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Old 01-23-2005, 12:45 AM   #1
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High Nitrates

I need some advice/help. I have a 26 Gal. bow front. I have had the tank for 4 months. I am having a problem with high nitrates. They were almost off the chart. They are at about 60 now after 3 25% water changes in one week with good water from my LFS. I have about 25 lbs of live rock and 2" Live sand bought from my LFS, and a hang on back biowheel filter, and one power head to help with water movement.

All my other water parameters test fine and my water looks very clear. All my live stock seem fine.

I have a clown, a purple firefish, 2 purple chromis, royal gramma, scooter blenny, and a cleaner shrimp.

I have a cleanup crew that consists of about 12 hermit crabs and a half dozen small snails.

I am thinking I need a skimmer and more live rock, and get rid of the bio-wheel filter.

I also just added a Coralife lunar aqualife delux series 24 " 2X65W. The light really made things looks so much nicer. I would love to do some easy corals some time down the road once I have the nitrates in check. Would this light be good for corals?

Sorry to be so long winded this is my first post in any forum.

Thanks....
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Old 01-23-2005, 01:02 AM   #2
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I thought bio-wheels were bad for sw tanks? i think that may be your problem, sorry I'm no expert in the SW part but I've read that they keep nitrate levels high.

HTH

-thane
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Old 01-23-2005, 01:57 AM   #3
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yeah I think the biowheel has to go...
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Old 01-23-2005, 01:59 AM   #4
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Welcome to AA!

What kind of water are you using? Tap, RO. RO/DI?
With that bio load, you will defintely want a skimmer. This will help your problem.
The bio wheel can create some problems with Nitrates. For a tank this size, I would consider a canister filter such as a Fluval 204. Just keep up with the maintenance on it and it should help keep your nitrates in check.
The Coralife setup is money well spent.

Mike
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:00 AM   #5
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My tank was first setup using conditioned tap water, I have since been using water from my LFS and it is RO/DI I have done at least 8 25% water changes using the RO/DI that is how I was able to get the nitrate at least on the chart.

I purchased the Coralife from bigAls caught a sale and got it for 109.00.

I want to add a skimmer but the wife hopes we do not have to...she thinks they are ugly, and the tank is in our bedroom....

Thanks for the help....
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:04 AM   #6
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how often u feed?
and what do u feed?
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:12 AM   #7
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I feed twice a day. Usually flake food in the morning, and then either frozen brine, or formula one. My clown and cleaner shrimp love the formula one.

I do not over feed them, and any food that hits bottom the crabs eat with in a few minutes. There is never any food left on the bottom.

I was suprised that my nitrates were still so high even after 3 water changes in one week.

If I can not use a skimmer that would be prefered. Maybe some other filter other then the bio-wheel?
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Old 01-23-2005, 12:09 PM   #8
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Cut way back on the feedings. Over-feeding is one of biggest culprets of high nitrates. Your fish will do just fine with one feeding every other day. Light feedings. Water changes are the first line defense in the fight against nitrates. However, RO/DI water is the best choice. Some tap water can actually contain nitrates so you would just be putting them back into the water. Another 10-12lbs of cured LR would help as well. Instant natural biological filtration. The light you mentioned will be just fine for most soft corals and some LPS corals. You can also try one of those commercial nitrate sponges. I have never used them, but t is worth a shot. Go ahead and remove the biowheel. Good luck in the battle...Lando
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Old 01-23-2005, 12:56 PM   #9
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Have you tested you LFS water for NO3? I would .... Have you had your LFS test your water for NO3 maybe your test kit is bad, what kind do you have? I had a LFS tell me he was selling me ro/di water and I tested it with a TDS and it was at 85, I think it was kold steril water he sold me because he makes that also. So check...
Cut back on feedings to once a day to start, tell the wife a skimmer is needed to keep the fish healthy. good luck.....
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:43 PM   #10
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I added another 10lbs of cured LR today. I do test the LFS water with my Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Master Liquid Test kit. There water tests at 0 for nitrate.

They showed me there RO/DI setup and it looks like a very good setup. Not that I would know....lol.

I will cut back on the feedings to once a day.

Thanks for the advice.....
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