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Old 07-11-2003, 09:59 AM   #1
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Need Nitrate Advice

I've been changing 10 Gallon/week in my 55 Gal tank. after Each water change, my Nitrates are still reading 20 ppm. The lowest I've seemed to have gotten them is 10-15 ppm coming from a 15 gallon change. Should I just do a good purging 20-25 gallon change and then keep up with on a 10 Gal/wk schedule?

1 dragon goby, 1 psychedelic mandarin goby, 1 true percula, 1 black and white percula, 1 pajama cardinal, 1 saddle anenome, 1 carpet anenome, 1 haitian condy, a few handfulls of hermits/snails, 1 serpent star, 1 brittle star, 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp, several mushrooms, a leather finger and a few polyp colonies.
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Old 07-11-2003, 10:53 AM   #2
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first thought is what are you using for water when you do your changes? (Tap water, RO water, RO/DI water, bottled water etc)

secondly, give us a little more about the tank itself, any LR, what kind of substrate, have you tested the nitrates before the change as a comparison?
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Old 07-13-2003, 03:06 PM   #3
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I'm using tap water for now, although my buddy and I are about to split a 35 gal/day R/O unit. I have about 60 lbs LR in the 55 gal tank. I have a 2" sand bed and about a 4 lb. pile of small LR pieces in one corner that has an enormous copepod population inside of it. It is amazing how many little buggers there are swimming around in that "gribble" pile, as I call it.

I keep my temperature a little higher than most people, around 81-83F. Would this make a difference in the keeping good bacteria?
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Old 07-13-2003, 03:37 PM   #4
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your tank temp is not too high. From reading your profile, it says you have a fluval. There is the source of your nitrates. I speak from experience as I had 2 fluval 404's on a 150 gallon and no matter what, I could not keep the nitrates/phosphates in check.

You also have a pretty heavy bioload.
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Old 07-13-2003, 04:16 PM   #5
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ahhhh........I have noticed that the filter on the fluval is pretty nasty most of the time. Requires lots & lots of rinsing. thanks for your help on the matter.

I'm about to set up a 120 gallon. That'll help. I'm going to use the fluval in the refugium. Maybe it will help to prefilter the fluval intake too? Thanks alot.
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Old 07-13-2003, 09:41 PM   #6
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The filter media in the Fluval is where the nitrates are coming from. I'd add another 25-30lbs of LR and phase out the Fluval. You could run it empty for circulation if you wanted. I wouldn't use it on a fuge...no need for a filter there. Just out of curiosity...how old is the tank and how long have you had the mandarin?
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Old 07-13-2003, 11:11 PM   #7
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The tank is 5 months old. I started with a good amount of LR and all live sand, and used some water from a cycled tank. Goby Won, the mandarin, has been in there for about 3 months.

Now if I take out the fluval, should I add something else for mechanical and chemical filtration?
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:04 AM   #8
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IMO, all you'll need is the LR and the skimmer. You will need to add some LR IMO though. If you don't, you'll need to check water parameters every day for a while to be sure the rock that's in there is going to handle bio filtration.
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Old 07-14-2003, 02:30 PM   #9
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Ok, Logan, i've heard of just relying on the LR for all filtration. I would LOVE to do that. do you do anything special, like position a powerhead or two to where it jets directly into the rock, or just circulate the tank normally?
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Old 07-14-2003, 02:40 PM   #10
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as long as there is adequate circulatioin (apx 10xgallons) there should be enough water flow and turbulance for the LR to do it's job.
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