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Old 06-24-2009, 10:41 AM   #1
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Nitrates

I don't know if I'm posting in the right forum or not, I guess someone will let me know. I have a 130 gallon softie reef. It's been up and running for almost a year. All fish and corals are doing great, but I can't get my nitrates under 20. I have upgraded my skimmer, I have added more powerheads ( I now have about 3400 gph flow). But no matter what I do they just won't go down. I have even started using Denitrate in a small reaction chamber. I only have 2 medium size fish and 2 small fish, so my bioload is not the problem. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:05 AM   #2
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How often do you feed and how much? How often do you do water changes, and how many gallons are they? Do you use RO water? Do you have a refugium? How deep is your sand bed?
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:31 AM   #3
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That`s some pretty good questions asked above. Answer if you can. IMO nitrates at 20 is not a killer. Yes the goal is zero but dont stress too much on twenty. You`ll eventually tweak some things to get it down more but twenty is not going to kill your tank off. As I said keep trying to get to zero or as low as possible over the longhaul.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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Usually export is the problem as AMD's questions pertains to. Also, soft corals do seem to appreciate raised nitrate levels.
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:56 AM   #5
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I feed every other day, only what they can eat in 2 minutes or so. I do water changes every 2 weeks about 15 to 20% with RO water. I don't have a refugium and my sand bed is about 4 inches. I have noticed the nitrates got a little lower after I added the extra koralia's and that was about 2 weeks ago, but I thought they should be lower by now. Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:19 AM   #6
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Do you vacume your substrate? if not..do you notice any bubbles in the sand?
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:06 AM   #7
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The increased flow should help keep things 'suspended' better and more available to your skimmer. Assuming you have a sump, have you tried a filter sock. They need to be cleaned on a very regular basis too but can help in getting larger suspended particles out.

In any event, short of a massive water change you nitrates are not going to come down in a massive steep decline all at once. Even with the water change it will depend on what is in the tank to decay (in the rocks, corners, sand, overflow, sump, etc) and the quantity of what you keep adding in.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:08 PM   #8
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I don't vacuum the substrate (the tank is too high) and there is not any bubbles. I do have double sumps, and about 250 lbs of live rock. Thanks so much everyone!
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:49 PM   #9
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About 4 months into my 75g tank with about 4-5"'s of sand started to bubble away and freaked me out. I learned that it was nitrogen gas being released from my sandbed into the water and then back into the air...A complete cycle. My DSB works very nice and as the gobies and hermit crabs dig and walk around the bubbles get released from the sandbed. Pretty neat...
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltygirl2422 View Post
...I do water changes every 2 weeks about 15 to 20% with RO water....
Have you tested your RO water for nitrates? You could be adding a little in at each water change, if the water in isn't pure.
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