Originally Posted by danbstrong
I suggested source water because op said was doin water changes and nitrate wont go down normally even at 10% waterchange nitrates would drop some but i do agree a fuge will help tremendously im goin on 3 years using fuge with chaeto not a stitch of algae in dt
I don't disagree that this should be checked and could very well be the source of the problem. HOWEVER...
I was keeping marines before the live rock craze even started and back in the late 1970s, created and kept a marine tank using the Lee Chin Eng Natural method which used live rock but didn't include a filter of any kind and just used an airstone for water movement. It was only possible to do this method when you had a balanced aquarium.
To expand on your theory that a 10% water change would show a decrease in Nitrates, the most it would show would be 10% so if you had a reading of 40 PPM
and reduced it by 10%, you'd have a reading of 36 ppm
assuming that you were using a perfectly calibrated digital test kit. Since most people use a color kit, the color difference is negligable between the 2 and people are often reading these tests in the wrong light and see incorrect colors. ( I know this from experience
) Plus, you are assuming that the reading was taken within a minute or 2 of the water change because the living rock is constantly producing ammonia that's being converted which is creating nitrates rather quickly.
Not trying to be hardheaded about this but this is what happens with live rock. It is rarely spoken about as far as I've seen.
All in all, if you are right and the source water is the issue, an easy way to deal with it is to drip it into the system using the refugium filter/ algae scrubber/ plant tank/polyfilter, etc. Any of these things can be built for under the $150.00 for the R/O unit. (There are so many choices today, you lucky hobbyists
I was just trying to point out another possibility. Let's see what the test says