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Old 01-01-2008, 09:48 PM   #1
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High Nitrates

My nitrates were fine until the last couple of weeks, but I noticed them at 30-40ppm recently. So, I did a 25% PWC today, and that's brought them down to a more acceptable (though not ideal) 15ppm.

I'm aiming for 5ppm or below (nano reef), but I've no idea why my nitrates are/were so high. I feed sparingly, often only once a day (max. twice), all the food is eaten within seconds, I do 25% PWC every 2 weeks, and use RO water. All other levels are within the acceptable ranges.

I also use 2 small internal filters for filtration, filled with PURA pads, and seachem matrix carbon (all recently replaced). I have 8kg LR.

I have also got a fairly bad algae boom at the moment (all different colours - red, green, black, brown), which backs up my high nitrates test.

Can anyone help?

One thing I did notice, was I tested my fresh SW (mixed for 24hours) today for nitrates, and it showed 2ppm. It's Seachem Marine salt (with RO water). Is this normal?
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:07 AM   #2
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My nitrates were fine until the last couple of weeks, but I noticed them at 30-40ppm recently. So, I did a 25% PWC today, and that's brought them down to a more acceptable (though not ideal) 15ppm.

I'm aiming for 5ppm or below (nano reef), but I've no idea why my nitrates are/were so high. I feed sparingly, often only once a day (max. twice), all the food is eaten within seconds, I do 25% PWC every 2 weeks, and use RO water. All other levels are within the acceptable ranges.

I also use 2 small internal filters for filtration, filled with PURA pads, and seachem matrix carbon (all recently replaced). I have 8kg LR.

I have also got a fairly bad algae boom at the moment (all different colours - red, green, black, brown), which backs up my high nitrates test.

Can anyone help?

One thing I did notice, was I tested my fresh SW (mixed for 24hours) today for nitrates, and it showed 2ppm. It's Seachem Marine salt (with RO water). Is this normal?
What size tank do you have? how many and what kinds of fish do you have
What is your water source , ro/di, distilled , tap? What are your tds readings, or even your phosphate readings ?
15 is not that bad , for a reef you really want to keep it under 20 ppm.
I would blow off your rock work with a turkey baster and do another water change ..siphioning off your algea while doing a water change will help , also removing the filters and washing them off may help , if you can fit a HOB filter you could run a phosphate sponge , chemi pure or purigen to buffer your water as well . Your high nitrAtes could also be from the coral death you had where a piece fell and you could not get it out and it broke down , and your nitrAtes will continue to come down with subsiquent H20 changes
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:01 AM   #3
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Hey, cheers for the reply!

It's a 10G (US) nano. 2 fish (ocellaris clown and pink dottyback), and one tiny one (yellow clown goby, that doesn't eat much or expell much energy!

I buy RO (not DI) water from my LFS, and it's about 15-30TDS. I haven't tested my phosphates...

The algae is difficult to get off, particularly on the rock, as it's stuck fairly strongly! I'll give the turkey baster a go though, but that'll just blow all the gunk all into the water, a lot of which won't be able to be siphoned out with my waterchange...

My filters are changed regularly (every month).

With the coral death, I did actually manage to get it out of the water, I just noticed that the water smelt a tiny bit afterwards (but only for a couple of hours).

I'll just do another couple of PWCs and see what happens after that, I've also started feeding a bit less.

Is it normal for my fresh SW to have 2ppm nitrates though?!
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:25 AM   #4
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I also feed DTs just once a week, slightly less than even the daily amount.

But, it does smell really bad, so theres a possibility a lot of it isnt live. But surely this small amount wouldnt increase my nitrates by so much?
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MarkW19 View Post
Hey, cheers for the reply!

It's a 10G (US) nano. 2 fish (ocellaris clown and pink dottyback), and one tiny one (yellow clown goby, that doesn't eat much or expell much energy!

I buy RO (not DI) water from my LFS, and it's about 15-30TDS. I haven't tested my phosphates...

The algae is difficult to get off, particularly on the rock, as it's stuck fairly strongly! I'll give the turkey baster a go though, but that'll just blow all the gunk all into the water, a lot of which won't be able to be siphoned out with my waterchange...

My filters are changed regularly (every month).

With the coral death, I did actually manage to get it out of the water, I just noticed that the water smelt a tiny bit afterwards (but only for a couple of hours).

I'll just do another couple of PWCs and see what happens after that, I've also started feeding a bit less.

Is it normal for my fresh SW to have 2ppm nitrates though?!
I also feed DTs just once a week, slightly less than even the daily amount.

But, it does smell really bad, so theres a possibility a lot of it isnt live. But surely this small amount wouldnt increase my nitrates by so much?
I think we have your problem answered your water source is too high ....Try a diffrent water source or go with a distilled water .....Their readings are indicating that thier filters need changed ....It is not normal for freshmixed salt water to have high NitrAtes but seeings that the water source is a bit high that explains quite a bit on high nitrAtes and algea. Why cant you siphion out the gunk with a H20 change , I know you wont get it all but you can get more than you think . As to the algea we are also battling it here but I added another snail and have cut my feedings to 1x a week now that my neice and nephew are gone LOL they loved feeding the clowns . As to the rock work algea it could be coraline or other you can use a tooth brush (new ) to scrub it off and siphion it out ...
Try to go to every other day feedings to see if that helps a bit ...The DT's should not be having an impact with such a little ammount that you are adding ...Just keep up the increased weekly changes to about 25% (2- 2.5 gallons ) and it should start to go away on its own ...
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:48 AM   #6
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Thanks. I don't think I could feed just once every other day, they always look so hungry when I walk past the tank! Hehe...

The TDS is usually the lower end of that amount, about 15. I know thats not perfect, but its not bad. I tried another LFS, and theres was 110TDS!! I don't have many options, and distilled water is expensive, and not half as convenient to get. I'll test my RO directly for nitrates today, see what it comes up as.

I have a little bit of corraline (although its stopped spreading recently), but the algae problems are maroon red, green, and others. Very annoying! The LFS I use is the biggest and best in the county (won lots of awards), so I should hope they could manage to produce some decent RO water :p
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
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We use to feed monthly . I know what you mean on them looking hungry but they will scavenge what they can I have gone back to feeding mine to a weekly feed in hopes that that along with the extra H20 changes here will help reduce it .
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:05 PM   #8
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Well, I just tested my RO water, and its 2ppm nitrates! That certainly can't be helping the situation! I wonder why there are nitrates in my RO, I get it from a reputable source...
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:30 PM   #9
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It sounds like it is time for them to change thier filters
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:17 AM   #10
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http://www.nanoreefing.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=658
Here is how mine turned out after a scrub down and a 50% h20 change and a rescape
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