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Old 01-15-2013, 11:34 AM   #41
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I'll take a sample to the LFS when I do my test this Friday to double-check the measurement.

FWIW, I had an API test kit before, and before it ran out I did a side-by-side test with my old and my new test kit and got the same measurements. It's a little weird for me to be validating test results I got with a test kit I trust with a quick-dip they do at the LFS, but if it makes people here happy then sure.

Also, I should mention that I had red/brown algae all over my LR. I made sure to aim my pump at the rocks to get it off when I was doing my water changes. It's been several days and there don't seem to be the signs of it growing back like I've seen in the past... it's making sense to me that the issues in my tank were being caused by high nitrates.

...if my nitrates are down to a manageable level and I can keep them that way with regular water changes, does it hurt me at all to add in a reactor? I would think that would only help, even if I just have fish in the tank. What harm could it do?
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #42
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Tap water?
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:57 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamHorton
I'll take a sample to the LFS when I do my test this Friday to double-check the measurement.

FWIW, I had an API test kit before, and before it ran out I did a side-by-side test with my old and my new test kit and got the same measurements. It's a little weird for me to be validating test results I got with a test kit I trust with a quick-dip they do at the LFS, but if it makes people here happy then sure.

Also, I should mention that I had red/brown algae all over my LR. I made sure to aim my pump at the rocks to get it off when I was doing my water changes. It's been several days and there don't seem to be the signs of it growing back like I've seen in the past... it's making sense to me that the issues in my tank were being caused by high nitrates.

...if my nitrates are down to a manageable level and I can keep them that way with regular water changes, does it hurt me at all to add in a reactor? I would think that would only help, even if I just have fish in the tank. What harm could it do?
Oh, they use strips... find a new one they would be a sign to me they have no idea what they are doing... but it would make sence if your battling algae the nitrates could be from the die off.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:15 PM   #44
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it would make sence if your battling algae the nitrates could be from the die off.
I'm not using a reactor yet. I understand if you start too fast you can have problems with algae, though. Is this what you're referring to?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #45
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I'm not using a reactor yet. I understand if you start too fast you can have problems with algae, though. Is this what you're referring to?
No.. you had stated you were battling brown algea .. it feeds on nitrates but when dies it releases it.. was inquiring if the nitrates were high before and after u started to remove it..
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:00 PM   #46
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First, my rocks were covered with the algae. The nitrate reading was off-the-charts.

I did a large (120-gallon out of 180) water change, and during the process of putting new water back in the tank, I aimed the pump output at the rocks, discharging a whole bunch of the algae. The nitrate reading was still off-the-charts.

I did another large (100-gallon or so) water change, doing the same thing, aiming the pump at the rocks. At this point, pretty much all of the algae was off the rocks. I took another nitrate reading and it read 80 ppm.

...of course, all of these measurements were done with the API test kit, meaning that "off-the-charts" implies a reading of over 40ppm, and "80 ppm" implies a reading of roughly 20 ppm.

Since these water changes, I've seen less tendency for algae to grow on the rocks than there was before; I've also noticed my snails coming out from under the sand to chow down on the algae bits that make it down there; I've also noticed the health of some of my more sensitive fish improve from "visibly sick/stressed" to "normal/lightly stressed and improving"

...come to think of it, now that I describe my nitrate test kit, it doesn't seem to be that useful for what I'm doing; granted, my nitrates should not be that high to begin with. At least I have an accurate reading at this point.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:36 PM   #47
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This particular test kit was bought less than 6 months ago so I doubt it's expired.
Just so you are aware biopellets are not set and forget and like any carbon dosing it requires constant and accurate testing of nitrate and phosphates. A quality test kit should be your first purchase, salifert being widely popular.

And again you still have not found the source or your nitrates. Results on an API kit are to be divided by 4.4 i believe becuase API tests total nitrate which is somewhat misleading. It explains this in the manual.

You need to test fresh saltwater, no tank water involved. If you get any nitrates for a reading then the problem os your water source.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:56 PM   #48
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Just so you are aware biopellets are not set and forget and like any carbon dosing it requires constant and accurate testing of nitrate and phosphates. A quality test kit should be your first purchase, salifert being widely popular.

And again you still have not found the source or your nitrates. Results on an API kit are to be divided by 4.4 i believe becuase API tests total nitrate which is somewhat misleading. It explains this in the manual.

You need to test fresh saltwater, no tank water involved. If you get any nitrates for a reading then the problem os your water source.
Thank you for mentioning testing fresh salt water before adding it to the tank, this is a step that a lot of people forget/ aren't aware of. I'm on my Android so I can't 'thank' you, but if I could I would.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:51 PM   #49
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It's been 6 days since the water change, and since I won't be able to tomorrow, I took water tests tonight. I also took a sample to the LFS to see what they had to say.

The LFS said the reading was close to 40 ppm, but between 40 and 80.
My test kit was close to 40 ppm, but between 40 and 80.

I've trusted this test kit before, so I believe these readings; I also read the manual more closely and checked over the articles I'm familiar with and the number I care about is the one this test kit gives me. The total nitrate level (NO3) is the one where I don't have to divide the reading by 4.4.

As far as finding the source of the nitrates, well I have fish in the tank and I'm nowhere near perfect when it comes to maintenance. Also, I wonder if the ball of chaeto that I've removed was leeching nitrates in the system since it wasn't growing. Either way, I think I'm going to do another large water change next week and get on ordering a biopellet reactor. If it's going to cut down on my nitrates even if I don't do water changes as often as I should, then I think I want to try it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:41 PM   #50
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Ok I really need help, I shook the nitrate bottles for 30seconds or so. then placed the 10 drops
Each... This picture is right after a 50 or 55% water change today, I moved the castle out n got under it.. Earlier this week I think I did about 10% cause I didn't have much time.



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55 gal tall
Live plants not heavy planted about 9 plants of all sorts

Please help ... Thanks


.. Dang it didn't realize this was the salt water page... I have fresh water

If there's someone on here that can kindly move this post to the f/w page I would be thankful for that... Sorry salt water guys/ gals
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