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Nitrates to high

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Nitrates to high

Post by TluvsT on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 10:44 am

Hello,
I can not seem to keep my nitrates in check. I have a 55g, so I do at least a 20 - 30% change a month. Is this not enough??? In my tank I have (6) chromis, (2) clowns (4) pep. shrimps and various snails and crabs. (1) serpant star. Should I get some culerpa?. Any advice will be very helpful. Thank you Smile
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by matt_longview on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 10:53 am

What other equipment are you using? Sump, canister filter? Do you use an overflow? What powerheads are you using?

What is your feeding routine?

What are the other test results? Ammonia, nitrite and phosphate?

What is your water source for top off and water changes? Tap water, distilled, RODI?

There are plenty of people on here with loads of knowledge, we'll get it figured out. :-)
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by ritter678 on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 11:51 am

What is your actual nitrate reading? Do you have a skimmer?
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by Grimreefer on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 11:55 pm

Are you using RO water?
Have you had some stuff (fish/corals/clams/snails/etc...) that has died recently?
How long has the tank been up and running?
Have you added any new live rock recently?

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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by TluvsT on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 1:20 pm

Thank you all for your reply.
Ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, Salinity is 1.023. PH is 8-2 - 8-4, nitrate is at 120 Crying or Very sad
I have (3) maxi jet power heads, Bak Pak 2R skimmer, 2" live sand bed, about 30 pounds of live rock and a HOB filter with carbon media. I've had the tank running for almost 3 years. No sump due to temperred glass. No overflow due to every time the wind blows our power goes out. I use RODI water to top off. I was told that my HOB filter could be a nitrate heaven??? not to sure about that. Since I have pretty much put this tank together on a poor girls salary I have not been able to get a good filter and really not to sure what is best....
Thank you all again for all your help on this Smile
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by ritter678 on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 3:54 pm

TluvsT wrote: nitrate is at 120

That IS high. High nitrates can be tricky to figure out. I don't think HOB filters cause nitrates to increase if it's maintained well. You could always remove the HOB and see if it helps any. How's the skimmer doing? Are you getting a thick sludge in the collection cup? What, how much and how often do you feed?
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by TluvsT on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 4:01 pm

I would love to remove the filter, I thought I had to have it. I get a green liquid in my skimmer cup, but it is not thick. I feed once a day. Flakes on m-w-f-sun, and frozen cubed shrimp the other days.

Thank you.
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by matt_longview on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 4:08 pm

Do you have a clean up crew (snails, crabs ect)?

It sounds like you're overfeeding to me. How much of the cube are you feeding? If feeding everyday it should be a very small amount. Every other day is very typical.

Some better powerheads or better placement of the ones you have may give you better flow, which will keep things suspended in the water column longer instead of it getting trapped on the rocks. At the current level of nutrient input (feeding & fish/coral bioload) your water changes are not keeping up. It sounds like the % and frequency of your water changes are fine, so it must be nutrient input or inability to break it down. You could also add some chaeto algae or another macro algae to the tank to help consume the nitrates as well.
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by ritter678 on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 4:13 pm

No you don't have to have the HOB. If you have good skimming and good flow you can do without the HOB. It can be useful though for running carbon. I would just keep it really clean and if you're running a bio wheel in it you can remove that and still run carbon in it. Feeding once a day should be fine unless you are overfeeding. For that amount and type of fish you can get away with feeding 3 days a week or every other day, very small amounts. Are you sure the test kit is accurate? I would try a different test kit and have someone else check it to verify the results. Are you having bad algae problems? Is this a fish only tank or do you have corals too?
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by Siberman on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 7:39 pm

Flake and frozen cubes are usually high in phosphate as well. Remove all media from the HOB (except for bagged carbon) and cut back on the feeding. Don't do a huge water change as this could shock the fish and inverts. Do your normal percentage but increase the frequency of water changes. (Maybe weekly until your levels reach ideal.).

Feed only enough that your fish will consume in 5 minutes. If possible, turn off the filtration while feeding. Any food sucked into the filter will stay there and rot.

Do you have a "fish with live rock" system (no corals) ? If so , several species of caulerpa would help (unless they go sexual) but most of the readily available forms can be really invasive . Stick with the chaeto if possible.
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by matt_longview on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 11:15 pm

I've got some chaeto I would gladly give you if you need it also.
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by TluvsT on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 1:33 pm

I do have a clean up crew. I have the purple algae on the glass that I scrap off. I did have corals but due to the last snow storm I lost power for 3 days and the tank stood still for 1 day,untill I used a friends generator, after that I lost pretty much everything except my clowns. So now I just have a fish with live rock tank. I would like to try the chaeto. Thanks again for the help. Very Happy
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by DonnieP on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 3:03 pm

Don't really know how to help wih the nitrates other than what has been suggested and definately cut WAY back on the feeding but for the power outages you should have a couple of the bubble boxes from walmart around the house for these emergencies. They only cost around $6.00 and run on two batteries and will run for hours on end. They have an airstone connected to a piece of airline and are a live saver in a power outage. They are in the fishing section at walmart, I use them to keep my perch alive for catfishing.
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by matt_longview on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 3:08 pm

My power randomly went out three days ago when a tree fell on a powerline a block from my house. We were without power for 3 hours... but it was no big deal. My "return" is connected to a batter backup and it ran for over two hours. Then the battery powered pump kicked in for the rest. Everything did fine... didn't lose a thing and everything looked just like it would at night with the lights off.

Obviously three days would be worse, but I think other than a generator that's as good as I can get. :-)
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by DonnieP on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 3:23 pm

Yeah, I got a whole house generator hooked on mine, I don't like being in the dark for days on end when the power goes out, all I gotta do is crank her up and go. For a setup without backup though the bubble boxes will keep the tank alive until power is restored.
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by Siberman on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 7:08 pm

Those little yellow suckers saved my tanks more than a few times. Smile
Fortunately , I'm on SWEPCo so I've never been out for more than 24 hours. My parents 1/2 mile down the road have "the Co-op" and have gone a week without power.
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by southernlost on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 12:07 am

what about ati water conditioner
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by ritter678 on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 10:44 am

southernlost wrote:what about ati water conditioner

Southernlost, are you using that? Could be why your skimmer goes nuts. Water conditioners will make a skimmer go crazy.

http://etak.forumotion.com/t263-aqua-c-remora-skimmer-with-1200-gph-pump

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2015187
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by TluvsT on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 1:47 pm

I was wondering if i could turn my HOB filter into a small fuge?? Just not to sure how to do it. If I don't have a sump where would I keep the chaeto?
Thanks for the power outage help. I will be going to walmart and finding one of those bubble boxs. Very Happy
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by matt_longview on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 2:16 pm

You sure could. A little light over the top of it (opposite your display lighting schedule if possible) and the cheato inside a macro bag/sock would be a great place to store it. You could also keep some filter floss in there so you're still running some mechanical filtration.

Drop me a PM and I'll give you my number and address if you would like some chaeto. It may be best to just list your location on here too... someone might live significantly closer to you and nearly any one of us would give up a fistful of cheato for you.
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by southernlost on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 3:10 pm

i tore down that reef tank i got it all sitting in my shop 65 gallon tank filters light skimmer sand etc i do use ati water conditioner with aloe on my red sea max when i do water changes and my water quality couldnt be better
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by TluvsT on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:24 pm

I removed my filter over the weekend, did a 20% water change and my nitrates have gone down. Can I put the Chaeto in my tank or does it need to be in a fuge/sump/filter?
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by DonnieP on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 3:00 pm

You can put it in your tank but it does much better if put in a sump or something that water flows through, the more water flow through the Chaeto the better it works. It will live and grow in the tank but will not be as efficient. You gotta remember Chaeto is not a cure all, all it does is bind up the nitrates, its when you actually cut and remove the Chaeto from the system that you are exporting nutrients. When the chaeto has doubled in size, cut half of it off and give it away or chunk it, thats how you get the nutrients out of the tank.
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by TluvsT on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 4:01 pm

Thank you so much for the info. Very Happy I'm so glad I found this forum Very Happy
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Re: Nitrates to high

Post by TluvsT on Wed 29 Jun 2011, 2:34 pm

Hi, I really feel like a dork.... but I received an email that I had a new PM and when I go into my inbox it is empty???? How do I find a new message??? sorry..... Embarassed
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