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Old 08-08-2013, 11:17 PM   #1
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Please help w/ first attempt at SW

Thanks ahead of time for an help! I recently aquired a 225g salteater tank from a family member. In its hayday it was an awesome tank but after a death in the family the tank died as well ie: completely neglected. Anyway I brought it home cleaned it, the substrate (crushed coral) the live rock ( was covered in algae) and the sump. I used no chemicals during this just scrubbed. I set the tank back up and got my salinity to where it should be and tested my water all readings are good except nitrate is off the chart. Should I just let it go for awhile? Its been running for about a week. Again thanks for any help I get
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
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Let it run it needs to cycle through that can take a while once your ammonia is 0 and nitrates are very close I not zero then your ready. If you have live rock most people use it to cycle the tank..
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:36 AM   #3
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Thanks ahead of time for an help! I recently aquired a 225g salteater tank from a family member. In its hayday it was an awesome tank but after a death in the family the tank died as well ie: completely neglected. Anyway I brought it home cleaned it, the substrate (crushed coral) the live rock ( was covered in algae) and the sump. I used no chemicals during this just scrubbed. I set the tank back up and got my salinity to where it should be and tested my water all readings are good except nitrate is off the chart. Should I just let it go for awhile? Its been running for about a week. Again thanks for any help I get
Assuming there is nothing alive in the tank you will basically be starting off at ground 0 for cycling. Add some pure ammonia to the tank so it is up to 4ppm and then wait to see what happens to it. The first part of your cycle is fully finished when it runs the 4ppm dose of ammonia down to 0 ammonia / nitrite. Once it has done that just keep dosing the ammonia up to 1ppm daily until the nitrates start dropping.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:38 AM   #4
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If you keep dumping 1ppm ammonia into the tank everyday, without water changes, the nitrates will just continue to climb
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
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If the live rock can't process more than 1ppm of nitrate a day then there is a serious issue
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:53 PM   #6
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If the live rock can't process more than 1ppm of nitrate a day then there is a serious issue
What? Again, even in a cycled tank, dumping any amount of ammonia into the tank daily is just going to cause the nitrate level to rise continuously. Nitrate is the en product of the ammo conversion.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:00 PM   #7
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What? Again, even in a cycled tank, dumping any amount of ammonia into the tank daily is just going to cause the nitrate level to rise continuously. Nitrate is the en product of the ammo conversion.
Then the nitrate gets consumed by anaerobic bacteria found in the live rock to create nitrogen gas. It's the entire reason we specifically use live rock and deep sand beds.

For example: I cured about 40lbs of dry rock and my nitrates went off the chart at 120+. I completely ignored it and 2 weeks later when I tested it again my nitrates were at 0
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:11 PM   #8
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Actually live rock is more more the aerobic conversion of ammonia to nitrite then to nitrate. The anerobic conversion to nitrogen takes place in the oxygen-deprived areas such as a dsb and low flow area. Still dont understand why youre telling the OP that the tank will take care of nitrates by itself, because it wont. This final step in the nitrogen cycle may help tanks to go a bit longer between Water changes but nonetheless water changes are still needed to remove the majority of nitrate buildup
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:26 PM   #9
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The live rock filtration is two fold. the deeper you go in the live rock the more anoxic it becomes.

Understanding Nitrate | Reefworks
Take a look at the third section "Reducing Nitrate with Bacteria"

I'm telling the OP that the live rock takes care of nitrates because I've personally seen it happen. Whether or not it takes care of enough nitrate in a stocked tank depends entirely on how well the system is balanced.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:26 PM   #10
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What? Again, even in a cycled tank, dumping any amount of ammonia into the tank daily is just going to cause the nitrate level to rise continuously. Nitrate is the en product of the ammo conversion.
Not really if there is no fish in the tank creating food for the bacteria (poop, waste food...) ammonia is like a supplement
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