FAQ #33: How do nitrates effect coral coloration in the reef aquarium?

January 18th, 2017
0 Views
Today on BRStv, we have another episode of BRS 52 FAQ where we answer all of your frequently asked reefing questions from our popular 52 Weeks of Reefing series.

Today we're answering Aquaticnut86’s question “How and or why do higher levels of nitrate turn your corals brown?"

It’s very commonly believed that one of the major contributors to SPS corals losing their brilliant coloration and browning out is high nutrients in the reef tank. High nutrients most commonly refers to high nitrates and phosphates. The belief is the high nutrient levels encourage rapid growth of the symbiotic algae within the corals tissue known as zooxanthellae

The zooxanthellae is brownish in color and the more of it contained within the corals tissue the more brown the coral will appear. In extreme cases the zooxanthellae population will be so high that the coral completely browns out and overtakes all of the corals natural coloration pigments.

I think it is pretty well established that tanks with an abundance of phosphate and nitrate will brown out corals and tanks with very low nutrients will tend to have more colorful corals. However this is one of those cases where this is very far from universally true. There are certainly plenty of low nutrient tanks which have brown corals and lowering nutrients after the fact doesn't bring the coloration back for many reefers. If you are one of these reefers I think it is worth while to take a more holistic approach to coloration.

So follow along as we answer today's question, provide some helpful insight, and help make reefing just bit more fun and easy for you and your tank.

*Legal Stuff*
The purpose and content of this video is to provide general information regarding the products and their applications as presented in the video. Aquatic sales solutions, inc. And its officers, directors, employees and agents disclaim all express or implied warranties, in any way, related to the products and their application as presented in this video, make no representation or warranty regarding the products and the application as presented in this video and shall not be liable for any direct or indirect losses or damages of any type, including but not limited to punitive damages, or from personal injury or death resulting from or in any manner related to the video, and the products in and contents of the video. The viewer expressly agrees that aquatic sales solutions, inc. And its officers, directors, employees and agents shall not be liable for any damages or losses related to the products in and content of the video and hereby agrees to hold the foregoing harmless from any such losses or damages.
Show All Videos