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Old 02-15-2011, 09:21 AM   #1
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HELP WITH Nitrates!

I have a 36 gallon, all water parameters are good except nitrates - about 40 ppm.

I am doing a 20% water change every two weeks, along with cleaning the canister filter.

I am using tap water, but I have tested it after I mixed it with salt, it did not have any nitrates at all.

is there any chemicals I can add to reduce nitrates?

i am using an API liquid test kit, is there any other better test kits out there?

help if you can


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Old 02-15-2011, 09:35 AM   #2
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In FW, there is something called Nitra-Zorb. There is no match for this product with SW. You have to fill the tank with as much LR as you can, and over time, it will harbor denitrifying bacteria. This takes time though, and in the meantime you have to do PWCs or find another way - protein skimming, ATS, refugium, bio-pellets, vodka dosing - and check your feeding schedule and bio load. Post those if you can. Also, how long has your tank been running?

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Old 02-15-2011, 09:48 PM   #3
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I recommend cleaning the canister filter weekly. I also have a canister on my reef tank, and have 0 nitrates, and it has been that way for a while. Really clean out those foam pads, make sure that there is nothing left in them. Also, that white pad that goes in there, either replace it every time you clean the filter, or clean it thoroughly as well.

The problem with nitrates is that if you have 40ppm, you have to do a 50% water change just to get it down to 20ppm, and then another 50% just to get that down to 10ppm, and so on. 20% every two weeks is not going to really get you anywhere. I did 15-20 gallon PWC every week on my 55 gallon until my nitrates were 0, along with a weekly cleaning of my canister filter. After that, try to target feed your tank, don't just dump a wad of food in there and walk away. Uneaten food quickly wrecks your water quality. Also, a good skimmer helps as well.

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Old 02-16-2011, 08:37 PM   #4
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How often are you feeding? How long are you running your lights? I have a 35 gallon hexagon, my nitrates were around 60ppm, but everything else was perfect. I was also performed a 20% change every other weekend. I cut back to feeding only twice a week and only running the lights 5 and a half hours a day and within a week they were at 0. No other changes, no added chemicals. It is hard to keep a perfect tank, I learned the hard way, a small tank with a canister filter and nothing else is really a pain to keep. I am bumping up to a 65 gallon with a sump and protein skimmer this weekend. Check around Craigslist, you'll be surprised how cheap you can pick up skimmers and sumps.
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