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Old 06-06-2003, 02:27 AM   #1
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NITRATES!!!!

O.K. I need some help on what to do with my filtration. This is my first saltwater tank and unfortunately, I didnt know NOT to get CC substrate when the "expert" at the LFS reccomended it, so I have about 3" of CC substrate. I am working towards making my tank into a reef but now I am having a problem with Nitrates. They never seem to fall below 40 even after water changes (RO/DI water always). I have bioballs in my filter along with filter media. There is also one of those sponge blocks that sits below the bioballs, and a prefilter in the overflow, So basically my tank is a mean, nitrate producing machine! What do I need to change? I have about 70 LBS of LR, CC substrate as stated before, no skimmer yet......75 gal, 2 damsels, 2 clowns, crabs, snails...........
It seems to me that all the sponges and filter media are the culprit.
Oh yeah, I would like some advice other than changing the substrate to live sand, although I plan to do it eventually, I cant immediately.
Thanks,
Heather
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Old 06-06-2003, 02:57 AM   #2
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First off I would invest in a nice skimmer (I wouldn't skimp here or you might find yourself buying another one 6 months down the road ) Then I would slowly begin removing any bioballs/biomedia. Remove about a third, give it a week or two, and repeat until you have removed it all. That combined with removing the crushed coral should get you where you need to be. As long as you keep your bioload reasonable, your LR and skimmer should have no problem keeping up with filtration needs. Another option (if space/money allows) is the addition of a refugium in which you can culture some macroalgaes; this can help with nutrient export as well as providing some free planktonic foods for your fish/corals. HTH
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Old 06-06-2003, 11:31 AM   #3
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I really dont have the space for a refugium right now. Is is possible to keep macroalgae in the sump or main tank to help w/ nitrates?
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Old 06-06-2003, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
I cant immediately.
Why can't you change the substrate now?
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Old 06-06-2003, 05:06 PM   #5
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Because im getting married and I have to save $$$ and i've already spent way over my limit lately. I guess I could if it was an emergency but I really dont need to spend any more $ for live sand right now. I have a honeymoon to save for!
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Old 06-06-2003, 11:51 PM   #6
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The switch to a DSB can be cheap. Just use play sand. Try to get southdown tropical playsand, if you can't find it at your local home depot, just get some regular play sand in the smallest grain size you can find. The sand should only cost you $3.00 to $5.00 per 50lb bag.

Brian
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Old 06-07-2003, 12:29 AM   #7
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Exactly where I was going, great info Brian. If you need it, I have an article on doing a complete substrate swap.
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Old 06-07-2003, 12:37 AM   #8
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YOu have some good advice above on the removal of the bioballs and filter media. They will do the same job that your CC will do for you. On the CC simply get a sand vacuum and clean your substraight. A good maintenance schedule will take care of any build ups you may encounter.


good luck on the marrage

Mike
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Old 06-07-2003, 01:49 AM   #9
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HoopsGuru, could you email me that article for a complete substrate swap? My email is wotis@twcny.rr.com
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Old 06-07-2003, 01:28 PM   #10
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Please send me a copy of that article too. Is ok to leave the fish in there white changing it? You guys are great thanks for all the help!
My address is hthrncrdl@hotmail.com
Heather
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