Removing nitrates

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Apr 30, 2007
Woodbridge, Va
I was wondering if there is any other way to consistently remove nitrates from you system besides water changes and macro algae? Because my tank is to small for a protein skimmer I'm having problems with algae that is being fueled by my nitrates i would assume even though i do regular water changes. Any other nano people have a good solution for this?
Refresh my memory...what are the specs for your nano? I recently added an Oceanic nano skimmer to my 12gal nanocube and it works very well. Aside from water changes using high quality source water that is free of NO3, evaluating your food, frequency of feeding and how you prepare the food is a good place to focus attention. Food is a very common source of NO3 in the home aquarium.
I have the specs on my tank in my signature. I'm feeding once a day and its a pretty small feeding but people keep saying that i should consider cutting it down to every other day or less. I'll try but they always beg and i cave. haha. I get my water premixed from the LFS which i think i'm gonna try and start mixing myself to eliminate that as a source of NO3 even though they say they use ro/di water. Thanks i will look into that skimmer to see if i could put that in my tank
The best option for you is to have an RO/DI unit that you know the quality of the source water you are using. Even if your LFS uses RO/DI they probably don't change their filters as often as they should, so chances are their water isn't as good as it could be.

IF your source water has nitrates and or phosphates then you are going to have a tough time dealing with algae issues. A skimmer and good source water will make a giant difference. If you had the ability to put a sump on the tank with a fuge and some Macro algae that would help even more.
DI is deionized. An ro/di water won't lower the nitrates in your tank water. it is just a filter that you use to clean your water before you mix your salt in. not sure about the softer/hardness question someone else will have to help you out there.
I was going to suggest a mangrove, up until I saw the word nano. They're fairly easy to grow, but it'd be a real trick on a tank that small. I'd say macros and water changes are about the only option.

Of course now that I've got the idea stuck in my head, I might have to try something. A small bucket, 1 to 5 gallons or so, with a pump in the tank sending water up to it and overflowing via bulkhead back down to the tank. Hang it from the ceiling above the tank with a plant light just above it. It'd only be room for a few shoots, but how many do you really need for a nano tank?
The reason I suggested an RO/DI unit is because if you start with 100% pure water you are going to lower your nitrates buy using it to mix new SW with and as your top off. It is going to take you doing several frequent water changes with RO/DI water to lower your nitrates. IT will work.

This is why having a small tank can be a problem because you have very little water to work with so it doesn't take much for nitrates, phosphates and ammonia to become a problem. You have to do frequent water changes in a tank this size. I had a 5g nano that I changed 1/2 gallon every other day to keep my water in good shape.
Thanks all. I think i will just have to do a ton of water changes to keep things in order till this summer when i will be able to attempt making a sump/fuge for my tank.
here is solid [proof that there is a definate way to remove nitrates

there is a blog that shows video clips on a tool for removing nitrates
As far as i can tell it is solid NOT faked and very amasing Chek the clips out its a few posts down from the top.
reef tanks
I'm tending to think not spammy, just dumb.

"You can find these at watch the demo and see that is DEFIANTLY dose the jiob and dose it well. NO I do not make them nor sell them But i still suport the fact that they ARE a very good product."

I want to defiantly dose my jiob one of these days too.
I was having the same problem you are having, I just couldn't lower my nitrates no matter what. I was recommended to use Instant Ocean natural nitrate remover and was able to bring my nitrates to 0 after a couple of doses. Give it a try
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