When I set up my first SW
tank I had no refugium to put in a macroalgae for consuming nitrates. I also had no reactor to put in for an anaerobic bacterial source and my nitrates climbed to about 80. After some questions and research I found 2 methods that should help you out as it did me.
1. Vodka dosing. The methane in vodka creates long protien strings out of the various nitrogen phases which increases the effectiveness of the skimmer. Doesn't work without a skimmer, but it should help yours.
2. Nitrate destroyer. This is a bacterial additive that actually consumes nitrates. It cannot live very long in the tank water and needs to be added daily. However the bacteria do live for short periods in the water coloum and will be consumed by corals and other filter feeders. They give off nitrogen gas which is how they rid the tank of nitrogens.
I started both at the same time so I don't know if one was more effective than the other, but my nitrates dropped to 15 I believe before my hob
refugium arrived which got then to almost 0.