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Constant 5 to 10 Nitrate. Need to worry?


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I have a 29gBC with 30lbs live rock and 3 inches or sand. I do water changes every Friday. Im running a skimmer in chamber 1and Cheato in chamber 2 on top of the stock trey. I also have an hydor and a Nacorla.


Stocked with snails, hermits, 2 emeralds, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 peppermint, 2 black clowns, 6 line wrasse, Bicolor Blenny, Blue Spotted Jawfish, 2 heads of Frogspawn, and Green Star Polyps.


I am running BioBalls so I figure that's why but I dont want to take them out in an already established tank.

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Probably the bioballs. How much are you feeding and how often? Have you ever ran carbon? To me 5-10 is not a problem

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I feed once a day. I have brine shrimp cubes and cut them in fourths with a knife. So once a day they get a quarter of a cube.


I've never ran carbon. I've heard nightmares about it and constant changing of the carbon.

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I am not an expert on fish stocking because my setups are all coral, but it seems to me that you are pretty heavily stocked. Nitrates are not going to harm your fish,and I don't think that your specific corals are very sensitive to low nitrate levels. So the main thing you should be worried about is undesirable algae growth. If you aren't having issues with that don't take any drastic measures. I would just reccomend doubling up on h2o changes for a few weeks while simultaneously cutting back a bit on feeding to see if you can bring the levels down to < 5.


To summarize I wouldn't be too worried but good aquarium husbandry means you should always be striving to keep no3 as low as humanly possible.

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If you want to eliminate the nitrates remove the bioballs in small amounts over a period of a couple months. Maybe a handfull with each water change. Then turn the empty chamber into a fuge.

edit: 3" of sand is a lot and could eventually cause trouble.

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3 months. Im not going to add anything else for at least another 6 months. I've had no issues at all. Just trying to prevent any problem. I take very good care of it and pay constant attention.


I have very little algae growth. I have no idea how to build a fuge. I have alot of experience in fish only aquariums. Needless way my 125 fish only has been up for a year and I have had no need to look into a fuge.


3 inches of sand is there because I have a Blue Spotted Jawfish. Every water change I suck the nasties out of the sand.

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Once I removed all my bio balls and knocked out the false floor in chamber one, I noticed piles of "debris" at the bottom of all my chambers. Vacuumed the junk up with the next water change and my nitrates dropped like a rock.

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