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Old 11-18-2004, 06:18 PM   #1
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so what's the deal with nirtates?

I understand that amonia turns into nitrites, and then nitrites into nitrates, but when cycling a new tank, how do you lower the nitrates with out doing massive water changes? will regular small changes eventually lower the nitrates? mine are sitting somewhere between 5 and 10, and my amonia and nirtites are both at 0. is this amount of nitrates a concern? What are nitrites, and what neg effect do they have on your tank?
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:04 PM   #2
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They say that any NO3 at 40 + can have a negative effect on corals and fish.
Adding LR is a good way to keep NO3 in check as well as a refugium. Before I added a fuge on my 125 reef my NO3 would run between 5-20 before water changes would bring it back down. With my fuge (knock on wood) my No3 is at 0 and I go several months between changes.
Regular WC will help keep NO3 in check and lower it over time.
5-10 is good IMO and nothing to be alarmed at.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:11 PM   #3
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that's good to hear. Thank you
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:24 PM   #4
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protein skimming can also prevent higher nitrate levels by removing unwated "stuff" in the water before it starts to be broken down
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:29 PM   #5
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nitrate is used by macroalgae (and in fact all plant life) as a major nutrient, so you could add some cheato (macroalgae) to help absorb it. the buildup of nitrates at the end of the cycle is usually the reason for algae blooms in new tanks- so you might as well put in useful and attractive macro instead of nusicance algae.
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Old 11-19-2004, 10:58 AM   #6
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and certain anaerobic bacteria in live rock and the sand bed will de-nitrafy the tank (that's the reason behind the DSB).

By not overstocking or overfeeding, you'll further help keep nitrates at a reasonable level, to where your weekly/bi-weekly water change removes any excessive amounts.
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Old 11-20-2004, 08:52 AM   #7
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Nitrites will interfere with the blood's ability to carry oxygen by binding to the hemaglobin. The result is a sluggish animal that will eventually die. In humans it called "blue baby syndrome" since it is most often seen in infants who have too much of nitrogen compounds in their water supply. The bluish coloration comes from the lack of oxygen in the blood.
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