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View Full Version : AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!! i give up i cant get rid of nitrates


aaronbaker1
07/15/2008, 06:25 PM
i have a 46 galon bow front tank i have a ten gallon sump with filter media and LR. i have 13 peices of soft corals polyps, mushrooms, pulsing zenia,bubble,and colt. i have a yellow tang,clarki clown,hawk fish,six line wrasse, and a devil damsel. two crabs one coral banded shrimp one cleaner shrimp and two peppermint shrimp. and of course and army of snails and hermits. i have a typhoon skimmer that runs full time. i just gone over a really bad hair algea problem and my nitrates were fine until a month ago. i do ten gallon water changes once monthly. i only use ro water. i even use filter media to get rid of nitrate called purigen. please help me i am ready to give up the hobby all together

weluvfish54
07/15/2008, 06:35 PM
add chaeto and a light to your sump/refug =)

spshead01
07/15/2008, 08:05 PM
You might wanna up the water changes to at least one 10g change every other week. Ive got a 46 bow thats a trigger tank/ live rock holding tank and it has a hugh algea problem due to my neglect any way I am going to use this tank to test the vodka dose method of reducing nitrates. Nirtates are at 50 and phosphate are at .5. Its suppost to take the trates and phos down to zero in very short order.

MinnFish
07/15/2008, 11:03 PM
If, you are reading .5 for phosphates and have a algae problem. Then, you are way above that number. Remember algae is consume way more phosphate than you have the chance to measure.

bertoni
07/16/2008, 01:35 AM
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/august2003/chem.htm

That article is very thorough. How much food is going into the system every day?

aaronbaker1
07/16/2008, 02:18 PM
i feed them small chunks of mysis shrimp twice a day.

Billybeau1
07/16/2008, 02:23 PM
You may need to cut down on feeding. As much as I believe in twice a day, maybe smaller portions may be in order.

Do you test for nitrates, if yes, what is it and what brand test kit ?

aaronbaker1
07/16/2008, 04:24 PM
the nitrates were very high in between 40 and 80 on my test card and the test kit is API.

Nuuze
07/16/2008, 04:34 PM
Do you have any filter socks/sponges/bioballs in your sump that you leave in for long periods? That may be a cause.

How about flow in tank? Does food/detrius settle in tank or stay suspended?

aaronbaker1
07/16/2008, 04:45 PM
i have a purigen bag to remove nitrates that i regenerrate bi weekly, no bio balls and i use carbon pad media and live rock in my sump. when i feed them i have plenty of flow in the tank if the fish happen to not eat all the food the shrimp and crabs will.

Ralph ATL
07/16/2008, 06:44 PM
you might want to use GFO and change it out every 2 weeks, reduce your feedings, and try a carbon source like AZ-NO3 before you give up!

Bruno3047
07/16/2008, 07:24 PM
Just get yourself a nitrate reactor and be done with it.

Forever.

LECorals
07/16/2008, 09:11 PM
A few things I am thinking. Depending on how old your tank is nitrates will start building up in your sand bed. If you suddenly had a spike and didn't add any fish or change feeding schedule I am wondering if maybe something happened to disturb the sand bed and release all the nitrates building up in there? In that case do a big water change, you really should be changing at least 30-50% of the water in your tank over the coarse of the month to prevent any build-ups anyways. Also cleaning filter media on a weakly basis will keep nitrates from building up. It also sounds like you may be overfeeding try cutting back. In addition it is important to remember that using things such as carbon and purigen do help but they can only absorb so much per amount used. To get the maximum effect of these types of media you need to provide maximum surface area and move a good percentage of your water over them so the filtration can be effective. You cant expect a few pounds of filter media to purify 46+ gallons of water very quickly unless you are forcing water through the media directly, so be patient and or throw some more in there. Hope some of this may help, good luck and don't give up!

Kurt03
07/16/2008, 11:11 PM
Is the mysis the cube kind? How much of a cube a day?
do you rinse the frozen food with rodi before feeding? That may help.
Do you skim wet or dry? How often do you clean the cup?

With that live stock i think you should be fine with formula 1, and 2 flakes or pellets daily with frozen once a week or so. do you feed the tank nori at all?

If you have tried everything and just cant get them down I would look into sugar dosing or a diy sulfur nitrate reactor.

sulfur
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1288082&perpage=25&pagenumber=1

Sugar
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=898931

Both are cheap, effective, and safe if used properly. IMHO

kaptken
07/17/2008, 02:10 AM
Hello, I use those purigen pouches in my reef tanks too. they work great for removing bad stuff. But they do not remove nitrates in salt water. read the brochure again. i think they can only do that in fresh water systems.

You need good aerobic filtration to complete the nitrogen cycle as quickly as possible to keep the fish and critters alive , but then you have to have a process to remove their end product, nitrates. That could be, lots of water changes, more live rock, deep sand beds, (fine sand or plenum), commercial denitrators, or the quickest of all, a nicely planted fuge. There are lots of nice types and colors of macro algae out there to make a fuge look like a second display tank , on the side. and a good place for pipefish and sea horses too. If you set it up right for them.

There is lots of info on fuges and macro algae and sea grasses on the Macro algae forum here on RC. they are very good for your tank. natural filtration that looks nice too.

Percula9
07/17/2008, 10:24 PM
Purigen can only remove organic compounds before they are converted to nitrates. It can't remove nitrates directly from salt water or fresh. Essentially it's designed as a carbon replacement.

lisajulia
07/18/2008, 02:34 PM
I have all the 'stuff' in my arsenal that is supposed to keep nitrates at bay...sump with algae, 150lbs of LR in my 72gl reef, a good skimmer and regular water changes. My tank is about 6 years old with only 3 fish and some softies and a few snails..the bioload is so not overloaded. I am finding the older the tank, the more difficulty i have in keeping those nitrate levels down. I honestly don't think i have ever had 0 for any length of time..even after a nearly 100% water change when i was on the prowl for a mantis shrimp and had to take apart a good portion of the tank temporarily.
I have spent a good part of the day researching the sugar option. I am going to try this checking the nitrates after tomorrow's scheduled water change...if they are still more than 20ppm, i am willing to risk the sugar..i do not see myself doing this long term but as a temporary option, i would like to see how it goes. I will keep you posted if i end up going this route. I am all for regular water changes and such, but if this helps, i am all for saving money on salt and water.

alden168
07/18/2008, 04:31 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12954964#post12954964 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by aaronbaker1
i have a 46 galon bow front tank i have a ten gallon sump with filter media and LR. i have 13 peices of soft corals polyps, mushrooms, pulsing zenia,bubble,and colt. i have a yellow tang,clarki clown,hawk fish,six line wrasse, and a devil damsel. two crabs one coral banded shrimp one cleaner shrimp and two peppermint shrimp. and of course and army of snails and hermits. i have a typhoon skimmer that runs full time. i just gone over a really bad hair algea problem and my nitrates were fine until a month ago. i do ten gallon water changes once monthly. i only use ro water. i even use filter media to get rid of nitrate called purigen. please help me i am ready to give up the hobby all together

We are in the same situation, i am changing water rodi almost every week. My total tank is 650 gallon. Try the algone, it might help. Mine is almost at 15 ppm now.

andrewprime1
07/18/2008, 04:39 PM
This isn't really a good fast solution. but I would try mangroves. you can get a ton of them in you sump, and as the mature, they will bring you levels down. but until then, I would go with bi-monthly water changes of at least 30 percent, and try feeding every other day for a while. Your fish will live, I guarantee it.

Zann
07/18/2008, 08:13 PM
mangoves will lower your phosphates also once they are big enough just make sure you pick any leaves that look like they are going to fall off and dont let them fall into your fuge or sump

bertoni
07/19/2008, 09:55 PM
I am skeptical about using mangroves because they grow very slowly. I'd try a macroalga first.