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Old 09-29-2012, 11:18 AM   #1
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Ye Olde Nitrate Troubles

I've had my SW tank online since June 2012, the livestock seems to be doing fine, as you can see from my profile, I have a sump with macro-algae and DSB. The sump is only about a month old, but I have a decent amount of green algae on the walls of the refugium and chaeto seems to be doing well. My water quaility is as follows:
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
pH: 8.2
Calcium: 500
Nitrate: 20-40 ppm

I am feeding a small amount every other day, flakes one day and frozen the next. No matter what I do, I can't seem to make my nitrates come down. I had a yellow rock polyp that all of the polyps died on, other corals seem to be doing okay, I have a trumpet, GSP, small zoa frag, and red chili.

Any suggestions???
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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Do a few big water changes, every 2-3 days.. After a week or so it should be down near 0. 20-40 isnt that bad honestly. 80 is roughly the point when youll start noticing signs. Also you gotta stay consistant with water changes
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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I'll give that a shot, I consistently do 4 gal changes every Saturday.
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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@ ron -I'm having the same prob. How many fish you have?
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:13 PM   #5
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I have four fish, 2 clowns, jawfish, and royal gramma.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ron-salt-tank
I'll give that a shot, I consistently do 4 gal changes every Saturday.
Bump it up to 10 gallons if possible. At least until you get your nitrates below 10ppm. After your sump and main tank age a bit they should start to consume the nitrates better.

Do you run the lights in the sump 24 hours or reverse light cycle?

I'd also recommend testing your alkalinity after you lower your nitrates to be sure it isn't low.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:47 PM   #7
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I've never tested alkalinity, u do that with test strips? I'm running sump light from 11pm-11am, so sort of opposite cycle.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:51 PM   #8
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An API reef test kit has an alkalinity test (alkalinity can also be referred to as carbonate hardness). Probably isn't the most accurate readings of the test kits, but it works, usually.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ron-salt-tank
I've never tested alkalinity, u do that with test strips? I'm running sump light from 11pm-11am, so sort of opposite cycle.
I like to use the same light schedule you use and it always worked well. I was just curious.

You may be able to get the guys from the store to test your alkalinity. It's probably going to be just fine but it's always important to check it after you do multiple water changes to lower nitrates. The API liquid tests are ok to use. The test strips are not reliable. They seem marginally passable to use to detect either trace or very high amounts of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate but the area in the middle is unreliable. Liquid test kits are always preferable.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:27 AM   #10
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I'll look into the alkalinity test, I'm using the API saltwater master test kit and a separate API Ca kit. Is there anything else I should be checking?
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