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Old 10-25-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
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water change and nitrates

Just did a pwc ( 25% ) this evening. Got my nitrates between 5 and 10 ppm. When would it be safe to do another water change ? Don't want to stress out my fish...Is having nitrate levels between 5 and 10 ppm acceptable ? I know there is a lot of debate over this...
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:34 PM   #2
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Those levels of nitrate sound fine to me. I wouldn't worry about it. Also I believe it's safe to do numerous water changes without ill effects as long as the salinity and temperature match.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:42 PM   #3
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Thanks.
This is my first salt water tank so I'm cautious about everything. I have a fresh water 55 gallon tank with a pretty heavy bio load and do weekly water changes of 50 % and I'm happy if my nitrates are in the 20 to 30 ppm range and my fish are fine..
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:47 PM   #4
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do you have coral in the tank? doing multiple water changes can stress them out, that is why its better to have a sump and do water changes in the sump
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sansouci01 View Post
Thanks.
This is my first salt water tank so I'm cautious about everything. I have a fresh water 55 gallon tank with a pretty heavy bio load and do weekly water changes of 50 % and I'm happy if my nitrates are in the 20 to 30 ppm range and my fish are fine..
Most marine fish are more sensitive to nitrates than FW fish, but 5 to 10ppm is acceptable.
If you have corals, however, this is still way too high. I'm guessing that if nitrates are up, so are phosphates..... they usually go hand-in-hand. For reef tanks, the aim is to keep your nitrates & phosphates as close to zero as possible. To avoid too large of a change at once, do smaller pwc's more frequently.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:25 AM   #6
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I typically do large water changes on my tanks and have not had any adverse effects, on either coral or fish. My corals will typically close up during a water change no matter how small or large though.

With the amount of nitrates you have I would not be too overly concerned. However, if you do have corals or algae now would be the time to remedy the situation before it escalates. How often do you generally do water changes and in what amount? You can up the weekly or bi weekly changes by a little bit each time until you get the levels down or you can do several large changes to quickly go after the issue.
With my tanks I tend to do a 50% water change every two weeks on my larger tanks, 90g and 125g and more frequent but just as large changes on my 60g and my 29g. I also am a very bad overfeeder so I know the origins of my issues, once you address where the excessive nitrates are coming from you can move forward by adjusting your behavior or just doing super big water changes.
I have to add though, my tanks are all pretty well established and have been up at least 2-3 years so the tanks have matured to that point where water changes are all thats needed pretty much. I do very well with the large water changes but each tank is different and results may vary. As long as the water is matched in temperature and salinity you really shouldnt have any problems. I would caution that if you have any new additions that you should stay away from a super big change until they are acclimated and happy in the tank so you dont cause more stress on an already stressed piece of livestock. Water changes can be traumatic on livestock at any point but more so when they are still new to the tank.

Hope that all came out right, its getting late and its been a long night for me. lol

Good luck!
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