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Old 12-06-2011, 01:55 PM   #1
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Question Nitrate help, please.

Question:

What can I do to lower my nitrates?

Tank has been running for about 6 months since I purchased and relocated.

I currently have (6) fish, and am adding my (7th), and final fish tomorrow, which is why I want to address this issue as soon as possible, as I understand that I am riding the overstocked line for a 54 gallon tank.

In the time I have had this set-up, I only started testing myself about a month ago, previous to that, it was weekly tested at my LFS, and I got the "All Good" response.

I really couldn't tell you what all good was, as the only thing I was testing myself was salinity. At the time, the LFS was only checking the basics as I hadn't gotten into corals yet.

I have ALWAYS done weekly water changes every Monday ranging from 15-25% each time. In every case, I have tested my water previous to and after the pwc. My rolling issue is that my nitrates last week hit an all time low of 20ppm, which is not really low at all. This week after doing another 25% (11 gallons for a 54 gallon tank) water change, the trates are at 30-40ppm. Guess what they were before the pwc? Yup 30-40ppm.

I am using an API kit to test.

At this time I do not have a skimmer. I have 80-100lbs of LR in the DT, and another 20 lbs in the sump. Also no chaeto or other macro's down there.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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don't buy the 7th fish, for one.
how often are you feeding and how much?
how much flow is in the tank, and how does the sand bed look? how about the bottom of the sump? is that clean or full of detritus?
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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whats your feeding schedule and what,any cuc,what test kit liquid or strips,has anything died or dissapeared,what water are you using for top offs ?
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:40 PM   #4
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Mr. X - I can see what I can do about the fish as I impulsed and purchased it last night - it is due to ship in the morning. I can most likely take him into my LFS no problem.

My feeding schedule is Ocean nutrition flakes daily. Every 3rd day I feed mysis and no flakes. I feed (7) days per week.

I currently have 1700gph in the tank provided by (2) koralia 750's plus my return pump.

The sandbed looks to be good other than some larger BB sized pebbles surfacing in the front middle of the tank. I also purchased (5) nassarius snails to help with the sand turning.

The sump was just completely removed and cleaned thouroughly about 3 weeks ago. It has very little, to nothing on the bottom under the LR.

David,

Feeding above ^

CUC = (5) nassarius snails, + (5) more on the way. 10-15 blue leg crabs, (1) scarlet crab, (2) large hermit crabs. (2) large snails, and 5-7 smaller snails that look like turban snails.

I use an API Master Test - Liquid.

Nothing dying, in fact the tank is looking fantastic, I just want it to be feeling the same way!

All top-offs are made with RO/DI water from my own unit that is less than (1) month old. Previous to my unit, I purchased RO/DI from the Supermarket down the road.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
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I think I have heard that the flakes can produce more nitrates than other foods but dont quote me on that. Sounds like your doing everything right. Maybe try the small pellets instead of the flake for a while. Is the mysis the frozen form? If so make sure you are rinsing it.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:25 PM   #6
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I had planned to try NLS pellets once this can ran out... Maybe I'll try. I was also thinking about trying Doug's recipe from the other forum - got it saved, but haven't attempted yet. Also, the mysis I do use I do rinse first as its pretty cloudy when I thaw it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:25 PM   #7
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Why did you totally clean the sump for,doing this will have killed all the beneficial bacteria in the sump,at the time you put the sump back in you may not of had enough BB for your bio load.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:37 PM   #8
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I removed all of the live rock and placed it in a container of tank water - I then removed the sump and emptied out about 1/2" of detritus from the bottom. Replaced the live rock and added the water back in, minus 6 gallons, and then added new saltwater, as if I did a pwc through the sump.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:09 PM   #9
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Oh ok,thats fine.I would also test your new saltwater just in case your putting trates into the tank.If you had that much detritus in your sump after 6 months then I would say your over feeding.
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:11 PM   #10
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I bought the set-up used, and I never cleaned out the sump, just transferred it. The previous owners had it set-up for about 6 years. They had a puffer, niger trigger, and a foxface - messy eaters.

I'm not sure how long they had run without cleaning it, but I am monitoring my feeding anyway as a countermeasure to the trates.

Doug - I did one better, I believe today.

My shipment of Snails, shrimp, and fish came in at 11:00a. I was able to acclimate the shipment, and while doing so I, with the power of Poseidon, coaxed out my (2) blue green chromis that are ALWAYS hiding, and removed them from the tank. While my shipment was still dripping, I shot down to the LFS and gave them the Chromis.

So, end result, I am now at (5) fish opposed to (7) or even staying at (6). I feel much better about this stocking.
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