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Old 05-17-2008, 12:37 PM   #1
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Nitrates

I started cycling my sw aquarium with live rock 3 weeks ago. My ammonia and nitrite readings went up and came down to 0mgl. I did a PWC removing 5 gal from my 30 gal aquarium. My nitrates are currently at 100mgl which I believe is high. What should I do??? My specific gravity is at 1.022, pH is 7.8, and the temperature is at 78F.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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Time for a huge water change. It's pretty normal once the cycle is finished to do an 80% water change or a couple of 50% water changes. If your cycle is complete then all the bacteria are on your rocks, not in the water.

Once the initial water change is done, you can start doing more normal 10 to 20% water changes every couple weeks or once a month depending on your bio load.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:59 PM   #3
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Time for the PWC for sure! Are you planning on a reef or just a FOWLR?
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:14 PM   #4
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Just a FOWLR. I will do more water changes to get the nitrates down. Do I have to be at 0 for fish to be added? Could I make my tank a reef in the future?
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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You want to get as close to 0 as you can. Less then 10 is more realistic. For a Reef you will have to increase your SG to 1.023-1.025. My SG is 1.025 Also you will have to have the right amount of light to support corals.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:50 PM   #6
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I didn't see any mention if the tank has fish in it or not, but I'm assuming it doesn't. If it DOES... then I wouldn't do more than 25-30% water changes, every other day or so, to get the nitrates down. If fishless, then yeah... as big of changes as you can physically do. 80-90% sounds great. Remember... the vast majority of the bacteria don't live in the water, so big water changes are not going to impact the biological filter.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:52 PM   #7
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I would do about a 50% PWC and frequent smaller PWC`s after that. I agree with Allen that 0 is the goal but just sometimes it doesnt work out. What is your first fish going to be?
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:53 PM   #8
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The tank doesn't have fish in it yet. I will perform a 50% water change and see where my nitrates are. I am also interested in purchasing a cleaner crew. Should I go with snails, crabs, or a mix of both??.....Thanks
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:29 PM   #9
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Just remember the hermits will probably kill the snails for their shells. If you do go with hermits (and I do) you might want to buy some extra shells for the hermits to move into when they want a bigger home. If you dont want to go with hermits then I would suggest some Astrea snails and some nassarius snails
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:35 PM   #10
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About an hour ago, I took out 1/3 of the water in my tank and replaced it with fresh salt water. I retested the nitrates and see no appreciable difference...it's still 100mgl. Should do another water change??....Thanks
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