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Old 10-13-2007, 12:20 PM   #1
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nitrates wont go below 10

I can not get my nitrate levels below 10ppm. All the other tests are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, 10nitrates, 0 phosphate. The tank is a 75 gallon, with 80 lbs of live rock, crushed coral/sand, I do at least a 15% water change every 7-10 days. There are 2 fluval 305's without the filter pads those got changed out to live rock rubble. Fish include 1 hippo tang, 1 yellow tang, 2 o clowns, 1 algae blenny, 1 6 line , 2 sand gobbies, 1 cleaner goby. The cleaning crew consists of 1 brittle star, 6 nassarious, 3 turbo snails, 2 astrea, 3 bumble bee snails, 4 hermit crabs. I have noticed some waste on the sand bed, but i dont know if i should increase my cleaning crew, add more live rock or what. I have a remora skimmer, and 3 korolia powerheads.
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Old 10-13-2007, 04:04 PM   #2
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Is your nitrate at 10 now? If so, that is acceptable. It wouldn't hurt to do a few 30% changes every few days if your nitrate is high.
Also, what kind of water are you using for your pwc's?
What brand salt?
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Old 10-13-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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water is from a well, i have checked it, no phosphate, no nitrate. The salt is either instant ocean, or red sea. I am trying to lower the nitrates to purchase some soft coral, polyps and mushrooms. I have 1 colony of polyps, and 1 mushroom rock. They seem to be doing well but i thought my nitrates need to be closer to 0 for most corals.
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:29 PM   #4
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~10 ppm is acceptable for most hardy corals.

Like ccapt suggested doing a couple larger water changes over the next couple days would porbably bring it down.

An RO/DI unit would make your water better and if your well water is already good then the filter catridges won't have to be changed for a long time.
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:19 PM   #5
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What test kit are you using for nitrates? Are you sure you're at 10? If you're using an API test, it can be pretty hard to differentiate anything below 10 on the color scale. Salifert nitrate kits can get down to 0.2.
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:38 AM   #6
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I have an api test kit that stays kinda yellow, and a reef lab kit that stays just a shade of red. It is hard to tell a difference on the low scale. I was planning to add 50lbs more of live rock.
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Old 10-14-2007, 01:02 AM   #7
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More rock definitely won't hurt! You might pick up a Salifert nitrate kit just to get a better feel for what your nitrates are. If they end up being considerable less than 10, then at least you can put your mind at ease. (Although... as others have said, 10ppm is still totally reasonable.) Mine always tested "0" with the API, and I was just finding that hard to believe - even though I like to think I run a tidy tank. With the Salifert kit, I found I had 0.5ppm - which is still zero in my book! But at least I have more confidence what my actual numbers are.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:17 PM   #8
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Like the others said 10 is not that bad. Yes the goal is 0 but depending on your filtration and bioload 0 is sometimes hard to attain. I would strive for 0 but not worry at 10 or less. I would also take your water to your LFS and get a 2nd opinion.
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