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Old 11-08-2011, 10:38 PM   #1
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Nitrates

What is the best way to keep nitrates and ammonia at 0 besides frequent water changes?
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:49 PM   #2
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Ammonia should always be at 0, if not, then you're not cycled.

Nitrates are the end product of the nitrification process, and there's nothing that consumes those short of a well planted tank..... Unless your bioload is really light, plants still won't consume all your nitrates, they just help. And even then, weekly water changes are still recommended, you just may not have to change as much water at a time.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:53 PM   #3
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Please read the article in my signature on fishless cycling and there is another one on fish in cycling in the articles section. They will explain why and how ammonia is processed by beneficial bacteria. Nitrates are the final product and are removed by water changes and or lots of live plants.

Edit: I was beaten, good advice above!
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:13 PM   #4
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Ok thank you guys so much. Should I get a protein skinner will it help?
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:21 PM   #5
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Ok thank you guys so much. Should I get a protein skinner will it help?
Sorry, long day at work & I wasn't paying attention..... I was reading off the "new posts" and didn't realize this was in SW reefs. Disregard planted tanks.....

Still, ammonia should be zero at all times....

Yes, a skimmer will help you, as it removes solid wastes that can decay and eventually turn into nitrates. What kind of filtration are you currently using?
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:23 PM   #6
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Ok thank you guys so much. Should I get a protein skinner will it help?
Patience and following either of those articles is my best advice. Without properly cycling, no gadgets or chemicals will provide the results needed to start up your tank.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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I have an Aquion filter I don't know what type all I know it's a 40 dollar filter with 200 flow power. I will invest in a skinner then, it's worth it. My anemone is acting really healthy and my ocellaris is hosting it so I guess that is a good sign of nitrates going down.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:57 AM   #8
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What size is the tank and what are you using for filtration media? If the tank is a smaller tank, 20g or less, you may not need a skimmer if, as indicated, you can do weekly water changes.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:14 AM   #9
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I agree, if the tank isn't large then I would pass on a skimmer. Nitrates can be controlled by frequent water changes and not overfeeding. They won't go down by themselves without some action by you. As far as ammonia, you should never see any period.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:38 AM   #10
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Also the type of foods being fed can make nitrates go up. If you feed frozen rinse them, some flake foods are worse than others. But water changes do more than keep the nitrates down it replaces trace minerals, if you use a protein skimmer you still need to do water changes because it takes out trace minerals as well.

Ammonia means you probably have something dead in your tank the cuc hasn't found or can't get to.
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