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Ghosty problems in your tank? Consider your nitrate level.

Posted 07/24/2015 at 03:20 PM by Sk8r

Recommended or a reef---level of 2 or less.
For a FOWLR tank or fish-only: less than 30.
For many inverts, the survival limit: under 40.
Fish survival limit---maybe 100, but it's not going to be happy.

Some things actually use up nitrate: clams, for instance, reduce nitrate, but have many other high-end life requirements, so don't dump some poor clam into a fish-only.
Some corals like elegance also appear to require a little, so zero is not good for them.
Your live rock is a big consumer. The way one pair of human lungs, completely flattened, would cover a football field (so I've heard: never tried it)---one live rock, similarly flattened, should have a lot of pores, passages, holes, gnarliness. It should not be, say, a chunk of smooth marble. Pores, holes and passages to let in a lot of water to be processed.

Where does nitrate come from? Nutrients. Food. Biological process you met when you cycled your tank, or would have, had you done it the 'old' way, and simply added fish food.

How to lower nitrate?
Feed only what fish consume...eliminate waste.
Ditch (little at a time!) bioballs, filter pads, sponges, wet-drys, canisters, filters, and any other arrangement that lets waste pile up in a system for bacteria to work on.

To deal with waste, have enough live rock, do your water changes, and don't have too many fish for your tank to handle well. Live rock and sandbed, aided by worms, crabs and snails that break down food particles, can break nitrate down and convert it to nitrogen gas, which floats up to the surface as bubbles, and goes away. This is not a case of something FOR nothing, but something converting TO nothing. Buh-bye, nitrate!
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  1. New Comment
    cyndy007's Avatar
    I have high nitrates in my 120 FOWLR tank...when I purchased my tank two years ago, it came with Eshops wet/dry bio filter and I have the Jebo 830 canister. Considering my high nitrate level, my fish seem to be doing good...they are eating very good and are very active.

    I am doing water changes weekly to reduce the nitrate levels....

    I went to my LFS and he stated my nitrate levels are high because of my bioballs and canister filter.

    He also stated to ditch both filters and suggested I purchase the Eshops Advance sump ADV300? Anyone own one of these systems? Any suggestions?
    Posted 08/15/2015 at 10:02 AM by cyndy007 cyndy007 is offline

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