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Help with nitrates


silent183

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I can't seem to get my nitrates below 20ppm using an API test kit and it's causing some algae problems.

 

I'm currently doing 10% water changes weekly, but after reading the daily WC thread I'm going to try that out.

 

My setup is:

40 Breeder

40 lbs of LR

40 lbs of Aragonite sand

1 Koralia 3

1 Koralia 550gph

29G Sump with Refugium

600GPH Return Pump

Currently have both of my Koralias facing towards the front glass from both sides of the tank. My return line is pointed at the front glass at an angle towards the sand some.

 

In my fuge I have 2 balls of chaeto 10 lbs of LS and a chunk of LR.

 

My fish list includes:

1 Ocellaris Clown

1 Blue spotted sleeper goby

1 Arrow Crab

About a dozen nassarius and cerith snails

1 Big Turbo Snail

6 Blue-legged Hermits

1 Serpent Star

 

My test results from my API kit:

Ammonia 0

Nitrites 0

Nitrates 20

Phosphates 0

SG is 1.025 at 75F

 

Im not feeding heavily just what my fish can eat within a few minutes 2 times a day, either nutrafin max pellets or frozen foods (mysis or brine shrimp).

 

Any help is appreciated by this noob

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OClownsandNanos

Have you doublechecked your nitrates reading against a test by the LFS? 2x a day does seem like a lot, esp. for just a clown and a goby. Once daily should be sufficient and make sure you are spot feeding. But also given you've got that chaeto in there (it is well-lit and tumbling and growing, right?), I'd make sure the test kit is giving you accurate measurements.

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Feeding to much and I would check your water source. I have 5 fish in my 20 L, feed every other day and my nitrates never go above 5, most of the time undetectable with a cpr hob with chaeto.

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Have you doublechecked your nitrates reading against a test by the LFS? 2x a day does seem like a lot, esp. for just a clown and a goby. Once daily should be sufficient and make sure you are spot feeding. But also given you've got that chaeto in there (it is well-lit and tumbling and growing, right?), I'd make sure the test kit is giving you accurate measurements.

 

The chaeto is well-lit but not tumbling when I put it in it just sank to the bottom. I will switch to feeding once a day too and check my nitrate kit against another set I have.

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Feeding to much and I would check your water source. I have 5 fish in my 20 L, feed every other day and my nitrates never go above 5, most of the time undetectable with a cpr hob with chaeto.

 

I'm using RO water for changes and top offs

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Not only are you feeding too often but it sounds like you're feeding too much. Make sure you turn off all the flow and only provide enough food that the fish can consume in under a minute. If they don't get to to it in a minute, then its too much!

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whats your TDS reading?

 

Not sure don't have a tds meter but the RO filter is changed monthly

 

A skimmer wouldn't hurt either.

 

I'm running a CPR sr3

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I get it from a water company. They say it is changed once a month

 

Riiiiiight. I will put money on the RO water being high TDS. If you are going to get water from them then you need to either see them test the TDS in front of you or you need to buy your own meter for 20 bucks and test it yourself.

 

Not that they are a bad water source......just that they are filtering for drinking water, not reef keeping. The acceptable TDS for drinking water is wayyyyyyyyyy higher than for a reef, and they therefore are not going to worry or change the filters more often just because the TDS jumps a little.

 

While the feeding did not help things, I bet your water source is an issue as well.

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Riiiiiight. I will put money on the RO water being high TDS. If you are going to get water from them then you need to either see them test the TDS in front of you or you need to buy your own meter for 20 bucks and test it yourself.

 

Not that they are a bad water source......just that they are filtering for drinking water, not reef keeping. The acceptable TDS for drinking water is wayyyyyyyyyy higher than for a reef, and they therefore are not going to worry or change the filters more often just because the TDS jumps a little.

 

While the feeding did not help things, I bet your water source is an issue as well.

 

Ok Ill start using RO water from the LFS and see how that goes.

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Ok Ill start using RO water from the LFS and see how that goes.

 

Less risky, but still risky. Measure no matter the source.....

 

If you were making your own RO/DI water, you would measure the TDS of that right?

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Less risky, but still risky. Measure no matter the source.....

 

If you were making your own RO/DI water, you would measure the TDS of that right?

 

Yeah I was gonna have them test it first.

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Sounds like a good plan! Keep in mind that plain old RO will not normally be zero. It has to be DI to really make it spick and span. So if they sell you some RO water that is close to zero then it is probably as good as you will find.

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Def get a tds meter, my lfs ro water was 5 and publix down the street with a glacier machine that gets serviced weekly has a tds of 4. I either use that or distilled, figure 4 couldn't hurt though.

 

Start doing 20% water changes. If its a huge problem do them couple times a week, if not once a week until they go down.

 

And, don't feed daily

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I'm gonna see if my lfs sells tds meters while I'm there. What is an acceptable range for the test?

Feed your fish once every other day, you don't need to feed daily. What are you feeding? If you are feeding frozen food are you rinsing it in ro/di or purified water? Many of the frozen foods are heavy in excess nutrients. Rod's food for example contains a unbelievable hi amount of phosphate (if you don't believe me test the defrosted liquid for PO4 it will shock you). You have to defrost the food in purified water, the rinse, then add it to the tank.

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I'm feeding either nutrafin max pellets, frozen mysis or. frozen brine shrimp. The frozen foods I have been thawing out in water from my sump.

 

In my fuge I have two balls of chaeto but they sit on the sand bed and 10 lbs of live sand.

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Don't worry about the haters talking about overfeeding.. you said you feed what they can eat. If they can eat it all, twice a day, that's fine. I find it pretty cruel how some people starve their fish, but, hey, that's for their conscience to deal with, not mine.

 

As was already established, I'd say your water may not be so hot.

 

Also, I didn't see your lighting mentioned anywhere.. what are you running and for how long?

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