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Old 07-28-2006, 11:56 PM   #1
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Controlling high Nitrates - HELP Please!

I may have written my own demise. I am having a problem with NO3. Even with PWC weekly. My NO3 levels have been ranging from 20-80 with a spike to 100 once (really freaked me out). Normally I have not been able to keep it under 40 for very long. Other parameters have been fine - 0 - NO2, 0 - NH3 SC 1.022-1.024; temp 78-80; PH 8.0-8.2; Ca 380-400.

Does anyone have any suggestions? One large (experienced) LFS told me to replace my canister with a wet\dry, plus reduce my LS (currently 1-2") down to 1" only. Plus I have just started to feed every other day vs. every day. Also, I have read I should consider removing my BIOWheel; but I dont understand how that would help.

The inhabitants seem to be OK, the disc anemone, colt coral, feather duster, and polys seem open and happy. The fish are swimming about hungry, like always.


TANK SPECS.

75 gal FOWLR w/some soft coral
Set up February 06
100lb LR 1-1.5" LS
Hydor Prime 30 canister filter
Seaclone 100 skimmer
Chiller
BIOWheel 330
1140 Powerhead
96 W 10K Compact Fluorescent
96 W Actinic Blue Compact Fluorescent
3 Nocturnal Blue lunar lights

FISH
Powder Blue Tang
Yellow Tang
Purple Tang
Marroon Clown
2 Blue-Green Clomis
Engineering Goby
Firefish Goby
Lawnmower Blenny
Royal Gramma Basslet
Yellowheaded Sleeper Goby

INVERTS
Bulb Anemone
2 Emerald Crabs
3 Peppermint shrimp
Scarlet Skunk cleaner shimp
Feather Duster
2 Lg Turbo snails
various red and blue hermit crabs
cerith and astraea snails

CORAL
Colt coral
Green Bubble Coral
Brain Coral
Colony Polyp Corals
Button Polyp Corals
Green Polyp
Hairy Mushroom
Disc Anemone
various small white mushrooms
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Old 07-29-2006, 09:29 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA.

Are you using RO/DI water, or tap water? If tap water, test your tap for nitrate. That could be alot of your problem, as it is with me. I have a very poor performing well as my water supply, annd it's not the best water. I battled constant high nitrates forever. Finally managed to do 50% water changes weekly to keep that under 10 or so, which is still too high.

When you do water changes, do you vaccum your sandbed? You could try that. That would be the only way it could be causing an issue with nitrate. I wouldn't worry about reducing the depth, that's alot of unneeded work, IMO.

About the biowheel, sometimes if they are well used and have built up alot of gunk on them, they can become more detrimental than beneficial to have. Alot of people don't use mechanical filtration at all, for this reason. Try removing it and seeing if you see a difference in readings.

HTH
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:03 PM   #3
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I use RO water and SW (premixed) I purchase from a LFS; I ususally test the SG and check the balance and temp, but never thought of checking the NO3; I will do. As for my BioWheels, they are fairly mature, and I always thought those were better. I will try to remove them.

Thanks.
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:29 PM   #4
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you dont have to remove the biowheel just the media you can keep it for water flow
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:04 PM   #5
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Controlling high Nitrates - HELP Please!

Does that canister have sponges in it? I found mine was a nitrate factory. Also bio wheels are know to be nitrate factories. If you have sponges, try rinsing them in FW and see what happens. I would not do it all at once. Maybe remove the sponges, one or two at a time (if you have any). Try removing that biowheel, but keep it in some old SW, with a PH and heater, just in case.
I had 4 spomges in my canister, removed 2 one week and 2 the next. Now I use the canister for water movement and carbon.

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Old 07-31-2006, 06:17 PM   #6
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filters in general do exactly what ther suposto witch is trap waste this is what makes them nitrate factories the wast is trapd insted of being consumd by filter feeder and removed by your skimmer and you probubly have enuff lr to go without filters like roka64 sed just remove the media slowly and keep the filters for water flow i did this in my 30g with the same amount of lr 1.25 lb per gallon and now my nitrates are never above 1ppm
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:44 AM   #7
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What about glass tops?

I have a glass top that cover 3/4 of the top leaving the back 1/4 uncovered. I feel this is necessary to protect the CF lighting on the hood. Once my wife left it open after feeding and the lamps and reflector were covered in salt from the surface agitation.

Could this be effecting gas exchange?
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Could this be effecting gas exchange?
Possibly, what is your pH? Temp?
If those stay stable pH: roughly pH 7.8-8.4 (keep in mind, pH swings a little between lights on/off).
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:20 AM   #9
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pH remains fairly constant at 8.1-8.3 and the temp is 78-80.
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:22 AM   #10
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I think your gas exchange is good. If it stays around those parameters, you should be good to go.
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