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Old 08-30-2008, 03:43 PM   #1
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Location: Liverpool, England
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Will this sort my Nitrates

I've had my system for about 18 months now. The problem I have is my nitrates, which are around the 50ppm level. I do a weekly water change and always have since I've had the tank. I don't overfeed and have never had a problem with algae although the last 2 months I have had a small outbreak of diatoms. My other readings are as follows:

ph - 8.1
Mg - 1320
Alk - 9.0
ca - 480
p04 - 0

The link below shows my system / sump. In addition to the equipment shown I have 2 Tunze 6100 streams in my tank.

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Right my question is, should I change the set up in my sump. I was speaking to a guy good few months back who told me his first system was set up on exactly the same basis. He also had a problem with high nitrates and suggested I follow what he did. He took out the bioballs in both the pre and post filter chambers and also took out the miracle mud in the algae chamber ( I also have MM in the algae chamber, which has been in since the tank was set up along with some chaeto ). He said after he'd done this his tank never looked back.

So I'd be very interested to receive peoples views / thoughts. If I was to remove the bioballs in the pre and post filter chambers should I leave them empty or put in LR etc ( I have 40 - 50 kgs of live rock in main tank ). Whilst I'm aware of the arguments re bioballs I have never read anything about MM being responsible for high nitrates.


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Old 08-30-2008, 04:08 PM   #2
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Yes. When my husband and I made that change it made a huge difference. We have very low readings of that and almost no detectable phosphates. Glad we did it.

Alex n Mary

150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

Female Naso "Isabell" or "Izzy", Emperor Angelfish, Flame Angel, Red Sea Sailfin tang "Bambi", Maroon Clown "Nani", 5 Chromis, 1 Aglae Blenny "Bengi" , Yellow Watchman Goby, pr of Banggai Cardinals, Lyretail Anthia, Six Line Wrasse

1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

90g RR, W/D, 120 lb's LR SF eel, pygmy angel, pr sebae clownfish, 4 chromis. Star Polyps & Mushrooms
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:38 PM   #3
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The bioballs could be the reason. Have you checked your source water that you do top offs and PWC`s with. You might be adding them to your tank. Mix up a batch of SW and then do your water test.
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:47 PM   #4
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Yeah, I have checked my source water and that would not appear to be the problem.
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Old 08-30-2008, 06:43 PM   #5
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Sounds like a reasonable plan to follow. I would replace the bioballs with LR rubble, but only to the point where the LR is always under water.
DO NOT remove all the bioballs at once. Do it in thirds or fourths about a week apart, replacing them with LR rubble added to the bottom. That will prevent the tank from a mini cycle due to the loss of the bacteria on the bioballs.
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:58 PM   #6
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I agree, replace slowly with LR rubble.

Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

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