RANT 4 : Walking the phosphate line, jumping the bacterial hurdle

With the discussions of Dr D Naidoo , his concluding point in a sense was , labile organic material builds up in your tank , water borne and substrate dwelling bacteria start to decompose them and this labile organic reducing bacterial mass then switches to attacking your coral .

Allow me to drift for a bit , but I am of the firm believe that , in many ways reef keeping has gone backwards in recent years , we are currently , in my synopsis of a reef keeping time scale in what I call , " The Third Right " .

What happened to those good old days?


When hip-hop, was so much fun

Ohh, house parties in the summer y'all (c'mon)

And no one, came through with a gun

It was all about the music y'all

It helped to relieve some stress {HA?}

Ohh, we was under one groove y'all (y'all)

So much love {HA?} between North and West " Missy Eliot , 2002 .

In the old days corals grew , and they grew massive . I don't really give two shits about some the modern Fancy Nancy methods and practices out there because they just don't deliver the results , no junk in the trunk yo !

Ok getting back ....

I've been trying to address some of my thoughts regarding stn , bacteria and phosphate levels . After all this back and forth I've come to the same stand point , low phos is dangerous . Systems with low phos ( zero to near zero on any format of test result ) if it's not crashing , is possibly , simply not doing so because organic phosphate is at an acceptable level . This organic phos could be traveling through the system as fish waste , fish and coral foods , dissolved organic phosphate as amino's etc , zoo and phyto plancton and wait for it ..... bacteria plancton . That BP could coalesce IOP as OP is up till today a ground breaking idea , in one complete sweep we are ridding our systems of something we don't want and naturally growing something we do . " life it seems Mr Anderson is never without a sense of irony " , Smit , The Matrix . Ironic because in many ways this has also been the largest destructive force to contemporary reef aquaristics , possibly .

The discussion of phosphate in isolation might not be an entirely accurate account of its influence on reef aquariums . Nitrogen , in its various forms , could play a major role in the phosphate dynamics of a system . From my personal observations , how systems respond to phosphate configurations , is altered , and drastically so , by light too . Off the bat we can argue brighter light would mean accelerated photosynthesis by zooxanthella and that a increased need for phosphate would arise . I've seen the converse to be the case , brighter , intensely lit metal halide systems seemed to be more tolerant of lower phos levels , more so than T5 , and T5 in turn more so than non-lensed LED . Again I've seen guys rant and rave about their systems , zero phos under LED , but either they over looked accounting for the OP availability or things were skinny ass , .... no junk in the trunk . I also found that corals seemed to be more ' needy ' of amino dosing in these conditions ( non-lensed Leds ) and my sentiments were reinforced when coming across an actual scientific paper describing amino acid building potential in relation to light format.

At any given stage it's a fine line between driving our stoney coral towards the best of health , growth and colour and crashing our systems . Slightly elevated nutrient level systems might not yield the brightest colours but will produce a safer environment with fluffy , thickly coloured sps , and there is nothing unattractive or wrong with a system like this . Driving a high end pastel coloured sps aquarium is an ongoing balancing act of labile , semi labile and refractory organics , bacteria and micro organisms ( Dr D Naidoo ) , that live in both parasitic and mutual relation to bacteria . While there is a sense amongst those that land high end pastel sps aquariums that it remains a system in motion and that's it's fragility is an ever present constant , I firmly believe that a standard protocol can and does exist that is able to place within the hands of most aquarists a pretty serious sps collection . Remixed versions of work by The Originals help cut the clutter and separate the Aqua Forest from the trees , this is what our hobby has been desperately needing. I hope that the process of unnatural selection through natural stupidity is kept to a minimum , perhaps this might be a positive side effect of rigidly organized and executed methods .

What ever route you decide to take , try and remember that there were reefers before you that grew corals larger than the average sized aquarium today and that their systems were robust and resilient . While we must always be open to new ideas and practices , we should never pursue technology if it's leading us in the opposite direction to which we should be traveling . What I've taken from all this , don't scratch if it's not itching .

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