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Old 01-28-2005, 12:41 PM   #1
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Nitrates and Substrate?

OK, I have been battling nitrates since the tank was set-up 15 months ago. I cannot seem to get them below 10-20 despite all the PWC I do. I do use RO water.

I am thinking my problem is my cc substrate. The last couple of times I have done a 25% PWC and vacuumed the exposed substate as best I could. I also changed test kits to make sure I was not getting a false reading. The PWC and vacuuming seemed to help some, but the readings a week later still show 10-20. I think the issue I may have is the substrate that is under and behind the aquascaping. A fairly recent pic is in my gallery.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...cat=500&page=1
The way my tank is arranged there is a fairly large hollow area behind the rock work. I guess my question is should I remove all my rock work and clear out all the substrate that would be under and behind the rock work?

It seems to make sense then that waste would not be able to build up as much then. I do realize I have a large bio load as well.

The nitrate level does not seem to bother my inhabitants and all seem to be doing very well. My concern is that I am sure they could be doing better if it was 0.

Thoughts?
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Tank: 90 Gal SW Reef in the making

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Old 01-28-2005, 01:10 PM   #2
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sounds like a swap of cc for sand is in order
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Old 01-28-2005, 01:17 PM   #3
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I have actually considered that. I am concerned that switching out the sustrate all together would upset the balance I do have unless I go with LS, which can be quite pricy for what I need.

Anyone have thoughts on new substrate or the original question of just removing the cc under and behind the rock work I currently have?
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Old 01-28-2005, 01:24 PM   #4
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i have done this before and still have the mix in a 55 gallon !
but pulled out half the cc and added sand and mixed it with my hand
without anoher tank to hold the fish it would be hard
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