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Old 08-02-2015, 12:24 AM   #1
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Nitrates Help Please!

Hi, I have a 15 gal column tank. I have 15 pounds of rock and a live sand. I go to my local saltwater store and get water for the tank. I add the salt myself.
So I have a problem with my tank. I am new to saltwater so I want to make sure I am doing it correctly. I had a problem with my nitrite ammonia and nitrate a while back and was able to get help on this forum that corrected everything but the Nitrate. I just tested my tank and the ammonia is at 0 the HP is at 8.0 and the Nitrite is at 0. Nitrates are horrible still reading 160 ppm. I am using the API Saltwater Master Test Kit. I have had the tank running for about 7 months now and about 2 months ago asked how to fix my system since it was not cycling.

I was told to get a dead fish and add it to the tank to get it to cycle. It did fantastic and everything cycled and when I took out the fish I did a 5 gal water change. That was 2 months ago. Everything is reading perfect except for the Nitrates. I cannot get them to go down.

I know in fresh water adding plants will drop the nitrates, I am wondering if I can add any kind of anemones or something that would help my nitrates?
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:59 AM   #2
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When you cycle a tank, you are completing the bacteria for the nitrate cycle. Nitrates won't go away on their own. Water changes are the best way to do this, which is especially easy in such a small tank.
But, after 2 months it is very likely your tank will need cycled again if the bacteria haven't had an ammonia source to feed on.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:06 AM   #3
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Have you tested the water before you add it to the tank?


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Old 08-02-2015, 01:19 AM   #4
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Nitrates will go away on their own, you just don't have the right amount of Live Rock in the system for the bacteria to grow to get rid of them.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:42 AM   #5
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Live rock exports nutrients. Check out the Red Sea Algae program to expand your live rocks functionality of this process.

Your tank is cycled after 2 months. I believe I read above a post about no ammonia source requiring a need to cycle again. Your tank is cycled after 2 months and has had a food source.

Good luck reefing!
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:58 AM   #6
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I do agree with Hank as far as the water changes. PWC`s are always a good solution to getting rid of excessive nutrients. As your tank matures you will see an increase in anerobic bacteria that will help to get rid of nitrates. This bacteria will grow in low flow and low oxygen areas of the tank. But IMO PWC`s are always best. They replenish trace elements and dilute excessive nutrients. Good advice Hank.
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Old 08-08-2015, 01:25 PM   #7
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Live Rock As A Biological Filter: Hit or Myth? by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D.. - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:11 PM   #8
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Nobody is doubting that LR is important. I have 200 lbs of it in my tank. I have only had LR and a skimmer my entire time in SW. I`m just saying that PWC`s are just as important for the reasons I mentioned earlier.
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