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Old 07-05-2004, 07:58 PM   #1
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FO nitrate levels?

What are acceptable nitrate levels for a FO tank? I was having high nitrate problems (60-80) in my mean tank(porcupine puffer, clown trigger, harlequin tusk) due to meaty foods basically decaying in the sand. So, I removed the sand bed in favor of a bare bottom tank but my clown trigger is still pale in color and has not been eating well for a couple months. I"m slowly working the nitrates back down but at what level does this affect the health of the fish?
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Old 07-05-2004, 08:12 PM   #2
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well, I try to feed my fish more often but less in order for none to settle in the sand. also, I know that you sould try to keep you Nitrates not higher than 30PPM for those fish, if you have more sensitive fish, you should not exceed 15PPM.
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:11 AM   #3
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I would advise levels below 50ppm. I have heard you could have nitrate as high as 80-100ppm in a FO tank but that also is very dependant upon what type of fish is in there. If your still having nitrate issues with no substrate then they must be collecting somewhere else.

Do you have a sponge on your overflow? DO you have a filter pad on your wet/dry? Do you use bioballs?
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:38 PM   #4
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Yes, I have sponges in my overflow and bioballs which i know build up nitrates over time. I also do not have a skimmer which I know I really need! I"m really going to try and do a few large water changes and rinse a portion of the bioballs off in SW each week and see what happens. I do run a good amount of carbon/chemi-pure to help with doc's but I think the main problem is excess meaty foods that isn't eaten by the fish.

I don't get these fish, they don't eat entire pieces of food. I tear up little frozen cubes and they will eat it then spit some out and they never go after little pieces. My clown trigger never seems to each much even thought I've tried like 10 kinds of meaty foods, and my porcupine puffer will only eat krill.
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:44 PM   #5
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Rinse the sponges well. They will be a source of nitrate buildup. Also the excessive food will be a source. You should try to cut down on the feedings. If they are wasting alot of food then they can be feed less.
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Old 07-06-2004, 03:09 PM   #6
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I usually rinse the sponges out twice a week, but I guess I should do it like every other day or so.

It's hard to explain but it's not that I'm feeding them too much. What the clown trigger does is eat a piece chew it a couple times then spit some of it back out. He doesn't do it with every bite but some days he doesn't really seem to eat at all. I've tired various foods thinking he doesn't like them but he still does it. I"m not sure why he is like this, maybe the higher nitrate levels make him not want to eat much?
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