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Old 05-26-2004, 10:00 PM   #1
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need nitrates to go down FAST

I've had my tank for about 5 months now and I have 2 clowns, a Yellow tang and 1 Picasso Trigger. My nitrates have shot up to 50mg/l!!!!! this can't be good. Whats the fastest possible way to lower my nitrates? I'm guessing water change but wouldn't that throw everything else off??? ie, my salinity, nitrites, and PH? how much longer will the fishes survive with a 50 mg/l nitrate level??
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Old 05-26-2004, 10:16 PM   #2
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Water changes are the way to go.. you're going to be mixing in salt up to the same sg as your tank so it won't throw anything off.

Also some details about your setup might help find the cause..
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Old 05-27-2004, 12:24 AM   #3
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Yes, how big is the tank? Also how old is your test, and did you do it twice to verify your readings? Also get a sample to your lfs. But Atari (gotta love that name) is right, water changes are the only way to get nitrates that high down quickly. Just be sure to match your SG and temp and you shold be fine.
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Old 05-27-2004, 01:03 AM   #4
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In the long run it wouldn't hurt to run some kind of polyfilter and carbon once in a while to get the nutrients down, also overfeeding can contribute.
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Old 05-27-2004, 12:56 PM   #5
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I have about 18 lbs of LR in a 55 gallon tank, I know thats hardly enough. I have a dual Bak Pak Protein Skimmer and a internal Fluval 4 filter with a carbon filter in the middle. I think it may be the feeding thats raising the nitrates from where I'm hearing from you guys. How much of a water change do you suggest?
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Old 05-27-2004, 12:57 PM   #6
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oh yea, also, how much do you feed and how often to maintain a healthy tank?
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:48 PM   #7
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there are different opions on this. soem say do 10-15%everty other day till it comes down. Some say do a 50% then three or four days later do another 50%. each has valid pionts to it. I would do somewhere in the middle, then work on what caused the nitrates to go up.
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Old 05-27-2004, 07:14 PM   #8
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Several things you can do. the good news is that high Nitrates are not nealy as bad as high amonia or nitrites, so take a deep breath. Think of it like us spending time in a city with bad smog, not ideal but not deadly in the short-term. Do a large water change to start. What is your source water for changes? If you are using tap, DON'T. It can be very high in nitrates and phosphates. Use RO/DI water to mix up your salt water. You can get it by the gallon at Wal-mart, grocery store, or even your LFS. More LR will help to keep this from happening again. Cut bck on feedings to once every other day and see if that helps. You may need to do smaller water changes every other day as well until your levels are in check. Good luck and let us know how it goes...Lando
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