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Old 11-11-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
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Nitrate Reducers In A Bottle?

I'm nearing the end of a now 39-day fishless cycle (Phew!) in a 65g with 20g sump.

Tests from yesterday and today are same:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 40

The ammonia has been zero for weeks and the nitrites only 0 for 2 days.

Have a small diatom bloom that started earlier this week.

In lieu if a 20% pwc, does anyone have experience with either of these or similar products - effective and reef safe?

Seachem's Dinitrate Seachem Laboratories Denitrate or Instant Ocean Natural Nitrate Reducer Natural Nitrate Reducer from Instant Ocean aims to deliver fluid form of Solid Vodka Dosing via Suspended Biodegradable Polymers | Facebook.

I'm asking because I was told when my nitrites were off the scale that I should do a water change as the only solution. After research and a first-party recommendation, I dosed with MicroBacter 7 and within less than 4-days nitrites were 0.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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not many peopel on these boards would suggest a denitrifier but some have and do the vodka dosing to help keep nitrates and phosphates down to near untraceable levels.

i would add a bit more of an ammonia source and if you see no nitrites or ammonia, then do 2 waterchanges in 2 days and then you should be good to add your first group of live stock. add a CUC and one or two small fish
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:21 PM   #3
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Why is that? Why are so many folks negative on using bottled nitrifying bacteria or a nitrate reducer?

I'm having very fast success with the MicroBacteria7 to get the nitrites down.

After all, isn't it assumed that public aquaria use 'stuff' to get their exhibits up and going? Sure would like to hear from some of those guys. Certainly people who claim knowledge of their industry say they do.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:41 PM   #4
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I used a denitraitor for a few years. I`ve never used the chems as all they do is bind the nitrates or ammonia. They are still in there. I`m just bothered that you want to do it to eliminate PWC`s. These are very important to your tank and will help with the long term success. They accomplish two important things. 1) They help to dilute excessive nutrients in the tank that cause algea issues in the tank. 2) They help to replenish trace elements that are removed from the tank from different fish and coral processes. This is a good article on nitrates and how to remove them.

Aquarium Chemistry: Nitrate in the Reef Aquarium — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
I used a denitraitor for a few years. I`ve never used the chems as all they do is bind the nitrates or ammonia. They are still in there. I`m just bothered that you want to do it to eliminate PWC`s. These are very important to your tank and will help with the long term success. They accomplish two important things. 1) They help to dilute excessive nutrients in the tank that cause algea issues in the tank. 2) They help to replenish trace elements that are removed from the tank from different fish and coral processes. This is a good article on nitrates and how to remove them.

Aquarium Chemistry: Nitrate in the Reef Aquarium — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog
First, thank you for jumping in and for the Randy Holmes-Farley article. Greatly appreciated. (I apologize for my lengthy response but I'm learning that this is not so black and white an area.)

I suppose its part of my nature to challenge information, especially when there seem to be so many varied and opposing opinions. It's also true that I'm looking for what works with greatest efficiency and value. If I were simply into taking shortcuts, I would have looked for a much faster way to cycle from the start and not be here on day 39 without livestock. I do believe I am taking a very considered and responsible approach to the hobby. I value the care taking and the responsibility that goes along with it.

I have taken to heart that patience pays big dividends in managing marine aquaria - reef and fish-only. On that, I'm walking a balanced line between reef and fish...starting with fish, I thought...yet have a hammerhead frag doing very well and some feather dusters all of which came from unexpected donations for which I am very thankful. But no fish, as the cycle is not quite finished.

Worth noting that those acquisitions were added on day 32 & 34 of the cycling when the nitrites were off the API and Hagen test charts. I mention that because most people have told me that the coral was at risk and that the best practice for managing the cycle at that stage was a 20% PWC. Yet, I've since learned that lps likes nitrites and that a PWC was not necessarily the "best" solution.

At the same time: Friday through Sunday, I also began to stock my refugium with the algae mentioned in the Randy Holmes-Farley article (Chaetomorpha sp. and Caulerpa racemosa) and placed donated live rock in the refugium along with the addition 10 oz. of substrate from a seasoned and healthy reef tank into my dt. Added approx. 3 gallons of tank water from one of the donors.

On day 34 (Sunday), I also began 'seeding' with the MB7. At which time I also decided to delay the PWC only because so many changes were being made to the ecosystem. A wait and watch approached seemed a more prudent course - letting the biofilter have a chance to grow all made perfect sense.

My patience did pay a dividend, as the nitrites began to drop rapidly by the next morning (Monday). It took only 3-days to go from extreme high to 0.

That being the recent history and experience, now back to your very valid concern. Having seen with my own eyes things work themselves out...with some help (MB7, substrate, macroalgae, etc.)...without the mandated prerequisite water change...it only seems natural for me to research other methods to manage the high nitrate number (btw, re-reading the MB7 package label, it claims to help reduce nitrates).

That research finds me products like an IO Natural Nitrate Reducer and to a Seachem Denitrate which is getting very strong reviews. But, I'm looking for balanced and considered opinions before opening another bottle or investing in a water change because it seems like a thing to do.

For all I know, this is cycle is still running it's own course... or not.

So, I have to ask, if that was stuff was not working... or doing harm (IO Natural Nitrate Reducer and to a Seachem Denitrate), then why does it get such a strong following?

And, what are public aquaria doing to manage their new tank cycles and nitrates?
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