Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 01-14-2014, 01:31 AM   #1
JJA
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 11
Resolving sky high Nitrates

Quick backstory. My tank is/was a 3yr old FOWLR 54 corner. In early 2013, I was blessed with the news of becoming a Dad again. It was a grueling pregnancy though with many weeks spent in the hospital. Mom and baby were healthy though in the end. In the mean time, my tank suffered as I had no time or money to maintain. Many months between water changes. When time and money finally became available last summer, I screwed up. While doing my first water change, I thought it would be a good idea to ruffle up my deep sand bed so it looked a little fresher. A week later, 3 of my fish were struggling, then dead. I took the remaining to the LFS for credit, as they were still somehow healthy. Backwards as it sounds, I came home and tested my water for the first time. Nitrates were and still are 160ppm. Bought a new test kit (API) just to be sure. I have probably done 15-20 10% water changes and the test tube color is still this red.

So, my questions are: 1) Are my high nitrates the result of messing with the sand last summer? 2) X% water change will reduce nitrates by X? If true, I would like to do a 90% water change, all at once, to get a handle on this. My fear is that with the water being so low at that point, that when I begin add water, the force is going to disturb the sand once again and put me back at square one.

Also, I still have no fish at this point. 1 blue leg hermit, and 2 nassarius snails, and many pods.
__________________

__________________
JJA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 02:13 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
alco1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Victoira, Australia
Posts: 322
sorry to hear all that... but congrats on the baby.

More than likely it was the sand movement that caused the outbreak. do you have crushed coral sand by any chance? and in those last 3 years when doing WC do you ever disturb the sand?

If I was in your position, considering you have no fish I would personally do a big restart and just rip it all apart, clean up the sand and let it cycle once again.

The more water you change, the more nitrate itll remove. but its soooo high in your tank at the moment though.... plus if you do a 90% WC the tank would more than likely have barely any BB left which may cause another cycle anyway.

You could do like 30%-40% WC every 2 days until its down.... but like I said.... I would be restarting it and save on the ongoing waterchanges
__________________

__________________
View my 265g DIY tank so far
alco1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 02:30 AM   #3
JJA
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 11
No crushed coral sand. Probably 60lbs of the live (or so they say) sand. Sand was disturbed minimally. Usually power head movement, or I might venture to low with the magfloat and hit the sand.

What does a restart entail? 100% water drain obviously. Do I need all new sand though? As far as the LR goes, that needs to be kept in SW somewhere, or do you recommend getting all new LR as well?
__________________
JJA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 02:48 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
alco1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Victoira, Australia
Posts: 322
So a restart means..... 100% WC... keep your sand and clean it up... so put the sand in a bucket, fill it with water and stir it up and empty the water... keep doing that until the water becomes clear.

With the LR... go to your LFS and ask for a couple of polystyrene containers and then put you LR in this with some wet newspaper wrapped around the LR to keep moist (wet the newspaper with your original DT water)

Then once everything is all cleaned up... just put it back together and wait for the cycle to start.

I don't know if anyone else can come up with a better idea but I thought considering there really no stock to look after and your nitrates are sky high... might as well turn it into a brand new tank again.
__________________
View my 265g DIY tank so far
alco1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 11:00 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
AndiH011's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Birmingham UK
Posts: 160
Hi ya,

I'm having the exact same issues although mine was work related rather than paternal.

I carried out the below 1 week ago

So far I have pulled all the LR out scrubbed it clean, siphoned the top layer of sand off, carried out a 30% PWC, upgraded my protein skimmer, cleaned the entire DT including power heads etc. introduced activated carbon and have started dosing Zeostart2 and Zeobak.

So far the Nitrate levels have dropped slightly but not massively so I will continue with 25% PWC weekly.

I now plan to renew the T5's and T8's as these are about 6 months old and as they deteriorate the spectrum change can also cause unwanted algae growth

Hope this helps although I would have thought I would have seen a munch greater drop in Nitrate. I'm currently at around 20-40ppm

If it doesn't drop any further I might introduce a phosphate/nitrate reactor so I'm currently researching them

Andi
__________________
AndiH011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
jeffaquarius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 1,933
If you have enough fund I would recommend a new sand for substrate. Just mix it with small amount of old sand after cleaning to seed. It will definitely remove your nitrate problem. Cleaning the old sand is a 50/50 chance success due to the difficulty of really cleaning it. I am not sure how would you remove all those tiny detritus and burrowing life form.
__________________
"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion". George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90w86...A434PW3gEa1-QA
jeffaquarius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 11:45 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Maridia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 480
I'm scared of crushed coral. I saw a YouTube vid where someone had super high Nitrates, regardless of how many WCs were done. Evidently, a lot of the algae and fish waste worked its way through all the crushed coral and settled at the very bottom of the tank so it was not visible. He further explains that when he finally removed the crushed coral, that the bottom of the tank was a huge pile of rotting mess. He replaced his crushed coral with sand and all was well.

I'm not trying to recommend against it, this may have been a rare case, but it was enough to scare me out of it. I only bring it up since crushed coral was mentioned a little bit ago. I use black sand, not too many people are a fan of that, but I think it's aesthetically pleasing. Good luck on the restart of your tank.
__________________
Maridia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 03:49 PM   #8
JJA
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 11
This is going to kill off all of the biological bacteria in the tank. As far as the LR goes, storing them in a bin of old DT water will keep the BB in them stable. Will I need to rinse that water off before they go back in the tank?
__________________
JJA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 04:16 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
jeffaquarius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 1,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJA View Post
This is going to kill off all of the biological bacteria in the tank. As far as the LR goes, storing them in a bin of old DT water will keep the BB in them stable. Will I need to rinse that water off before they go back in the tank?
Most of the beneficial bacteria reside in LR. I don't even have to wash them just keep them wet before putting them back in. It would make no sense reusing the old saltwater when your aim is to get rid of nitrates which are in the water.
__________________
"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion". George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90w86...A434PW3gEa1-QA
jeffaquarius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 06:08 PM   #10
JJA
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffaquarius View Post
Most of the beneficial bacteria reside in LR. I don't even have to wash them just keep them wet before putting them back in. It would make no sense reusing the old saltwater when your aim is to get rid of nitrates which are in the water.

You might have misunderstood me. The old DT water would just be to Store the LR in while I remove sand prepare water. I have a brute trash can where I store my ro/di water in my basement, but still have to mix in 5 gallon buckets to haul up stairs. Will take me a day or 2 to make 60+gallons. Anyway, I have no intention of putting old DT water back in.
__________________

__________________
JJA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ate, high nitrate, high nitrates, nitrate, nitrates

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.