N-DOC OrganicsThis week as Interzoo ramps up across the pond in Germany, we have seen tidbits from Triton’s booth as they setup for the show. It appears Eshan, Tim, and team are coming to market with some line of products around the question I asked him at Macna in New Orleans last year.  Specifically, “when are we going to be able to test and more accurately dose for organics in our systems”. It appears that they will be doing 2 things.  First, they will release a method for testing for Organics called the N-DOC test kit.  Second, they have come up with a method for dosing some blend of organics in our reef tanks, called Triton Organics. Here is what we know so far!

Triton Organics


Triton’s new N-DOC test kit takes reef testing to the next level

From the images we have seen from Interzoo, it appears Triton is coming out with a test kit that can be done standalone or in combination with their standard ICP test kit. 

 This new test is called “N-DOC”  which stands for “Nitrogen-Dissolved Organic Carbon” measures 3 things, the “Nutrient Ratio” of Nitrogen, Carbon, and Phosphorous, Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC), and Alkalinity. Once catch here is that the Phosphate reading is either input from the user or added from your most recent ICP test if you are doing the N-DOC standalone test kit.  No details yet on what machine or process Triton will have doing these tests, but as we find out, we will update.   

Triton’s method of dosing organics

Triton OrganicsIn classic Triton form, no new Triton testing capability would be complete without a set of additives to then allow you to dial in those parameters.  Enter the pictures we have seen that show 3 flavors of Triton’s small dosing vials showing “C-Slow”, “C-Medium”, and “C-Fast”.  We can only surmise that these will allow you to then dial in your organics based on the readings in your test kit.  Allowing for tighter control on things like your ratio of N:C:P in addition to their actual levels. Why is this important you might ask?  At a high level, this might allow for better control of things like the dreaded Dino outbreaks we see people post about.  It might also help folks who have cyano growing wildly in their tanks get a handle on the root cause rather than blindly dosing medicines to mask it.   This all sounds great at a high level, but how do they dose things that need to be in a ratio?  I guess we will wait and see what we hear from the Triton team.

ReefNation tanks running the Triton Method

Here at ReefNation, we run many of our systems on either the Triton Core 7 “Triton Method” or some variation since the summer of 2016 (MACNA San Diego) when we had a chance to get deep into the chemistry weeds with Joe from Unique Corals who is the Triton distribution arm for the US.  Since that time, we have seen great results in our tanks and more importantly, gained a better pulse on what makes our SPS corals happy. 

Why testing for organics is important

The Triton Method for us has thus far meant having both a visual idea of our corals’ health as well as an empirical way to confirm and adjust most of the macro and micro elements that contribute to this health.  The only missing piece to this method so far has been getting a better handle on what we think of as the “feeding” side of our corals.  Things like nitrate levels (NO3), organic phosphorous  and  carbohydrate compounds that corals use for amino acid synthesis.  Without the ability to accurately test for some of these things or know exactly what levels are best, we have been left to the “dose and observe” method of determining what the best nitrate level is or what level of phosphates combined with that nitrate produce the best colors in SPS. 

So far we keep most of our tanks so they have just enough nitrate to stay comfortably above 0 (1-3ppm-Red Sea Test Kit), phosphate just above 0 (.05-.1 Hanna ULR) and amino acids supplied by a combination of detritus stirring twice a day (don’t laugh, it’s a thing ) and dosing twice a week of a supplement when we feed our corals. Is that best or is there some other data lurking in the background that we will soon see some clarity on via this new testing?  It is fun to ponder what this will add to our discussions around the reef hobby and what we will all learn.

We will keep you updated on Triton Organics from Interzoo 2018

All in all, what it appears Triton Organics will help the reef hobby take an important and much needed step forward. One that will shed some much needed light on DOC’s, their affect on the health of our corals, and on our entire reef tank systems.  Perhaps Triton’s new way to provide a carbon source to our systems in a slow, medium, or fast rate will help create a more stable nutrient environment for our corals?  Or perhaps their approach will go much deeper than that. We hope to learn more about what these mean from Eshan, Tim, and the Triton team this week as Interzoo gets rolling over in Germany and will update this as we find out.