

Role of elevated organic carbon levels and microbial activity in coral mortality
http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps...4/m314p119.pdf

Effects of Coral Reef Benthic Primary Producers on Dissolved Organic Carbon and Microbial Activity
Algae releases significantly more DOC into the water than coral.
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0027973

Pathologies and mortality rates caused by organic carbon and nutrient stressors in three Caribbean coral species.
Starch and sugars (doc) caused coral death but not high nitrates, phosphates or ammonium.
http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps...4/m294p173.pdf

Visualization of oxygen distribution patterns caused by coral and algae
https://peerj.com/articles/106/

Biological oxygen demand optode analysis of coral reef-associated microbial communities exposed to algal exudates
Exposure to exudates derived from turf algae stimulated higher oxygen drawdown by the coral-associated bacteria.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719127/

Microbial ecology: Algae feed a shift on coral reefs
https://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol201661

Coral and macroalgal exudates vary in neutral sugar composition and differentially enrich reef bacterioplankton lineages.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23303369

Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...1111/gcb.13695

Elevated ammonium delays the impairment of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis during labile carbon pollution
(here's an argument for maintaining heavy fish loads if you're carbon dosing)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...66445X19307192

Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton
https://www.nature.com/articles/ismej2017142

Unseen players shape benthic competition on coral reefs.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22944243

Allelochemicals Produced by Brown Macroalgae of the Lobophora Genus Are Active against Coral Larvae and Associated Bacteria, Supporting Pathogenic Shifts to Vibrio Dominance.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27795310

Macroalgae decrease growth and alter microbial community structure of the reef-building coral, Porites astreoides.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22957055

Macroalgal extracts induce bacterial assemblage shifts and sublethal tissue stress in Caribbean corals.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23028648

Biophysical and physiological processes causing oxygen loss from coral reefs.
https://elifesciences.org/articles/49114.pdf

Global microbialization of coral reefs
DDAM Proven
https://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol201642

Coral Reef Microorganisms in a Changing Climate, Fig 3
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...9/figure/fig3/

Ecosystem Microbiology of Coral Reefs: Linking Genomic, Metabolomic, and Biogeochemical Dynamics from Animal Symbioses to Reefscape Processes
https://msystems.asm.org/content/msy...62-17.full.pdf

Element cycling on tropical coral reefs.
This is Jasper de Geoij's ground breaking research on reef sponges. (The introduction is in Dutch but the content is in English.)
https://www.rug.nl/research/portal/f...letethesis.pdf

Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle
https://www.pnas.org/content/112/14/4191

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges
https://www.pnas.org/content/112/14/4381

Differential recycling of coral and algal dissolved organic matter via the sponge loop.
Sponges treat DOC from algae differently than DOC from corals
https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wi...365-2435.12758

Surviving in a Marine Desert The Sponge Loop Retains Resources Within Coral Reefs
Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen are quickly processed by sponges and released back into the reef food web in hours as carbon and nitrogen rich detritus.
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ce_Sponge_loop

Natural Diet of Coral-Excavating Sponges Consists Mainly of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3934968/

The Role of Marine Sponges in Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles of COral Reefs and Nearshore Environments.
https://search.proquest.com/openview...l=18750&diss=y

And since we're discussing favorable and not so favorable bacteria here's a paper looking at how different corals and polyps are influencing the bacteria in the water column.
Aura-biomes are present in the water layer above coral reef benthic macro-organisms
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28828261

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 1
https://reefs.com/magazine/the-devel...r-performance/

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 2
https://reefs.com/magazine/further-s...r-performance/

Elemental Analysis of Skimmate
https://reefs.com/magazine/elemental...quarium-water/

Bacterial Counts in Reef Aquarium Water
https://reefs.com/magazine/bacterial...on-filtration/

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" This video compliments Rohwer's book of the same title, both deal with the conflicting roles of the different types of DOC in reef ecosystems. While there is overlap bewteen his book and the video both have information not covered by the other and together give a broader view of the complex relationships found in reef ecosystems
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R2BMEfQGjU

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7hsp0dENEA

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont
https://youtu.be/DWItFGRQJL4

BActeria and Sponges
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oLDclO7UcM

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)
https://youtu.be/dGIPveFJ_0Q

Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching
https://youtu.be/oadKezUYkJE

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"
https://youtu.be/ZRIKW-9d2xI


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Old 10/17/2021, 10:53 AM   #8
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I had a bad dino outbreak recently and was told it was because I had 0 Nitrate and 0 Phosphate. After raising my phosphates to .03 and my nitrates to 5 the dinos have mostly disappeared but the cyano is starting to take over. While the cyano is ugly, it is better than the dinos that were upsetting my corals. I will let others chime in because this concept is new to me but you may not want to take your nitrates to 0 especially if you don't have an algae problem.


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Old 10/17/2021, 04:20 PM   #9
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Stability is the name of the game!

Interesting experiment, but not sure if you can get to the stability you are looking for without fish (or dosing to simulate the fish).

You may achieve stability in the empty tank, but the minute you add a fish, the system has changed and will need to rebalance.


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Old 10/17/2021, 09:37 PM   #10
treesprite
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Well, to be blunt, looking at the research and the issues hydrophillic and refractory DOC can cause with healthy microbial processes and corals and our inability to test or monitor for healthy and unhealthy DOC it strikes me as unrealistic to keep corals anywhere close to their life expectancies without water changes.......
Thank you for taking the time to post all of that research! I'll try to get through it, but will take me a while.


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Old 10/17/2021, 09:49 PM   #11
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Stability is the name of the game!

Interesting experiment, but not sure if you can get to the stability you are looking for without fish (or dosing to simulate the fish).

You may achieve stability in the empty tank, but the minute you add a fish, the system has changed and will need to rebalance.


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I have kind of had the notion for a few years that fish are needed in a tank with corals. Living things need other kinds of living things to survive.

The tank isn't empty, there are corals and micro-critters in it. I used to have a dottyback that made my micro brittles disappear, but I guess some were just hiding really well because I have a lot of them now.

When I do eventually get fish, I want to try to find one(s) that can live off of pods, so I won't have to put food (or very little) in the tank. Mandarin dragonets are too sensitive, but ocellated dragonets ("scooter blennies" which aren't blennies) might be an option. I loved the pair I had years ago, they were adorable with their ritual behaviors.


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