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Old 01-01-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
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Trying to get levels right

Hello,
I've had my 90 gallon DT with a 30 gallon Sump running a carbon sock sponge at the end of the overflow hose and a Red Sea Berlin Protein Skimmer for three weeks now.
I always use RO water for my water changes and have increased the amount I change from 5 gallons on week 1 to 12 galloons on week 3.
I don't have much livestock yet but lots of corals. I will acquire more fish when the environment stabilizes more. I got this tank from someone else who had it established for 8 years and i set it up the same way.
My readings from this morning are as follows:

Temp: 76.5
Salinity:1.025
Calcium:420 PPM
Carbonate Hardness(KH):10 dkh/179 PPM
Phosphate:0.25 PPM
Nitrate:80 PPM

1 clownfish
1 anemone
1 clam
6 peppermint shrimp
10 red leg hermit crabs
2 diamond gobies

I'm mostly concerned with the phosphate and nitrate levels. According to the API Master Reef test kit chart it's not where it's supposed to be.
I don't have an ammonia tester but last week i took a water sample to my local fish store and they told me there's a bit but not much and it will go away after a few water changes.
What should I be doing to reduce those levels before adding more livestock?
Any advice would be gladly appreciated.
Thank you all and Happy New Year !!
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #2
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Well first off Happy New Year. I don't think the clam an anemone are going to tolerate that high a nitrate level very long. Try changing more water say 20% watch your feedings, clean the filter floss more often you could increase the water flow with a powerhead if you feed frozen rinse the food before feeding.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply,

I will increase my water changes to 18 gallons (20%) and clean the carbon sponge in sump.
I've been feeding the clownfish rinsed brine shrimp and the invertebrates and gobies about 15 pellets a day.
Should I had a sheet of floss filter on top of water in sump where protein skimmer drains water? Will that help contain bad stuff in going back to the DT?
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:52 PM   #4
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Yes that will help but you'll need to make sure you keep it cleaned
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:13 AM   #5
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Could a dead finger coral on a 90 gallon tank that fell of the rock into a hard to reach spot be the cause of high nitrates?
It died about a week ago
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