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Nitrate spike


klagos

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I have had my tank since January. Sarted with LR. In March, i added my first coral. Between March and now, i have added the other critters and coral listed below. I have not added anything other than a feather duster in the past three weeks. All of a sudden today, my nitrates are through the roof. I usually do water changes (two gallons a week for a fifteen gallon tank) on Sat which i did, but I am now mixing a new batch to change ASAP. Is this correct? Most of the stuff I found about nitrates is for new tank cycling. This tank has had great readings since the beginning. Any thoughts?

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do a few water changes. nitrates is the least 'worrisome' of the cycle trio. looking at you inhabitant list i would guess your snails and worms would be the most vulnerable.

 

more than likely you missed an ammonia/nitrite spike. no big deal.

 

 

 

nalbar

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Thanks nalbar. I read a lot of your posts about nitrate. This makes me feel a little more at ease. I do have another question if you're still around. How long do you let your salt water mix aerate? I have read anywhere from "I don't" to "48 hrs." Why the differential and does it matter significantly?

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i am lucky enough to be able to use filtered natural sea water from one of the finest oceanographic institutes in the world (scripps of la jolla, calif). they just let anyone drive right up to a faucet on their filtering tanks and fill up. its the same water they use for research and their public aquarium.

 

if i did not use that i would let it go 24 hours.

 

 

 

nalbar

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MrConclusion

Most of the modern salt mixes are good (fully dissolved and stable pH) after 15-30 minutes of agitation. There's really no problem waiting longer, but why wait?

 

If you are worried about the nitrates, do a larger percentage water change. If, for instance, you change 2 out of 15 gallons, you have only reduced the nitrate by 13%.

 

I change 25% of my water, and I do this three days in a row. After the dilution factor, this is a 55% overall water change. Sometimes I increase the 24% up to 30%, 40%, or even 50%. If your new water is the same pH, temperature, and Salinity, there's no problem doing larger changes - I have the healthy tanks to prove it.

 

BTW, there IS a situation where large percentage water changes are bad. That is if your tank has sat a long time without any water changes, because in that case the newly mixed water will be chemically different in many ways from the tank water. In those cases, i would not exceed 20 to 25 percent.

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