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Old 03-24-2005, 06:38 PM   #1
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nitrates, detritus

My nitrates have risen a bit higher than I'd like in my lightly stocked 29 bow. Here are my thoughts:

1) Mechanical filtration - how often should I change the filter pads in my canister filter? I believe that leaving them in too long can cause nitrates to accumulate, but I do need some type of mechanical filtration, right?

2) Detritus on the sand bed. There are places in the tank that are difficult to vaccuum. Also, when vaccuuming I always end up with sand in the bucket, so in order to avoid eventual removal of all of my sand I've been vaccuuming less lately. The fish waste on the sand surface is ugly, but how bad for my chemistry is this?

3) My LR.com rock has been in my tank for about 4 weeks. The initial die off & (very) small ammo bump is long past. However, some life on the rock is clearly not going to survive. Some corals & sponges aren't finding what they need to survive, I guess. The system is handling this as far as ammo & -ites (both 0), but I'm sure this is contributing to the -ates.

Any thoughts? Sorry for the rambling post. Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2005, 08:22 PM   #2
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IMO you should have no need to vacuum. Do you have a clean up crew? Crabs, snails? If not I would start buying some.
How much LR? With enough LR do not worry about the canister filter holding bacteria, clean it on a regular basis and you will be fine.
If you have things dying on the LR and its clear that they are dying them take them off and out of the tank.
Have you done any water changes? How much? how big is the tank? What are the readings of NO3?

1- get a clean up crew or larger one.
2-clean the filter on a regular basis
3- Do monthly water changes to help lower NO3
4- think about getting a sea cucumber for sandbed cleaning..... Great cleaners for large tanks with non aggressive fish.
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:00 PM   #3
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I have 25 lbs live rock in 29 gallons. Nitrates are not sky-high, but higher than I'd like (last couple readings were 30ish... higher than usual).

My clean up crew: 1 tricolor hermit, 3 redlegs, 5 teeny tiny blue legs, 7 margarita snails, 6 nassarius (sp?), 2 turbos, 2 banded trochus. This crew, although it seems like a lot to me, does not keep the sand surface clear of waste. I guess a lot of them are algae eaters & not detrivores. Any suggestions in this area? I don't think my tank is big enough for a sea cucumber.

I do frequent water changes. Much more frequent than recommended.

I'm not concerned with preserving the bacteria in the canister filter -- I believe that between my LR and sand bed I'm good in that area. I use the filter for mechanical and chemical filtration. I'd remove the filter pads completely to reduce nitrates, but I think I do need some mechanical filtration. I've been replacing the pads every 10ish days. Do I need to do it more frequently? Such a pain...
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:41 PM   #4
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i recently took the pads out of my emporor 400 and basically use it as a power head...my nitrates got lower...with LR and power heads should be all you need. Try placing a power head so it just barely flows over the sand...i riged a power head behind a rock in a corner and used a tube to go under the sand and placed it flowing across the sand...i have nice clean sand..i can post a picture if ya wanna try it


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Old 03-24-2005, 10:12 PM   #5
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It doesn't stir up the sand or give crabs & snails trouble passing through that space?

Anyone else used this method? Seems like it would just blow the detritus around, not actually clean anything (but I'm still quite the novice so I'm open to any and all suggestions!)

Thanks for the idea.
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:15 PM   #6
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I use a baster to blow off the rocks every month or two when doing a water change. You'd be suprised how much detritus accumulates on the rocks even with a decent clean up crew.
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phases99
I use a baster to blow off the rocks every month or two when doing a water change. You'd be suprised how much detritus accumulates on the rocks even with a decent clean up crew.
I have the same question as above: does moving the detritus around reduce nitrates? It seems that it would just settle back down again. I usually siphon the detritus off the LR with my water changes.
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:30 PM   #8
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If you blow it off the rocks first you may be able to remove more of it while it is in suspension, especially from those hard to reach areas. I prefer to do it this way because my corals hate when I get anywhere near them with the siphon.
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copi
It doesn't stir up the sand or give crabs & snails trouble passing through that space
nope i have nesaurius snails and sand sifter star..the have no problems...actual my nasarius snails are much more active since i did this...the catch the scent quicker of the food i put in...I have sponges on all my power heads and skimmer...so before water changes i too use the turkey baster and blw off rocks...10 minutes later i syphon off the songes



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