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Old 01-29-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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can nitrates get to high

I have had my system running now for a month. All my parameters have been holding firm now for 2 weeks. a week ago we added 4 blue/green chromis, 4 hermit crabs, 1 cleaner shrimp and one coral banded shrimp. My parameters didn't move at all.
I have a 30 gallon tank with lr and ls with 2 power heads in it.
my parameters are

ammonia 0
nitrites 0 and
nitrates 20-30
temp is 76-78
salinty is 1.025


everyone is happy, eating well and using the whole tank
my question is can nitrates get to high and if so what causes it and how does one lower them if necessary.
Thanks in advance.
Bill
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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Yes, nitrates can get too high and become toxic for your fish. You want to do partial water changes to bring those down and also to reintroduce some off the stuff that gets used up in your saltwater. Usually having a high bio-load (too many fish), inadequate filtration and/or over feeding can lead to nitrate problems. Rotting food and/or detritus (poop) in the tank or filter are the usual suspects.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:55 PM   #3
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thank you for the information. That is kind of what I figured and thought would have to happen if it does. As time goes on and as I read more, I am slowly understanding one concept. For every action there is a reaction and I am just wanting to be prepaired for whatever comes along.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
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what would you consider to high of nitrates?
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:18 PM   #5
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Your nitrates are on the high side. The closer to 0 the better. I start doing pwc at 5-10. Is your filtration adequate?
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:25 PM   #6
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now I am really confused I have been told that you want ammonia at 0, nitrites at 0, and nitrates between 10-20. I have read that as well on different sites. So where the heck should they be. I thought I was doing so well.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:28 PM   #7
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Yes, closer to 0 is always better, but if it's a FOWLR, you don't need to be nearly as anal about it as you would with a reef tank with corals. Some inverts are a little more sensitive to nitrates than fish, so I'd try to keep it 15 or less.

EDIT: You posted just as I did...... Yes, you'd be fine in the 10-20 range, but I would keep 20 as your max, just to err on the side of caution.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:30 PM   #8
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Ideally you always want zero ammonia and nitrites. After cycling, those should stay zero. Nitrates will rise, but you want as close to zero as possible, which is one of the reasons for doing partial water changes. Over 20 is where it can start to harm the fish.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:39 PM   #9
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how long after a water change should one leave before retesting ones parameters
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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I'd give it about 15-30 minutes.
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