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Old 08-30-2014, 10:11 PM   #1
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high nitrates to low please help!

Hello everyone!
I know it's been quite a while since I've posted but I'm back! Hope everything is going well with everybody. i've had some major changes in the last few years which unfortunately effected my tank . However just today I completely tore down the tank, cleaned, new sand added some fresh live rock and the fish are sitting in a container ready to go back in their home.
My only concern is the fact they're going to be going from extreme nitrates in excess of 200+ to hardly any nitrates. Ive been trying to acclimate the water they're in now but I can't seem to get the nitrates down. Will it be an issue to go ahead and move them over from high to low nitrates?
This hasn't been a problem for me in the past but the aquarium store ī go to seemed to think it could be a problem.
Most of my fish are hardy and strong but I do have an emporer angelfish (yeah I'm not sure how he survived for a year in high nitrates.) he's big and beautiful and it would kill me to loss him.
Please help me and advice so I can get them back into their home safely. Thanks.

Steve
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:09 AM   #2
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This could be a big problem. Going from a healthy environment into one with poisonous levels of nitrates can...well stress and kill your fish.
To get your nitrates down, make sure you are using ro/di water. Do large water changes until the number comes down. Keep in mind that a 50% water change would only take the nitrates of 200 down to 100.
My only question is, why did you change out the sand and rock? You basically lost all of your beneficial bacteria...you might have to recycle the tank.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:14 AM   #3
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I believe he is putting the fish into very low nitrate water not high. He was saying their old water before was 200 ppm if I'm reading correctly. I'm confused why fish would become stressed in a much cleaner environment if I read correctly.
However, I agree with hank that the tank may recycle if everything is new.


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Old 08-31-2014, 12:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bribo12 View Post
I believe he is putting the fish into very low nitrate water not high. He was saying their old water before was 200 ppm if I'm reading correctly. I'm confused why fish would become stressed in a much cleaner environment if I read correctly.
However, I agree with hank that the tank may recycle if everything is new.


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Well, if I am reading it backwards that is an improvement for them...but for more sensitive fish it can be a shock and stressful, but won't cause death.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:19 AM   #5
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I would be more concerned about having a limited amount of BB? Have you cleaned out your filters too?
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:23 AM   #6
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Also, to lessen shock to your fish I would very slowly acclimate them into the cleaner water. As long as you do this over a few days, they should be fine. Slow is the way to go. 😉
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:21 PM   #7
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Yes you are correct they went from their old nitrate infested and phosphates infested water too basically a new setup again. I was instructed to do this by the aquarium store I go to (a marine biologist who I've gone to for years who's never steered me wrong) who said years of high nitrates and phosphates have leeched into my live sand and live rock and to just go ahead and start the setup over again.
He said water changes could be pointless at this point as each time I would do a water change the phosphates and nitrates would just go back up from the LR and live sand leeching it out back into the water.
I tried the best to get their old water to match the new tank water but I gave up and just hoped for the best and in they went back into their home! They're doing great and look so happy and active to be out of that nitrate and phosphate infected water.
Yes he did say cycling might be an issue but said with the live sand, live rock and skimmer going, lots of extra water an prime in case of an ammonia spike everything should be ok.

He basically flat out said unless you get these parameters down you'll never be able to add anything new again! On top of that I felt bad because what kind of pet owner am I to leave them in nitrate and phosphate infested water over the years?
So... the first battle is over.... now it's on to monitoring water parameters to make sure I don't lose them from a bad cycle. Wish me luck!
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