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Old 11-09-2021, 10:41 AM   #1
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Help with Nitrates

Over the past 2 weeks, I have lost most of my fish. Gem Tang, Purple Tang, 2 Yellow Tangs, Sohal Tang, Tomato Clown, Wrasse, Powder Blue Tang and a Hippo Tang. When this first started happening, I thought it was Ice, but the fish didn't look like they had been infected with that. Their skin was kind of peeling off, and they looked "cloudy" if that makes sense. I tested my parameters, and was shocked to find that my Nitrates were off the charts high. I started doing major water changes....30 gallons/day for days...that seemed to have stopped (well, slowed) the deaths, but I am still losing fish...I am down to 2 fish left. I tested my Nitrate again today, and it is reading 75...maybe my tester (Hanna's new testing device), doesn't read above 75, so it may be even higher than that! I can't imagine why my Nitrates are so high and won't come down.l I use RO/DI water exclusively, dose NoPox (well, just started that a few days ago)....I had a MarinePure block in my sump which I removed...I just don't get it.

One wild card....I took my Ca Rx offline for 2 weeks, as my Ca/Alk was out of balance. Once I got it in balance, I fired it up again...but the water in the reactor was sitting there not being circulated for that 2 weeks....I didn't refill with new water before firing it back up. Just thought I'd mention this.

Any thoughts? I am of course devastated at the loss of life, but will keep on keeping on...I of course won't add any new fish until I solve this very perplexing issue.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 11-09-2021, 10:49 PM   #2
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Well, I'm not sure why you are shocked by the nitrates. We have talked about these sorts of things several years ago. You were using reactors and GFO to try to keep them down then. So, now add however many years on top of your tank and those levels still going up.
I still don't think there is a reason to be dosing anything from any information provided, so I'd want to nix that for starters. What is the TDS on your ro/di?
At 130 gallons, if I remember correctly, you have way too many fish. My reef tank is sitting at the same size, I haven't kept more than three in it at one time. Large fish means eating a lot which means pooping a lot. All of this means nitrates a lot.
So the solution here is the large water changes. Since we are basically out of very expensive fish, I'd even want to see if I could stir up any gunk from around the rocks during these water changes to remove any uneaten food and poop that is just decaying in the corners and dead spots in the tank. We can stir it up without issue, as it might be the issue in a 13 year old tank.
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Old 11-10-2021, 09:59 AM   #3
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Yes but this happened suddenly...I have had a thriving tank for YEARS until 2 weeks ago.
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Old 11-10-2021, 12:53 PM   #4
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Right. But you have done nothing but ask about lowering these levels. These things don't happen over night, they build up over time and wait. Then when the catalyst event happens, we blame the easy culprit. We say it just happened. We blame the snail or crab that was eating the corpse of the fish. Everything but look at what has been going on for some time. I can show you how it happened in my very own tank as I battle aiptasia.
But in this case, we're talking about lowering nitrate levels in 2016:
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...ro-352453.html
And you found something that worked well for awhile. But then last month we can see something happening.
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...os-378308.html
I can't help if we aren't going to look at where the actual problem is, rather than calcium reactors.
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Old 11-10-2021, 09:49 PM   #5
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This sounds like velvet to me. Peeling skin and a very quick loss of all your fish sounds like velvet. Any new additions? The nitrates probably haven’t helped keep the fishes immune systems healthy either. Sorry you lost everything.
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Old 11-20-2021, 11:11 AM   #6
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The tank is 180g….my 13 fish mostly Tangs lived happily for years….when I restock, I’ll definitely keep the fish population to a minimum. Thank you.
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Old 11-21-2021, 03:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
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The tank is 180g….my 13 fish mostly Tangs lived happily for years….when I restock, I’ll definitely keep the fish population to a minimum. Thank you.
And there was never any sign of calcium precipitating when the reactor was put back online?
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Old 11-23-2021, 02:51 PM   #8
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Nope. Never.

I am doing water changes every day (30g / day), and dosing NoPox...Nitrates won;t budge. REALLY weird and upsetting.
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Old 11-23-2021, 03:11 PM   #9
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What is nopox? Just do PWC's. No need to dose anything.
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Old 11-23-2021, 03:18 PM   #10
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Red Sea makes a product to bring down phosphates and nitrates (NoPox)
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:03 PM   #11
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Nope. Never.

I am doing water changes every day (30g / day), and dosing NoPox...Nitrates won;t budge. REALLY weird and upsetting.
I wouldn't say it is weird. They are locked up in the tank. Get in there and siphon around the rocks during water changes. They will go down.
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:33 PM   #12
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I’ve been siphoning around the rock everyday.. should I move all of the rocks so I can get under them all? That would be a huge job, but I’ll do it if it’s recommended.
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:41 PM   #13
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Build up that is decaying to cause your nitrates won't he under the rock. It will be built up in the low flow areas in the tank. Make sure to check corners and at the back if at all possible.
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:45 PM   #14
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Yes I’ve been hitting all the dead spots … when I first started 2 weeks ago, the water I was siphoning out was quite dirty. Now it’s pretty clean wherever I siphon. I guess I’ll keep doing 30g water changes everyday until the Nitrates go down.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:42 PM   #15
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Steps in the right direction. Once they get so high, it can feel like an eternity until they go down. And it can be depending on how high they are.
Just make sure you're ro/di is at 0 tds to make sure you aren't putting nitrates or phosphates back in and you'll be golden. Just keep the course.
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