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Old 05-31-2015, 11:07 PM   #1
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Nitrate and Nitrite issues, please help!

Hi, I currently have a 15 gallon column saltwater aquarium. I have had the tank up for almost 3 months. I have a power head, lights, Bio wheel filter, heater, and 15 pounds of rock. When added it was dry rock. There are no fish or anything in it, just rock, water, and sand. I'm waiting for everything to get leveled out. The problem is the nitrite and nitrate levels. I just tested it and the nitrite is .25 and the nitrate was 160. Last week the nitrite was 5 and nitrate was 10ppm.

When looking at normal causes online everything is saying it is caused by too much food, over crowding, and or bad water from tap. I have a RO system that was used to add the water.

I am wanting to know what I can do to fix it since it seams like all the normal causes do not apply to my tank yet.
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:10 PM   #2
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What did you do to start the cycle? What have done in the last 3 months ( water changes etc)? And what test kit are you using?


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Old 05-31-2015, 11:17 PM   #3
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I am using ATI saltwater master test kit. I added seachem prime when the tank was first set up and seachem stability then and for seven days following like the instructions say. I have done 1 25% water change since it has been set up and added water to it weekly to maintain the salinity and water level. I didn't think water changes would be as important right now since there are no animals in it. I obviously could be wrong.
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:21 PM   #4
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Did you have an ammonia spike? I'm wondering if you haven't cycled yet if you did/do the WC too early it can prolong the cycle and set you back


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Old 05-31-2015, 11:25 PM   #5
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Last week the ammonia was 0. Today is was .25. I did not test it until last week because I wanted to give the tank a few months to cycle before I started testing
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:48 PM   #6
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Sounds like simple die off from the live rock and that no real ammonia source has been added to cycle the tank. Get a cocktail shrimp and toss it in to get things rolling.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:01 AM   #7
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How long should I leave the Shrimp in there? Also, what should I expect to happen from adding it?
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:21 AM   #8
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Just let it in some panty hose to rot. You want it to do so to provide the ammonia source your tank needs to cycle. It stays in there until you aren't able to detect any ammonia or nitrites when you test. Then you can take it out, throw it away, do a large water change to lower your nitrates and add a fish once nitrates are 0.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:52 AM   #9
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I will give it a try, thanks.
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:12 AM   #10
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Also keep your lights off. That nitrate reading shows a perfect breeding ground for algae.


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