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Old 06-01-2004, 03:56 AM   #1
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NITRATE PROBLEM

My nitrate is very high and i have tryed everything to get it down but nothing working. I have an ornamental shipwreck in my tank at the moment could this be the problem?
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Old 06-01-2004, 04:16 AM   #2
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1. What size is the tank?
2. How long has it been set up?
3. What substrate are you using?
4. Are you using Live Rock?
5. Do you have a skimmer?
6. What other filtration are you using?
7. How many fish and what type of fish are in the tank?

If you can answer these im sure we can find your problem.
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Old 06-01-2004, 04:34 AM   #3
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NITRATE PROBLEM

tank is 55gal. been running for about 5 months with crushed coral substrate, app. 6kilo live rock with 1200ltr. cannister, u/g with power head,jebo skimmer. live stock consists of 1 large lion, 1 blue tang, 1 clarks clown, 1 coral beauty and 1 bubble tip anemone
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Old 06-01-2004, 05:04 AM   #4
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You have a few contributers to a nitrate problem in your tank. 1 - lions are messy eaters, 2 - CC substrate lets big chunks of detritus sit in it and rot, 3 - canister filters have to be cleaned real often or else detritus sits in the mechanical filtration and rots, UG filters are nitrate farms. Reverse flow UG's are a little better, but you're better off without the UG in any form.

How high is high, and what are your other parameters like? A little extra nitrate won't bother your fish too much, but both the lion and the tang are going to outgrow your tank.
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Old 06-01-2004, 05:32 AM   #5
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nitrate problem

water parimetres are ph.8.0 amm.0 nitrite.0. should i remove the u/g? i do regular cleaning of substrate and cannister. regarding tank i will soon be upgrading to a 150gal. very shortly. nitrate is around 60
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:27 AM   #6
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I'd dump the UG and the ornament as both could be trapping waste.
Do you use tap water or RO?
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:33 AM   #7
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nitrate problem

i always use r/o for top ups and the ocassional tap water with conditioners for water changes if i have no r/o left
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:39 AM   #8
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The tap water could be contributing nitrates too.. but I'm betting it's the UG mainly.

I'd take it and the ornament out, give the cc a vacuum, clean the sponge in the cannister and then do some water changes.
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Old 06-01-2004, 09:15 AM   #9
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nitrate problem

thanks for the help. ill try it an see what happens
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Old 06-01-2004, 04:57 PM   #10
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60 is a little high. Have you tested your tap water to see what kind of nitrates its adding? When was your last water change? And if you're going to remove the UG, I'd start switching out the substrate as well. And if you haven't already, start building a good cleanup crew to help out.
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Old 06-01-2004, 11:52 PM   #11
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Yea CC is a problem. Also that tank is way over stocked IMO the blue tang needs a large 6' tank, and NO anemone should be kept with a nitrate problem. Please return it ASAP.
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Old 06-02-2004, 04:01 AM   #12
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nitrate problem

tap water test shows 0 nitrate. last water change was 4 days ago. got 6 little crabs on cleanup duty at the moment. spoke to the lfs i got the substrate from and the said it is crushed shells if that makes any difference. sorry about the mix up. in reply to six-line as i said in earlier post i will be upgrading to a much larger tank asap. cant really return anemone but its fine at the moment and im hoping to fix the problem before anything goes wrong.
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Old 06-02-2004, 05:09 AM   #13
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If the substrate is any bigger than sand sized, its a detritus trap. It's not what its made of that causes the problem, its the big gaps that uneaten food/fish waste can fall into and not be filtered out of. With a water change 4 days ago and a skimmer running full time, you really shouldn't have nitrates that high unless you have been seriously overfeeding. As a short term, vacuum your CC real good and do another water change, and slow down on your feeding. Speaking of, how much, how often, and what are you feeding?

Long term, (again) dump the UG, change your substrate, and ditch the canister filter unless you are going to be real commited to cleaning it real often. I know it sucks to quit using equip. you paid for, but lots of us have been there. I started with a W/D and CC and had nitrate problems I couldn't solve (thanks LFS!). With DSB my 'trates stay below 20. Wish I had started with it, would have saved a lot of money and effort.
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Old 06-02-2004, 05:22 AM   #14
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nitrate problem

thanks for the advice and i guess ive had the same problem(thanks LFS!) i feed them either brine shrimp, blood worms an nori usually 1 block once a day. is that to much? already removed u/g. now ill do a vaccum, water change and clean filter. whats a good filter?
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Old 06-02-2004, 05:36 AM   #15
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There's no need to dump the cannister, just everything inside it. Even if you run it empty you're at least adding some extra flow and volume. They're also useful when you want to use carbon or rowaphos or whatever.
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Old 06-02-2004, 09:18 PM   #16
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I should have been more specific, dump the filter part out of the canister, but use it for water flow as atari said. As for filters, I recommend DSB with a 'fuge as my personal preferance.
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Old 06-03-2004, 06:58 AM   #17
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nitrate problem

good idea but i dont know much about refugiums. whats the best way to set one up?
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Old 06-03-2004, 08:59 AM   #18
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I am a novice with a 92 gal tank for 6 months and I have been getting steadily higher nitrate levels over the last four months. It was 20 in Feb and is up to about 40 now.

I have 81 lb live rock and an Amiracle sump with bio balls, a pre-filter sock and a protein skimmer. My substrate is aragonite.

I do 15% water changes about every 4 weeks and use tap water.
When I started the nitrate level was 10-15, so I suppose some could be from the tap water. I also have an ornamental ship designed for saltwater.

Any thoughts? I have not cleaned the substrate because I haven't found a good vacuum that works in saltwater yet.
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:06 PM   #19
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It is my understanding that you shouldn't stirr your sand. get some certh or narsarius snails to do it for you. There are some fish that stir the sand looking for food as well.
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:30 PM   #20
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Jimmy, scan the posts over the last few days. 'Fuges are regularly posted on, and I know there has been a couple discussions in the last day or so.

Ssgamab, any filter media style filter has the same problems regardless of which type of media is being used. They need to be cleaned out regularly.
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