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Old 01-08-2013, 12:24 AM   #11
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I've heard of problems with grape caulerpa in the fuge. But I've not heard of problems with plants like shaving brush, saltwater fern, halimeda (money plant).
Whatever your result is for API, divide it by 4 to get the real number. As I said, API runs higher.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:36 AM   #12
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Divide by 4? Jeez, that's a touch drastic. You sure?

At least it makes me feel a little better about my current nitrate readings. Maybe off-the-chart isn't so off-the-chart...
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:47 AM   #13
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I used to use API. I read on here that it says in the API instructions (which i didn't have any more) that API reads total nitrate, which most tests don't do, and that the results need to be divided by 4.4. Im no expert in this matter, but if you search API nitrate test on this site, you should get a bunch of results to read about this.
Then I bought a Red Sea test and I did multiple side by side tests and the Red Sea was always 4 times less. So I stopped using API nitrate.
But that's just me. And it's worked for me so far.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:23 AM   #14
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Here is a pic of what manual says
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Here is a pic of what manual says
Very cool! Thanks Azul!!
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:38 AM   #16
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That seems like important information. I'm a little embarrassed to have missed it. Thanks to both of you.

So after last night's little demonstration, I noticed that I'm actually giving more frozen food (at least by volume) than dry food. Then I realized that I'm just thawing the cube and putting the whole thing in, juices and all. Apparently that isn't the best thing in the world to be doing.

So I guess what I should be doing is straining out those juices after thawing, before it goes in the tank. How do people do this? I'd be worried that even my finest wire strainer would let some of those delicious morsels through (and my fish would never forgive me for that). Is that the solution (and I need to do this out of sight of the fish tank) or is there something better I can do?
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:51 AM   #17
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Strain it with a small mesh fish net. I have white mesh ones that really barely has holes, small pieces can't get through.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:42 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamHorton View Post
That seems like important information. I'm a little embarrassed to have missed it. Thanks to both of you.

So after last night's little demonstration, I noticed that I'm actually giving more frozen food (at least by volume) than dry food. Then I realized that I'm just thawing the cube and putting the whole thing in, juices and all. Apparently that isn't the best thing in the world to be doing.

So I guess what I should be doing is straining out those juices after thawing, before it goes in the tank. How do people do this? I'd be worried that even my finest wire strainer would let some of those delicious morsels through (and my fish would never forgive me for that). Is that the solution (and I need to do this out of sight of the fish tank) or is there something better I can do?
While it is true that straining frozen food can cut down phosphates, the amount that it cuts it extremely minimal. There has been a long thread on this either at reef central or the reef tank forums. Basically the conclusion to many measurements concludes that the amount you are removing is around .0003 ppm phosphate. Which is a fairly insignificant amount of phosphate in the big scheme of things. The food itself produces far more phosphate after decomp.

So yes straining food can make it cleaner however its up to you to decide if it worth your time and tank to remove such a small amount.

Myself personally, i stopped straining frozen food a couple years ago with no ill effects or repercussions.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:58 PM   #19
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Feed less and upsize that protein skimmer. When in doubt it's always better to go +1 on filtration than not to have enough.

Also, I have found that biopellets in a reactor can drastically reduce nitrates. But add the biopellets a little at a time or you can start a bacteria bloom that can do damage to fish and inverts (it happened to me). I've had great results with Two Little Fishes NPX Bioplastics in their Phosban Reactor 150 in my 38 gallon system.

Keep in mind that the biopellets work in conjunction with the protein skimmer. In my experience it is extremely difficult to have a successful reef with low nitrates without an effective protein skimmer.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:37 PM   #20
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I should clarify my situation a bit:

Right now the tank is FOWLR. I originally had plans for a reef, and it would be great to get there one day, but if I can't get the levels to somewhere reasonable and keep them there without excessive maintenance, then I may just pass on corals and maybe get some more aggressive fish down the road -- someone should just tell me now that it's not feasible to have cuttlefish at home

My protein skimmer is a Tunze 9006.

Tunze Comline DOC Protein Skimmer

It says it's rated for up to 158 gallons, and there are about 180 total gallons in the system, but it's much smaller than other skimmers (that's why I got this one). It works quite well (after a little bit of tweaking) and will produce a nice cup full of nasty stuff every week or so, but is it "adequate?" I don't know. Unfortunately, if I wanted to beef up my skimming, the best I could do is maybe cram another Tunze (maybe the same size? It might be kind of tight) into my sump, right next to the other one.

In fact, all of the specs on my tank(s) are on this page:

Tank Specs | Adam's Flog

It's up to date except for the fact that the chaeto isn't really any significant size anymore, I don't feed every day anymore, and I'm on the massive-water-change-as-often-as-possible schedule instead of once a week. The video on that page shows the area under the tank decently well, which is all I have to work with in terms of space for extra stuff.

I did a quick search on Google to find out how Bio Pellets work, since many people have suggested them. I found this, which used little words that I could understand!

How Do Bio-Pellets Work? - Blogs - Reef Addicts

So if this is what I have to work with, and this article is mostly accurate, I should have enough skimming power to at least have *some* bio-pellets that will work at least a little bit, right? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I follow this Start-Small strategy, I'll just get to the point eventually where it will do as much good as it can and then I stop, right? So my questions are:

How do I tell when to stop and/or if it's not working right?
Can I put this thing right by my skimmer? Should it be completely submerged?
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