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Old 07-31-2014, 07:42 AM   #1
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Rising nitrates - What else can I try?

Hi there,
Put this in new setups as my tank is around 3 months old so still consider myself a newbie!

So, 55gal tank, currently got around 23kg live rock with a 1 inch live sand bed. Salinity ~1.025, temp 28 degrees, ammonia constant 0, nitrites constant 0, PH 8.1

Running a fluval 306 cannister with bio max, purigen and phosguard plus standard sponges. Also got a deltec 400 protein skimmer hanging on the back of the tank

Tank stocked with 2x clowns, 1x blue cheek goby and 1x powder blue tang (yes I know he'll need a bigger tank when he's older). Also got 1x blood shrimp, 3x common hermit crabs and 2x turbo snails

Nitrates are just hitting 20ppm which from what I've read is ok(ish) for a fowlr tank however I want to get this down. I'm doing 20%water changes every 2 weeks, using ready mixed water from lfs which I test each time and is always good. Give the filter a good strip down and clean at the same time

I've reduced feeding to a 2x3 inch piece of nori in the morning and half cube of frozen food in the evening which is usually always gone within 1-2 mins

I've now got a horrible red algae outbreak which I believe is due to high nitrates/phosphates so really wanting to bring those down. Anything I'm not doing right or I should try other than more frequent water changes?


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Old 07-31-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
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Increase your wc's and decrease your feedings. Also stocking responsibly helps, tangs are big fish and big fish=lots of waste even when they're small, and they are prone to ich in small tanks so keep that in mind because no one likes leaving a tank fallow for 3 months. IMHO rehome it now, it's better for the fish and safer for your tank.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I had also been thinking about substituting the cannister for a sump

Seen a 3ft tank I could easily convert to maybe give me another 75-100L or so of water. Would this additional amount plus equivalent increase in LR likely help with maintaining 2 week water changes?

Fully aware of the tangs tendency to get ich however it is the one fish I always wanted in 20 years of keeping tropical fish and was the main driver to setting up a sw tank so decided to take the risk

Cheers


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Old 07-31-2014, 11:53 AM   #4
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Adding more live rock, which is important to stay in the 1lbs per gallon range for the nitrate cycle, does not reduce nitrates. It converts ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate.
Basically, what BigReds stated is all true. Either cut back feeding, remove the fish to large for the tank, or go to weekly water changes.
Since you are stating you'll be upgrading, which I would suggest ASAP as tangs grow fast, that things will be ok once this occurs...but with that being said, it is also important to do water changes weekly. Weekly water changes actually keep nitrate levels lower than biweekly changes, even if it is the same amount of water when you sit down and do the math. This will be quite beneficial in your case before this upgrade.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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Thanks for that
I'll give weekly changes a try and if that doesn't help then I'll see if I can upgrade sooner


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Old 07-31-2014, 12:11 PM   #6
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Even a 3 foot tanks going to be small for that blue, look for something in the 6ft range. If the blue tang is your favorite fish and the reason you started a sw tank then why not set up a proper home for it?
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:36 AM   #7
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He's in a 4ft tank at the moment and he's only a couple of inches with plenty of room to swim and plenty of hiding spaces
LFS said he'd be fine in that for 6 months which is when I was looking to upgrade



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Old 08-02-2014, 03:48 AM   #8
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Ok he's not 2 inches, didn't seem right when I wrote it, he's about 3.5 inch


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