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Old 12/29/2017, 08:53 PM   #1
jobu28
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Cycling Help Needed on Established Tank!

I have a Red Sea Reefer 250. I have had it set up for about 1.5 years as a FO system. I have 1 small eel, 2 small lionfish and an angel. The tank ran good for over a year with all good numbers in the beginning. Some time ago(to be honest i stopped testing after it was set up for some time) it must have went out of cycle. Then I lost a fish, so first thing i did was test it. Tank has high nitrites that wont convert? Cleaned out all the detritis i could find. I have "Real Reef" rock in the display part and the sump filled with "marine pure". Salinity 1.1018, Ph 8.5, temp 77. Any thoughts on why this tank went out of cycle and now wont recycle? Its been weeks that I've been monitoring it. Numbers just stay the same and emperor looks like hell. Thanks


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Old 12/29/2017, 09:11 PM   #2
rjpotts
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Smile

Assuming 1.1018 is a typo, and you really meant 1.018.
How high is high on your nitrates?
How old is the test kit?
Last time you calibrated whatever you're using to measure salinity?
Are you sure the temperature is what your thermometer is telling you it is?
What do you mean by "nitrates won't convert"?
How many water changes have you done since problems arose?
How big were those water changes?
Does your new water contain high nitrates/phosphates?
If, in fact your salinity is 1.018, I'd try and get it up to at least 1.021, if not closer to 1.025. Hyposalinity will make fish look rough.
Is there measurable ammonia or nitrite?


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Old 12/29/2017, 09:32 PM   #3
jobu28
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Nitrites are the problem. Wont convert to Nitrates.

Yes, sorry, 1.018.
Nitrite around 5.0
Calibrated recently. Use my refractometer, a milwaukee salinity tester, and brought to my LFS who tested water and cam out with all the same results.
Confident on temps.
Nitrites wont convert to nitrates. Just staying the same for weeks.
I have done several water changes from 40 gal to 10 gallons over various weeks
RO water was used.
No measurable ammonia. High Nitrites


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Old 12/29/2017, 10:24 PM   #4
rjpotts
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Ah, misread that. Sorry.
The bacteria is definitely converting nitrite to nitrate, there really isn't a way to stop that from happening. If it wasn't converting at all, you wouldn't have nitrite, only ammonia.
So something is overwhelming the bacteria.
Is something rotting somewhere that you can't access, or haven't?


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Old 12/30/2017, 07:24 AM   #5
jobu28
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Yea, not sure why not converting to nitrate. Maybe marine pure isnt the answer? I dont belive anything is rotting. I took out all media, rock etc, and washed in tank water. cleaned up sump, tank is bare bottom. Stumped?


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Old 12/30/2017, 08:23 AM   #6
rjpotts
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That is weird. If everything is clean, and the same fish, less one unfortunately, have been in there successfully for over a year then there is no good reason for this.
How much rock is in your DT?
Have you reduced feeding since you noticed bad things happening?
What are you feeding them?
Have you tested your new water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?
I would still work on getting the salinity up.
I don't know your water storage setup, but I'd mix up some water at 1.025 and change a gallon or two every day until it comes up. Or even just top off with salt water instead of fresh until it comes up.
Are you using ro/di?


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Old 12/30/2017, 07:00 PM   #7
DesertReefT4r
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What type of filteration are you running, any skimmer? I agree something is overwhelming the bactieria. Imo you have a large bio load for a tank that size.


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Current Tank Info: 75g sps reef build in the works.
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Old 12/31/2017, 06:41 AM   #8
mcgyvr
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Test kit error IMO...


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Old 12/31/2017, 08:19 AM   #9
jobu28
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Everything is clean. Feeding are reduced to every other or every 3 days. I feed a few pieces of mysis and 3-4 silversides when i feed. I use RODI water. Skimmer was running. 32 balls of marine pure and 1 plate of marine pure. If this tank cant handle a few pieces of mysis and 3 silversides every other day then it will be coming down. Tests were confirmed by lfs.


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Old 12/31/2017, 08:47 AM   #10
jobu28
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And why aren't nitrates off the scale?


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Old 12/31/2017, 01:26 PM   #11
rjpotts
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It's not necessarily the food you're putting in that is overwhelming the bacteria. Those fish produce a lot of waste, even when they're not eating.
Ammonia is being constantly added to the system through respiration alone.
Again, get your salinity up. Test your new water.
If you cleaned it as well as you say you did, one 50% w/c should cut your pollutants in half. I wouldn't go that big that fast if they are dangerously high, but you get the idea. Maybe 25% every 3 days until things are stable.
The bacteria ARE turning nitrite into nitrate. But for some reason they can't do it fast enough.
What are your nitrate levels?


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Old 01/01/2018, 09:48 AM   #12
jobu28
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Did a 20g water change yesterday. Salinity to 1.020. Will slowly get it up. Took out all display rocks again and rinsed in tank water. Almost no detritus at all came off.
PH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 2.0, Nitrate around 50. Same levels as 2 weeks ago.


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Old 01/02/2018, 10:47 PM   #13
kurt_n
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Test your new salt water, if you haven't done so already. I'm guessing you're putting nitrites and nitrates in with every water change. Are you using RO or RO/DI water? You've mentioned both in your responses.


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