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cant seem to get 'trates below 20


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#1
Duncmac

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Hey everyone! I'm pretty sure this is my first post on this site, so I'd like to throw out a big hello to everyone!

on to the issue.
I have a 10 gallon that's been running about 3 months. i keep zoas, shrooms, duncans, kenya, and gsp. The tank isn't heavily stocked, but it DOES have one peppermint, several ceriths, a clown, and a firefish. I have a 2" sand bed and 11 pounds of rock

The problem lies here. ammonia - 0 nitrites - 0 nitrates - 20ppm
This is almost all the time (i never test DIRECTLY after my WC) and i cant seem to find a way to get it down. I change 20% weekly (give or take a day or two), run a skimmer (aquaticlife 115), and have added a baseball size hunk of chaeto.... i try to feed the fish twice a week, and the duncan i spot feed three times a week...

Yet i still see 20ppm on the dreaded API kit...

My plan was/is to build and attatch a HOB fuge (i've built the acrylic tank... its 2.5g, just has no baffles yet) and i was wondering how much success i should plan to see out of it once attatched... Also wondering what else i've overlooked that could help out my situation.

#2
C.I._Reefer

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First step would be to confirm the reading via another kit(at lfs or buddy or whatever, preferably confirmed via a different brand, just to be sure).

If the reading is true, I would then temporarily upgrade my WC regimen to say, 20%+ twice weekly or 30%+ weekly, until i get a near zero reading and then go from there.

Hope that at least helps a little bit.

#3
mmcguffi

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I would build a fuge like you have planned

mine hovered at about 15 ppm until I did

#4
JDK

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I could never get mine below 3 ppm no matter how many water changes I did. It always just stayed around 3-5 for months. I know I will get some heat for this (snake oil finger pointers) but I started adding Brightwells MicroBacter 7 because I had a little cyano popping up and wanted to nip it in the butt before it spread. Sure enough 2 weeks after using it every day my nitrates are .2 ppm (salifert). It was cheap and it was not my intention to lower nitrates I just wanted to fight the cyano but the reduction in nitrates was a pleasant side effect.

#5
Salty_Snack

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+1 for checking the reading with another kit.

Other than that it is possible that your LR isn't good for supporting denitrifying bacteria. I know that everyone always says 1 to 1.5 lbs per gallon but that's just barely a starting point, especially for nanoreefs. so you could get more LR or get a synthetic alternative like seachem matrix or denitrate and that should help with the nitrate.

Many people use it wrong, but nitrate and nitrite are singular not plural. Funny how no one says ammonias.


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#6
HVani

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Once I added a small fuge to my tank my nitrates dropped.

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#7
Duncmac

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so i should be heading in the right direction? just keep up on my WC to dilute, add that fuge, and keep the numbers in check and the params should level out?

salty - thanks for setting me straight. heh.