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Old 03-24-2013, 01:55 AM   #1
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Tank is out of control

I started my sw reef tank about 5 weeks ago to my understanding my lfs told me when ammonia , nitrite and nitrates are 0 its ok to add fish and corals didn't tell me how many to add in ... amount of time nothing. Now i need help my nitrate are about 100ppm my ph is 8.0 my nitrite is 0.25 my ammonia is 0.25 haven't checked alk , calcium etc.. i have 9 fish in total (i know i went overboard) and 5 corals 2 inch sand bed HOB filter HOB skimmer about 40 lbs of live rock what should i do to get my water under control I've already spent over 800 dollars on the tank and i don't want to lose that much money please help asap.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:22 AM   #2
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4-8 gallon water changes twice daily. Take some fish back if possible?
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:18 AM   #3
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+1 take some of those fish back while you can and increase water changes to get your levels back in check. Best advise then would be to take it easy and make sure you do loads of research before purchasing any livestock. Better for the fish, better for your wallet...
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowderBlueTang245 View Post
I started my sw reef tank about 5 weeks ago to my understanding my lfs told me when ammonia , nitrite and nitrates are 0 its ok to add fish and corals didn't tell me how many to add in ... amount of time nothing. Now i need help my nitrate are about 100ppm my ph is 8.0 my nitrite is 0.25 my ammonia is 0.25 haven't checked alk , calcium etc.. i have 9 fish in total (i know i went overboard) and 5 corals 2 inch sand bed HOB filter HOB skimmer about 40 lbs of live rock what should i do to get my water under control I've already spent over 800 dollars on the tank and i don't want to lose that much money please help asap.
How big is this tank? You'll need to do some back to back 20-30% PWCs to get the levels where they won't kill the fish. Then you'll need to check the ammo, Trites and Trates every day and if the ammo or trites is above 0.25 or if Trates are above 40, then do a PWC to bring it down. It's going to take a while for your BB to catch up, so this is going to be an ongoing thing for a while. And depending on the size of the tank, it might be best to tank some fish back. So let us know how big it is and we can help further.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:53 AM   #5
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How big is this tank? You'll need to do some back to back 20-30% PWCs to get the levels where they won't kill the fish. Then you'll need to check the ammo, Trites and Trates every day and if the ammo or trites is above 0.25 or if Trates are above 40, then do a PWC to bring it down. It's going to take a while for your BB to catch up, so this is going to be an ongoing thing for a while. And depending on the size of the tank, it might be best to tank some fish back. So let us know how big it is and we can help further.

55 gallons
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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To add some detail i know ammonia turns to nitrite then nitrate . I was feeding my fish like 3 times a day maybe the food introduced ammonia and its recycling the amm ? maybe its not a no spike but thank you to all of you guys for helping me out with this situation i really appreciate it
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #7
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It's more about the amount of fish and their bioload than the uneaten food. If you got some big fish that have a big bio it is likely your system will never be able to sustain them. One of the reasons they list recommended tank sizes for types of fish, so you can work out waste management. What's your remaining stock list?
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:20 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:26 PM   #9
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be careful with vodka dosing. Start slowly if you decide to do it. check out this guide: Vodka Dosing by 'Genetics' and 'Stony_Corals' - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:35 AM   #10
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+1 on the slow start to vodka dosing. I went to my local drugstore and they gave me 2 free syringes that don't use needles that ate often used for giving meds to infants. A 1ml and a 10ml one. I think I used the big one for the nitrate destroyer and the small one for vodka because I didn't want to contaminate by liquor.
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