I don’t test my water all that often these days – I’ve long since learned that you can assertain a lot of what is going on through observation, and the basics of pH and Temp are constantly monitored.  Still, I do check things once in a while to make sure we’re not too far off track.  Seeing a slight decrease in SPS coloration in the Lighting Maroon’s tank, it made me wonder where the Nitrates and Phosphates were sitting.  With Sanjay Joshi and Tal Sweet due to bet here next weekend, I’d like this tank looking its best.  So might as well use our low-key morning at home (our son has been sick with a 102-103F fever for 4 days now) to do an Easter-morning water test:
pH (Apex) – 8.15
pH (Seachem) – 8.0
Alkalinity (Seachem) – 2.0 meq/L
Looks like my pH probe is starting to drift again and in need of calibration (it could be old enough now that it technically should be replace).  After these  tests, I dosed with C-Balance 2 part, and then later, continued with water tests.
Nitrate (Instant Ocean) – < 10 ppm
Nitrate (Salifert) – 5 ppm
Phosphate (Instant Ocean) 0.4 ppm
Magnesium (Salifert) – 1275 ppm
Calcium (Salifert) – 400 ppm
Meanwhile, I did test the “restarted” display system.  This system to be exact:

Watching the 92 gallon Caribbean Reef

I was surprised to see Nitrates of possibly 25-40 PPM, and Phosphates greater than 1.0.  Glad I recently started running GFO (Granular Ferric Oxide) in both these systems.  I had cut back on the Vodka dosing to the Lightning Maroon’s system, down to 1 drop per day, but maybe 2 drops is my magic number.  Meanwhile, the 450 gallon display system has been getting roughly 10 drops per day of Vodka, and I’ve been waiting for a Two Little Fishies Bio Pellet reactor.  Now seems like the opportune time to add it on.  I may also do some Kalkwasser dosing on the big system.  It will be interesting to see how the different ongoing nutrient management protocols I’ve been employing (in addition to water changes) will play out in the months ahead.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and share the optimism that comes with this time of year.