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Old 02-20-2014, 07:01 PM   #1
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Nitrate problems

I have a 150 gallon fowler with a 30 gallon sump. I only have 2 fish (porcupine puffer, Mombassa Lion, and a Golden Dwarf Eel.) I try and try and I just cannot get my nitrates down. The API test always comes up red (80+). I've been using bio-pellets and I got a new skimmer (Reef Octopus xs-200). Iv'e changed 15 gallons a day (that is my max) for 4-5 days straight and I cannot make a dent.

I make my own water (RO/DI unit) and I have tested the water to check if there were nitrates in it, and they tested 0.

I recently removed the sponges from my Eheim return pumps and I am going to start changing my filter socks daily.

Anything I am missing?
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:49 AM   #2
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You use bio pellets in the sump? Even though you dot have many fish they are messy eaters! How much do you feed and how often?
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:08 AM   #3
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Do you have a lot of algae? The fact that you're changing the water a bunch and it doesn't even budge makes me skeptical of the tests.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:29 AM   #4
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Nitrate problems

I feed the puffer every day, but he usually eats everything except for the small pieces. I feed the Lion and eel every 2-3 days. I also have hermit crabs and snails.

I have 2 bio pellet reactors in the sump because I can only fit enough pellets for 75 gallons in each. I do have algae, but nothing I would consider terribly excessive. I'll have to pick up a different test kit. Which name brand should I get.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:57 AM   #5
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Yup that was my next question. - are your kits old? Try the Red Sea nitrate kit, or get your LFS to check it too?
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:44 AM   #6
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I would pick up a Salifert or RedSea kit and double check those results.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:43 PM   #7
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Let me ask this. I have 2 tanks. My other tank is a 10 gallon that I am growing a wartskin angler in. I do a 50% change every 2 weeks (because that's the salt to water ratio I know best). If I test the nitrates in that tank, they are 0. Could my test kit still be suspect? If it was bad, wouldn't all tests show up bad?
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:55 PM   #8
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Not near as much bio-load in the 10 as the 150.
And you are doing a 50% change in the 10 vs 8.33% in the 150 (must add the sump water in the calculation).

My money is still on the test kit. Get a Salifert and compare.
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:50 PM   #9
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I have a suggestion... when you change water just a little at a time it doesn't do much. One 50% water change does a ton more good than 5x10% waterchanges. Instead of changing 15g a day, save the water and do a huge w/c.. just a suggestion

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Old 02-26-2014, 07:06 AM   #10
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This isn't practical. I have no way to keep 75 gallons heated to 78 degrees.
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