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Old 10-19-2006, 06:48 PM   #1
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Refugium vs. RO/DI - better nitrate remover?

Hi folks,

I've had my 80-gallon up and running for about 7 months now (specs can be found in MyInfo). I'm currently stocked fairly light because of the Volitan Lionfish who currently resides in there. My problem is that for months now I've not been able to get my nitrates much lower than 15 ppm. I do weekly 20%-25% PWCs, and have a skimmer that is rated for a much larger tank size (220 gallons), but still can't ever seem to get them any lower.

I was planning on connecting a refugium to my sump in an attempt to combat the nitrates. However, space limitations underneath the stand limit me to only a small 5-gallon rubbermaid container. Hooking up the fuge looks like it will be somewhat of a hassle (with all of the re-plumbing that I'll have to do). Is it even worth my time to go through all of this even if the fuge will be so small? Or will I need a bigger one to have any noticeable impact (and if so, how big would you recommend)?

One thing that I'm sure is contributing to the nitrate problem is the fact that I don't use RO/DI water. I never really looked into an RO/DI filter much because my tap water tests at < 5ppm, so I never thought it was that big of a deal. Lately I've been considering getting one more and more though...

Do you think getting an RO/DI system would be a more effective means of nitrate reduction than adding the tiny fuge? Would a fuge as small as I've mentioned even be worth the hassle of setting up? Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:03 PM   #2
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Hmmm...I RO/DI unit will remove NO3 from your source water (as well as a lot of other bad things). Do you know the NO3 level of your source water? If it is high, I would spring for the RO/DI unit. It will promote a more healthy tank in general. However, lions are messy eaters and this can contribute to NO3 as well. If you are not over feeding and still see a high level of NO3, a fuge may help. Then again, so will more frequent water changes with good quality source water. I am leaning more toward the RO/DI myself.
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lando
Do you know the NO3 level of your source water? If it is high, I would spring for the RO/DI unit.
This is important Question and needs to be checked to see if source water is a major contributor of nitrates.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:41 PM   #4
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I just double-checked the water right out of my tap, and it looks good at pretty close to 0 ppm. Definitely less than 5 ppm (I'm using this test kit). This is why I never invested in a RO/DI unit when I first put the tank together, since it didn't look like my tap had much nitrate in it.

Could the Lionfish be the culprit here? I understand they are messy fish...is it just an inevitability that I'll have to deal with a small amount of nitrates so long as I have him? I'm only feeding him (and the rest of the tank inhabitants) once every two days so I don't think overfeeding is the cause...
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Old 10-20-2006, 10:40 AM   #5
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One thing about tap water is that it not only has nitrates but other things like chlorine and chlorimines and ammonia and heavy metals in it. If you are using tap water I would seriously consider a RO/DI unit for you water. Much cleaner and better. And yes the lionfish is contributing here to the nitrates with his messy eating habits.
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:25 PM   #6
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One thing about tap water is that it not only has nitrates but other things like chlorine and chlorimines and ammonia and heavy metals in it. If you are using tap water I would seriously consider a RO/DI unit for you water. Much cleaner and better.
Thanks for your advice. I'll look into getting an RO/DI unit in the near future. It certainly can't hurt any!

Any opinions on the refugium? Do you guys think a small 5 gallon fuge would do me any good on my 80+ gallon tank?
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