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Old 10-08-2008, 05:59 PM   #1
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Hi Nitrate

I will try and make this short.
My tank has been up and running about 4 months (150sw). I have my tank serviced and have a partial water change every two weeks. My water has alway tested good. 4 weeks ago we took out the bioballs and replaced them with a filter pad. 2 weeks ago we added something called chemi-pure, we also put a timer on my skimmer so it wouldn't run all the time. The nitrate level has slowly increased. I don't have very many fish and I'm sure I was feeding to much, so I cut back on the amount, 2 weeks ago. I have moved some of the rocks and coral around and disturbed some of the sand bed. I don't know if it makes a differance but the temp. has been steady at 80.8 - 81.4. I just checked my water and now it is 20ppm. Like I said I have my tank serviced, because I don't know what I'm doing (yet). I might just be panicing over something that is a normal cycle. What do any of you think?

P.S. The LFS who dose my servicing has a wonderful reputation, they set up my tank and have a personal interest in it.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:05 PM   #2
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we also put a timer on my skimmer so it wouldn't run all the time. The nitrate level has slowly increased.
Wht is this being done. I run mine 24/7 and have 0 nitrates. Your skimmer is a very important piece of equipment that removes DOC that end up being nitrates. I would run it 24/7 if it was me. I know alot of folks that run a skimmer but not one of them have it on a timer. JMO
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:59 PM   #3
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It's suppose to be for some filter feeding coral. The tank is going to be mostly reef. But I think I'm getting confussed about all of the changes.

I'm not really comfortable about not having my skimmer running 24/7.

Should I put the bio-balls back? I didn't seem to have a problem then. But I have read that they to can increase nitrates in your tank.

I hope that I'm getting good info from my service person. But I don't know enough to contradict his advice. Should I seek someone else for service?
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:03 PM   #4
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I dont see why you cant use him but remember that he works for you. It really sounds like he`s not up on all his SW practices. You study up and research and let him know what you want to do.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:55 PM   #5
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Has the chemi-pure been changed/rinsed? What about the filter pad? That could be the culprit.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:31 PM   #6
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Agree with roka that if that filter pad hasn't been rinsed, it could be causing issues. But depending on how long the skimmer is being turned off, that could be the major issue.

I know of some folks that have their skimmer on a timer to go off, but they use that in conjunction with feeding Marine Snow, or the likes. It's only off for a couple hours.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:37 PM   #7
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What about the filter pad? That could be the culprit.
This would be my guess as well. Any kind of sponge or pad or socks will collect and then leach nitrates back into the system unless they are clean regularly. I think on the order of every week depending on how nasty they get.

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It's suppose to be for some filter feeding coral. The tank is going to be mostly reef. But I think I'm getting confussed about all of the changes.
Some people are of the opinion that a tank can be over skimmed. What they mean by this is that while skimmers are great for removing DOCs and keeping nitrates low they also remove lots of things that some of the filter feeding corals in a reef tank can use for food. It's possible your service guy is trying to leave some of that in the water to the benefit of any filter feeders you have in your tank. If your nitrates are rising though this means that you don't have enough other means of filtration to export nutrients. So you have two options, you can either turn your skimmer back on full time or increase your filtration in some other way. This could be marco in a fuge or increasing the number of water changes. You can also reduce the amount of nutrients going into the system (mainly food) depending on how often and what you are feeding right now. In the end nutrients into the system has to equal nutrients out of the system or you will end up with nitrates that build up.

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I have moved some of the rocks and coral around and disturbed some of the sand bed.
This can also cause a bit of a spike in your parameters as well. I would do an extra water change to reduce your nitrates and keep an eye on things. If they still continue to rise then you know you need to take action.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:58 PM   #8
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They are coming tomarrow to service the tank and water change.
I think... what I want to do is to leave my skimmer on, and remove the filter pad. The filter pad is in the chamber where the bio-balls where, should I put bio-balls back or maybe just LR?
I forgot to mention that I have also put some live algae in my sump with a strip light. I have heard you can do this to cultivate live algae for feeding.
Is this a good idea or is it making matters worst?
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:04 AM   #9
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Oh, I have been cleaning the filter pad almost every other day. It seems to be the only thing filtering anything.
When my skimmer is running it's not foaming up gunk like it was before. Is it running properly?
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:32 AM   #10
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should I put bio-balls back or maybe just LR?
Leave the bio-balls out. If you wanna put something back in i would go with LR or LR rubble. Putting algae in is a good thing. As it grows it will take nitrate and phosphate out of your system. There are some kinds of algae that can be feed to tangs and other herbivores. If it were me i would probably take the filter pad out. Its good for when you stir thing up in the tank some how as a quick was to get gunk out of your water but long term i wouldn't rely on it. As far as your skimmer working properly that will be much easier for your service guy to asses since he will be able to actually look at it and see it working i would ask him.
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