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Old 08-04-2004, 11:51 AM   #1
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Nitrates are taking over

I have had my tank running since november. I just bought a 90 gallon and transferred about 45 gallon of water from the orignal tank and 45 gallons of saltmix water about a month ago. I have 7 fish in the 90 gallon. An eel, toadfish, coral beauty, picasso trigger, porcupine puffer, tomato clown, and stonefish. I was having problems with the nitrates before I bought the new tank and am still having trouble. I am running a protein skimmer for up to 100 gallon and the wet dry is for a 75 gallon tank but is running on the 90. I am turning the tank over with a mag 750 I think, it may be a 950. I have 100 pounds of live rock and 40 pounds of live sand in the tank. What can I do to keep the nitrates down. My reading are as high as they go on the nitrate tester. The nitrites are no existent, no ammonia, and ph is 8.2. Salinity is 1.24 and I keep the temperature at 78. My stonefish has not been acting right and his eyes have gotten cloudy/crusting on one side, which a guy at the LFS told me was due to the nitrates being too high. Also my annenomie hasnt looked good either. My puffers eyes are a little cloudy too now. What can I do to get the nitrates down. Any chemical, filters, more water changes, nitrate sticks. What do you guys think? What has worked for you?
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:19 PM   #2
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first of all...WELCOME TO AA Just how high is high? fish only tanks can stand nitrates of up to 30. Although it is not the best. What is your feeding schedule? You have a lot of messy eaters there. That is a contributing factor. You can try to get a bigger dkimmer. As far as addatives or chemicals go, these are just rally band-aids. It is best to get to the source of the problem and correct it. More filtration would help also. Good luck...Lando
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:21 PM   #3
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One more thing...you may want to get a different test kit and compare the results. Make sure they are correct.
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:37 PM   #4
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I would definitely get a better skimmer. I find they usually work best for half the tank size that they claim, for example the Prizm is only good upto 50 gal even though it's rated at 100 gal.

For now do some large water changes, and continue to do them more frequently than you have been. Also be watchful with feeding and be sure to siphon out any uneaten scraps.

Do you use RO water?
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:40 PM   #5
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good call on the water changes Atari. What type of substrate are you using? Is it crushed coral or live sand?
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:48 PM   #6
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Nitrates of 100. I feed the fish every 2-3 days. No I dont use RO water. Could that be adding to the problem.
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:54 PM   #7
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It may or may not be, but it wouldn't hurt to test the water right out of the tap to see what the nitrate level is.

What is your current water change schedule?
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:59 PM   #8
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I'm still new at this, but I read many times not to use tap water for a saltwater aquarium. I elected to haul 20 gallons of distilled water from the grocery store. This might be cumbersome for a 90 gal tank. RO may be the way to go.
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Old 08-04-2004, 06:06 PM   #9
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Welcome to AA.

Carnivore tanks take more maintenance since they are such messy eaters, and good cleanup crew might turn into lunch. Test your tap water as above to see how high the nitrates are in your replacement water. You need large frequent water changes to pull your nitrates down. Clean out your wetdry filter pad ever other day or so and some of your bioballs with each water change. Or better yet, ditch the bioballs and let your sandbed and rock do the filtration. Wetdry filters produce tons of nitrate unless you keep them very clean. With your livestock and the wetdry, you are going to have to put a lot of work into the tank to keep it healthy.
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