I just tested my tank again for nitrates and pH. Nitrates are at 40 ppm
and pH is 7.8-8.0. I have a 29 gallon tank with a 2-3" inch sand bed, skilter 400 and 30-40 pounds of live rock. The nitrate and pH problem has been going on since tank has been established. I have changed the water every week (at least 5 gallons) for the last 2 months and us to do it every 2 weeks before that. I would like to add an anemone and coral, but I feel nitrates are too high and don't know how to get them down. I was either figuring:
1. Add a protein skimmer and get rid of the skilter? The protein skimmer on the skilter does not work. I just filter with the carbon. Or use both?
2. Do a deep sand bed? This would seem like a pain the butt to do.
3. For the pH, add a pH buffer or if I get the skimmer would this stabilize it?
4. Get a r/o or use distilled water? I checked for nitrates in the tap water and it tested 0ppm.
I really enjoy keeping a tank and want my fish to be happy, but I get frustrated because I can't get my water parameters right. Any help is appreciated.