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Old 10-21-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
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high nitrates

hi my nitrates are way high like 160+ my amonia and nitrite are zero but nitrate is high. what can be causing this and how can i fix it as things are slowly starting to die. iv done plenty of water changes and yet they remain high nothing seems to be working.... help before my prized mandarin dies
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:14 PM   #2
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How big is your tank and what type of filtration do you have?
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:16 PM   #3
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its 33g. i have the normal sponges carbon and a skimmer. plus about 30lb rock
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:19 PM   #4
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Hmm so the nitrates arent coming from your filter, I'm guessing it's a hang on back?

I would do a massive water change, like maybe even 10g or a little less. Mathematically that should drop your nitrates almost to half of what they are. I would wait a day or two and then do another one.

How often are you feeding and what do you feed the fish? That anount of nitrates doesnt happen overnight, did something change in the tank? Also, what are you stocked with?
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:51 PM   #5
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the skimmer is in a sump the filter is built in to the tank. iv done water changes and id dont make a difference. i feed every few days.. i feed a mixture of brine misis shrimp and rotifiers. well i had a pair of clowns mandarin yellow watchman goby strawberry baslet and a valantini puffer. he is fine with all the other by the way.. i have a cleaner shrimp and sand sifting star and a few hermits and a clam. the clowns have died so has the clam and i cant find the goby anywhere. nothing has changed that i know of. iam desperate as i dont want my little dude the mandarin to die.
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:36 PM   #6
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A couple of questions....or observations...check the salt you are using for your mix..some have higher concentrations of nitrate. If your water changes aren't changing the numbers, and as Carey pointed out by simple math, the nitrates should go down on a water change, it could very well be in your replacement water; test for nitrates there.

As well, there are de-nitrifiers out there you can add to your filter. They aren't 100% effective but it may help contain things until you can figure out where the nitrates are coming from. Increase your carbon amount...double it for now.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:58 PM   #7
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oh cool can you name a few of the denitrifiers.. so it could be my salt mix. ok ill have to look into that thanks
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:07 PM   #8
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Seachem: Denitrate
Filstar Nitra-zorb
Purigen

There is also a poly pad that absorbs nitrate called Poly-Bio Filter Pad by Poly-Bio-Marine, Inc. You can cut this pad to size and add it to your filter.

I run the Seachem De-nitrate and Purigen as well as Chemi-pure elite and carbon in a 14g Biocube with the media basket.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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if your tank is only a 33g tank you should do 50% water change every 2 days to get the trates down,but the main problem is where the trates are coming from,you need to find the cause.10g wont bring your trates down to half.
Your tank is small,you say you feed every few days but trates are high, do you normally do pwc's at all? you dont need a skimmer on a tank that size but it will help so why is your trates high?this is what you need to find out.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:32 PM   #10
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I suggested 10g since theres only maybe 25 gallons of water in the tank after displacement and all.

I agree though, finding the problem and addressing that would be the best solution.
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