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Old 03-19-2003, 10:12 AM   #1
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High nitrates

A friend of mine has a 72g bowfront and asked me to come by and check it out. After the usual battery of tests, I found the nitrates to be off the chart...200+. I checked them with the Aquarium Pharm and the Seachem tests. Tank is inhabited by a fuzzy dwarf lion, a snowflake moray, a banded coral shrimp, an urchin, and several snails. There is some cyano and hair algae. The entire tank is covered in red and striped mushrooms...there must be 3-400 of them and some are 3" or more in diameter. First question: Why haven't the inverts died due to the nitrate concentration? Second question: Why are these shrooms so prolific? Do they utilize the nitrates as food? They are literally growing like weeds in a garden. I recommended adding a skimmer and doing a series of small water changes to rectify the nitrates. Tank has 2 Emp 400's and a Hagen 402 PH. Lighting is 120w of NO. Planning to add a Seaclone this afternoon. Anybody got ideas? All other tests were in the normal range except for trace phosphates...about .25 I think.
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Old 03-19-2003, 02:36 PM   #2
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I think shrooms do thrive in "poor" water conditions. Small water changes won't do squat. He need to do a large water change of 50% or more. That will knock them down by 50% to about 100. Another 50% water change a day or so later will knock it down to about 50. Sounds like he desperately needs a skimmer, especially considering the lion (messy eater). Without a skimmer (a good one) he needs to do regular water changes, I'd say weekly or at least bi-monthly. Small water changes will not dilute the notrates effectively. They need to be large to do any good.
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Old 03-19-2003, 02:42 PM   #3
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how many pounds of lr does this fellow have? what is he using for his makeup water? ro? just making sure, but there is no media in those emps, yes?
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Old 03-19-2003, 03:35 PM   #4
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I have found that the refugium has cleared up the high nitrate/phosphate problem for us...you might try a bunch of macro in the tank
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Old 03-19-2003, 06:51 PM   #5
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That type of nitrate isnt uncommon in lionfish or eel tanks. Although mushrroms flourishing is quite odd. Usually even soft, easier to keep coral still is bothered by that level of nirtates!

And yes, more maintenence is needed, not just 30% change every month. Make sure they aren't just feeding live foods either. That will make even more of a mess than those animals already make. I would also advise a hardcore water change, maybe not 50%, only because that may shock the shrooms to much. But defintly gets those nitrates down, the fish will live a lot longer and hopefully the coral will flourish even more.

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Old 03-19-2003, 08:09 PM   #6
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Although mushrroms flourishing is quite odd. Usually even soft, easier to keep coral still is bothered by that level of nirtates!

I have subscribed to the theory that nitrates are not that harmful to inverts anymore than fish. It is the impact on the ph that adversly affects corals. If the tank has a stable ph, I do not find it surprising that the shrooms are doing well.

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I found the nitrates to be off the chart...200+.

What does the test kit test for exactly? does it test for nitrogen nitrate, or nitrate?

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Tank is inhabited by a fuzzy dwarf lion, a snowflake moray, a banded coral shrimp
Anybody wanna start a pool on how long the shrimp hangs around?? We could start a group like the march madness game........
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Old 03-19-2003, 09:12 PM   #7
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maybe not 50%, only because that may shock the shrooms to much.
That hasn't been my experience. I have successfully done 50% water changes with very good results. If you have had bad results from large waer changes, please share the details.
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Anybody wanna start a pool on how long the shrimp hangs around??
We need to know how big the Lion is to make a guess.
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Old 03-19-2003, 09:26 PM   #8
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IF you make sure your new water is up to temp, same PH and salinity their should not be a problem with a 50% w/c. However if any of the three are off it could have adverse effects. Only problem with that is where are you going to put 36 gallons of water to get those three things right.
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Old 03-19-2003, 09:33 PM   #9
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Trash can!
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Old 03-19-2003, 10:17 PM   #10
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Get one at wal-mart for $8.00 I think they hold 20 gallons or something, $16.00 and you got a lot of room
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