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Old 07-05-2015, 11:41 PM   #1
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High trates

I recently set up a 75 but filled it about 50% with water from my old 75 and my nitrates have been up in the 80 range for about a week and a half. I've changed 40 gallons in a week and they still have not came down. My test is not old and reads zero when I test fresh saltwater. I have 2 clowns, 1 mccoskers wrasse (did have 2 but one pasted away during the move), a coral beauty, and a clown tang until I find a bigger home for him. I have a sump which is about 15 more gallons. I run a protein skimmer good for 225 gallons. Any help would be great.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:58 AM   #2
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Nitrates that came over from the old tank and possibly stirred up even more if the sandbed was disturbed.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:35 AM   #3
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Water doesn't hold enough bacteria in it to remove the ammonia, nitrites or nitrates from the water. If the tank is new, and you just added water, your in for the long haul.
Hopefully you moved the live rock over to the new tank, and rinsed out the sand bed before moving it.
In order to get the Nitrates down, figure you'll have to do 50% water changes a few days in a row, not once a week. 3-4 days in a row should bring them down to a nice level.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:43 PM   #4
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Tank is around 2 months old and I used half of the water that was from my old tank. I never had trates over 20 in the old tank. I've changed 40 gallons since Friday. I really have no way to do a 50% ware change I can only mix 20 gallons at a time.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:47 PM   #5
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Thats the only way your going to knock em down fast, is with large water changes.
You'll need to do quite a few in a row with that small of WC.
Or you start running Denitrator, Vodka dose, run a fuge, run an ATS. Your pick.
As stated, the water doesn't have enough bacteria in it to cycle a tank, your old water will not keep your current tank from cycling. Only using the same amount of Cured Live Rock will prevent a tank from cycling.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:06 AM   #6
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But what I don't get is I have no ammonia but high trates. If my tank was going through a cycle wouldn't I have ammonia present?
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:08 AM   #7
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Throw a big bag of chemipure elite in there...can't promise it will do anything but might help between water changes.


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Old 07-07-2015, 09:17 AM   #8
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The nitrates are coming from somewhere. The lack of ammonia or nitrites is good, it means your tank has a bacteria colony large enough to process what is being produced! That is the nitrate cycle that you build up when you cycle a tank.
So, the key here is to identify where the nitrates are coming from. Lots of food is a prime source for this, as it will decomp and go through the nitrate cycle. So, with large water changes to bring down the nitrate levels you can cut back some on feeding.
When it comes to lowering the levels you already have, say your nitrates are at 40 right now. A 50% water change will lower the nitrates to 20. So then another large water change will be needed to bring it down to 10, and so on.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:12 PM   #9
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Masoniac, You never answered one of the MOST important questions.
Did you transfer the live rock from the other tank to the new one?
Did you transfer the sand from the other tank to the new one?


If you transferred the sand, did you rinse it in tank water until it wasn't nasty?
If you rinsed it in fresh water, you killed the BB and initiated a cycle.
If you didn't rinse the sand and just moved it from one tank to the other, well that's most likely your problem right there.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:20 PM   #10
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but everyone is correct, the only way to quickly lower nitrate is with big water changes.
all the methodologies for controlling nitrates like reefing madness mentioned takes about 3-6 months to get going in full swing and making a real difference.
The anerobic bacteria that handle the de-nitrification process take at least 12 weeks to get established in a new tank, and getting them to populations that keep nitrates down to zero can take another 3-6 months.


That's why all the fixes for nitrate and algae are slow, methodical process's, it takes that long for the bacteria that "eat" nitrate to really kick it into high gear.
Even running bio-pellets takes on average 2-3 months before you see real benefit.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:23 PM   #11
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I used new sand and new dry rock. I guess I'm going to change 20 gallons once a day or twice a day everyday till they are at a acceptable range.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:40 PM   #12
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Once a day will work. Just keep at it. I'm in a similar boat, just can't detect the nitrates because of how much algae growth occurred. Just be thankfull you don't have any of the red turf, cotton candy, or other invasive red 'nuisance' algaes.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masoniac View Post
I used new sand and new dry rock. I guess I'm going to change 20 gallons once a day or twice a day everyday till they are at a acceptable range.
after reading your tread back and forth trying to ex-orb it all in
than I come to this quote you stated .

using new base rock and sand is all good , but after you said you added water from the old tank than added fish I had to stop and scratch my head,

first I must think you carried over trates from the old tank via the water

now looking at it again new rock and sand added water than fish
adding water from a old tank don't make it automatically cycle instantly if at all

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your tank never cycled

I came to this conclusion from process of elimination from all the above posts

I would take your fish to a pet store to hold for you or if you have a friend local who can hold them for you

after you do that get a nice size deli shrimp put it in a ladys stocking and let it float in the tank till it starts to decompose and you see ammonia of 4 ppm than you can remove it ,
this will begin the cycle you never did
this article will help you through it step by step many of us here used this to start
Cycle your salt tank - Aquarium Advice
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:45 PM   #14
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That article seems too short. It doesn't say anything about nitrAtes and water changes before adding fish.....hmmmmm.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:51 PM   #15
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My tank did cycle. My ammonia and nitrites were high I did 20 gallon water changes everyday for a week to make sure fish were okay. My nitrates have never been this high ever not even when the tank was cycling.
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Old 07-07-2015, 06:57 PM   #16
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Throw a big bag of chemipure elite in there...can't promise it will do anything but might help between water changes.


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CPE resins do not work in Seawater. Good product for freshwater though..

To the OP: Why are your nitrates a problem currently? Are you battling algae? I wouldn't be taking much concern
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Old 07-07-2015, 07:22 PM   #17
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No algae, I just hate when my trates get above 20. I'm just curious as to why they haven't came down after I've changed 40 gallons
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Old 07-07-2015, 07:26 PM   #18
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My tank did cycle. My ammonia and nitrites were high I did 20 gallon water changes everyday for a week to make sure fish were okay. My nitrates have never been this high ever not even when the tank was cycling.
you changed 20g per day while it was supposed to cycle you never gave beneficial bacteria to a chance to build 20g water changes daily during your cycle stalled your cycle , you removed your ammonia source with every 1 of those water changes ,
the more you say about your cycle leads me to the same answer
I'll say it again that tank isn't cycled
the nitrates you see were carried over
I'm not trying to say you didn't attempt to cycle the way you did it was incorrect , it stopped your cycle as if it never happen , taking the fuel needed to build bacteria can be compared to gas in your car when there's no gas your car stops
I hope I explained it simple enough for you to understand .
I'm not here to miss lead you I want to see you succeed , the start of a new tank is crucial and needs to be done correctly otherwise your just wasting your time and stressing your fish , the saltwater hobby isn't cheap be glad the mistake was caught before you spent lots of money
remember I was there once upon a time
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Old 07-07-2015, 07:45 PM   #19
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That's the thing I know better. I know what I'm doing this is like my 4th tank. Idk why I didnt think of changing all that water never let it cycle properly. So I've never done a fish in cycle could I get some insight on that because I will never be able to catch my coral beauty, or the mccoskers wrasse.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:06 PM   #20
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the reason you didn't get a fish in cycle is because it's a big tank , feeding 2 fish don't take much and I'm assuming you fed flakes or pellets that small amount of food you fed wasn't enough to light the fire , now if you decided to do a fish in I don't think your coral beauty will make it as they as they are very sensitive to big swings ,

the mccoskers wrasse that's a fancy wrasse with the big dorsal fins right ,
I know some wrasses are hardy and tough they would probably make it through a cycle ,
but some wrasses aren't as hardy thats were I'm not sure , but as I believe the mccoskers wrasse would fit into this category,
I think it would be a risk I wouldn't want to take, now if it were a coris wrasse for example those guys would survive about everything,

heres a suggestion if you have a ten gallon tank pick up maybe 2 or 3 pieces of live rock thats already cured around 2 or 3 lbs each , put them in the small tank and that tank would be ready for your 2 fish just add a power head as the beneficial bacteria is already established on rock just keep it wet till you get it home,
than after the 75 cycles you can add those 3 rocks to your tank along with the fish,

another FYI I never doubted your experience we are all human and sometimes we just overlook things as we are stoked to get things up and running,
I learned over the years rushing never pays, things that can take a hour I take 3 , another reason I do that is I'm getting old and I get brain farts too.
so don't sweat it things will get better, I'm sure you will have a nice tank sometime in the near future and I look forward to seeing it,
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