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Protein Skimming to reduce Nitrite/Nitrate?


jyi2101

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My FOWL 14 gl tank is now 2 mos old and I just got my first fish (a Citrinis Clown Goby) a couple of days ago. I've been nervous about two things:

 

1. My goby is not eating the frozen shrimps and flakes I offered these past days so i got some cyclop eeze (which I read online that gobies love that) and it took a couple of bites. But the goby still spends most of its time sticking its nose against the glass. I tried stress coats (as a retailer recommendation) and it worked for a couple of days where the goby stayed still over some coral skeletons I have. Any ideas if the goby not eating and glass "kissing" is a normal adaptation process?

 

2. After my tank cycled for 2 months, thanks to the live rocks, I noticed that my nitrite/nitrates level are a little high: nitrite tested 0.1 (in the brand Red Sea scale) ppm. Shouldn't it be zero? And nitrates tested 12.5 in the high range and 2.5 in the low range (also from Red Sea). I've read two books that highly recommended keeping theses levels to zero. I tried more water changes (about 15%) but it's depleting my Alkalinity (low on 120).

 

I added some nitrifying bacteria two days ago but the levels are still high. Today, I decided to try protein skimming and also purchased "C Balance" to help level Alkalinity and replace some important trace elements.

My question at this point is:

Is my tank too young to do protein skimming? If PS is a good measure now, how long should I keep it running a day considering I have one fish in a 14 gl 2 mos-old tank?

Why is my alkalinity low? the salt mix I used is Instant Ocean (I heard is a good brand).

 

What am I doing wrong? :o

 

If my goby doesn't eat all its food, should I removed what sinks to the bottom?

 

Thanks for the help on this :):D

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My FOWL 14 gl tank is now 2 mos old and I just got my first fish (a Citrinis Clown Goby) a couple of days ago. I've been nervous about two things:

 

1. My goby is not eating the frozen shrimps and flakes I offered these past days so i got some cyclop eeze (which I read online that gobies love that) and it took a couple of bites. But the goby still spends most of its time sticking its nose against the glass. I tried stress coats (as a retailer recommendation) and it worked for a couple of days where the goby stayed still over some coral skeletons I have. Any ideas if the goby not eating and glass "kissing" is a normal adaptation process?

 

2. After my tank cycled for 2 months, thanks to the live rocks, I noticed that my nitrite/nitrates level are a little high: nitrite tested 0.1 (in the brand Red Sea scale) ppm. Shouldn't it be zero? And nitrates tested 12.5 in the high range and 2.5 in the low range (also from Red Sea). I've read two books that highly recommended keeping theses levels to zero. I tried more water changes (about 15%) but it's depleting my Alkalinity (low on 120).

 

I added some nitrifying bacteria two days ago but the levels are still high. Today, I decided to try protein skimming and also purchased "C Balance" to help level Alkalinity and replace some important trace elements.

My question at this point is:

Is my tank too young to do protein skimming? If PS is a good measure now, how long should I keep it running a day considering I have one fish in a 14 gl 2 mos-old tank?

Why is my alkalinity low? the salt mix I used is Instant Ocean (I heard is a good brand).

 

What am I doing wrong? :o

 

If my goby doesn't eat all its food, should I removed what sinks to the bottom?

 

Thanks for the help on this :):D

 

all of your reading should read 0, anything other is no good (barring KH, calcium ph & sg those have other values). Stop adding things to your tank. In my experience chemicals, especial nitrifying bacteria & stress coat do more harm then good.

 

A protein skimmer is always a good choice. Some choose not to run it for one reason or another. Your reasoning is not a good reason. A PS will not remove nitrites & nitrates. Only thing that will help lower & eventually keep them out of your tank is good old fashion water changes. Start doing 10-20% every other day. In between days test your parameters & keep doing w/c until those values read zero.

 

If you where to add a skimmer to your tank, run it all day everyday. Something like a remora nano would do good. Personally, i dont think your tank is to young at all. Go for it.

 

Instant ocean is on the cheaper side, i have read that they had bad batches of salt where a certain trace element (calcium KH, stronium, magnesium etc) comes up on the low side. Still i wouldnt dose anything untill you get your basic water chemistry correct.

 

As far as the food thing is concerned, feed less of what the goby seems to want to eat. Try to keep hands & netting out of the tank. Your filters & cuc will take care of the rest of the un eatten food.

 

 

BTW,

 

Welcome to NR, hope you learn a thing or two during your stay here

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for the warm welcome :)

 

A protein skimmer is always a good choice. Some choose not to run it for one reason or another. Your reasoning is not a good reason. A PS will not remove nitrites & nitrates. Only thing that will help lower & eventually keep them out of your tank is good old fashion water changes. Start doing 10-20% every other day. In between days test your parameters & keep doing w/c until those values read zero.

 

My nitrates are somewhat under control now. All I did was:

- added more LR (which brought me to a total of 23lbs in my 14 gl).

- inserted blue pads to my filter (changing every other day)

- doing 15% water changes every 2, 3 days, and 50% weekly.

- used a turkey baster to pick up detritus settled within the gravel (every week).

 

If you where to add a skimmer to your tank, run it all day everyday. Something like a remora nano would do good. Personally, i dont think your tank is to young at all. Go for it.

 

Thanks for the tip! Will do, as soon as I'm ready to spend $130/140 :)

 

Instant ocean is on the cheaper side, i have read that they had bad batches of salt where a certain trace element (calcium KH, stronium, magnesium etc) comes up on the low side. Still i wouldnt dose anything untill you get your basic water chemistry correct.

 

Any recommendations for a salt mix brand?

 

As far as the food thing is concerned, feed less of what the goby seems to want to eat. Try to keep hands & netting out of the tank. Your filters & cuc will take care of the rest of the un eatten food.

 

Goby is eating voraciously! It loves Mysis Shrimp & Cyclops. It's growing and gaining good shape :) I named it Banana (actually my friend did). And Banana just got a new friend, Grapefruit (a royal gramma). Both are very friendly and easy going. Thanks for all the tips!

 

BTW,

 

Welcome to NR, hope you learn a thing or two during your stay here

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Ammonia and Nitrite should always be 0....or stuff is going to start to die and fast.

 

Nitrate at 0 can be difficult to sustain. A reading of 12.5 won’t hurt anything in your tank right now and I would expect that level for the age of your tank…. Unless you are keeping SPS, clams, etc which nitrate can irritate them.

 

Stop all the dosing and start doing water changes to correct the issue for now. Water changes can fix most balance issues in our small tanks most of the time (unless you water source and salt source is crap). You will need 0 TDS RO/DI water and a good salt mix. I use Instant Ocean Reef Crystals.

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Sorry I won't be of much help (I am still a newbie myself) but I just had to comment and say I love the names of your fish! :)

 

I use AquaVitro by Seachem for my salt and I know quite a few others who use it and all the tanks seem to do very well on it.

 

Good luck! :)

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I get my water pre-mixed at my local LFS, and they use kent reef mix. I've never had a problem with it, and my tank is only 2.5 months old. All of my readings are at 0, nitrates included. I've heard relatively good things about Kents brand, thoughts?

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Just FYI.. Alk and nitrates only matter if you're keeping coral. Until you have a semi-mature mixed reef tank, put the tests away. They're only causing you unnecessary stress. The chemicals you are adding could cause bigger problems.

 

For the goby, try a variety of foods. He'll find something he likes.

 

For your salt, if you are using instant ocean, make sure you are using Reef Crystals if you plan to have coral.. that will keep your trace elements in check. If you plan to stay FOWLR, normal IO works.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This week my nitrates read 0 for the first time since I first setup the tank. I didn't add any chemicals - following advices from other hobbyists. I've been also really careful with overfeeding.

 

All I did was

- added more LR (which brought me to a total of 23lbs in my 14 gl).

- inserted blue pads to my filter (changing every other day)

- doing 15% water changes every 2, 3 days, and 50% weekly.

- used a turkey baster to pick up detritus settled within the gravel (every week).

 

I changed my salt mix brand from Instant Ocean to Red Sea.

 

I'm facing another dilemma right now. I DI/RO my tap water to which I add electrolytes and Ph adjuster the filter seller sent me. But as I'm running out of these supplements, would you recommend using "C-Balance" to replenish DI/RO water for saltwater preparation?

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This week my nitrates read 0 for the first time since I first setup the tank. I didn't add any chemicals - following advices from other hobbyists. I've been also really careful with o

 

I changed my salt mix brand from Instant Ocean to Red Sea.

 

I'm facing another dilemma right now. I DI/RO my tap water to which I add electrolytes and Ph adjuster the filter seller sent me. But as I'm running out of these supplements, would you recommend using "C-Balance" to replenish DI/RO water for saltwater preparation?

 

Theres no reason to add anything to your purified water other than a good salt mix of which there are many.Heater, powerhead, and mix to proper temp and salinity at least overnight. I prefer 24h minimum before water changes.

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lakshwadeep

Yes, the point of using RO/DI filters for reef tanks (not drinking water) is to have completely pure water when you mix the salt.

 

Red sea test kits are often inaccurate. Try getting your water tested with the similarly priced API or more expensive (but more reliable) Salifert, Elos, or Lamotte brands.

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I finally bought API test kits. And you're right. Although pricy, they are more accurate.

Right now, I'm just adding Red Sea salt mix into the RO/DI water. And its pH tests about 7.9, 8.0 after aging for 24hr.

 

To maintain the Nitrates level low, I feed my little guys once every other day only and do a:

-10% water change every 2,3 days.

- 50% water change weekly.

 

i Just added a bubble tip anemone (BTA) to my tank. Have you had experiences with it? Do you think a semi-black ice snowflake clown fish will bond with it?

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lol what the hell is a semi-black ice snowflake clonwn (snowflake?).

 

Anyways, there are no guarantees on hosting clowns. it can take days, and up to years (2 years was the most I've heard of so far), personally mine took 6 months.

 

Just keep them all healthy. Don't force it.

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lol what the hell is a semi-black ice snowflake clonwn (snowflake?).

 

Anyways, there are no guarantees on hosting clowns. it can take days, and up to years (2 years was the most I've heard of so far), personally mine took 6 months.

 

Just keep them all healthy. Don't force it.

 

S'mores! hehe... I bought it from hyperboy. Check out the pics http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...t&p=3296389

 

Up to years? Oh well... I guess I won't hold my breath.

 

The BTA is adapting well with water and lighting but no sign of bonding yet. Mango, the S'more, has been eating since day 2.

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"My question at this point is:

Is my tank too young to do protein skimming? If PS is a good measure now, how long should I keep it running a day considering I have one fish in a 14 gl 2 mos-old tank?

Why is my alkalinity low? the salt mix I used is Instant Ocean (I heard is a good brand).

If my goby doesn't eat all its food, should I removed what sinks to the bottom?

 

1)Your tank is never to young to start skimming since it already has inhabitants.

2) Run it continuously, since waste is constantly being produced

3) ALK is low due to many reasons, one could be your salt mix, your dosing of chemicals or your frequency of W.Cs

4) get a clean up crew for uneaten foods, feed every other day or 2x per week to keep your No3 down.

5) remember to do your WC's or lots of problems will come up like the ones above

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"My question at this point is:

Is my tank too young to do protein skimming? If PS is a good measure now, how long should I keep it running a day considering I have one fish in a 14 gl 2 mos-old tank?

Why is my alkalinity low? the salt mix I used is Instant Ocean (I heard is a good brand).

If my goby doesn't eat all its food, should I removed what sinks to the bottom?

 

1)Your tank is never to young to start skimming since it already has inhabitants.

2) Run it continuously, since waste is constantly being produced

3) ALK is low due to many reasons, one could be your salt mix, your dosing of chemicals or your frequency of W.Cs

4) get a clean up crew for uneaten foods, feed every other day or 2x per week to keep your No3 down.

5) remember to do your WC's or lots of problems will come up like the ones above

 

Thanks ldballoon4 :) I ended up switching my salt mix to Red Sea, instead of Instant Ocean. Although I looked into AquaVitro and it looks like a better brand. But will stick to Red Sea for now since I don't have any corals yet, just an anemone.

 

Skimmers are a bit pricey. And because my tank is small, I need a specific one: hang on, external, for up to 15 gal. Suggestions?

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Thanks ldballoon4 :) I ended up switching my salt mix to Red Sea, instead of Instant Ocean. Although I looked into AquaVitro and it looks like a better brand. But will stick to Red Sea for now since I don't have any corals yet, just an anemone.

 

Skimmers are a bit pricey. And because my tank is small, I need a specific one: hang on, external, for up to 15 gal. Suggestions?

check out glazers builds on picoaquariums.com

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