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Old 08-31-2009, 09:34 AM   #1
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I have no nitrates?

So it's been about two months I've had this 150G tank: the cycle is completed, since I have zero ammonia and nitrite levels for a while now. Here's the question I have, though:

I haven't done any significant water changes yet, and I still have a nitrate level of zero. It's unquestionably zero at this point since I know it isn't the test kit and it's a clear zero reading. I used to have a whole bunch of algae growing on the sand and I thought that might be taking care of the nitrates, but now there isn't much algae and I still get a zero reading. I have a lot of details in the link in my signature, I'm not sure which are relevant here. Is it bad that I have no nitrates, or should I be doing something?
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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having no nitrates is a good thing if your tank is properly stocked and the right size clean up crew is in there, along with proper feeding schedule, you may indeed have very little if any. But the tank is still new so i expect that to change as the tank matures. right now, just make sure to not become lax on water changes, and get a ro/di btw its worth it.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
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OK I understand that I may not have significant nitrate readings now... I guess I'd like to know what could cause there to be no nitrates. I have read about macroalgae that can help, and I was planning on putting some in my refugium/sump when it was needed. Is there anything else that would get rid of nitrates?
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:45 AM   #4
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Usually people have to use micro algae in their refugium to lower nitrates yes. Are you using any chemical media in your filtration systems?
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:48 AM   #5
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nope, I have a wet-dry filtration system with only mechanical and biological filtration, and 100 lbs of LR.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:18 PM   #6
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If you've got bio-balls in your wet/dry, you'll see nitrates someday. I'd replace them with rock rubble.

I agree, that if your fish load, feeding habits, and clean - up crew are in order you won't have nitrates I had a 155g and rarely had 5ppm nitrates. Mostly zero.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:25 PM   #7
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I plan to replace the bio-balls with LR rubble as soon as I'm done adding LR to the tank... I'm starting a rubble collection with each batch I cure. Eventually I'd like to take the bio-tower completely out of the picture and have 200-250 pounds of LR in the display tank do the filtering work, but I don't know if that would get as good of water quality as I'm seeing now.

...My main goal is trying to keep what I have stable for a couple of months so I can start adding corals/invertibrates. I know no nitrates is a good thing I'm just trying to figure out what I'm doing right so I can keep doing more of it.

Thanks for your advice so far.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:35 PM   #8
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Actually, having 200-250lbs of live rock in your 150 would be great as far as filtration goes. As long as you have a skimmer running, and you had that many lbs of rock, you would need no other forms of filtration. If i had a 150G tank that's what i would be aiming for as well. Enough rocks in there to keep the tank filtered. Sounds like you have a good plan though from what im hearing. I think you should go through with waiting a couple of months while your tank is stabalizing. Stability is always a plus.
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:21 PM   #9
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So I would *need* a protein skimmer if I had only LR for filtration?

I'll probably end up getting an RO/DI unit soon, but I was hoping to do this without a skimmer, I guess that would be my reason to get one?
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:41 PM   #10
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if u don't want a skimmer, get some red mangroves, they r pretty good at getting rid of nitrate, and some other unwant chemical in the water.
but you will have to buy some that already have roots to have imminently effect.
I got 6 and I m waiting for them to grow.
http://saltaquarium.about.com/gi/dyn...Fmangrove9.htm

link for how to start placing your mangroves
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