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Xxero
01/04/2016, 06:28 AM
I know there are similar posted threads, but I am looking for an immediate removal of nitrates - not a slow, safe possibility.

Anyone out there with first-hand experience of taking high nitrate levels down to zero immediately? Is this even attainable?

The only advised solutions that I can seem to find are water changes, but I don't believe that this is the answer.

Has anyone had any luck with anything else?

ThanX! :bigeyes:

jason2459
01/04/2016, 09:50 AM
What is the reasoning to attain 0 nitrates instantly?

Xxero
01/04/2016, 11:05 AM
What is the reasoning to attain 0 nitrates instantly?

Why not?

From what I understand, high nitrate levels are bad for our tank inhabitants. I have high nitrate levels, and I would like them to go away.

So far, over the past 2 weeks for my 40b I have:

* Changed 10 gallons.
* Changed 15 gallons.
* Changed 22 gallons.
* Changed 10 gallons.
* Cut waAay back on feeding.
* Vacuumed my DT sandbed, cleaned all pumps, etc., and cleaned the sump.
* Added a 5 inch DSB to the refugium portion of my sump.
* Added a new bale of Chaeto and Grape Caulerpa to the fuge.
* Added Seachem's Phosguard & De*Nitrate to my filter sock.

...And my nitrate levels haven't budged. Not 1 single ppm.

So aside from a stick of dynamite, I was just wondering if there was a *PooF!* no more Nitrates trick because this is going absolutely nowhere thus far. :mad2:

jason2459
01/04/2016, 11:14 AM
Except for in a nano tank water changes alone are usually a poor way to control nitrates as they will bounce right back soon after the water change.

biecacka
01/04/2016, 11:15 AM
What are they currently??
You could purchase a sulfur reactor. I have read that they remove them quickly but not a "poof". But within weeks I believe. Maybe someone who uses or used one can chime in.
I've also seen ARID reactors claim to do this same thing.

Corey

jason2459
01/04/2016, 11:17 AM
What are your nitrate levels? Do you have a nuisance algae, diatom, cyano issue? High nitrates depending on the levels are not always a problem.

Personally, depending on your level of nitrates, I would look into carbon dosing, algae harvesting which it looks like you're doing, a good skimmer, GAC, and small consistent water changes. If you truly have very high nitrates 60-80+ Then a coil denitrator would help bring the nitrates down fairly quickly.

jason2459
01/04/2016, 11:24 AM
What are they currently??
You could purchase a sulfur reactor. I have read that they remove them quickly but not a "poof". But within weeks I believe. Maybe someone who uses or used one can chime in.
I've also seen ARID reactors claim to do this same thing.

Corey

ARID reactors are just a form of algae harvesting. Good product but I don't see it any more efficient then any other form of algae harvesting as long as it's setup right. I like the design and good for those with out a sump or limited sump space.

D2mini has one of the best sump chaeto setup's (or he did on his tank he broke down to move.)
http://www.everydayreef.com/blog/2015/6/6/chaetomorpha-algae

Algae Turf Scrubbers are another great way. Easy and cheap to do a DIY water fall or upflow scrubber.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1977420&page=297

Xxero
01/04/2016, 11:44 AM
My nitrates read right at 50.

I know they could be much worse, but like I said, that's exactly where they were 2 weeks ago. I implemented all of the above (DSB, clean up, etc.) right from the beginning, and there has been no change. I wasn't necessarily expecting miracles, but at least a few ppm's to give me some encouragement things were heading in the right direction?

I just don't want to continue on with this water changing regimen if it's ultimately not doing anything positive towards reducing my nitrates.

I'm also a little confused with the whole nitrate situation to begin with. The nitrate is in the water, yes? Then how is it possible that I have not removed any of them with all of these water changes; especially if I significantly cut back on feeding and cleaned an already pretty clean system?

I don't get it. Argh.

jason2459
01/04/2016, 11:55 AM
My nitrates read right at 50.

I know they could be much worse, but like I said, that's exactly where they were 2 weeks ago. I implemented all of the above (DSB, clean up, etc.) right from the beginning, and there has been no change. I wasn't necessarily expecting miracles, but at least a few ppm's to give me some encouragement things were heading in the right direction?

I just don't want to continue on with this water changing regimen if it's ultimately not doing anything positive towards reducing my nitrates.

I'm also a little confused with the whole nitrate situation to begin with. The nitrate is in the water, yes? Then how is it possible that I have not removed any of them with all of these water changes; especially if I significantly cut back on feeding and cleaned an already pretty clean system?

I don't get it. Argh.


You could get a different nitrate kit to double check. The Salifert one is easy and quick. It's also supposed to not be as susceptible to interference from other forms of N like nitrite.

I personally don't like a DSB but many have ran them for years. Do not expect instant results from it though. I also am very much against reduced feedings unless you're dumping in a sheet of frozen and a half a can of pellets at a time.

Water changes are temporary but a good part of a routine to help maintain lowered nitrates.


Some people are religious in removing detritus build up with filter socks and lots of vacuuming. I don't do either and let detritus sit and build up in my sump. Water flow in my display tank keeps it suspended until it goes down my overflow into the sump where it sits and becomes home to many critters.

Nitrate control can take time and once lowered can easily be maintained. It's just getting there in the first place.

I would suggest a sulfur denitrator or similar and it can be built fairly cheaply. Then I would continue with regular water changes. Keep harvesting algae. I would also look into carbon dosing with vinegar, vodka, or the combination of the two.

These below will be the quickest way to reduce nitrates and then maintain them. BTW, you don't actually want 0 nitrates. Life of all kinds needs it along with phosphates. C:N: P is required for all life on earth.

DIY Sulfur denitrator
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1288082
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2009-01/diy/

Vodka Dosing
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-08/nftt/index.php

Vinegar Dosing
http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/current-issue/article/116-vinegar-dosing-methodology-for-the-marine-aquarium

The combination of the two
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2408985&page=13

A good discussion on the different methods of providing a carbon source for bacteria
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2134105&highlight=organic+carbon+dosing

Xxero
01/04/2016, 11:56 AM
What I feel like happened is that my nitrate levels got high on me. For the life of the tank I have done a minimum of 10% water changes on a weekly basis. I keep all media (filter sponges, etc.) clean and free of detritus. But I believe that I was overfeeding without the correct amount of export to make up for that overfeeding.

Now my situation is that I have these stubborn nitrates. I feel that what I have done recently is too little too late and that I will never be able to remove them. I was just hoping that there was a quick fix to make them go away so that I could start from that zero nitrates point and go on from here.

Am I just spinning my wheels?

Xxero
01/04/2016, 12:00 PM
Posted this last one before I saw your last reply, Jason.

Thanks a lot, that's good stuff!

In regards to reduced feedings, all I know is that I feel guilty as can be. :sad1:

Thanks again.

jason2459
01/04/2016, 12:01 PM
I would suggest keeping up with regular water changes and don't go crazy with them. 20-30% monthly seems fine. Some do more and some do less or none at all.

I would also suggest reading this article on water changes in the reef tank.
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-10/rhf/index.php

jason2459
01/04/2016, 12:11 PM
FYI, you could just start with the carbon dosing route and see how your system reacts. I suggested the denitrator as it would be faster up front and then you could take it offline once the nitrates are lowered and the carbon dosing is maintaining the lower levels.

toothybugs
01/04/2016, 12:11 PM
I had a similar issue when I pulled out my sandbed, 30-40ppm for several months. Then they trickled away on their own after a bit once I started vinegar dosing and got some macro going.

At one point, before I added some new sticks, I OD'd vinegar (sorta by accident, sorta not) and my numbers went from 25ppm NO3/ 0.25 PO4 to 5/ 0.03 in a work week's span, but my skimmer HATED me. I was emptying it twice a day for the first couple days. Interestingly my macro started taking off then too, it hadn't done much for me til that point. Now my values are holding pretty constant at 5/ 0.05-0.1 and the system is responding nicely.

I vote be patient. Swift changes are something we should all recognize as generally bad news.

Xxero
01/04/2016, 12:12 PM
One more thing...

I read this procedure on Melevsreef:

"Example from my 55-gallon Reef : Make up 20 gallons of fresh saltwater in a trashcan in front of your tank. Drain 10 gallons of tank water into the 20 gallons of new water, and let that mix. Pump 10 gallons of that water back into your tank, and let the power heads mix that water up in your tank for a minute or so. Then repeat this three more times. Dispose of the now polluted 20 gallons of water. Make up another 20 gallons of fresh saltwater, and repeat this procedure. As long as your temperature and salinity match the tank, your inhabitants wont be affected adversely, and with each rotation of water, the nitrates are being diluted and removed from your tank.

Simply pulling out all of the water in one massive water change puts stress on your entire tank. Doing small water changes consistently wont bring nitrate levels down. At best, it will maintain them at their current levels. Using the example above, a tank that was at 80ppm would be around 30ppm after a couple of hours work and your population will be happy and unaffected. Once your nitrate levels drop, they are easily kept low with regular water changes, as well as the use of a DSB and macro algae.

Your tank will be healthier, your reef happier and the nitrate problem fixed!"

Do you think this would work?

jason2459
01/04/2016, 12:23 PM
I'd also check that the alkalinity in the new salt mix matches that of the tank being that aggressive with water changes. Not just the salinity and temp.

It may help. But always think long term on what you'll be able to maintain. I would not look toward water changes alone to maintain low nitrates levels or any other nutrient levels for that matter. It's a good to do and helps but it's not that efficient.

I have no experience in DSB other then the little bit of research I did on them and decided it was not a good option (at least for me). Others will defend it vehemently.

Harvesting algae is a great idea and I'm a big fan of it.

I also vote patience but do research on what you want to do long term to maintain some kind of import and export of elements and nutrients.

Xxero
01/04/2016, 12:29 PM
Yup. Good stuff. I'll probably read up on the carbon dosing and see how that influence goes.

Thanks again to all of the replies. It's at least made me feel a little better about the situation. :bigeyes:

jason2459
01/04/2016, 12:31 PM
Yup. Good stuff. I'll probably read up on the carbon dosing and see how that influence goes.

Thanks again to all of the replies. It's at least made me feel a little better about the situation. :bigeyes:

Good luck. You're not alone or an unusual situation. Plenty of people have had and deal with high nitrates. Many much higher then yours. Also, it's not harmful to your fish at all at those levels. High nitrates are not a problem unless you see a problem. No need to rush.

biecacka
01/04/2016, 04:33 PM
I agree hat the arid reactors are just algae harvesting tools. But the few guys I've read using them, for whatever reason seem to believe hey are having far better results then when trying to just use chaeto in a sump as a stand alone. A few have had such drastic results they feel comfortable possibly going skimmer-less. Just their thoughts in it for sure tho.

Corey

jason2459
01/04/2016, 04:41 PM
I agree hat the arid reactors are just algae harvesting tools. But the few guys I've read using them, for whatever reason seem to believe hey are having far better results then when trying to just use chaeto in a sump as a stand alone. A few have had such drastic results they feel comfortable possibly going skimmer-less. Just their thoughts in it for sure tho.

Corey
If given proper lighting and flow a sump section based chaeto chamber would work just as well as the arid reactor. d2mini's is a good example of an optimal setup. Chaeto growth is chaeto growth regardless of where it happens. Not a knock on the arid reactor at all as it seems like a good way to grow chaeto giving it light and flow. But its not cheap and does require space. Just a different kind of space so it may fit some people's setup better then others.

bertoni
01/04/2016, 04:52 PM
Nitrate might (or might not) cause problems for some stony corals, but fish, other invertebrates, and soft corals won't much care, especially at only 50 ppm. As you've seen, water changes often fail to help with nitrate problems, since the level can bounce back up very quickly.

You've gotten a lot of suggestions. I'd look at the current feeding level, and maybe consider adding more live rock to the system. Also, coarse substrates, like crushed coral, can accumulate a lot of debris and release a lot of nitrate. I don't know anything about the model of skimmer you listed, but better skimming often helps a lot, too.

How much live rock is in the system, and how much food and what types are going into the tank per day?

biecacka
01/04/2016, 05:57 PM
Agreed 100% jason. It fits some set ups because it is in a reactor. Someone with limited space it could work well. But as you stated, it isn't cheap at all.

Corey

Xxero
01/04/2016, 11:08 PM
How much live rock is in the system?

How much food and what types are going into the tank per day?

* I have about 50 lbs of Live Rock (Fiji) and about 80 lbs of sand - 40 in the DT and 40 in the refugium portion of my sump. No crushed coral - CaribSea Hawaiian Black in the DT and Oolite in the fuge.

* For 7 fish and a few inverts, I was feeding 1 frozen cube of Brine shrimp in the morning and either a pinch of flakes or 1/2 a cube of frozen something in the afternoon. Now I am feeding 1/2 a cube in the morning and that's it.

* The protein skimmer is a SCAquariums brand skimmer and I think it kicks butt! I am very pleased with the skimmate production and its overall design.

This tank is about 9 months old. I think what has happened is that my nitrates have steadily been increasing over this period of time, and my weekly 10% water changes have only been pecking away at it. This link that Jason posted was very eye opening in regards to how our water changes actually affect the water:

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-10/rhf/index.php

After reading this, I believe that I am going to start doing 30% monthly water changes instead of the weekly 10%. I think that it will be more effective considering those graphs. I am also going to give carbon dosing a try and see what that does.

I know that my current inhabitants are okay with the nitrate levels being where they're at, but I want to get these levels down before I add anything new to the tank. I've just been doing all of these water changes, etc. for the last 2 weeks seeing no results whatsoever, and I didn't like the thought that it could possibly be months before I could add anything new.

I'm a little more optimistic now, but admittedly frustrated. :headwalls:

Thank you guys!

jason2459
01/05/2016, 09:00 AM
Keep in mind the Author of that article does 1% daily automatic water changes along with vinegar dosing.

Xxero
01/05/2016, 12:13 PM
Keep in mind the Author of that article does 1% daily automatic water changes along with vinegar dosing.

Yes. And with further reading and a little more research, I have realized that I am not quite finished beating this horse. I almost wish I would have titled this thread, "Has Anyone Ever Had 50+ Nitrate Readings - What Did You Do To Get Rid Of Them - And How Long Did It Take You?"

1. Was I overfeeding? This is how nitrates are introduced into your water, correct? Food + Fish + Digestion = Pee & Poop = Ammonia then Nitrite then Nitrate = Nitrate Removal? If I wasn't overfeeding, then that can only mean that I haven't had adequate nitrate removal processes, yes? Either: not enough Live Rock/Sand; not large enough water changes; not carbon dosing; not enough macro-algae growth/harvesting, etc. or not enough all of the above?

BUT, I have been changing 5 gallons of water every week. According to set-up charts/calculators, I have enough Live Rock & sand. My skimmer works great. I clean routinely. My Diamond Watchman Goby keeps the DT sand pristine. I don't have Cheech & Chong Chaeto growth, but it grows and I remove. I have never carbon dosed, but to be honest with you, I had never even heard of carbon dosing until only here recently. I still just don't get it. How they got that high and why I can't get rid of them.

2. Is it true that I shouldn't add anything new to my tank until I get these nitrates down? No more fish additions...I'm good on fish. I'm talking LPS, softies, etc. I feel like that if I so much as plopped a mushroom in there that it would shrivel up and die. That seems to be how much emphasis is being placed on having as close to zero nitrates as possible. Is this true? I feel that it is, and so here I am.

3. I would like this 40b to be a mixed reef tank. Right now, it is 3 rocks and a handful of devoted little fish. I'm not really in any kind of hurry for that full, mature reef tank, but at the same time, I am at the 9 month mark with this aquarium and I feel like I am at a standstill. It's a little frustrating when you see other equal sized tanks, at say the 4 month mark, and it is chop full of saucer sized Monti caps and flourishing LPS. Again, I just don't get it.

For now, I'm just going to stop and relax. I'm going to continue to do my normal water changes, cut back a little on feeding, and hopefully watch a few of my new implementations take some kind of effect: DSB, more macros, Phosguard and De*nitrate. Maybe I'll start singing to my 3 rocks in a box in hopes of lifting their spirits thus increasing their nitrate consumption. :bigeyes:

tmz
01/05/2016, 12:39 PM
For poof in two weeks a diy sufur dentirator worked for me on large sytem. Might be a bit much for a small system. Cost about $100 to build including media.

I have maintained nitrates in a very heavily fed sytem to around 0.2ppm to udetectable per Salifert for about 6 years via vodka and vinegar dosing after dropping them with the denitrator which is no longer in use.

Xxero
01/05/2016, 01:48 PM
For poof in two weeks a diy sufur dentirator worked for me on large sytem. Might be a bit much for a small system. Cost about $100 to build including media.

I have maintained nitrates in a very heavily fed sytem to around 0.2ppm to udetectable per Salifert for about 6 years via vodka and vinegar dosing after dropping them with the denitrator which is no longer in use.

I think that I will give things 2 more weeks and see if the nitrates begin to drop. If not, then I will definitely give this a try. Is this a good start for a DIY Sulfur Denitrator, Tom:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1288082

And thanks, btw! :bigeyes:

bertoni
01/05/2016, 06:36 PM
That design seems to be okay to me.

droog
01/06/2016, 12:34 AM
Adding a MarinePure block to your sump may have been easier/more effective than a deep sand bed. Those things have a very high surface area for biological filtration and can allow you to take some rock out of the DT if you need/want to.

The DT is 40g? How big is the sump?

The DSB should work too though, not sure its worth replacing one with the other. I would expect to wait a month or so for either one to start doing its thing.

-droog

tmz
01/06/2016, 10:36 AM
I think that I will give things 2 more weeks and see if the nitrates begin to drop. If not, then I will definitely give this a try. Is this a good start for a DIY Sulfur Denitrator, Tom:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1288082

And thanks, btw! :bigeyes:


Yes, that's the one I followed

You are welcome.

Xxero
01/06/2016, 01:50 PM
Adding a MarinePure block to your sump may have been easier/more effective than a deep sand bed. Those things have a very high surface area for biological filtration and can allow you to take some rock out of the DT if you need/want to.

The DT is 40g? How big is the sump?

The DSB should work too though, not sure its worth replacing one with the other. I would expect to wait a month or so for either one to start doing its thing.

-droog

Yeah, I had the same thought (afterwards, of course). And I still might add one if things don't improve. I'm getting ready to do a test just for giggles. I'm kind of interested in the statistics of this thing.

The sump is a 20g long - I would say that it adds a little over 10 more gallons to the system. The refugium chamber is in the middle, and it's deceptively big. That is where I added the DSB, and it was large enough to hold 40 lbs of sand and still have about 5-6 inches of water above it. I am already finding this addition pretty interesting as well. My pod population in there has boomed, and that is not something I was expecting. Tiny bubbles are starting to come up through the sand, and I'm hoping that's nitrate being released in its gas form. And my sump Emerald crab seems to like the beach life.

I've calmed down now, and I'm even beginning to appreciate this little reef challenge. It's good brain food. I'll test and post a couple of pics. Maybe that will give me something to do. :bigeyes:

Ontheway
01/07/2016, 12:28 AM
Yup. Good stuff. I'll probably read up on the carbon dosing and see how that influence goes.

Thanks again to all of the replies. It's at least made me feel a little better about the situation. :bigeyes:

Have you check your PO4 levels? In lack of phosphate, denitrification may fail. Advise to use Hanna ultra low checker.
And for chaeto growing, please see my harvest (https://youtu.be/Uct5x5ufB8Y). I have my own Arid reactor *grin*

droog
01/07/2016, 03:20 AM
Yeah, I had the same thought (afterwards, of course). And I still might add one if things don't improve. I'm getting ready to do a test just for giggles. I'm kind of interested in the statistics of this thing.

The sump is a 20g long - I would say that it adds a little over 10 more gallons to the system. The refugium chamber is in the middle, and it's deceptively big. That is where I added the DSB, and it was large enough to hold 40 lbs of sand and still have about 5-6 inches of water above it. I am already finding this addition pretty interesting as well. My pod population in there has boomed, and that is not something I was expecting. Tiny bubbles are starting to come up through the sand, and I'm hoping that's nitrate being released in its gas form. And my sump Emerald crab seems to like the beach life.

I've calmed down now, and I'm even beginning to appreciate this little reef challenge. It's good brain food. I'll test and post a couple of pics. Maybe that will give me something to do. :bigeyes:

Thats a good ratio of sump space to DT. It should give you enough flexibility to pick a method that suits.

I enjoy tinkering too, and have automated most things. Now my tank always seems to do better when left alone...

-droog

biecacka
01/07/2016, 09:55 AM
Any pics of that arid reactor? :D

Corey

Xxero
01/07/2016, 01:45 PM
PARAMETERS:

SG = 1.26
ph = 8.2
alk = 13 (?)
cal = 480 - 500 (?)
mag = 1320
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate = 35
phos = 1

I think I have been misreading the nitrates at 50. I believe they have been closer to 35 this whole time. BUT, that is what they have been the entire time from day 1 of this current high nitrate issue. And unfortunately, this is where they remain......grrrrrr!

Calcium seems high and so does alk...all tests are Red Sea except for phosphates which is API. I use Instant Ocean Reef Crystals for salt.

PICS:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/209_zpsdaei4md5.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/210_zpsgehfwvzo.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/202_zpsxce0xewc.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/203_zpsdroirs4o.jpg

Sump Dog. :bigeyes:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/208_zpsi2fjee6j.jpg

jason2459
01/07/2016, 01:52 PM
IMO nitrates over 10 are high but not necessarily an issue unless you visually see an issue. To me from the pictures it does not look like an issue. If your corals brown or you get algae or cyano in the display then I would look at nitrates being a part of the issue.

Either way I would look to reduce them in the long term which I think you're trying already.

On the other hand if that black sand is basalt you could face diatom issues if silicate leaches out. Or other issues if other minerals leach out. Never know with black sand. Running a magnet through the sand and if any of it attaches you know there's some iron in there as well.

Xxero
01/07/2016, 03:16 PM
On the other hand if that black sand is basalt you could face diatom issues if silicate leaches out. Or other issues if other minerals leach out. Never know with black sand. Running a magnet through the sand and if any of it attaches you know there's some iron in there as well.

It's the Caribsea Hawaiian Black Arag-Alive. I haven't seen any issues with it except for the initial diatom dusting at set-up. I haven't found it to be magnetic either, so I think we're good to go there.

In full disclosure, I usually rely more on the tank's inhabitants to let me know when things are going South. I had a Maxima clam, a Goniopora, and an Elegance coral die on me, and all within about a 2 month period. I had the Maxima and Goniopora for about 4-5 months, and both were doing great. First went the clam, then the Elegance, and finally the Flowerpot. All 3 deaths had many possibilities (including being added to an immature tank, IMO), but that is what brought me around to testing the water. I have heard that clams, Elegance, and Goni's won't tolerate high nitrates, but then I have also heard that all 3 like dirtier water. So many contradictions. I have kept a good group of fish in there and fed them well because I thought this would be beneficial for the clam, Elegance, and Goni but it appears that it backfired on me without having enough of an export system set in place.

Anyway, now that those are gone the fish are on a diet and I'm going to get these elements straightened out. I'm curious to see how it all goes.

Thanks for all of the input! :bigeyes:

bertoni
01/07/2016, 04:45 PM
I agree that the black Arag-Alive should be fine if it's not too coarse. Coarse substrates can accumulate a lot of debris. I liked the look of it, and almost went that way for one of my tanks.

Xxero
01/07/2016, 10:29 PM
The stated grain size range is 0.25 - 3.5mm. I have a Diamond Watchman Goby who sifts it from the time he wakes until the time he sleeps with no apparent problems. This is my second tank using the Hawaiian Black, and I really like the look of it as well.

When I noticed the high nitrates and began a thorough cleaning, I tumble vacuumed the sandbed during one of the many water changes. I had only vacuumed it once in 9 months, so I was expecting a lot of nastiness to be found there. Nothing! I would wager the Diamond Watchman turns that sandbed over 20 times a day. :bigeyes:

Xxero
01/07/2016, 10:43 PM
I just realized that I forgot the zero in my specific gravity reading. It is of course 1.026 and not 1.26! A little embarrassing considering my user name. :facepalm:

Fishmaster13
01/07/2016, 11:09 PM
If it's serious you could add some AmQuell to the tank to temporarily lower it but you'll probably have to do it with RODI water changes

bertoni
01/08/2016, 05:08 PM
Although Amquel Plus is (or was) claimed to bind nitrate, I don't think there's any evidence that it actually does so.

Juggernaut63
01/09/2016, 07:23 AM
Are you mixing your own water for water changes? There could be chloramine in your watter supply and if your rodi doesn't have the right carbon block these could easily drive nitrates.
Try testing your water supply for chloramine or do a water change with natural sea water.

Xxero
01/09/2016, 08:30 AM
Are you mixing your own water for water changes? There could be chloramine in your watter supply and if your rodi doesn't have the right carbon block these could easily drive nitrates.
Try testing your water supply for chloramine or do a water change with natural sea water.

Yes. I mix my own for water changes using Reef Crystals, but I get my water from my LFS. I've never done a TDS reading on their water, but I have also wondered if this could be a contributing factor.

An RO/DI unit will be my next purchase.

In regards to natural sea water, are you speaking of the stuff they sell at Petco? Because I live in Oklahoma City and a trip to the beach won't be happening anytime soon. :bigeyes:

I'm going to do another water change tomorrow and then begin vinegar dosing. Between the DT and the sump minus rock/substrate, I believe I have about 40-45 gallons of water. I'm going to start vinegar dosing with 2ml Day 1.

Think 2ml is okay? Too much? Too little?

bertoni
01/09/2016, 10:09 PM
This article gives a very conservative schedule for vinegar dosing:

http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/current-issue/article/116-vinegar-dosing-methodology-for-the-marine-aquarium

I think it recommends about 1.5 ml for that size tank, but 2 ml should be safe enough.

Xxero
01/16/2016, 02:25 PM
I just wanted to post an update on my nitrate situation, and note some changes that I've seen. I'm at the 4 week mark trying to lower my nitrates, and maybe just today there has been a slight budge in the actual numbers.

PARAMETERS:

My Tests
sg = 1.026
ph = 8.2
alk = 13 dkh
cal = 500
mag = 1320
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate = 35
phos = < 0.25

LFS's Tests
sg = 1.024
ph = 8.2
alk = 13 dkh
cal = 420
mag= (don't test)
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate = 30
phos = .25

My LFS tested the nitrates 2 weeks ago and they read 35. Today their test read 30, so I'm hoping (wishing) the nitrates are beginning to lower. My tests are still holding firm at 35 though, so I'm not getting too excited.

I haven't done anything differently yet. I did not add a sulfur denitrator, nor did I begin a vinegar dosing schedule. I wanted to see if the current changes that I have made would have some kind of effect first.

Changes that I have noticed:

* Cutting back on feeding has made all of the tank inhabitants a lot more active! Everything is paying more attention to the rock, glass, sand, and equipment. The overall look of the tank has never been tidier!
* I'm not having to clean the glass nearly as often, and I attribute this to a drop in phosphates. They were at 1 a week ago, and now they are almost undetectable. In the pics from the previous post, you can see this rusty brown algae covering the rock on the far left. My Turbo snail munched it all down one night, and it never came back!
* My Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp has moved to the front of the above mentioned rock. I have had him for months, and he has always stayed behind the middle rock at the back of the tank. This is a change that I can't quite figure out, but I like it! He's front row center now, and open for business!
* All of my snails used to have hair algae on their shells. Not anymore.
* The Grape Caulerpa macro algae that I added to the fuge portion of my sump is bo0OMing!
* The Oolite DSB addition to the sump went through a brief diatom dusting. Small bubbles continue to come up through the sand, and more critters are beginning to make little tunnel burrows. I don't know if the DSB is helping or not, but the refugium is one of my favorite things to look at now. It makes me want a display fuge tied into the overall system.
* The water is crystal clear. This can probably be attributed to all of the water changes that I have gone through recently.

Okay, that's about it. Picture time! :bigeyes:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/1_zps0bfvnjzq.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/2_zpshsjtgnmo.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/3_zpsdljjwym4.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/4_zpsnlqub1wb.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/5_zpsf8zne0pr.jpg

bertoni
01/16/2016, 06:09 PM
Well, the tank looks fine! Hopefully, there will be more progress.

Harth23
01/16/2016, 06:30 PM
Have you ever tested the water you are putting into the tank? Because if your water is high in nitrates to start with then your water changes are only making the problem worse every time. And have you ever looked into an ATS. Great way to get rid of nitrates. And the higher the nitrates the faster it will grow.

Spuds725
01/16/2016, 11:14 PM
Looking at the pic of your sump, your chaeto ball looks a little dense-- is it growing (and/or rolling) in your sump?? It doesn't have to roll but if it isn't, you may want to flip it every other day or so. This may spur new growth.

If it isn't growing much... about my only suggestion is to spread it out some so more of it is getting light and perhaps lower your refugium light (what are you lighting it with also)... I like to light mine 16 to 18 hours per day opposite my tank lights but with some overlap.... the goal is to get it to grow out and harvest regularly.

(Yes this is Spuds first post at reef central in 6 years)

Xxero
01/17/2016, 12:53 AM
Have you ever tested the water you are putting into the tank? Because if your water is high in nitrates to start with then your water changes are only making the problem worse every time. And have you ever looked into an ATS. Great way to get rid of nitrates. And the higher the nitrates the faster it will grow.

I've never tested the LFS water, but I have been wondering about this as well. I should have my RO/DI unit within the next week, so I know that will only help things to improve.

And yes, adding an ATS is definitely a consideration. I like the idea of them even without my current nitrate issue. This morning I noticed on one of my LFS's main softie tanks, that they have a large dual chamber Whisper Bio-wheel type hang-on filter on the back. The Bio-wheels have been removed, and the chambers had macro-algae growing out of them spilling into the display. I hadn't noticed it before, but it's serving as an ATS and doing a good job of it!

Xxero
01/17/2016, 01:15 AM
Looking at the pic of your sump, your chaeto ball looks a little dense-- is it growing (and/or rolling) in your sump?? It doesn't have to roll but if it isn't, you may want to flip it every other day or so. This may spur new growth.

If it isn't growing much... about my only suggestion is to spread it out some so more of it is getting light and perhaps lower your refugium light (what are you lighting it with also)... I like to light mine 16 to 18 hours per day opposite my tank lights but with some overlap.... the goal is to get it to grow out and harvest regularly.

(Yes this is Spuds first post at reef central in 6 years)

Hi Spuds! The Chaeto doesn't tumble, but I do turn it every now and again. I haven't seen much growth in the Chaeto so far, but the Grape Caulerpa inside of it is growing really well. I'm wondering if it's out competing the Chaeto?

The light I'm using down there is just a screw-in 60w/900 lumens GE Daylight LED bulb, and I usually have it hanging about 7 inches from the water surface. I also run mine opposite the DT light schedule at about 15 hours a day. I've been wanting to give one of these bulbs a try:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAR38-E27-54W-18-3W-Red-Blue-LED-Grow-Light-Veg-Flower-Hydroponic-Lamp-85-265V-/291618222699?hash=item43e5ccf26b:g:8b0AAOSwFGNWTCLd

More pics because I like pics:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/1_zpsid7nimfk.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/2_zps4o0ekjub.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/3_zpsnwl8hghx.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/4_zps1zukvo56.jpg

The Grapes have spread to the other rocks!

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/5_zpszjiyrs5x.jpg

Emerald Crab playing peek-a-boo. :bigeyes:
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/6_zpsjodsuxa7.jpg

Spuds725
01/18/2016, 03:15 AM
I think you might get better growth with a more intense light-- While it is a small refugium, the light isn't very intense--- I'm thinking something more like this...

https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/1602/FC40-FEIS40W50.html

I picked up a couple similar to that for mine at Menards for about $15 each if I remember correctly-- I think one would do fine over that fuge-- mine is appoximately 60 gallons and I run 2 over it.

If you go LED-- I would go with 2- 75 or 100W equivalent-- but this will consume nearly as much power as the above but can cost more to purchase.

NedFlounders
01/18/2016, 07:09 AM
Another suggestion is to siphon the bottom of the overflow. I had high nitrates last year and nothing seemed to keep them low. Once I siphoned out the bottom of the overflow, they went away quickly. So much "gunk" got siphoned out and it really smelled too :| Apparently, all sorts of waste/food, etc had collected in the bottom and gotten out of control. Just my two cents, but it fixed my nitrate issues.

Shortly afterward, I also added a refugium to the sump.

As a sidenote, read up on the disadvantages of grape caulerpa as opposed to strictly chaeto. I had a mixture of both at first but soon after removed all the caulerpa.

Xxero
01/18/2016, 10:31 AM
I think you might get better growth with a more intense light-- While it is a small refugium, the light isn't very intense--- I'm thinking something more like this...

https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/1602/FC40-FEIS40W50.html

I picked up a couple similar to that for mine at Menards for about $15 each if I remember correctly-- I think one would do fine over that fuge-- mine is appoximately 60 gallons and I run 2 over it.

If you go LED-- I would go with 2- 75 or 100W equivalent-- but this will consume nearly as much power as the above but can cost more to purchase.

So do you think I should pass on this bulb:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAR38-E27-54W-18-3W-Red-Blue-LED-Grow-Light-Veg-Flower-Hydroponic-Lamp-85-265V-/291618222699?hash=item43e5ccf26b:g:8b0AAOSwFGNWTCLd

I really was going to try one out. I've read good reviews, but if I could get just as good/if not better growth with that 60w Spiral then so be it.

Xxero
01/18/2016, 10:44 AM
Another suggestion is to siphon the bottom of the overflow. I had high nitrates last year and nothing seemed to keep them low. Once I siphoned out the bottom of the overflow, they went away quickly. So much "gunk" got siphoned out and it really smelled too :| Apparently, all sorts of waste/food, etc had collected in the bottom and gotten out of control. Just my two cents, but it fixed my nitrate issues.

Shortly afterward, I also added a refugium to the sump.

As a sidenote, read up on the disadvantages of grape caulerpa as opposed to strictly chaeto. I had a mixture of both at first but soon after removed all the caulerpa.

I'll check out the bottom of the overflow box on my next water change, but I cleaned the whole contraption not too long ago. And you're right...a lot of funky junk does collect down there. The same stuff seems to build up over time under my skimmer too. Another benefit of reduced feedings is that I haven't had to rinse out the overflow filter sponge nearly as often. That's been nice.

And I wish you wouldn't have mentioned the disadvantages of Caulerpa because now I'm going to go read a lot of nightmarish tales. I already know that there's a risk of it spreading to the DT. And I've also heard that it can go sexual and possibly cause some issues. But the advantages that I like personally are that they tend to root, spread, and proliferate rapidly. I know that can be potentially a bad thing too, but I'm just going to keep a sharp eye on it. I have also read that they gobble up nitrates like mad (even more so than Chaetomorpha), so I'm hoping it will help with my situation. If things get crazy, I'll pluck it all out fer sure!

Thanks for the replies, fish people! Now I'm off to read about Caulerpa. :lmao:

potatocouch
01/19/2016, 09:30 PM
Xxero, I'm with you.. My nitrate is way higher than yours ... staggering 80 ppm or above.

Acro brown up and am currently doing NoPox dosing. We'll see how it goes.

Xxero
01/21/2016, 11:40 AM
Xxero, I'm with you.. My nitrate is way higher than yours ... staggering 80 ppm or above.

Acro brown up and am currently doing NoPox dosing. We'll see how it goes.

How long have you been dosing the NoPox? Let me know how that goes.

I'm going to test my water tomorrow and have my LFS test again as well. If nothing has changed, then I'm going to begin vinegar dosing this weekend. I skipped my normal water change last week to see if that might help balance things out and let some of the new biological get settled in.

I'm veerrry curious as to what my test results are going to be. Hopefully it will show some positive signs. :bigeyes:

Xxero
01/31/2016, 04:42 AM
So, it's been a month since adding the deep sand bed, the Phosguard, and the De-Nitrate and my nitrates still read at 30-35 ppm. I've tested several times during the in-between, but they have never fluctuated even once.

I recently:
* have been performing 10 gallon weekly water changes (up from 5g).
* added 10 more pounds of cycled Live Rock to my display tank.
* added a stronger bulb to my fuge light fixture.
* purchased a different brand of test kit (hoping this was just a case of bad test kit.....it wasn't. :facepalm:).

Today I'm going to perform a 30% water change (15 gallons), and then begin a vinegar dosing schedule starting at 1.5 ml. On a side note, my refugium is getting pretty interesting:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/1_zpsca4vltlj.jpg

Can you make wine from these grapes?
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/2_zpsudt7zmg4.jpg

Pods & worms are all over the place and so funny to watch!
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/3_zps5odjldyu.jpg

Good grape!
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/4_zpso0aju8yr.jpg

biecacka
01/31/2016, 11:27 AM
Fuge looks great man. I think it could take a month or so of time to see some solid steady results.

Corey

Xxero
01/31/2016, 12:57 PM
Thanks Corey! Whether it does anything for the nitrates or not, I still enjoy looking at the refugium.

When I added more LR the other day, I rearranged the DT a little bit:(WARNING: Lots of Pics!)
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/310_zps64v8ftsp.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/309_zpszk5genjy.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/312_zpsxch8qwxh.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/313_zpshttelgfz.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/311_zpss0r5d3wa.jpg

Colt Coral
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/314_zpsrwkldevd.jpg

Misc.
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/315_zpsrrxriuxx.jpg

Xxero
02/03/2016, 12:21 AM
I feel that I could do a 100% water change, and my nitrates wouldn't budge.

Is this an accurate conclusion?

tmz
02/03/2016, 12:32 AM
They would drop but come back unless the balance between export via biofiltration ,mechanical filtration ,skimming, etc and/or the input from foods and waste products changed.

bertoni
02/03/2016, 01:17 AM
I agree that water changes seldom resolve nitrate problems. The only exception would be a one-time event that cause a problem, like adding too much food once or twice, or perhaps over a vacation.

Jade5051
02/03/2016, 01:25 AM
Add an ATS and be done with it.

Xxero
02/03/2016, 05:57 AM
Add an ATS and be done with it.

:lmao: That's a definite option that I am willing to give a try. I'm doing my best to be as patient as I can with what I have recently put into place. It's been a little over a month since adding a DSB, and last weekend I added 10 more pounds of LR to the DT. I'm going to give things another few weeks or so and see what happens.

I don't even really care anymore. Everything looks and seems happy, therefore so am I.

Thanks a bunch guys! :bigeyes:

Rybren
02/03/2016, 12:00 PM
A number of posts back, you mentioned that your Phosphates were nearly undetectable. Your chart listed them at 0.25. That is not nearly undetectable and is considerably higher than the generally recommended levels of <0.03. You also mentioned using the API Phosphate test kit. You might want to cross check those numbers with a better kit, or even a Hanna ULR if you can find someone who has one.

Luckily, the levels are on their way down and the carbon dosing should help bring them down even further.

Xxero
02/03/2016, 11:24 PM
Parameters as of yesterday:

SG = 1.025
pH = 8.3
alk = 12 dkh
cal = 475
mag = 1460
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate (Red Sea Test) = 30
nitrate (API) = 30
phos = < 0.25

Phosphates are undetectable using my API kit because the lowest reading is 0.25. I would like to say that it's zero, but I know that is not the case. I would like to purchase a Hanna Low Range phosphate checker anyway, so I'll probably go ahead and just buy one. Aren't they lucky? Having the monopoly on macro phosphate level checkers? :lmao: Maybe it's time to invest in Hanna stock?

Phoshate levels are dropping...Nitrates stay the same, yet their determination seems to grow daily. Time will tell.

Thanks. :bigeyes:

Xxero
02/14/2016, 11:49 AM
I began carbon dosing with vinegar this morning. Nitrates remain at a stubborn 30. Tank inhabitants are fine. Let's see what happens.

On another note, I harvested a lot of grapes and found my bail of Chaeto!

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/1_zps5ugc4kiu.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/2_zps9ucvrntv.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/317_zpsaxkvafbk.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/318_zpsu0lnjet1.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/5_zps7c8lflys.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/6_zpsdpdpeun5.jpg

Jade5051
02/14/2016, 01:57 PM
Emerald crabs love grapes!

Xxero
02/14/2016, 02:12 PM
:lmao: He's in heaven.

Although I did toss what I believe to be an infant Gorilla crab in there yesterday. Will it go after the Emerald as it gets older you think?

Xxero
02/14/2016, 02:25 PM
I just added up my total amount of water changes since the beginning of this little endeavor:

In a 40g breeder, I have changed 95 gallons of water in the last 56 days trying to knock down these nitrates.

To me (and call me crazy here), but I think it's safe to say that water changes don't do @#$%! towards nitrate removal. :bigeyes:

garygonzales
02/14/2016, 05:18 PM
im in the same boat as you ..been doing water changes also with no affect to nitrates ..im well over 100,,....so i know where your coming from....not sure what to do either..

bertoni
02/14/2016, 08:09 PM
Water changes often are useless when dealing with nitrate problems. The nitrate level can bounce back quite rapidly, as you've seen. Your tank seems to have a fairly small amount of live rock, so that might be part of the issue.

Xxero
02/14/2016, 09:37 PM
Water changes often are useless when dealing with nitrate problems. The nitrate level can bounce back quite rapidly, as you've seen. Your tank seems to have a fairly small amount of live rock, so that might be part of the issue.

There's 40 pounds of Live rock that's been in there for almost a year, and I added another 10 pounds just a couple of weeks ago. I plan on adding a little bit more, but more for aesthetics than anything else.

I'm hoping the vinegar dosing will reinvigorate the system's bacteria and blow my mind on the next nitrate test. I know it's blowing up my skimmer! :lmao:

Xxero
02/26/2016, 11:38 PM
I'm bored, so I thought that I'd update:

So I removed the Grape Caulerpa Algae. (Who knew that was coming?) The stuff would be great in a separate/remote refugium. But down in the sump refugium, it gets kind of scary during harvest time. You have to be really careful trying to harvest because grapes and little fragments float around and travel everywhere. I do not want this stuff in the display tank, and I felt like it was just a matter of time before I missed a piece or two.

I had to remove most all of the rock that was in there. I originally wanted the Caulerpa because of its growth rate and ability to root...It did both very, very well! :facepalm: I left one piece of rock for the Emerald crab, and a flaccid looking bale of Chaeto:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/327_zpsmocn7kfd.jpg

The deep sand bed is maturing quite nicely:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/328_zpsfdtkztwq.jpg

And I added about 11 more pounds of Live Rock, giving me 50+ pounds in the display:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/326_zpsgbzfmmpz.jpg

I tested my nitrates on Wednesday, and guess what? Both tests read 30. *sigh*. I will be starting Week 3 of vinegar dosing this weekend, and I have upped my water changes to 10g weekly. I have high hopes with the carbon dosing, and I already like the changes that I see.

Snail Power!!! :bigeyes:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/329_zpshnhcxk8p.jpg

garygonzales
02/27/2016, 09:27 AM
i am like you too doing lots and lots of water changes but its doing nothing for my nitrates..but putting stress on all my corals and fish...so i stopped doing big water changes...im also dosing nopox,,,and heard it can take a long time before it all kicks in...so im just letting it go for awhile and see how it goes ...

ccrider93
02/27/2016, 09:46 AM
I was in a similar situation myself here, tank roughly a year old, 80ppm nitrates, I didn't bother measuring the rest. I started dosing nopox, and it took about 5 to 6 weeks to drop significantly. On week 5 or 6 ( I can't recall now ) I was down from 80 to somewhere below 20. I use the API test strips, so getting an accurate reading isn't really possible.

Some rough stats on my tank are, 75 gals of total water volume, 2 clowns, 2 green chromis. CUC is 7 or 8 hermits, some other snails. I do have a really large population of stomatella snails, and by this time the tank has a BILLION (ok it's not that many) of the mini brittle stars.

I guess my point of sharing this is, that I didn't really see any results until near the end of the 6 weeks, and it all came at once. And keep in mind this is anecdotal, I didn't write any of this down or anything.

What I'm more interested in myself, is what causes this condition to begin with. In looking at pix of your tank, you're far more fastidious than I am. My theory is that when the worms and pods start to expand in population, you get more ammonia in your tank (of course), well, this is a self fueling cycle, when you grow coraline or feed, it's going to contribute to their growth, which is going to fuel the cycle. If you're NOT carbon dosing, the likelyhood that you're going to produce nitrates seems higher, so guess what? High nitrates. How do you get rid of it? Short of removing all of the worms and pods, nothing. Water changes don't do it, that's for sure.

Keep in mind, this is just a theory, and I've been lurking here on RC for some time now, and haven't seen anyone else put this forth. So it's possible I'm a crackpot. :fun2:

garygonzales
02/27/2016, 10:48 AM
i heard that as well..nopox and any thing carbon takes a while before it kicks in,so thats good to know...thanks,,hope i get the same results....did you do water changes regularly as well....

oldbones
02/27/2016, 11:19 AM
What were the results of your testing on the RODI from the LFS?

Xxero
02/27/2016, 03:38 PM
What were the results of your testing on the RODI from the LFS?

Thank you so much, Oldbones! I never did.

But since you reminded me, I just did a quick test on an LFS sample and it read 5.0!!! I believe you may have just solved my problem. Every time that I top off or mix new water, the water that I am adding has a 5.0 nitrate level. Argh. Looks like the LFS needs to change their filters, and it looks like I need to quit procrastinating my RO/DI unit purchase.

This has happened to me in the past with a different LFS, and I found that it's a sensitive subject to bring up with them. They deny the crap out of it, and act somewhat offended that you had the gall to question their water in the first place. Hopefully it won't go like that this time because I will be bringing this up on my next visit. I've been purchasing that water for almost a year! :headwallblue:

I even made an Algae Turf Scrubber today. Aw well. I guess it can only help things along.

Seriously, thanks again! I'll keep things updated. :bigeyes:

Xxero
02/27/2016, 04:05 PM
I made and installed an Algae Turf Scrubber today, following the general guidelines in this sticky thread:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1977420&highlight=algae+turf+scrubber

I kept it very simple. I already had a MJ1200 pump not being used, so the other parts only cost me about $15:
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/1_zpsxbrhqrh1.jpg

To cut the 1/8" slot, I used a utility knife (new blade!) to get the opening started, and then I used a sheetrock saw to cut the length. The width of the saw is about 1/16", so I used the utility knife for the fine tuning:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/2_zpsebt4aub5.jpg

I also used the sheetrock saw to rough up the plastic sheeting. The saw blade is so jagged that it does a really good job scarring up the surface:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/3_zpsqzdtjzrf.jpg

I'm only lighting one side of it for now (from behind) but it's a pretty big piece of plastic mesh, so I think everything is okay:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/4_zpsrg7ebemt.jpg

Works like a charm:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/5_zpsi4ufkufu.jpg

The only part of the mesh that isn't receiving a cascade of water is about the first 2 inches on the right side. I think it's a leveling of the bar issue, but I also think it will right itself once the algae begins to grow:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/6_zpslfjysnb7.jpg

It was a quick Saturday project, and I hope it pays off in the end. :bigeyes:

ccrider93
02/27/2016, 06:32 PM
Thank you so much, Oldbones! I never did.

But since you reminded me, I just did a quick test on an LFS sample and it read 5.0!!! I believe you may have just solved my problem. Every time that I top off or mix new water, the water that I am adding has a 5.0 nitrate level. Argh. Looks like the LFS needs to change their filters, and it looks like I need to quit procrastinating my RO/DI unit purchase.


Is this really the solution? Shouldn't you be at 5PPM in the tank then? You measured 30 PPM, replaced 100% plus some more of the water, you should be at 5PPM, where's the other 25PPM coming from?

bertoni
02/27/2016, 06:36 PM
Cool! Please keep us posted as to how it works.

oldbones
02/27/2016, 08:55 PM
Is this really the solution? Shouldn't you be at 5PPM in the tank then? You measured 30 PPM, replaced 100% plus some more of the water, you should be at 5PPM, where's the other 25PPM coming from?

Remember, Nitrates don't evaporate. Imagine using 1.002 salinity water in your auto top off, your salinity would continually creep up. Every gallon of water that leaves his tank, via evaporation or any other means, is being replaced with water containing 5ppm nitrates...

ccrider93
02/27/2016, 09:58 PM
Remember, Nitrates don't evaporate. Imagine using 1.002 salinity water in your auto top off, your salinity would continually creep up. Every gallon of water that leaves his tank, via evaporation or any other means, is being replaced with water containing 5ppm nitrates...

OK, that makes sense. It's just confusing when I think about the amount of water changed. The way I am thinking about it, you're removing some amount of PPM in each change, so wouldn't it stand to reason that some amount of nitrates are coming out of the water column? Is it not all but 1:1? Say I remove 30% of the water, and I had 100PPM NO3, why wouldn't I expect 60PPM ex post? This would have to accept the given that no more nitrates are being produced, and no other water changes made.

bertoni
02/27/2016, 10:04 PM
If you do a 30% water change on a tank with 100 ppm nitrate, and the water for the change is at zero, the result would be 70 ppm in the tank.

garygonzales
02/27/2016, 10:10 PM
If you do a 30% water change on a tank with 100 ppm nitrate, and the water for the change is at zero, the result would be 70 ppm in the tank.

yes in theory...but as you can see with op and me water changes don't do ****...........:mad2:

ccrider93
02/27/2016, 10:22 PM
yes in theory...but as you can see with op and me water changes don't do ****...........:mad2:

OK, that's my point. Something is making the NO3 go higher. To my way of thinking it's not necessarily the addition of water with nitrates in it, or some levels would have changed, for better or worse.

I'm not suggesting that 5PPM NO3 water from the LFS is a good thing, far from it. What I am suggesting is that high nitrates are indicative of a nitrifying bacteria "problem", in that they are too plentiful vs de-nitrifying bacteria, which can be encouraged with the addition of a carbon source.

I'm using my own RODI source, so I know my water is free from contaminates, which is why I'm asking the question. Some of this just doesn't fit appropriately for me. This could be that I'm misunderstanding the process in general, or that my maths are bad, or that I'm crazy. :lol: Either way, I'm seeking to understand why this happens with run-away nitrates.

ccrider93
02/27/2016, 10:28 PM
If you do a 30% water change on a tank with 100 ppm nitrate, and the water for the change is at zero, the result would be 70 ppm in the tank.

My bad, I forgot how to subtract. :headwally: Good catch.

garygonzales
02/27/2016, 10:30 PM
im not sure either ..battling high nitrates for awhile ...other then taking all my substrate out and and rinsing all my rock..basically starting over over ..just going to keep dosing with nopox and see if can at least bring it down to managment levels...

ccrider93
02/27/2016, 10:46 PM
im not sure either ..battling high nitrates for awhile ...other then taking all my substrate out and and rinsing all my rock..basically starting over over ..just going to keep dosing with nopox and see if can at least bring it down to managment levels...


The NOPOX is working well for me. It's taking some time, I should probably do a W/C at some point. I've killed enough corals at this point, that I'm just waiting it out, until I can get the NOPOX to a maintenance level that seems to suit.

I have a friend who did the same thing with his tank, took him 16 weeks to get everything under control, and he's was in the same situation as the OP....clean tank, regular maintenance, in house RODI, blah blah blah....so we'll see.

Xxero
02/27/2016, 11:21 PM
.....or some levels would have changed, for better or worse.

This is still confusing me a little also. With the LFS water being at 5.0ppm, I can see that this can be a big contributing factor. That water goes into my tank daily and weekly in bulk via water changes.

But why 30ppm!?! I swear to Poseidon every test that I have done has read 30! API and Red Sea and also having the LFS test for me ---30! I test right before a water change - 30ppm. I test a couple of hours later - 30ppm.

You would think changing 20 gallons at once (which would be a 50% water change for me), that it would at least drop to 25ppm? 20 even? NOPE! 30! How can this be? It's like the nitrates see me setting up my buckets in front of the display, and they cry out, "RuUuUun! HIDE! Water boy is here!" (My new nickname at the LFS:mad2:).

bertoni
02/28/2016, 12:33 AM
The nitrate level in many tanks seems to bounce back to equilibrium rapidly. I'm not sure why.

tmz
02/28/2016, 10:06 AM
I guess my point of sharing this is, that I didn't really see any results until near the end of the 6 weeks, and it all came at once. And keep in mind this is anecdotal, I didn't write any of this down or anything.

The starting nitrate levels often linger for weeks to months when organic carbon dosing starts and then drop dramatically almost overnight . Not sue why ;suspect it takes time for bacteria to colonize enough to start anaerobic activity to reduce it.

garygonzales
02/28/2016, 10:36 AM
i bet your right about this...we are expecting results overnight ...lol......we just have to be patient and let this run its coarse...so we will see .........

ccrider93
02/28/2016, 10:55 AM
The nitrate level in many tanks seems to bounce back to equilibrium rapidly. I'm not sure why.

This is the crux of my "argument". Why isn't it plausible that the cycle itself is creating this? Beyond adding it, as the OP has found out, what else would create it? To my way of thinking, it stands to reason that it's the nitrifying bacteria, and an "out of control" cycle.

The reasons for this may vary, and I've read several posts on RC that point to additional ammonia in the source water, which is admittedly rare when using RODI, or some other addition of ammonia from another source. My contention here is that the worms/pods/snails/hitchhikers create this ammonia in enough abundance to fuel the nitrifying bacteria such that you get NO3 that is seemingly uncontrollable.

I also think that it's sort of self-fulfilling. Once the tank reaches a good point, you start growing coraline and other algae, well, the worms/pods/snails all consume that, so over feeding is simply something that happens as a result of a successful tank. We're all sort of in the same boat, I think this has led me to the inevitable conclusion that some form of carbon dosing to encourage the denitrifying bacteria is all but a requirement for any successful tank.

ccrider93
02/28/2016, 10:58 AM
The starting nitrate levels often linger for weeks to months when organic carbon dosing starts and then drop dramatically almost overnight . Not sue why ;suspect it takes time for bacteria to colonize enough to start anaerobic activity to reduce it.

Does it actually reduce it? I would imagine that once the NO3 is in the column, you're seeking to do two things...1. reduce the production of NO3 and 2. remove the NO3 from the column.

Is there a bacterial process that removes NO3? I think what happens is that the tank is simply using it, and the production goes way down to what eventually becomes a manageable level.

ccrider93
02/28/2016, 11:00 AM
It's like the nitrates see me setting up my buckets in front of the display, and they cry out, "RuUuUun! HIDE! Water boy is here!" (My new nickname at the LFS:mad2:).

ha! I think they run at my LFS for different reasons...but hey, we all can't be beautiful people :lolspin:

I do feel your pain, you're reluctant to bring these things up sometimes as it seems you're being a nuisance customer vs someone who's trying to help them. Plus you have relationships at your LFS that you want to nurture...

bertoni
02/28/2016, 12:18 PM
Nitrate definitely can be produced during the initial setup. Some long-established tanks have the same issue with nitrate levels bouncing back up rapidly, too, though. Getting nitrate out of the water column might best be done with some water changes or carbon dosing. There are some reasons to believe that the live rock isn't as good at that.

Xxero
02/28/2016, 12:33 PM
I really am reluctant to bring it up. I had planned on making a trip to that LFS today, so I tested their water again this morning - TWICE! So my API test reads it at 5.0ppm and I've performed that test twice. And my Red Sea gave it a 5.0ppm as well. 3 tests at 5.0ppm of nitrates in my LFS water.

I've got 20 bucks that says they will initially deny it. I'm going to ask them to test it, but I'm not even sure if they will do that. If they do test it and they get the same reading, then I bet they will tell me 5.0ppm nitrates won't hurt anything and is not responsible for my nitrate issues.

On a side note, I performed a 20% water change this morning. My nitrates read 30ppm before the WC and 30ppm 2 hours later. @#$%! nitrates! :lmao:

Today is also my entrance into Week 3 of vinegar dosing. I crank things up to about 11ml per day now, and visually, things have never looked better. Other than fish I only have: 5 various Mushrooms, 2 Green Button Polyps (which one has had 2 babies now!), a Zoa cluster, 2 Torch corals (I think?), and a Colt coral frag. All of these are absolutely thriving, except the Zoa patch is being kind of weird.

The algae that forms on the glass right now is very minimal, and it looks different than I've seen previously. It has a fleshy/Silly Putty tone to it, and I'm assuming it's bacteria build up?

Anyway, an RO/DI unit is next on the list. I've really preferred just getting it at the LFS in the past and mixing it up at home. This particular LFS is right down the street from work, so it always gave me the opportunity to look around at new livestock arrivals and ask billions of questions with the owner. But now I don't like this water situation, so I guess it's time to get an RO/DI unit. I will probably go the BRS route on that one. :bigeyes:

bertoni
02/28/2016, 12:40 PM
A 20% change with zero nitrate water would reduce the nitrate level by about 6 ppm, which is going to be hard to see on a test.

That buildup does sound like bacteria. I'd be tempted to cut back on the vinegar.

Xxero
02/28/2016, 12:53 PM
So do you think that I should keep dosing about 7ml a day or cut back even more? And then do I stay at that dosing level until that build up goes away? The build up isn't much and it takes a while to form - It also seems to just appear on the back glass, but this is where the return pipe from my sump is so that makes sense to me.

So stay at Week 2 dosing levels or stop altogether? Lower until that build up goes away, and then increase dosing per the chart?

bertoni
02/28/2016, 02:21 PM
I'd probably cut back a bit, and work from there. Bacterial blooms can cause problems.

ccrider93
02/28/2016, 07:50 PM
Today is also my entrance into Week 3 of vinegar dosing. I crank things up to about 11ml per day now, and visually, things have never looked better. Other than fish I only have: 5 various Mushrooms, 2 Green Button Polyps (which one has had 2 babies now!), a Zoa cluster, 2 Torch corals (I think?), and a Colt coral frag. All of these are absolutely thriving, except the Zoa patch is being kind of weird.


I sorta kinda wish I had remained at 30 PPM, believe it or not, everything was still alive at that point. Now all I have, from a shot up to 80PPM are coral skeletons.

I'd remain patient with the carbon dosing, it'll come around. I know mine did, and I was far worse off than you.

ccrider93
02/28/2016, 07:51 PM
Nitrate definitely can be produced during the initial setup. Some long-established tanks have the same issue with nitrate levels bouncing back up rapidly, too, though. Getting nitrate out of the water column might best be done with some water changes or carbon dosing. There are some reasons to believe that the live rock isn't as good at that.

All the more reason to suspect it's all cycle driven.

Xxero
02/29/2016, 12:51 AM
I'm going to continue with the carbon dosing, and keep an eye out for bacteria blooms. I'm not sure if that is bacterial build up on the back glass or not. My snails are eating it...if it was bacteria would the snails be eating it?

In regards to water changes:

In theory, if I am at 30ppm nitrates, then doing a 50% water change (20 gallons for me) would bring my nitrates down to 15ppm. And if I were to do another 50% water change the following day, I should be down to near zero ppm's, correct?

Well, I have done this and it did nothing. 30ppm before and after. I even followed this up over the next few days with a 15 gallon change and a 10 gallon change, but nuthin'. 30ppm. So that was changing around 65 gallons of water from a 40 gallon tank in four days and the nitrates didn't budge. I still don't understand.

I found this article dangerous but interesting:
http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/nitratecontrol/ss/sbsnitratereduction.htm

Xxero
02/29/2016, 01:07 AM
I sorta kinda wish I had remained at 30 PPM, believe it or not, everything was still alive at that point. Now all I have, from a shot up to 80PPM are coral skeletons.

I'd remain patient with the carbon dosing, it'll come around. I know mine did, and I was far worse off than you.

Oh, I have had my fair share of losses and I honestly blame each one of them on these nitrates. I keep my system clean and maintained. My water parameters are right on and stable. And my temperature and salinity has little to no fluctuation. In the history of this tank's set-up, none of the fish have ever shown a single sign of distress.

But it seems that most corals will not tolerate the nitrates. I even had a Colt coral (beginner coral) melt on me, and nitrates are the only thing that I have to blame it on. It was a nice, healthy specimen and it melted away over 3 weeks. Until I get these nitrates down (and I WILL get these nitrates down!), I am not adding a single thing to this tank. :bigeyes:

Xxero
02/29/2016, 01:52 AM
Do you think adding a bottle of Seachem Stability would help anything?

http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Stability.html

daveonbass
02/29/2016, 02:15 AM
I'm going to continue with the carbon dosing, and keep an eye out for bacteria blooms. I'm not sure if that is bacterial build up on the back glass or not. My snails are eating it...if it was bacteria would the snails be eating it?

In regards to water changes:

In theory, if I am at 30ppm nitrates, then doing a 50% water change (20 gallons for me) would bring my nitrates down to 15ppm. And if I were to do another 50% water change the following day, I should be down to near zero ppm's, correct?

Well, I have done this and it did nothing. 30ppm before and after. I even followed this up over the next few days with a 15 gallon change and a 10 gallon change, but nuthin'. 30ppm. So that was changing around 65 gallons of water from a 40 gallon tank in four days and the nitrates didn't budge. I still don't understand.

I found this article dangerous but interesting:
http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/nitratecontrol/ss/sbsnitratereduction.htm

NO. your math is incorrect. 30ppm cut in half is 15ppm...yes. But then 15ppm the next day and a 50% WC will reduce it again but only by half. so half of 15ppm...or 7.5ppm.

daveonbass
02/29/2016, 02:27 AM
this may sound extreme...but I would do a couple things.

I'd make sure that the water I was adding back into the tank after a WC was reading 0ppm NO3. if it's not then what it the point of the WC? and if its not clean enough water then the rough math of where your WC should place you is going to be a headache.

next I would probably make up enough fresh water to do a 100% water change. will this shock the live stock...probably. But it serves a purpose. the Nitrates you have are not THAT crazy. I've had corals survive and thrive with NO3 levels off the API chart. I would do roughly 50% WC's till I got it to a safer level...one every 2 day to a week. then I would do a 100% WC to get them closer to 0ppm. no adverse reactions from my SPS, LPS, softies, or fish.

once you DO do a 100% WC (or very near...casue 100% is unrealistic...more like 90% so the fish can survive), then test the water. Don't wait 2 hours...test it relatively soon then at an hour, then at 2...till you are sure it's stable. The reason I'd recommend this...even just once...is because if you KNOW you're removing 90%-100% of the old 30ppm water...and then adding 0ppm replacement water...then if the tank returns to 30ppm within 2 hours you'll KNOW you have a weird problem.

The reason this is so perplexing as I read the thread is because if you do a WC and lower NO3, then they bounce back up to 30ppm AGAIN in 2 hours that means they are RISING...but then why do they suddenly stop? that's what's troubling. if they gradually came back up then it would take longer than 2 hours...and they would probably rise well above 30ppm. why they seem to be hovering at that level is very strange.

Xxero
02/29/2016, 02:58 AM
Thanks Dave! And thank you for the math correction. It would be 7.5ppm.

That is where I am stuck at the moment. I don't have an RO/DI unit right now, so it would take making a trip to a different LFS to access more water. And that is hoping that they would provide me with 0 nitrate water.

So just to make sure I'm reading things correctly: you're suggesting doing 2 or 3 50% water changes over the course of a week, and then do a 100% (90%) change at the end of that?

If I did two 50% changes, that would be a total of 40 gallons. Then at the end, change another 40 (35 ish) gallons at once for a total of 80 gallons in a week?

Thanks again. :bigeyes:

Xxero
02/29/2016, 03:10 AM
I'd make sure that the water I was adding back into the tank after a WC was reading 0ppm NO3. if it's not then what it the point of the WC? and if its not clean enough water then the rough math of where your WC should place you is going to be a headache.

Why they seem to be hovering at that level is very strange.

Yeah, I just found out the water that I've been using has small traces of nitrate in it. If it has this whole time, I don't know, but it really wouldn't surprise me.

And that's the strange part for me also...It never goes above or below 30ppms...ever. This whole time. Over the last few months, I have probably tested 50 times, and each with a deadlocked 30ppm. Nutz! :fun5:

daveonbass
02/29/2016, 04:48 AM
actually...What I was saying was that "I" had 180ppm+ once...and I did a few WC to get the over all NO3 lever to about 40ppm. THEN "I" did a 100% water change. I'm sure I'll get blasted for suggesting such a drastic move...but All the livestock thanked me for it in the long run. I saw lots of growth and color after that.

As for you...if I were to be honest...I'd say that you'd be fine right now just doing ONE massive 100% (90%) water change. Sounds like you are at around 50g of total water. So I'd make up maybe two large trashcans of SW and bring it to temp and salinity...then before changing I'd test one more time to make sure it's at 0PPM NO3...then I'd syphon out all my water. I'd make sure to get as much detritus out of the rocks...and syphon as much of it out as I could. All while keeping track of how much I've removed (so as not to go over the amount you have to replace it on accident...just in case). Then when the fish are on the brink of being out of water I'd stop (sometimes creating a low spot in the sand will help this)...and then start adding the new water to the tank. It may not be exactly zero...but it should be very low.

THEN...if you notice that the NO3 creeps back up to 30ppm in 2 hours I'd call an exorcist.

Xxero
02/29/2016, 05:35 AM
THEN...if you notice that the NO3 creeps back up to 30ppm in 2 hours I'd call an exorcist. :lolspin:

Now that was funny.

I don't think that you will get blasted. I also don't believe it's that uncommon of a practice. I think for now, I'm just going to pause. I will get an RO/DI unit in a week's time and in the meantime just halt on the water changes. What stinks though is that I'm still topping off with that stuff daily.

I just put an ATS into place, and I am anxious to see what that does for the system. Of course that will be another few weeks to see it mature. I will also continue with the vinegar dosing and see what happens there. I'm only a few weeks into that as well. I'm doing my best to implement everything that I can to help get rid of these nitrates, but until I stop adding it into my water, I feel like I am just spinning my wheels.

I'm curious as to what the nitrate reading would be out of my tap?

bertoni
02/29/2016, 08:13 PM
Very large water changes sometimes cause problems, and I would avoid them except in cases of emergencies. A series of small changes should be able to control the problem if it can be controlled with water changes at all. Many people see nitrate levels spiking back up quickly in their tanks. Until the RO/DI filter is under control, I wouldn't want to trust the water quality for changes in general, particular for large changes.

Xxero
03/01/2016, 04:27 PM
I made a quick trip to the LFS today, and I found the courage to bring up the 5.0ppm nitrate reading that I was getting from their water.

They weren't defensive at all, but they also reassured me that I was wrong. They didn't hesitate to test it right in front of me, and sure enough their tests read zero. We did it twice with 2 kits and both read zero. Maybe my lighting is bad or something, I don't know???

It also piqued their curiosity enough to check it for phosphates, and it read zero as well. They explained their water system to me, and if what they're saying is all true, then it's a pretty elaborate set up.

Anyway, I'm not really worried about it for now. I'm still buying an RO/DI unit either way, so it won't be an issue soon enough. I was just relieved the confrontation went well because I really do like that particular store. :bigeyes:

bertoni
03/01/2016, 07:33 PM
I would ditch the nitrate test kit and get a new one. Nitrate kits are infamous for having problems.

droog
03/02/2016, 08:37 PM
The LFS store is down the road and you are a regular customer? Ask them to come to your house and test your water? Maybe your test kit is/are bad, or your procedure is somehow to blame. Not sure how, but it can't hurt to ask...

-droog

Xxero
03/02/2016, 11:46 PM
The LFS store is down the road and you are a regular customer? Ask them to come to your house and test your water? Maybe your test kit is/are bad, or your procedure is somehow to blame. Not sure how, but it can't hurt to ask...

-droog

(Yesterday's post was about the LFS's freshwater top-off that they sell.)

But as for my tank's water, I have brought several samples to them for testing, and they usually match up with mine. I have a brand new Red Sea Marine Care kit and a brand new API as well. The pink/purple from the Red Sea goes from 20ppm to 50ppm in one step, and my color falls in-between there somewhere. The API test nails it down to about 30ppm.

In regards to my procedure, both test kits are fairly idiot proof. In fact, I noticed that my procedures seem to be a little more fastidious than my LFS's. All of their testing vials are just thrown into a basket. They didn't rinse the testing vial before or after. With their API test, they didn't shake up bottle #2 at all, and after adding bottle #2 they only gave the total mixture a few seconds worth of shaking. They have Salifert tests also, but their go-to is the API.

To be honest, I have a Love/Hate relationship with my LFS. It's a great shop with a lot of livestock diversity, but I don't agree with 99% of the advice/suggestions that I receive from them. In fact, I can easily say that their reef practices are the exact opposite of what they teach here on Reef Central. It gets really confusing sometimes wondering who to listen to in this hobby.

In hindsight, I don't really even trust the nitrate tests that they did on their water yesterday. As I said, if the mixing procedures for the test are as detrimental to the reading as the instructions state (rinsing vials; shaking for 30 seconds; shaking for 60 seconds, etc.), then the LFS flunked yesterday. They did none of the above steps and they were showing me the color test results in less than a minute. It doesn't really matter though because I am definitely getting an RO/DI unit to avoid all of this in the future. I just never thought to question the LFS's water quality before. A little nave on my part, but you would think that the LFS would want nitrate free water for their customers as well as for themselves.

Lesson learned! :bigeyes:

Xxero
03/06/2016, 09:25 AM
I thought that I'd share a week's worth of algae growth:

DAY 4:
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/339_zpsqa36ohuv.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/340_zpskr6omcj7.jpg


DAY 7 (front):
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/341_zpskicjdjfr.jpg

DAY 7 (back):
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/342_zpshwaufhm5.jpg

DAY 7 - (after scrubbing the screen):
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/343_zpsmeahzry6.jpg

I was pretty impressed with the growth considering it was the first week of operation. It is suggested that even on the first seventh day to go ahead and scrub the screen. The algae is red in color so far, but I have seen little patches of green. From what I understand, the green algae is what we're shooting for here.

Today is also the first day of Week 4 with my vinegar carbon dosing. I will be around the 15ml per day mark, and so far I have nothing new to report. I haven't seen any unsightly bacterial blooms or any other observable changes. My nitrates remain at 30.

Speaking of nitrates, I did have the opportunity to witness the effect that a large water change can have on their removal. A couple of weeks ago, I set up a new 20 gallon system that underwent a very fast cycle. At the end, the nitrates had a reading of 30ppm (go figure!). I changed 8 gallons of water (roughly 50%), and the nitrate reading afterwards was 5ppm! I know that it's a smaller system, but I found the result to be very inspiring. I'm still waiting for my RO/DI unit, but as soon as I get it, I plan on doing a series of very large water changes to my main DT.

Between those large water changes; the ATS; the DSB; the addition of more Live Rock; and the strict use of nitrate free RO/DI water, I plan on seeing some @#$%! results! If I don't, I may go back to the stick of dynamite theory that I had in the beginning of this thread. :blown:

garygonzales
03/06/2016, 09:44 AM
i wish i had nitrates around 30...lol..mine was 160 or so...with dosing nopox i finally got it down to 100...after three weeks ...so maybe 3 weeks more it should be more good results...hoping to get around 30...lol.....

Xxero
03/06/2016, 09:57 AM
It's the stubbornness of the deadlocked 30 that drives me crazy. I know that I could be much worse off, but to me, if our aim is to be as near as zero as possible then there's really no difference between 100ppm's and 30.

Have you tried a couple of very large water changes, Gary?

garygonzales
03/06/2016, 11:18 AM
Have you tried a couple of very large water changes, Gary?

yep i did two of them and nothing worked...so thats why doing the nopox..might switch to vinegar since nopox is pretty expensive...but keeping the same schedule going

tmz
03/06/2016, 11:27 AM
FYI, NOPOX is a mix of mostly ethanol(vodka) and acetic acid( vinegar).

garygonzales
03/06/2016, 11:31 AM
yep that's why i thought it would work better...since its so high...maybe when i get it down to manageable levels i might change.

Xxero
03/13/2016, 10:47 AM
It's been 90 days since I found out that I had high nitrates. At the time that I first tested, my nitrates read around 50ppm. Over the course of a 3 month war, the nitrates have been reduced down to about 30ppm and I cannot get them to budge. I thought that I would share a few things that I believed would have helped my situation by now, but haven't.

90 DAYS - Deep Sand Bed:
The DSB addition is now 90 days old. Still young, but not a baby. I'm not discounting it by any means, but I also have nothing really positive to say about it either. I'm giving it 90 more days, and then replacing it with a BIG MarinePure Ceramic Block.

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/328_zpsfdtkztwq.jpg

Water Changes:
*sigh* Not only have I increased my partial water changes from 10% weekly to 30% weekly over these last 90 days, but I have also done quite a few large water changes in-between those. I can't say that it has had any negative effect, but anything short of large 50%+ water changes will not do anything for nitrate removal. Okay, I guess I will speak for myself and say they do nothing for MY nitrate removal.

Carbon Dosing w/ Vinegar:
I'm only into WEEK 5 on the vinegar dosing chart - about 18ml a day for my system. My water and glass stay crystal clear, but so far it does nothing for MY nitrates.

Algae Turf Scrubber:
Only 2 weeks in with this contraption, so I don't really have anything to report. It's still a little too early to receive any judgments in regards to my nitrate situation. I have to say that I like the ATS a lot though. Out of the many weapons in the nitrate reduction arsenal to choose from, this one has my full attention. I believe in the end that it will rank among the heroes.

Week 2: ATS (Front)
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/1_zpsdgi86mg8.jpg

(Back)
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/2_zpshnmdrqen.jpg

(Funk)
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/3_zpsecimllae.jpg

I guess that's it. I'm giving things 2 more weeks as they are, and then I'm going to start thinking about more aggressive measures. I believe all of the above implementations to my system will be great in the long run. I believe that as they mature they will help a lot in keeping my nitrates down. But I am truly thinking that none of them even collectively are ever going to gobble up these last 30ppm.

2 more weeks and I plan on doing a major water purge. I plan on going the 20%-40%-20%-40%-20% route as to have the least effect on the tank's inhabitants. While the water is down to 20% I will also probably remove my 3 Pajama Cardinal fish. I like them a lot, but I believe that their removal might help to lighten the load. This will leave me with 4 fish in a 40b which I feel is a little more appropriate for this size of tank. :bigeyes:

garygonzales
03/13/2016, 12:25 PM
looks good so far i guess dont give up it will eventually work....

lmforbis
03/13/2016, 02:47 PM
My nitrates were over 100 around Christmas after several months reduced maintenance from medical issues. I started doing more regular water changes but it didn't help. Levels stayed steady leading me to believe that I am successfully exporting the nitrates added to the tank during the time between water changes but not enough to reduce the level. To lower nitrates I need to remove more nitrates than was being added buy normal tank operation. I started (on my 40b and my 125) doing 20-25 gallon water changes every week. At the time 25 gallons was about as much as I could do. I also have a 125 with the same problem. With the max of 25 gallon water change they did come down but not as fast. As of yesterday my 40 is at about 10 ppm and my 125 is somewhere between 25 and 50. I have also been dosing vinegar. I have a refugium full of rubble but chaeto keeps dying.

Xxero
03/25/2016, 03:54 PM
Dear Nitrates,

I gave you a chance. I gave you a chance to go away at your own leisure; to take your time; to gather your things; and just go. But you refuse. Not only do you refuse to go, but you also seem to be getting larger! Where you were once a cute yet stubborn 30ppm, you have now grown to 50 maybe even 60ppm!!!

Well no more. I have had enough, and I have been more than patient. I am sorry that we could not work things out peacefully, but I am openly declaring WAR on you and yours. Do as you wish, dear Nitrates, but know that I am coming for you with everything I've got.

Sincerely,
Xxero :bigeyes:


http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/356_zpsdsuf0lqz.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/357_zps1y2gotht.jpg

bertoni
03/26/2016, 07:14 AM
Water changes seldom help much with nitrate problems because generally there's an underlying source for the nitrate, and the level can bounce back up very rapidly. The NOPOX is a mixture of ethanol and vinegar, so it should be fine to try.

Xxero
03/26/2016, 12:53 PM
It's the underlying source that has me dumbfounded, bertoni.

I've decided to go back to the origin of this thread. I want my nitrates to die. :mad2:

Now that I have my RO/DI unit, I'm going to perform a series of large water changes tomorrow. I'm going to get the nitrate levels as low as I can, and then begin dosing the NoPoX.

It seems that Sk8r, Dkuhlmann, and others are having success with the NoPoX, so I figured that I would give it a try. I stopped vinegar dosing last Sunday. I was about 6 weeks into the vinegar, and somehow my nitrates began to creep up from 30ppm. I'm not blaming the vinegar by any means, but I did find it odd.

My Algae Turf Scrubber is about a month old now. It is getting pretty good growth from week to week, but again.....my nitrates have been creeping up.

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/358_zpsyip18dqr.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/359_zps1fyui66p.jpg

I'm hoping to knock my nitrates back down to less than 20ppm with the large water change regimen tomorrow. I purchased a new refractometer to replace a used/older one that I had. I will also be matching the water's alkalinity, and keeping an eye on all of the tank inhabitants during the process. Then I will begin dosing the NoPoX. I want the nitrates to get close to zero, and then see if the ATS, DSB, NoPoX, and normal water changes will keep them at bay.

This is my plan anyway. My reef hit its one year anniversary 2 days ago, and I wish to begin year 2 nitrate free. :bigeyes:

djbon
03/27/2016, 09:31 AM
Built one of this and nitrate is less tham 5, mostly hovering around 2. Have tried coil denitrator, cheato, dsb, ats and resin products bit none solve my nitrate problem (80ppm at one time). Feed 5ml vodka everyday. No water changes except when i upgrade to 75g. No refuge, only small 10g sump.

Xxero
03/27/2016, 04:16 PM
Built one of this and nitrate is less tham 5, mostly hovering around 2. Have tried coil denitrator, cheato, dsb, ats and resin products bit none solve my nitrate problem (80ppm at one time). Feed 5ml vodka everyday. No water changes except when i upgrade to 75g. No refuge, only small 10g sump.

Nice set-up! :bigeyes:

djbon
03/27/2016, 04:30 PM
Nice set-up! :bigeyes:

thanks man. This is what i called poorest man sump. You must be amazed by my "detritus's strainer" :fun2:

Xxero
03/27/2016, 04:38 PM
SoOo, DAY 1 of Nitrategeddon went well. Very well indeed.

Yesterday, I mixed up 50 gallons of new saltwater and let it circulate overnight. And today went like this:

1. I blew off/out all of my rocks with a turkey baster. To my surprise, there wasn't as much detritus settlement as I expected.
2. I tumble siphoned 1/3 of the DT sandbed. Again, not much funk at all.
3. Then I siphoned 20g of water out of the display tank. Roughly 50%.
4. Next I added 10g of new saltwater back in.
5. Then I siphoned out another 10g.
6. Added 10g of new back in.
7. Removed another 10g.
8. And then I filled the tank back to the top with 20g of new saltwater.
9. I siphoned 10g of water out of the sump, and then added 10g of new water back in.

A total of 50g of new saltwater added, so basically a 100% water change over the course of about an hour. All inhabitants are fine and dandy!

I tested the water about 20 minutes after, and my Nitrates are now at 10ppm!!! :D Red Sea and API tests give me a result of 10ppm. Even if it's temporary, it is so nice to see. I haven't seen a Nitrate reading less than 30ppm since last Christmas!

Now for the NoPoX! :bigeyes:

djbon
03/27/2016, 07:27 PM
I tried to run chemical based nitrate remover. Huge dent on my pocket. Gone back to bio filter, bacteria condo tower to be exact and save me a lot of money for buying more corals.

Xxero
03/28/2016, 04:43 PM
I just performed 2 more tests, and so far the Nitrates are holding at 10ppm! Sorry, I'm just really happy about this. :bounce2:

In the meantime, here are some 1 year tank pics:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/347_zpsrcyikb6i.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/348_zpsyuuc8oa9.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/349_zps5rydbop8.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/350_zpstygyf3fz.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/351_zpsjpzit9qz.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/355_zpsimvyhbkz.jpg

I hope things keep going the way that they are. I can't wait to get back to coral purchases. :bigeyes:

Xxero
04/04/2016, 07:17 AM
Well, my Nitrates held at 10ppm all last week, and I'm on DAY 8 with the NoPoX dosing.

I did a 20% water change yesterday, and my parameters after were:

Temp: 78 f
SG: 1.025
pH: 8.2
alk: 11 dkh
cal: 350
mag: 1120
NITRATE: 5ppm !!!
Phos: 0

I couldn't be happier. :crazy1:

bertoni
04/04/2016, 08:24 PM
Okay, 5 ppm should be fine for nitrate. That's good progress.

Xxero
04/11/2016, 03:06 PM
I have been dosing NoPoX for the last 2 weeks. Between the big water change and the NoPoX (I'm assuming), my Nitrates are down to 5ppm. Following the Red Sea instructions for my collective gallons, it states that the end result (goal) of NoPoX is to reduce your Nitrates to a stable between 1 and 2.5ppm.

So I have a couple of questions, even if the answers are based on opinion:

1. If the Nitrates do reduce and stabilize between 1 and 2.5ppm because of the NoPoX, do I continue to dose that stabilizing amount forever and ever or can I at some point just stop dosing and see if my system now takes care of itself?

2. Has the NoPoX created a certain type of bacteria that is now dependent on NoPoX only, or can I at some point carbon dose with vodka or vinegar to keep the bacteria fed?

3. OoOr, if I stop dosing anything at all and my Nitrates stay below 5ppm is everything okay now or will the newly established bacteria eventually die off only to repeat this whole thing all over again?

Thanks for any input! :bigeyes:

bertoni
04/11/2016, 05:01 PM
If the nitrate level stays fixed at an acceptable level, you likely can keep dosing the NoPOx indefinitely without issues. You could try backing off on it, but there's no good way to predict what will happen.

NoPOx is a mixture of vinegar and vodka at a particular ratio. You should be able to switch to either or the DIY NoPOx formula without issues.

garygonzales
04/11/2016, 05:30 PM
yep this worked good for me too...i dosed for nine weeks...and now im down below 5 manufacturer suggest to keep dosing but at half the dose...so i was at 6ml and should go to 3ml...but what i did is stop dosing for a week or so and its still holding...so maybe it just stabilized now ..so im not sure if ill dose again...maybe once a week...hmmm

Xxero
04/11/2016, 11:00 PM
If the nitrate level stays fixed at an acceptable level, you likely can keep dosing the NoPOx indefinitely without issues. You could try backing off on it, but there's no good way to predict what will happen.

NoPOx is a mixture of vinegar and vodka at a particular ratio. You should be able to switch to either or the DIY NoPOx formula without issues.

Very good! Thanks Jonathan!

Xxero
04/11/2016, 11:06 PM
yep this worked good for me too...i dosed for nine weeks...and now im down below 5 manufacturer suggest to keep dosing but at half the dose...so i was at 6ml and should go to 3ml...but what i did is stop dosing for a week or so and its still holding...so maybe it just stabilized now ..so im not sure if ill dose again...maybe once a week...hmmm

That's awesome that your Nitrates have come down so much, too! I started off with the 6ml also, and now I'm dosing the 3ml. I think that I will continue on for a bit and then stop and see what happens.

Thanks for the input! :bigeyes:

tmz
04/15/2016, 11:39 AM
Questions post # 140.

Jonathan summed it up nicely.
I 'd only add that the heterotrophic bacteria supported by the organic carbon dosing also keep PO4 down. Stopping may result in higher phosphate and nitrogen levels, possibly nitrate,nitrate or ammonia: often nuisance alge spikes when dosing stops . Tweaking the dose up or down and observing is the course I might take if there was evidence of too much bacterial biomass , a nitrogen deficiency or other effects I didn't like ; otherwise I'd keep the dose steady. Personally I've used vodka and vinegar in propotion very close to the NOPX levels for over 6 years and keep NO3 around 0.2ppm with PO4 in the 0.02ppm to 0.04 range.

Xxero
04/15/2016, 12:33 PM
Questions post # 140.

Jonathan summed it up nicely.
I 'd only add that the heterotrophic bacteria supported by the organic carbon dosing also keep PO4 down. Stopping may result in higher phosphate and nitrogen levels, possibly nitrate,nitrate or ammonia: often nuisance alge spikes when dosing stops . Tweaking the dose up or down and observing is the course I might take if there was evidence of too much bacterial biomass , a nitrogen deficiency or other effects I didn't like ; otherwise I'd keep the dose steady. Personally I've used vodka and vinegar in propotion very close to the NOPX levels for over 6 years and keep NO3 around 0.2ppm with PO4 in the 0.02ppm to 0.04 range.

Hey thanks for the input, Tom!

In regards to "bacterial biomass"...what exactly does it look like? I've read about others carbon dosing and seeing "strings of bacterial blooms" in the water column, etc. but with the prior vinegar dosing and now with the NoPoX, I don't think I have seen anything??? The only oddity that I have noticed (both with the vinegar and the NoPoX) is some weird, slimy-ish, wavy, brown stuff that collects on the exterior of my overflow box (inside the tank). I'll take a picture real quick and post it.

I'm also starting to get concerned again.....The NoPoX claims that it will bring nitrates all the way down to Zero, but mine have been stuck between 5 and 10ppm for a few weeks now. Not that I'm complaining, I'm just beginning to wonder if it will actually bring them all of the way down. I understand that we don't necessarily want Zero nitrates, but I also know that Zero nitrates is possible. I would like to see it for myself, but I'm starting to feel like my nitrates are just playing possum! :bigeyes:

Xxero
04/15/2016, 01:11 PM
Bad photo, but here is the brown, snotty, wavy stuff:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/360_zpsiuga0ba8.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/361_zpslspxuqur.jpg

Something else, too.....I have a handful of various Mushrooms and 2 small Torch coral frags that are thriving and budding, but I have a Colt coral frag and a few Button Polyps that aren't doing so well. I can't really figure that one out? Colt corals are pretty hardy, but it and the Button Polyps seem to have shrunk up. Any ideas?

Shrooms:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/362_zpsxo6icwel.jpg

Torches:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/363_zpsdopmfyr2.jpg

tmz
04/18/2016, 12:08 PM
Hey thanks for the input, Tom!

In regards to "bacterial biomass"...what exactly does it look like? I've read about others carbon dosing and seeing "strings of bacterial blooms" in the water column, etc. but with the prior vinegar dosing and now with the NoPoX, I don't think I have seen anything??? The only oddity that I have noticed (both with the vinegar and the NoPoX) is some weird, slimy-ish, wavy, brown stuff that collects on the exterior of my overflow box (inside the tank). I'll take a picture real quick and post it.

That's what it looks like;some is ok but if it starts building up in unsightly ways cut back on the dose.

I'm also starting to get concerned again.....The NoPoX claims that it will bring nitrates all the way down to Zero, but mine have been stuck between 5 and 10ppm for a few weeks now. Not that I'm complaining, I'm just beginning to wonder if it will actually bring them all of the way down. I understand that we don't necessarily want Zero nitrates, but I also know that Zero nitrates is possible. I would like to see it for myself, but I'm starting to feel like my nitrates are just playing possum! :bigeyes:

It can commonly take months for the NO3 that was in the tank at start to drop. 5 to 10 ppm is tolerable in the meantime, at some point it should drop. The carbon dosing helps bacteria that take the ammonia first without oxidizing it to nitrate thus reducing new ntrate supplies. it takes longer to get at pre dosing existing nitrate in many cases .especially at the lower levels.

Xxero
04/18/2016, 01:34 PM
That's what it looks like;some is ok but if it starts building up in unsightly ways cut back on the dose.

It can commonly take months for the NO3 that was in the tank at start to drop. 5 to 10 ppm is tolerable in the meantime, at some point it should drop. The carbon dosing helps bacteria that take the ammonia first without oxidizing it to nitrate thus reducing new ntrate supplies. it takes longer to get at pre dosing existing nitrate in many cases .especially at the lower levels.

All of this was very informative and encouraging.

Thank you for your response, Tom! :bigeyes:

tmz
04/20/2016, 12:42 PM
You are welcome.

Xxero
05/01/2016, 02:10 AM
Just a quick update. As things change or as I change things, I like to use this thread to keep track of it all.

NoPoX For The Last Two Weeks:
I first cut my dosing in half for about 7 days, and then stopped dosing altogether for the last 7 days. The brown, snotty stuff (bacterial blooms?) started to disappear, but my nitrates jumped up to 20ppm as of this last Friday.

Things That I Have Noticed/Changed:
1. While dosing the NoPoX, the pre-filter sponge inside of my overflow box began getting clogged with this same brown, snotty stuff requiring it to be cleaned every 2 days. After cutting back and then stopping the dosing, the sponge is back to only needing a weekly cleansing.
2. I removed my ATS. While dosing the NoPoX, algae stopped growing on the plastic mesh screen, and it was replaced with guess what? Yup! Brown, snotty stuff! Like the pre-filter sponge, the pvc part of the ATS and the screen began getting clogged up with this stuff, so I removed it for the time being. I will probably add it back in once I find this bacterial balance.
3. I removed the DSB in the refugium portion of my sump. The DSB has been in place for 5 months, and I felt like it was doing nothing (in my particular application) towards intended nitrate reduction. It also made me a little nervous in regards to its potential to go toxic at some point, and it was beginning to form an odd looking "crust" on top of it.
4. I wet-vac'd out that portion of the sump (after removing the Emerald Crab of course :bigeyes: ), and I replaced the DSB with an 8x8x4 in. Marinepure block. I also added about another 7 pounds of cured Live Rock in the remaining space for more critter real estate.
5. After replacing the water in that portion of the sump (about 10 gallons), my nitrates dropped back down to 10ppm. I began dosing the NoPoX again today, but I'm only going with half of the recommended amount. I think it's all about finding the bacterial sweet spot.

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/383_zpsh38ldcx9.jpg

Okay, that's about it. The tank looks great and all of its inhabitants appear happy as can be. I've recently purchased a few new coral additions, and so far so good with all of those. As usual, I guess...time will tell. :bigeyes:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/bobbybean7/382_zpscxbrwh4u.jpg

garygonzales
05/01/2016, 09:44 AM
i as you had the same problem with brown nasty stuff clogging all of my filters and sponges..i think thats what the nopox is doing .so im guessing its working...but since then ive taken off my hob filters and all of my sponges and poly flters too ..put in a newer sump with a new skimmer and more live rock....and so far nitrates been 0....i dose nopox maybe once a week...if that........

garygonzales
05/01/2016, 09:47 AM
i see you change things around alot...maybe you should leave it alone for awhile let things take it coarse...if you keep changing its never going to settle down...

Xxero
05/01/2016, 11:15 AM
i see you change things around alot...maybe you should leave it alone for awhile let things take it coarse...if you keep changing its never going to settle down...

True statement...no argument here. :bigeyes:

garygonzales
05/01/2016, 11:25 AM
:D goodluck ..its worked for me

tmz
05/01/2016, 05:47 PM
The brown stuff is bacterial mass from the extra organic carbon. It needs somewhere to grow and filter material is a common harbor. Cutting back on the dose and setting a lower routine level can help.

truffle22
05/01/2016, 07:13 PM
I Heard u can use sugar or vodka to get ur nitrates down.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

bertoni
05/01/2016, 07:52 PM
Carbon dosing (usually vodka or vinegar) definitely can help remove nitrate and phosphate from the water column. It's used fairly commonly. Sugar is a bit more risky since a fair number of corals seem to have trouble when it's added.

tmz
05/01/2016, 10:57 PM
I agree sugara more complex carbohydrate is a problem many times.

garygonzales
05/02/2016, 05:31 PM
thats why nopox is a good choice......

tmz
05/04/2016, 11:42 AM
NoPox is mostly ( 97%) ethanol and acetic acid; ie, vodka and vinegar.

Belgian Anthias
05/04/2016, 12:16 PM
Any additive or food source for bacteria that is not natural available in natural seawater may have unknown and known caveats. When the working, result or outcome is not predictable these additives are best avoided as they may be dangerous without notice. Will it work? When will it work? Does it effect the environment? When the answers can not be given why spent money on it?
Nitrate can easily be controlled and removed on a biological way by de-nitrificaton using Sulphur as a substrate. Sulphur is cheap, inert in seawater and natural available. All caveats are known and easily corrected or avoided.

tmz
05/04/2016, 12:25 PM
ethanol ,acetic acid and acetate are very natural as are heterotrophic bacteria; probably more so than mounds of sulfur,though I think judicious use of a sulfur denitrator is a fine idea as well for nitrate reduction.

Belgian Anthias
05/05/2016, 06:35 AM
ethanol ,acetic acid and acetate are very natural as are heterotrophic bacteria; probably more so than mounds of sulfur,though I think judicious use of a sulfur denitrator is a fine idea as well for nitrate reduction.

As every aquarium system is different correct dosing of any kind of additive to induce assimilation of nitrate is difficult.
Vinegar and vodka are not really products which one will find in our oceans, probably for the best. Sugar?
As the outcome of dosing organic carbon containing additives and polymers is not predictable, the results of the doses are unknown as they may not only grow beneficial bacteria and nitrate removal is very unreliable as assimilation removes nothing from the system
If the beneficial effect of adding a product or an additive can not be predicted, what about the side effects? How they will influence the system? Wait and see? Hope for good results? Managing an aquarium system should not be guessing work.

probably more so than mounds of sulfur,

There is about 600 mg sulphur present in each litre of seawater mainly as part of the sulphate. But there is a lot more!
Sulphur is very important for ocean live. For the coasts of Chile one can find mats of Thioploca ( sulfur oxidizers) with a weight of more than 100 000 000 tons. The total amount of sulphur which plays a very important role in the nitrogen-, carbon-, and sulphur cycle of our oceans can only be estimated.
Elemental sulphur is inert in seawater.

Belgian Anthias
05/05/2016, 08:10 AM
BADESS: Biological Autotrophe Denitrification on Elemental Sulphur System


A BADESSystem gives control to the user over the nitrate removal rate, the daily nitrate removal and the nitrate level. Managed correctly the nitrogen cycle may be closed in a closed aqua-culture system. Once in balance on the by the user desired nitrate level, the BADES system is self-regulating. A BADESSystem is based on the daily to remove nitrate production. Nitrate removal and nitrate removal rate can easily de controlled by the user.

A BADESS is suitable only for nutrient demanding aquarium systems.
The system is able to bring high nitrate levels to the desired level in a short time and keep this level by removing the daily nitrate production daily. Every day! A low nitrate level (< 1ppm NO3-N) can be maintained at a high nutrient input and bio-load.
BADESS uses fluidized biofilm-reactors. The BADES-reactor is NOT kept anoxic (<0.5ppm DO). The effect on alkalinity by nitrification and de-nitrification is fully compensated within the system. Some calcium is added.
No additives must be dozed. No feeding required.

tmz
05/05/2016, 10:52 AM
So much poor information presented as facts which aren't factual requires a response.

There are no polymers in acetic acid ( vinegar ) or ethanol(acetic acid) . They are simple compounds with short pathways to acetate. There polymers are in sugar and other complex carbohydrates .Sugar is one of the worst things to dose IMO and experience due to the complexity of the reactions by products and pathways and a potential for excess glucose and it's effect on corals. These pathways are relatively simple and direct to acetate( an element benficial to living things ) for ethanol and acetic acid . Organics containing carbon are natural to sea water . Obtaining a natural balance between C( carbon): Nitrogen( ammonia, nitrate etc) and phosphourous. is relatively easy with precise dosing of ethanol and acetic acid at rates suited to the bioactivity in a particular aquarium.
Details and experiences on organic carbon dosing are are available here and in many other posts articles and related studies:


http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2134105&highlight=organic+carbon+dosing




Sulfur is present in seawater at 900ppm(http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-11/rhf/index.php#10) .
Spreading it around the substrate as originally suggested seems like a bad idea to me .
The prescriptive rules for the BAD.. system rely on a reactor which gets some containment, I suppose, but still interacts with the aquarium and requires more than 20 times the naturally occurring amount of sulfur. That's just not more natural than a balanced C:N: P ratio achieved via organic carbon dosing IMO.

Sulfur is only inert if nothing is using it or reacting with it . I suggest those who want to know what happens to sulfur in seawater take a look at the Sulphur cycle. This is a good place to start:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur_cycle

A sulphur denitrator is a fine tool I've had success with them with moderate sulfur amounts. The amount of sulfur used and/or the effluent flow rate should be adjusted based on the NO3 level in the tank I suggest folks who want to try a sulfur denitrator check out this thread which outlines a nice diy model and offers feedback from many users :

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1288082

PS Don't let the size of the thread put you off. Most of the useful information is in the earlier sections . Much of the rest becomes somewhat aracne and perseverative.



There is really no reason to use excessive amounts of sulfur spread around or in a reactor and I 'd advise caution. FWIW, 1 gallon of sulfur in a reactor for 500 gallons of aquarium water reduced NO3 from the 50ppm/80ppm range to near zero in a few weeks when I used it. Even at that level only .2% of total water volume of the sytemn it's still close to twice the naturally occurring level in seawater.The BAD... system suggested which relies on dubious calculations ,overreaching extrapolations from waste water treatments,limited experience with fish only systems and one way is the only way mind set would have mandated 10 gallons of sulfur which is unnecessary and frankly absurd IMO.

Xxero
05/05/2016, 12:20 PM
I had to focus very hard to read through the last few posts. :lmao:

My particular situation has been complex from the beginning, and it was all ignorantly self-induced. Because of those initial rookie mistakes, I have had to correct many different things. I truly believe what finally knocked my Nitrates down was that really big water change, but I also know that I didn't have enough Live Rock in place originally. And aside from my skimmer, I had little means of nutrient export.

At this point, my Nitrates are staying between 5-10ppm. I have added approximately 30+ pounds of Live Rock, began carbon dosing then switching over to NoPoX. I have tinkered around with additional export systems, trying out the less complicated first: ATS, DSB, etc. and now I'm trying out one of the Marinepure blocks. Ultimately I would like the Nitrates to consistently remain below 5ppm, and I am hopeful that I am on my way there.

Thank you guys for all of your input in this...I find it all very educational! :bigeyes:

tmz
05/05/2016, 12:57 PM
You are welcome.

Belgian Anthias
05/06/2016, 03:15 AM
There is about 600 mg sulphur present in each litre of seawater mainly as part of the sulphate. But there is a lot more!
Sulphur is very important for ocean live. For the coasts of Chile one can find mats of Thioploca ( sulfur oxidizers) with a weight of more than 100 000 000 tons. The total amount of sulphur which plays a very important role in the nitrogen-, carbon-, and sulphur cycle of our oceans can only be estimated.
Elemental sulphur is inert in seawater.[/QUOTE]

This must be 900mg.

Belgian Anthias
05/06/2016, 04:39 AM
I am propagating the use of sulphur for removing nitrate. High nitrate levels can be reduced very quickly using elemental sulphur.

Most of the sulphur denitrators used and threated are denitrators which are kept anoxic (<0.5ppm DO) by limiting the flow. These denitrators have a very limited performance range and are only able to reduce some nitrate. A lot at high nitrate levels, a very limited amount at low nitrate levels. The nitrate removal rate is not or very difficult to manage as flow is limited to keep the reactor anoxic. At low nitrate levels only a very small amount of nitrate can be removed this way. These reactors are also susceptible for mismanagement.

In a BADESSystem the BADES-reactor is NOT kept anoxic. The BADES-reactor is big enough to consume enough oxygen to make autotrophe denitrification possible in the sub-layers of the biofilm on the sulphur substrate. This makes easy flow regulation possible as the biofilm adjusts itself to the DO and nitrate entered. The nitrate removal rate can easily be adjusted and managed in relation to the nitrate level in the system and the daily nitrate production to remove to be able to lower the nitrate level or keep the level at the by the user desired level.
To lower the nitrate level only a bit more as the daily nitrate production must be removed daily.

jason2459
05/06/2016, 06:37 AM
I am propagating the use of sulphur for removing nitrate. High nitrate levels can be reduced very quickly using elemental sulphur.
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Are you selling or speaking for someone selling these ?

jason2459
05/06/2016, 06:42 AM
FWIW, AFAIK acetic acid is the most common and basic organic compound consumed in the oceans.

tmz
05/06/2016, 10:40 AM
And ethanol ,oxidizes to ethanoic acid;aka acetic acid.

tmz
05/06/2016, 11:27 AM
A few things for perspective :

A sulfur denitrator can reduce baseline nitrates quickly as I noted in posts # 26, #94 , # 146,and #166. I often recommend reducing baseline nitrate levels before starting organic carbon dosing either via water changes or with a sulfur denitrator. It can take months for pre existing nitrates to fall with organic carbon dosing since it takes time for enough anaerobic activity to take hold since the facultative heterotrophic bacteria work on ammonia preferentially for nitrogen( thus reducing the nitrate production by outcompeting the ammonia oxidizing bacteria that create nitrate from the ammonia. These heterotrophic bacteria go to nitrate for it when oxygen levels are low in hypoxic areas or even in their own mulm./mats/ biofilm.Sometimes that takes months; sometimes it's much faster. I think it's much easier to dial in a maintenance dose when carbon dosing is started with low nitrate levels,say under 5ppm.

It's also fine,IMO, to use a sulfur denitrator on an ongoing basis without organic carbon dosing if you are less interested in the PO4 reduction organic carbon dosing also provides and less inclined to raise bacteria for the food web. I chose organic carbon dosing for the main sps dominant system but others prefer sulfur denitrators and PO4 removers like GFO and there is no reason that a well managed combination of those two won't control NO3 and PO4 levels. I have also used the sulfur denitrator on several off system tanks I keep with success in lowering nitrates. I think a suilfur denitrator may be very useful on fry tanks as an example where limiting bacteria in the water column is often a concern and feeding is often very heavy.

Some use organic carbon dosing and a sulfur denitrator together ; I'm skeptical but still unsure this will work well or not given the potential for organic carbon to get into the reactor feeding sulfate reducing bacteria (producing toxic hydrogen sulfide gas as a by product) in the reactor (which can occur at truly anoxic conditions ;i.e no nitrate and no oxygen). I'm also concerned the bacteria using the organic carbon may outcompete the sulfur bacteria. Having said that I think the jury is still out on this combination.

Belgian Anthias
05/07/2016, 04:59 AM
Are you selling or speaking for someone selling these ?

What can I sell? Sulphur is cheap (10/kg) and only a very small amount is consumed. Once installed there is not much to sell. Oyster shell is also very cheap and everywhere available as chicken food. Any container can be used as reactor. No high tech stuff needed. A small pump, some tubes and a small flow regulator valve. That is it.
But everything can also be bought in the aquarium trade, at the local store. One can add PH monitoring. Use commercial calcium reactors and/or bio-reactors, calcium-carbonate- and sulphur media, etc.-

I am speaking for myself when I say that nitrate should not be a problem in a nutrient demanding closed mixed reef aquarium system as it is easily removed and controlled using BADES (Biological Autotrophe Denitrification on Elemental Sulphur) There is nothing new about a BADESSystem. BADES was first used in reef aquaria two decades ago.

Belgian Anthias
05/07/2016, 06:54 AM
Are we comparing apples with pears.

I distance myself from the use of sulphur-denitrators that are kept anoxic (<0.5ppm DO). I do not propagate the use of sulphur-denitrators managed that way. I would never use them this way or advice them. It is not the first reactor managed this way that turns into a sulphide factory due to mismanagement.

I propagate the use of a BADESS to remove nitrate which is completely different in concept.

A BADESS does NOT use sulphur-denitrators which are kept anoxic by limiting the flow and managed in a way as used by Tmz . BADES-reactors are NOT managed the same way carbon dosed reactors and anoxic sulphur reactors are managed.
Sulphur denitrators which are kept anoxic (<0.5ppm DO) may become problematic and are easily mismanaged, unsuitable for a BADESS as we want reliability and user friendliness. In a BADESS sulphur-denitrators are NOT used and managed this way because it does NOT work as the nitrate removal rate can not be controlled which makes it NOT possible to close the nitrogen cycle within the closed aqua-system which is the main purpose of a BADESSystem.

A BADES-reactor is able to remove 10x more nitrate as a sulphur reactor that is kept anoxic . The flow true the reactor can easily be changed which makes managing the nitrate removal rate an easy task.
A normal BADESS processes daily the total volume of the aqua-system, every day.

Adding organic carbon in a BADES-reactor will remove the biofilm needed as the heterotrops will out-compete the autotrophs. Cultivating and maintaining the biofilm needed is a very important issue when bio-film BADES-reactors are used.
NEVER dose organic carbon when using a BADES-reactor.
A BADESS is used for nutrient demanding aquarium-systems.

A BADESS will give full control to the user over the nitrate removal rate and the nitrate level in the system. The user decides over the nitrate level he wants to keep on, helped by nature.
An anoxic kept sulphur-denitrator can only reduce some nitrate.