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Old 11-04-2010, 10:48 PM   #1
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Unhappy Questions. Please Help!!!!!!!!

Question 1:

using tap water, my tank will have lots of nitrates?

my nitrates, are 160-250mm, I am always worried. My fish are not dying though.

is a high level of nitrates even bad for the fish other than invertebrates?

No matter what I do, small and large water changes, cleaning filter, adding natural nitrate reducer, my nitrates are still high!!

I want to get snails and shrimp but they keep dying!!

I am using tap water, but before I add it to tank, I keep it in a large bucket for a day with chemicals to remove the chlorine and such.


Question 2:

My tank is a 36 gallon bowfront, live rock with fish only.

Is there any corals at all I can add, that will not require a protein skimmer? I am using powerheads and a fluval canister filter.

Question 3:

in my 36 gallon I currently have, 1 small clown, 1 firefish, 2 small gobies. and like 5 small hermit crabs.

How much more fish can I add without overloading?

can I get a blue tang and keep it there until it reaches 2.5 inches?

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Old 11-04-2010, 10:56 PM   #2
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1. have you tried testing your tap water? it may very well have high nitrates and be the source of the problem, if youre changing water from high nitrates to high nitrates, well you get the point.

try testing the tap with nothing in it to see what its levels are, then go from there.

2. those things you are mentioning arent what you truly need to worry about, its the lights, what lights do you have? (powerheads do matter, but not the point)

3. not completely sure, but i wouldnt do the tang personally, just to be safe. on other fish im not sure

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Old 11-05-2010, 08:51 AM   #3
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How old are your test kits and who makes them?
Those numbers are just too high. Fish can tolerate up to 80 - 100 ppm of nitrate, but have problems above those numbers.

Take a sample of the tank and tap water to a lfs and ask them to test both samples to be sure your test kit is working.

As was suggested you also need to test your tap.

Get a RODI (reverse osmosis/de-ionized) filter setup and make 0 TDS to be mixed for your tank and to be used for top offs.

#2 NOTHING! Don't even think about coral until you have your water parameters in check and can keep them stable for 6 months.

#3 Do NOT add a tang, even a small one, to that tank. As for how many fish? I would say you are overstocked now with nitrates that high. Once you have your tank stabilized, then the answer is It Depends. We need to more about your filtration, feeding schedule, equipment, pwc schedule, etc.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:12 AM   #4
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the things you need to be concerned about when speaking in terms of corals are water parameters (most important), flow (also very important), and lighting.

no tangs in a 36 unless you don't mind being cruel to fish. it would be like putting a cheetah in a dog crate.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
it would be like putting a cheetah in a dog crate.
Love that line Doug! I may 'borrow' it from time to time.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:31 PM   #6
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4 - 54 Watt bulbs =216W Total (2) 12,000K daylight and (2) true actinics.

That is the lighting system that I am using.

I know I am not going to put in corals with my high nitrates, I am wondering eventually once my nitrates are under control, if I can add some corals and not use a protein skimmer.

I am using a Fluval 305, rated for 40 gallon tank

The reason I think my nitrates are high, is becuase at one point I ridiculously overstocked my tank, and all my fish died couple weeks later all at once, I removed them right away.

but there were a few times, where a fish died and I could not find it. So it just decomposed in the tank.

Could that be a reason for my high nitrates?

That was all a while ago, months ago.

I am using an API test kit.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:41 PM   #7
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More then likely your getting the nitrates from using tap water. As the others have said, take a sample of your tap water and test it for nitrates. Leaving it sit in a bucket does not get rid of nitrates from the water.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:22 PM   #8
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1) Which brand test kit are you using?

2) When did you buy it?

3) What is your tap water Nitrate reading?

4) Buy some filtered water from your grocery store or Wal-Mart. May WMs usually has a RO system from Culligan at $0.37/gal (use that for your PWCs and top offs until you get an RODI). Mix up a few gallons or saltwater using that RO water, match the salinity (let mix for several hours or overnight) and use that to dilute a sample from your tank in stages, start with 2:1, then 4:1, then 8:1, etc until you can verify the reading with 2 successive sets (i.e. one sample reads 40ppm, then next one 20ppm). Any test kit will be indistinguishable above about 80ppm.

5) do the same dilution test on your tap water, only use straight RO water (not saltwater) for dilution.

6) post your results.

7) do a couple of 50-75% PWCs with the Culligan or RO water

As for fish problems above 100ppm, that's true but I have 'cleaned up' 2 tanks that had fish in them and nitrates of 800-1000ppm after 3 years of doing no water changes. In one tank, 4 of the 5 fish are still alive almostg a year later (a yellow tang died the day before I did the PWC) and the 2nd tank lost both fish, one I found under a rock and didn't expect to make it, the other, also a Yellow Tang, made it over a month after setting the tank up again then freaked and died. Before I took over the 2nd, they put a fish in it against my recommendation (language barrier) and it died in a few hours. So don't put ANY fish in that tank until your Nitrates are down under 40.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:30 PM   #9
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Even though you are treating your tap water you are not removing everything. Heavy metals that are in tap water are not removed. I work for a water municipality so I know what they add in there. Good for us humans but not for our reefs. Do your self a favor and get an RO/DI water filter.


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Old 09-09-2012, 05:34 PM   #10
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I use API tap water test kit too,every level are good exception for Nitrate...
Been trying weekly water changes,50% water changes some time, test my tap water(no nitrate showing)use a fluval 205 filter with chemipure(suppose to lower nitrate levels), but the nitrate was still too hi.
I decide to take a sample to my LFS and I told me the nitrate are low and was fine for me to add some corals...
Corals are in the tank for 4 weeks now and doing just fine....
About snail and shrimp
Use to appen to my too..
Snails I think they was just starving,shrimps maybe was fighting with the crabs or fishes...

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