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Old 11-20-2003, 09:00 PM   #1
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High Levels

My sister has a salt water tank she has had since around August...she got me wanting one.

She called today and said she had the water tested because she needed to get a new testing kit and the guy at the store said just bring some water in they will do it.

These are the levels he gave her:

Nitrites: 5.0 ppm
Nitrates: 60 ppm
PH: 7.8
1.021 for salinity

My tank has never had nitrites that high its always been close to zero. What is she doing wrong? I was clueless as to what to tell her!
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Old 11-20-2003, 10:07 PM   #2
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What kind of filtration is she using? Any live rock? How many fish? What size tank?

I find it odd that a tank set up for 3-4 months should have any levels of nitrites at all.
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Old 11-20-2003, 10:15 PM   #3
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I have no idea of how many fish she has or the actual size, we are three states away. I think she has a few pieces of live rock she bought all individually not too long ago. Her filter sits on the bottom under all the crushed coral from what I understand. I don't know anything about those...actually never seen them. I've seen a few pictures and I know it doesn't hang on the back like mine does.

I was thinking maybe when she lets my 3 year old niece "help" feed them maybe she is putting way too much in??
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Old 11-20-2003, 10:28 PM   #4
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Well there are a few things that would lead to high nitrites. The tank could be overstocked as far as fish go, she could could be overfeeding, or the UGF (under gravel filter) could be clogged so that it is no longer drawing water through it and out of the uplift tubes.

Honestly, the first thing I would do would be to go out a buy a new test kit that included a nitrite test. She should verify the the fish store's reading before doing anything drastic.

If it does in fact show that nitrites are high, I would then look to the filter as possibly being the main problem if the tank is not overstocked and she doesn't think she is feeding too much. UGF's are notorious for "clogging up" after some time of use. They are not recommended any longer in this hobby because of this.
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Old 11-20-2003, 10:34 PM   #5
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Thanks I'll tell her. She probably hasn't checked that...should I tell her to buy a hang on the back one? Is there something she could do as far as the Nitrates are concerned? I need to tell her to get on here, you guys are great.

While we are speaking of filters by hang on the back is a Tetra/Whisper 60 I think...it came with my tank in this like "kit". How do you rate those? It says to change the bio-bag/carbon thing once a month...but mine looked yuck basically so I replaced it sooner.
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Old 11-20-2003, 11:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
should I tell her to buy a hang on the back one? Is there something she could do as far as the Nitrates are concerned?
A HOB would be vastly superior to the UGF although a wet/dry would be even better. The UGF will have to be removed though to completely solve the problem. This means removing the plates from under the crushed coral.

If she has enough live rock I would recommend the use of the Berlin method of filtration. This is the most commonly used filtration for SW today. We have an article on it here: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=10

If she doesn't have enough live rock for this, she will have to either go with a wet/dry or a HOB for effective filtration. It would help to know the size of the tank, though. Recommending a HOB for a 125 gallon would be ridiculous.

Quote:
While we are speaking of filters by hang on the back is a Tetra/Whisper 60 I think...it came with my tank in this like "kit". How do you rate those? It says to change the bio-bag/carbon thing once a month...but mine looked yuck basically so I replaced it sooner.
They are ok. Again, if I had a choice it would be Berlin or wet/dry. Any HOB would be better than that UGF.
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