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Old 01-29-2009, 12:58 AM   #1
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high nitrates

I have an established 90 gal.tank that has been running for a few years. My problem is I can't seem to ever get the nitrates to drop they are always over a hundred.I have about 125 lbs of live rock (figi) and 40 lbs of live sand 20 of which I added a week ago. I have a skimmer, two powerheads and the main pump circulating the water. I put a nitrate remover (purigen) in the sump did a 20% water change two weeks ago and a 15% this week and they haven"t dropped. There are only 4 fish in the tank a power blue tang a yellow tank a domino and a clown. Took out all the bio balls a month or so ago. Does anyone have any ideas how to solve this problem. Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:50 AM   #2
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over 100? I doubt your test is reading accurately.

What kind of test kit are you using? How old is it? Have you checked the expiration on it?

I'd recommend you take a water sample to your LFS and have them confirm the test results, most LFSs will test water for you for free.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:05 AM   #3
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First off, Purgien will not remove nitrates. Purigen will remove the things that will eventually turn into nitrates, but it won't suck up the nitrates themselves. The best nitrate removers for saltwater is plain ol' water changes. (Don't get me wrong... I love Purigen and use it in my tank. But it's often misunderstood what it really does.)

If you did a 20% water change and saw no immediate decrease in that 100 number, then I'd have to agree with neilanh that your test kit might be on the fritz. Probably best to buy a different brand and double check your number.

Have you tested your source water for nitrates?
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:06 AM   #4
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First off, in order to reduce nitrates you need an export such as protein skimmer, nitrate reactor (denitrator), macroalgae use, and feeding reductions. Other than the fish themselves creating the waste, excess food is usually the cause of such an accumulation. If your test kit is accurate, it is not surprising at all that a 20% water change didn't budge your nitrate reading since bacteria are consistently resupplying (dumbing this down). You would need several 25% water changes throughout the week in order to see results, reading-wise, once again if your test kit is accurate.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:22 PM   #5
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nitrate

Ok guys I'm using the seachem multitest marine basic test kit. I don't see an expiration date anywhere but I purchased it only three weeks ago. Also I do have a protein skimmer thats seem to be foaming pretty good.I use RO water in my tank for the water changes. Thanks
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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I agree with the more frequent water changes. I have had my tnank going two years now and have discovered that the more frequent the water change the better off you are if you have high Nitrates. For me 10-15% a week has work out well. At least till you get them under control.
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:02 PM   #7
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Ok fellows, I bought a new test kit and tested the water again still well over a hundred about 160. I need help understanding where these nitates are coming from. As I stated I have a 90 gal tank, 125lbs of figi rock, skimmer, 40 lbs of live sand only 4 fish an do my water changes with RO water. Also does anyone have a aquaripure denitrator and if so how does it work Thanks for any advice
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Have you tested your source water for nitrates?

Just because it's RO water doesn't mean it's pure. If you're getting it from someone else, and you're not testing it, then you could be getting anything. And if you're making your own and not testing from time to time, you could have a bad membrane or possibly have it hooked up wrong.

I always like to start at the source and work from there. First test the source water, then the tub/barrel you store it in, then... you get the idea.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:57 PM   #9
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I tested both the incoming and stored water and they were both 0 nitrate. the membrane and all other filters were just changed in Sept 08
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:57 AM   #10
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OK... at least we can rule that out!

How often and what do you feed the fish? Do you put any other food or supplements in the tank?
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