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Old 02-07-2014, 09:46 PM   #1
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Found my nitrates????

I have been battling hair algae for a while with no luck. I am even growing the algae in my sand bed. All of the replies to my posts about it told me to find where the source of phosphates or nitrates are coming from. My tests always show 0ppm for both. Last night I did my 5 gallon water change ( I have a 20 gallon tank ) I decided that I would do something that most of the posts I've read say is a bad idea to do...STIRRED MY SAND BED while vacuuming. I stirred around the bottom while I sucked up the junk that was in the sand bed. I let the 5 gallons of old water sit for a while and then I tested it..The phosphates still tested 0ppm but to my surprise..nitrates tested between 20 and 30ppm. After the new water was put back in my tank, I tested it and the nitrates where 0ppm like they normally are. Found my nitrate source...right? Should I continue to stir up the sand bed and vacuum ? Remove my sand ? Do water changes daily until I get rid of the nitrates ?
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:55 PM   #2
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Sounds like there isn't enough flow in the tank. If that much food and poop is settling to be feeding nitrate levels...but this is why we state not to stir up the sandbed normally as you got to see the results. I have a red hair algae issue in my tank that was caused by a dead zone. I basically did similar. The problem is better, but it takes a long time to address issues long term. I say keep an eye on things by testing and decide where to go from there.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:00 PM   #3
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I have 1 hydor 240 and 1 425 power head in my tank. Should I have more. I have moved them all over but it doesn't look like it does much no matter where they are. Should I point them down?
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:12 PM   #4
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I have 1 hydor 240 and 1 425 power head in my tank. Should I have more. I have moved them all over but it doesn't look like it does much no matter where they are. Should I point them down?
Yes you can angle them slightly down and be okay. You don't wanna completely send sand flying though. A lot of times you can face them directly towards eachother and send turbulent water everywhere
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:57 PM   #5
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how about one power head in the back facing toward the front
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:59 PM   #6
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how about one power head in the back facing toward the front
That can work and face the other kinda down. You have to experiment
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:08 PM   #7
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How big is the tank again?
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:28 PM   #8
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only 20 gallons
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:44 PM   #9
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Getting flow going right is always tricky. I'd try moving them down on the glass some. This way you can still point them up and towards each other so you can create a more 'chaotic' flow pattern, as well as prevent things from settling on the bottom and breaking the surface of the water for more oxygen into the water column.
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