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High nitrates

Printed From: Utah Reefs
Category: Help
Forum Name: EMERGENCY FORUM
Forum Description: If you have an Emergency post here and you should receive a quick reply.
URL: http://www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=76311
Printed Date: December 12 2018 at 11:27pm


Topic: High nitrates
Posted By: slicks56
Subject: High nitrates
Date Posted: June 02 2015 at 10:01pm
What is the best way to control high nitrates. We just spent an hour checking all parameters, nitrates was the only one out of range. We run a skimmer in the sump, a phosphate reactor and carbon. HELP!!!



Replies:
Posted By: AcroNem
Date Posted: June 02 2015 at 10:16pm
What's your water change schedule like? That's one sure fire way to get them down.

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150G mixed reef, growing coral farm.
Thirteenth year keeping reefs, always here to talk fish.
801-850-7577.


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 02 2015 at 10:48pm
It's a 65 gallon, we've been doing 15 gallons every 2 weeks.


Posted By: Reefer4Ever
Date Posted: June 02 2015 at 10:52pm
How old is the tank? What size tank and sump? What is it stocked with fish wise? What is your feeding schedule and what do you feed? How often do you complete a water change and approximately how much do you change out? Water changes are the quickest way to bring nitrates down although there are several other ways that you can be proactive and remove as they become nitrate.

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90 gal reef w/refugium
24 gal softie tank
11 gal nano anemone tank
5 gal fresh water


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 02 2015 at 11:00pm
65 gallon tank, 15 gallon sump, 3 year established 35 combined
with a 3 month cycled 65 in April. One clown, one coral beauty, one purple tang, one fairy wrasse, and 2 chromis. Several zoos, acans, Hammers and frog spawn. I have never done a complete water change. l


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 02 2015 at 11:01pm
I feed once daily.


Posted By: Reefer4Ever
Date Posted: June 02 2015 at 11:03pm
What are the nitrates prior to the wc and after?

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90 gal reef w/refugium
24 gal softie tank
11 gal nano anemone tank
5 gal fresh water


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 5:59am
It was late so I went to bed and didn't re test. They were at 80 ppm before the water change. I'll test again tonight. Is it bad to do another water change this evening f they're still high?


Posted By: Reefer4Ever
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 6:32am
No its not bad and I would suggest it if it's still high or above 10ppm. You can also add in some macro algae which is not a fix all but it does use nitrate and phosphate out of the water column. There are several hobbyist using a bio denitrater which removes nitrates.   

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90 gal reef w/refugium
24 gal softie tank
11 gal nano anemone tank
5 gal fresh water


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 6:42am
Just tested, it's about 40ppm now. I'll do a water change after work and check into a denitrater??


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 6:44am
Where do you get macro algae?


Posted By: Reefer4Ever
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 6:48am
Just ask as there are alot of us that use it and give it away when we trim it back. Will you be at Game Night thursday? I will bring you some if you would like. You will need a light to put over your sump which most of us use the Home Depot clamp on light and a cfl bulb under 10 bucks. Let me know.

Dennis
435.890.6626
text away

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90 gal reef w/refugium
24 gal softie tank
11 gal nano anemone tank
5 gal fresh water


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 7:04am
If it's the green plants in the sump, I use 2 kinds, and have a light over it. I don't know if we'll make game might, we're trying to adjust our schedule to make it. I really appreciate all your help.


Posted By: Reefer4Ever
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 7:14am
No problem. A couple more questions, do you use rodi water for top off and water changes? Somewhere along the way alot of extra nutrients are getting into your water. Over feeding is the most common followed by tap water. This is based on my experiences and not etched in stone.

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90 gal reef w/refugium
24 gal softie tank
11 gal nano anemone tank
5 gal fresh water


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 7:25am
The husband says we'll make it to game night, and could probably use more macro algae, we're willing to pay for more, I use r.o. for top off, and red sea for salt. We'll take some pics, and red you there Thursday night for sure. ;p


Posted By: Reefer4Ever
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 7:26am
I look forward to meeting you all.

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90 gal reef w/refugium
24 gal softie tank
11 gal nano anemone tank
5 gal fresh water


Posted By: Hogie
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 7:34am
Do you have a deep sand bed or filter socks?


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 9:45am
Our sand bed in the tank is about an inch and a half in the tank and about 4 and a half in the sump. Yes we do use two socks in sump, as well, as two sponges. One on the overflow one in sump. plus filter floss between skimmer and return pump. To stop micro bubbles from getting in tank. Change socks every week, clean sponges every water change. change filter floss when we change phosphate and carbon 


Posted By: Krazie4Acans
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 10:04am
All of those socks floss and sponges could be a big part of your problem. Particulates caught in those medium start to break down in days and will produce nitrates as they do. I run filter socks in my sump but they get changed every 2-3 days to help prevent the particulates from breaking down. Any media that traps particulates in your system should be changed weekly at maximum. Any time longer than that and they are just producing nitrates and aren't very efficient at catching more debris.

You can also run your sump light 24/7 to increase the amount of nutrients your algae are removing from the system.


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My ocean.
90g (yup, won it!), 40g, 28g, & 10g Systems
PADI Advanced Open Water
http://utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=63568&title=krazies-nano-paradise" rel="nofollow - Tank Thread:


Posted By: Hogie
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 10:05am
I too change filter socks every two to three days or I start seeing nitrates rise. Also, 4.5 inch sand bed in the sump can be a nitrate factory if it's not getting mixed up. (just ask reefdup)


Posted By: aceofspadeskb
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 10:51am
FWIW, I was recently battling high nitrates around 30 ppm.  For months I tried about everything I could think of...more macro algae, decreased feeding, more cleanup crew, increased flow, wet skimming, more frequent water changes, etc.  In the end, I bought new filter socks(the ones I was using were about 18 months old and had been washed several times).  2 weeks after using the new batch of socks(and changing them nightly) my nitrates are zero.


Posted By: relethg
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 11:21am

Originally posted by aceofspadeskb aceofspadeskb wrote:

FWIW, I was recently battling high nitrates around 30 ppm.  For months I tried about everything I could think of...more macro algae, decreased feeding, more cleanup crew, increased flow, wet skimming, more frequent water changes, etc.  In the end, I bought new filter socks(the ones I was using were about 18 months old and had been washed several times).  2 weeks after using the new batch of socks(and changing them nightly) my nitrates are zero.


That is interesting. Did you wash in bleach?



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210 G Filled 18 Mar 15
120 G Filled 11 Jun 16


Posted By: aceofspadeskb
Date Posted: June 03 2015 at 11:48am
No.  I have always just washed them in hot water and they come out just fine.  When to replace filter socks is a gray area.  I've heard people swear that they need to be replaced after 4 or 5 uses.  These ones were probably pushing 100 uses.  I think the material had just worn thin from that many washes and was no longer anywhere near the original 200 micron rating.

That said, the new filter socks weren't what actually got the nitrates to zero.  It was a combination of new filter socks and everything else I mentioned I had tried months earlier.


Posted By: Mark Peterson
Date Posted: June 04 2015 at 5:37am
 
Originally posted by slicks56 slicks56 wrote:

What is the best way to control high nitrates. We just spent an hour checking all parameters, nitrates was the only one out of range. We run a skimmer in the sump, a phosphate reactor and carbon. HELP!!!
Thanks for later sharing that the Nitrate level was found to be 40 ppm. It's difficult to address the issue without knowing that fact. In fact, 40 ppm is not that bad. Some very nice looking reef tanks operate just fine at higher levels, though I too would try to bring it down to under 20 ppm. The coral will tell you by their behavior if pollution levels are low enough for them to be happy. 
Smile

In my opinion, based on too many years of experienceWink, the "best" way to "control" polluting Nitrogen compounds is to look at 2 basic things:

1. Feed only as much as needed (try this: cut the feeding by 1/2 and watch the pollution fall to near zero Smile) and feed the kinds of food that the animals can properly digest and gain the proper nutrients. Dry processed(baked) pellet and flake foods are typically less nutritious and more polluting than macroalgae/seaweed. frozen meaty foods(mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, copepods, etc.), green leafy lettuce, Nori, etc. This is my opinion. The subject of fish food is always debatable. 

2. Grow the biofiltration in the tank to properly and efficiently process the waste. As aceofspadeskb mentioned, the biofiltration encompasses substantial healthy LS, LR and Algae growth. In fact, the biofiltration can be as much as 100% of the total filtration of a reef aquarium. Though the use of an effective skimmer and other media reduce that figure to around 85%. Over the years I found that growing a better, more complete biofiltration is the major key and yet least understood principle for keeping nutrients low enough for coral, fish and other inverts to be healthy and thriving.

Hope this helps.
Aloha.
Mark 


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Reefkeeping Tips, & quick, easy setup tricks:
www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9244
Pay it forward - become a paid WMAS member


Posted By: BobC63
Date Posted: June 04 2015 at 10:45am
How much live rock do you have in the tank?
 
Too little for the bioload can be a factor in high nitrates
 
 


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- My Current Tank: 150g Mixed Reef -

* Marine & Reef tanks since 1977 *


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 07 2015 at 1:45pm
We have a lot of live rock in the tank, approximately 60 to 80 lbs.
our nitrates have come down to between 10 and 20 with many water changes,and no more flake food. We are going to try some de*nitrate today, as soon as we figure out how to use it.


Posted By: AcroNem
Date Posted: June 07 2015 at 2:58pm
Most of those products will "remove" nitrate but that's usually only by a means of detoxifying it. Between 10-20 should continue to drop as you start a good water change schedule and remove any crap that's coming in with what you're feeding. My nutrient levels (Phosphate especially) start to creep up if I don't rinse frozen food first, or if I feed any pellet food (for corals) for any extended period. It seems like you have a handle on things I apologize for the long post I hope things continue to improve. Keep us updated!

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150G mixed reef, growing coral farm.
Thirteenth year keeping reefs, always here to talk fish.
801-850-7577.


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 07 2015 at 3:15pm
Thank you, we're trying. The corals are already looking better than they have for a very long time.


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 07 2015 at 3:17pm


Posted By: Reefer4Ever
Date Posted: June 07 2015 at 3:24pm
This looks fantastic. Great job and for sure keep us posted. Be consistent and get all parameters stable. Good luck and we are here if you need us.

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90 gal reef w/refugium
24 gal softie tank
11 gal nano anemone tank
5 gal fresh water


Posted By: AcroNem
Date Posted: June 07 2015 at 3:41pm
Way jealous of your hammer. I think that's the only color I don't have! Seconded on the consistency and stability part as well.

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150G mixed reef, growing coral farm.
Thirteenth year keeping reefs, always here to talk fish.
801-850-7577.


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 07 2015 at 4:40pm
If I get them growing again, you can definitely have a frag.


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 09 2015 at 6:43pm
Success!!! 2 different tests confirm that our nitrates are between 5 and 10! Thank you everyone for your suggestions and help! I am so glad we joined!!!


Posted By: Reefer4Ever
Date Posted: June 09 2015 at 7:00pm
Congrats now the hard part keeping everything right where it's at.

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90 gal reef w/refugium
24 gal softie tank
11 gal nano anemone tank
5 gal fresh water


Posted By: slicks56
Date Posted: June 09 2015 at 7:25pm
No kidding there!



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