View Full Version : nitrites going up and red slime everywhere

07/18/2007, 03:27 PM
I thought my tank had cycled already it's been up and running for 3 months now, and just when i get a KH and CA test kit to adjust the reef water my nitrites go way up and i've been doing emergency water changes like 3 gals worth.

it's been a week since that nitrite spike and 3 water changes later and i still have bubbles comeing off the live rock and red slime algae growing on the LR.

what in the deep ocean is going on?

(this is in a 30 gal reef tank, lots of flow, remora skimmer and a rawophos reactor, 250watt 14000k MH pendant)

Ph 8.2
CA 420
KHd 6
salinity 1.024
temp 82F

ammonia 0
nitrate 0
nitrite way to high

07/18/2007, 03:50 PM
Well without more information about what is in the tank, i would have to guess at an overstocking condition.

So... what do you have in the tank?

Also how much live rock do you have in the tank? This is the device that is going to convert the nitrites into nitrates and ultimately nitrogen.

Sounds also like this is a relatively new tank, why do you have phosban reactor running? IMO, it should never be needed on a tank that small. Water changes should be more than adequate on something that small to keep things in check.

07/18/2007, 03:59 PM
i have 2 clown fish and 1 small tang and 18lbs of live rock 1'' of sand bed. should i just run carbon in the reactor?

07/18/2007, 04:00 PM
your tank could be still cycleing or you dont have enough bacteria in the tank...as for the alga bloom...i think its just a part of cycling...

07/18/2007, 04:04 PM
LR is a good bio filter and you should have at least 40 to 50 lbs, how much flow is alot of flow, what other filter are you running, are you changing sponges often, cause they will become nitrate factories, and I also run a phosban reactor on my 30 and I love it, it keep my water crisp and clear, I would run a UV sterilizer too if I could afford it, also are you getting alot of skimmate w/ the remora, what pump are you using for the skimmer, and lastly I highly recommend getting a sump/fuge or building one, adds gallons, and you could get some cheatomorhphia to cut nitrates, I built my own, you can check it out by clicking the red house, that made a huge diiference in my tank. Good Luck!!

07/18/2007, 04:07 PM
Well you are going to catch fire for the tang for sure.

18lb of live rock is about half of what you need (1 to 1.5 lbs per gallon). I would see about getting this number up and find a home for the tang.

There are a series of algae blooms a tank goes through, at the end of the algae blooms, you end up often with a bacterial bloom (red slime is bacterial). It is going to grow as long as it finds nutrient. Vacuum out what you can and stay on your water changes. It will pass in time.... I would also do a 6G per week water change as part of normal service. (I like doing 20% changes in these smaller tanks if not more)

Putting a carbon bag in your reactor might serve better than spending money on phosban supplies.

the bubbles coming off the live rock is a good thing, it is nitrogen gas being released as the rock converts nitrates to nitrogen

07/18/2007, 04:11 PM
I put carbon and phosban together in the reactor w/ no filter bag and it works great, follow the instructions cause if you put too much flow, it will grind the phosban and create a powder that will be fatal to inhabitants

07/18/2007, 04:23 PM
i do not have a sponge filter(canister filter) i took it off two weeks ago at the urging of my LFS and i have one 1200gph and one 850 gph hydro koralia power heads for flow in my tank. what did you mean by skim mate from the remora skimmer? i am getting more live rock and in like 6 months some sps coral.

07/18/2007, 04:50 PM
The tank is overstocked for the amount of live rock. I'd add a small sponge filter or the like for the time being, although such filters often contribute to nitrate problems over the long haul. In the mean time, I'd watch the ammonia level carefully. You could consider adding a refugium, and growing and harvesting a macroalga.

07/18/2007, 05:03 PM
Are you sure your talking nitrites and not nitrates? What test kit are you using? Have you taken a sample of your water to your LFS to double check that your readings are correct?



07/18/2007, 05:10 PM
thanks guys, is there a better power head for the remora skimmer and should i just get some more LR soon and get rid of the tang for now. i can remove the rowa phos out of the reactor and add just carbon what do you think.

07/18/2007, 05:25 PM
If you getting good skimmate you dont need a better PH on the skimmer, YES the sooner the better w/ the LR, I would at least get 15 more lbs, once you get it in and it cures youll see a drop in the nitrates, as for the tang IMO, its not a biggie for me to keep it til it gets too big, there not too hard to catch, if you wait till its sleeping, I know I will be catching some you know what for that statement, but again I stated IMO.

I would not take out the phos media, just add some carbon and change it every month or so, did you see my phosban reactor by clicking the little red house.

And definatly work on getting a sump/fuge.

07/18/2007, 05:38 PM
The amt of live rock has nothing to do with cyano nor nitrite for that matter.

The abrupt removal of his bio filter within his canister probably caused another cycle .. his high nitrites are just the tail end of the std ammonia cycle and I suspect the aquarist just missed the ammonia piece. I suggest the aquarist replace the filter media and if he eventually purchases more live rock .. make sure the next transition is gradual.

07/18/2007, 05:43 PM
Double post

07/18/2007, 07:13 PM
stop feeding and ur problems will go away , 1 small meal for a week will kill ur problem, taking into account ur skimming is running fine and ur phosphate reactor is working as wll.. also sponge causing nitrate this is nto true unless u dont clean ur sponge

07/18/2007, 08:28 PM
right now it looks like i have little space for more LR, i think because the LR in there is the branchey kind, over all i have 5 $44 peices of LR. whats the best fish to keep in such a small tank (i want it more reef and coral then fish) should i get some hermit crabs and shrimp or wait for all the LR to be added.

07/18/2007, 08:33 PM
your clown fish are always a good bet, easy to take care of, full of personality and not much question about reef compatibility... (plus you already own them)

I do not like hermits myself, and I can not imagine a tank without my skunk cleaner shrimps :)

If you are short on room, this is a good reason to get a sump going.

07/18/2007, 08:46 PM
whats the smallest you would go with a sump for such a small tank, cause the stand that i got with the tank is not the same diamentions as the tank 30inches long. it has a cupboard under neath, my LFS says its a waste of money to have one for my tank size. i really want to grow sps coral and keep the fish to a min (like 4) and some inverts.

07/18/2007, 08:52 PM
I have used 10G sumps, but as big as you have room for is usually the idea.

07/18/2007, 08:54 PM
thanks, ill see what i can afford right now, my wife says its dinner time.

07/18/2007, 08:57 PM
always room for upgrades in this hobby... take your time :)

07/19/2007, 12:04 AM
Any new live rock might cause an ammonia spike, so I wouldn't add any animals until that's been handled.