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Old 11-28-2006, 01:38 PM   #1
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NO3 and filters.

Guys, since I've started my 30 gallon tank I've never been able to get my NO3 below 10 ppm despite weekly 10% water changes.

I've read alot on the discussion that filters are nitrate factories, and am wondering if this is a cause. I do not have a skimmer yet, though I do plan on buying one. I have a bubble wall at the back of the tank that adds plenty of O2 to the tank, and the filter is just a regular petco hang on back filter with charcoal and plastic filter insert.

Thoughts on lowering my NO3?
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:15 PM   #2
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10 is not that bad. I would toss the bubble wall, it has no real use in a SW tank, since the O2 exchange occurs at the surface of the water.
Does the filter have any bioballs/wheel or sponges?
Or you could up the amount of your PWC.
What does your test read after a PWC?
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:19 PM   #3
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The filter just has a charcoal and a plastic medium type filter. That's it.

I usually wait 24 hrs after a PWC to take my readings. And it always reads 10 ppm for NO3.

3 gallons every week on the PWC.
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:26 PM   #4
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Can you up the PWC to 6gallons?
Wht kind of substrate do you have?
How deep?
Try removing the charcoal.
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:34 PM   #5
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Is the charcoal even necessary?

I can deff. up to 6 gallons. No problems there, substrate is play sand from Home Depot.
Bed is about 4 inches deep.

Clean up crew consists of 7 narrius snails, 2 emerald crabs, 2 small snails, 1 turbo snail ( other turbo snail found dead yesterday after work, picking up two more this week ) 1 cleaner shrimp.
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:37 PM   #6
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Take the media out and see if that helps. Definiltey played a factor in my nitrate readings.
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:37 PM   #7
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Just the charcoal insert your talking about? The plastic medium or both?
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:56 PM   #8
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As Scott said earlier 10 is pretty good.If you`re doing frequent PWC`s then you`ll be OK. About one of the only ways to get it lower would be a refuge. But as I said if you`re at 10 I would not worry much about it.
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:07 PM   #9
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Ok, that said....do you guys recommend taking the charcoal medium out of the filter?
Is it necessary like in a FW tank?
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:42 PM   #10
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I would and just use it if you need GAC for clean up purposes.
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