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Old 05-25-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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Need HELP with perameters....

My current set up in totals is 404 liters including tanks and sump (main tank 240 liters) the system has a DIY auto top off RO and auto salt water change. The salt water change happens daily in small amounts and is 25% over 3 weeks.
Here are my perameters. I'm all set to do a 40% water changed! i did a 25% yesterday.
I currently have soft and LPS corals with fish
SG 1.025
Nitrate 40ppm!! (concern)
phosphate 1.0 ppm ( not happy about this either)
Mag 1410ppm
cal 500ppm
DKH 10.9
Ph 8.00

I'm not dosing anything for cal or mag or dkh. Are those levels okay???? thats my main query even though the phos and nitrate are high...
I am vodka dosing (from 13/04/12 to date) to try and reduce the phosphates. I've always had trouble with phosphates. my nirtrates have always been below 10ppm. I'm really careful with feeding. Never feed too much and always rinse the food. mainly because I've been battling phosphates
The nirtate have shot up over the past week. I'm guessing from the acclimation of my copperband. I overfed the system to get the little guy to eat... after a week he fianlly did. I threw all sorts of sea creatures in there to get him to eat!
Whats the best way to get the nitrates down?? is a 40% water change going to shock the system too much?

Any advice would be great
Cheers Joe

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Old 05-25-2012, 06:02 PM   #2
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The best way to keep nitrates down is by your weekly water changes. Since you have a sump, a refugium or algae scrubber setup in the sump will consume nitrates. Your phosphates though...they are awfully high. You do not need to dose vodka to bring them down, you need to change the filters in your RO/DI unit or get it from a different source. The only concern I'd have with the nitrate spike from adding a fish would be the amount of LR/sand you have in your tank. If it spiked that high, you don't have enough live rock for the bacteria to live on to consume it.

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Old 05-26-2012, 01:28 AM   #3
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Definately check your RO filter and DI resin out, could be a problem there, could be something in the tank leaching phosphates as well like a piece of rock or something.
I would change the water out manually like 25% a week until you get nitrates under control, then check out your automatic thing and monitor it and make sure it's doing right. Test water every couple 2-3 days.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:09 AM   #4
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cheer's for the fast reply's

I changed my 3 pre filters and DI resin about 3 months ago... I have a TDS meter reading 220 in and 7 out.. is 7 acceptable? Or do i need to change the actual RO filter. I've read that if you change the pre filters often enought they can last years? I've only had that system 1 year.

I have plenty of live rock. If anything too much. I have 3 deep sandbed's 1 in main 240 liter tank 1 in 50 liter tank and one in the sump. with a few more rocks.

I'll kick off the auto system and do it manually for a month. But it's been running perfectly for 6 months so can't see it being that. I've only used RO lines to feed the top off and salt change. I've used old salt buckets to store the water. The solenoids have no metalic parts in contact with the water.

Should I use GFO to help with the Phosphates? instead of vodka?

Cheers Joe
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