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Old 12-01-2012, 03:56 AM   #1
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SW Nitrates

Hello, everyone. I am struggling with nitrates in my saltwater tanks, I have dont my research and Im not understanding why my tests are always coming up high in nitrates.

We dont over feed, we have the proper equitment and do the proper cleaning... including regular water changes, cleaning substrate with the gravel cleaning vaccume (at every petstore). Blowing off rocks with small fans and turky baster. Along with coral (cleaned with turky baster).

Can people please give me some feedback.... thanks

We have a custom apporx 125gal sw reef with 1 approx 55gal sump w/ refuge; macroalqae and miracle mud. With a 75gal prediator attached. Overall approx 255gal system. With; Liverock- 200+lbs (120+sump), 50lbs (75gal) and Crushed Coral Substrate- 150lbs (120gal), 75lbs (75gal)

We run; 10 three foot t5 white bulbs, (5 on eachside) they are 12k. 60w bulbs. With vertex blue LEDs (4 foot) as lighting. Timing; Whites (12pm-9pm) blues (11am-11pm) with refuge set for (9p-12pm) (opposite).

Flow is Medium to High, mostly medium with 2-1400 fans in 120gal and 1-1400 in 75gal. Its an overflow setup. With pumps of 396 and 1056 returning to both tanks.

We keep out Salinity at 1.025-1.028, Temp at 77.5F
Last tests show; Calcium 440-460ppm, Ammonia 0.2ppm, Nitrates 160ppm, Nitrites 0ppm, and pH 8.2

We run a Reef Keeper Elite. Vertex180 Insump Protein Skimmer, Bio Pellet Reactor and Carbon+GFO Reactor.

We dont dose so much, we feedabout 3 times a week with frozen brine and mysis shrim, marine flake and pellet food, and algae sheets every once in a while. We only dose reef roids... and are planing to start using phyto plankton for target feeding corals. We also feed frozen tiger tail shrimp from grocery store to our preds and anemones, once weekly.

We also have alot of inverts and other fish that clean up aswell. Tanks are not overstocked.
Being; 120gal-Fish (2 small wrasse, 5 small chromis, 1 med to large yellow tang, 1 small damsel, 3 foot moray eel, med maroon clown) Inverts (5 urchins, 8 starfish (3 of which aresnad sifters), 2 cleaner skunk shrimp, hermet crabs aprox 70 small to large, apporx 100 snails small to med (2 mexicans) boxer crab, emerald crab, croal crab, anemone crab, 2 tiger tail cuccmubers, derasa clam) 1 BTA, 3 tube anemones, 2 mini carpet anemones, sponges. Coral (polyps, mushrooms, kenya tree, duncans.
75gal Fish (1 med purple tang, 1 small picasso trigger, 4 goby eels). Invert (black longspine urchin) LTA. Coral (kenya tree)




Comments please
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:53 AM   #2
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That's a good start on the information. This either has to be an import problem or an export problem. Thing I noticed right of the bat is that your flow is actually considered low, for example 2x 1400gph powerheads is only 2800gph total meaning only 23.3x turnover rate. Reef tanks are recommended at 30-50x turnover rate with the higher end being the most preferred. Flow aids in skimming and all other filtration. Likely what is happening is organic compounds are not getting removed and they eventually settle in the tank and rot.

The other side of this situation is likely overfeeding. How often are you feeding reef roids and other corals feeding products? Also 1 shrimp per anemone per week? with the number of nems you have that is very excessive.

We will figure this out. Also how often are you doing water changes and how much are you changing each time? And last one, How long have you been running the biopellets?
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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As said above we dont exactly overfeed, we only feed frozen mysis/brine, blood worms, and such, 2 times weekly. Marine flakes or pellets about 3 times weekly. Frozen shrimp once weekly to nems or sometimes biweekly, and itsjust peices the nem can handle, not full peices. But deff once weekly about 3 pieces of shrimp to eel. And as for the coral feeding products, we dont use any, I said we did plan to start but we havent yet.
We have been running the bui pellets for about 6 months now. And as for water changes, once weekly, and taking out at least 50gals at a time.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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Do you have a filter sock on your system?
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #5
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Yes we do have a large size filter sock, it hang under both overflow pipes to catch all water entering sump... sorry I didnt mention in original post. It gets cleaned throughly, at time of water changes.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:37 PM   #6
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So you are doing just short of 50% weekly water changes and are still having nitrate issues? If all info provided is correct than I would say that those nitrates are coming in the water already and all the changes in the world aren't going to stop that without a change of water source or changing filters resin on your ro/di.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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I think your flow probably has alot to do with the problem dead spot or low flow areas turn into detritus traps, especially sumps. This also collects substantially under and on rocks. Skimmer i hope?

Well then if you do not think feeding is the problem, the export is. Only two possibilities. Flow aids in export via skimming and filtation the remaining nitrates that collect should be able to be handled by water changes. The fact you are also running bio pellets and your nitrates are still that high says that there is a big underlying issue somewhere. What are your phosphates?
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:41 PM   #8
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Have you used another test kit or have your lfs checked it? Personal I don't feed any flake or pellet food to easy to overfeed and IMO helps buildup nutrients in water. With all your equipment and maintenance it seems strange.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #9
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what about the test kit, which one do you use.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
So you are doing just short of 50% weekly water changes and are still having nitrate issues? If all info provided is correct than I would say that those nitrates are coming in the water already and all the changes in the world aren't going to stop that without a change of water source or changing filters resin on your ro/di.

We run our own RO unit and the filter is changed often.
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