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Old 10-27-2006, 03:44 PM   #1
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What is a good nitrate level?

What is a good nitrate level?
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Old 10-27-2006, 03:49 PM   #2
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0, is best. If you are asking what is a bad number, anything over 5 is probably not safe.
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Old 10-27-2006, 04:36 PM   #3
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LOL I have come to the conclusion after much searching here and much work on my own, that without anything actively exporting NO3, i.e. a fuge, or a HUGE supply of denitrifying bacteria, that 0 is a mythological number.

Mine stick between 5 and 10 and I have seen others say that theirs is stable at 20ppm with no issues. If mine stay consistently at 10ppm, I start to look for dead snails & crabs, or cut back a little on the feedings.

In my world, 5 is my target, 10 is starting to get my attention, and 20 would ring alarm bells, much above this and you will definitely have algae and health problems in livestock, I would think your inverts would start dying off first which would just pump more No3 into your system.

Keep up with 10% to 20% PWC's weekly and you shouldn't have an issue.
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Old 10-27-2006, 05:00 PM   #4
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I think alot of times it depends on what you have for filtration. When I first started off I had a wet dry and nitrates stayed around 20. Then I got rid of the wet dry and just used LR and a skimmer. Then it stayed around 10. Now I have a 125 and use LR + skimmer + fuge and they are around the mythical 0.
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Old 10-27-2006, 05:02 PM   #5
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LOL! you do have a valid point finatic!
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Old 10-28-2006, 04:08 AM   #6
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I have a 55g, I use a Wet/Dry Sump that flows 400gph, with Bio Balls, and a Skimmer in the sump, I also have an Ehiem Canister filter, 65lbs of LR, and 80lbs of LS.

The System has been running 11months, and I only use RO/DI water.

My Nitrates stay at 0 with 10-20% water changes every 2 weeks.

I have in the past lacked on my PWC's and the system has gotten to 20PPM Nitrate, with no sign of unhealthy/unhappy fish or inverts. (I'm not saying this is a good thing to do, Just sharing my experience)

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Old 10-28-2006, 06:33 AM   #7
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Hi. i have a 65 gal tank, with externals full of bio balls and floss, living rock, skimming and a sulphur ball de-nitrator in line after my external
filter and have had 0 no3. Also do 10% wc a week, only slight problem i have is my ph needs buffering sometimes due to the sulphur.
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Old 10-28-2006, 01:49 PM   #8
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Mine stay around around 20...and I can't seem to get them lower. Everything in the tank seems to be alive and healthy, although I'm planning a refugium and skimmer upgrade soon to see if that helps.
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Old 10-28-2006, 03:42 PM   #9
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5PPM is the lowest my 75G will go. Maybe its a difference in test kits. Mine was higher until I recently pulled all filter media out of the tank. I learned the hard way that unless your going to commit to changing the media every week, its more of a liability. Now its just a skimmer and LR for filtration. There is some merit to the fuges though, time and time again I read people like me get down to that last 5PPM or so and the addition of a fuge seems to do the trick. Saving my $$ for one. I don't know that 0PPM is mythical, its very obtainable as demonstrated in this thread. Overall, IMO I think anything around 5PPM is ok. Your going to be cleaning some algae off but it should be managable. Any higher and as stated invert issues, excessive hair algae, all the fun stuff that comes with poor water quality.

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Old 11-01-2006, 12:08 PM   #10
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I was down to 0 (or between 0 and 5ppm) for awhile after removing all filtration media, but after adding a few more fish it started creeping up gradually again. Now I do PWC's which knocks it down to 5-10. I have a heavy bio-load (but I'm building a 180g tank, so that will be corrected soon).

On this subject, what's a good test kit that can give accurate readings between 0 and 10ppm, in increments of 1 or 2 ppm? Its VERY difficult with the AP tests to tell between 5 and 10, and 10 to 20 is a BIG jump. I need a kit with a good resolution from 0 to 10, or 0 to 20. Not one that goes up to 160 (ouch!)
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:18 PM   #11
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Mine stay between 0 and 5 also. Using a fuge with miracle mud,small amount of sand, LR, & mangroves. Now for the kicker.... I turn my skimmer about 3-5 days a month!! Oh yeah, include the 1.5 lbs per gallon in the 155g tank, 3 1/2" sand base, 2 medium tangs, 5 b/g chromis, 1 carpenter wrasse, 2 shrimp gobies, pair of large clowns, 1 b/w chromis (yeah, right. he acts more like a damsel), midas blenny, forktail blenny - maybe I got a small bioload???

Anyway, zero is not mythical.
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:42 PM   #12
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O is the only number for all my tanks.

I dont find no3 to be a problem as long as I change my media every two weeks.
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:43 PM   #13
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Maybe not mythical, but I am trying my darndest and I can't get to 0. I may have to add a fuge to do so.

5ppm seems to work well for me, aside from the slight algae that grows on the glass that I need to clean every week or so, no big deal.

I think people need to realize that the target should be 0 NO3, but it is not the end of the world if you don't get there. Everyone's tank is different, no matter how you try to emulate others on this board. Some will get to 0ppm and others will stay b/w 5 - 10 doing the exact same thing the other guys do. No matter how you try to eliminate them, there are so many variables between tanks that all you can do is get to the best you can for your critters. As long as there is not an unhealthy level for what your tank is supposed to be, i.e. FOWLR no anemone or FOWLR with anemone, etc. Go for it, have a good time and quit stressing.
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:53 PM   #14
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I also feed every other day...sometimes 3 days in between. I might go for stretches where I feed daily for 3 or 4 in a row, but for the most part not every day for sure.
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Old 11-01-2006, 01:56 PM   #15
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I try to keep mine at 10, it does approach 20 at times right before a PWC, but my condy doesn't seem to care. Its tripled in size and recovered from having most of its tentacles ripped off.

All of my softies are growing non-stop too. I do have a BTA that isn't doing great, but it has come back a long ways from near-death. It could be NO3 is a factor with that, or other things.

I would like to see zero NO3, of course, like anyone else would, which is why I'm playing around with a coil denitrator (just an experiment).
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