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Mr_slinky_dragon

Lowering nitrates

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Mr_slinky_dragon

What is the best method for lowering nitrates? I managed to lower the nitrites with a 12.5% (10 liters) water change but the nitrates are still 4+ppm, would adding more live rock help or should i do another water change? (I am getting more rock plus a phosphate test kit on tuesday when i get paid)

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Tamberav

Any reason you need them lower?

 

You don't want nitrates too low for corals or is this just for a mantis?

 

Do a large water change to lower them.

 

If you just have that one piece of live rock. I would probably add some more although your DSB should also serve the same purpose once it is aged.

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MrObscura

There's absolutely no reason to lower them. Hell, I'd probably feed more with just 4ppm. If mine are under 40 I'm happy. 

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Humblefish

What type of corals are you trying to grow? SPS, LPS, softies? Knowing that will help us advise you where your nitrates need to be.

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MrObscura
1 hour ago, Humblefish said:

What type of corals are you trying to grow? SPS, LPS, softies? Knowing that will help us advise you where your nitrates need to be.

In my opinion that's irrelevant. It's a false belief that sps need less and softies need more. Fortunately this practice is slowly going by the wayside. 

 

Nitrates are probably the least important parameter, as long as they don't hit 0. Just keep them above 0 and below crazy high. 

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Mr_slinky_dragon

So i shouldnt worry too much then? I am not sure if i want to put coral in as it may not go with the theme im trying to create, plus the mantis shrimp might destroy them. If i do i might go for a soft coral that grows in rock pools and shallow lagoons. Personally i prefer the look of macro algae but thats just me 😛

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Tamberav
45 minutes ago, Mr_slinky_dragon said:

So i shouldnt worry too much then? I am not sure if i want to put coral in as it may not go with the theme im trying to create, plus the mantis shrimp might destroy them. If i do i might go for a soft coral that grows in rock pools and shallow lagoons. Personally i prefer the look of macro algae but thats just me 😛

Well you want nitrates for the macro.

 

It depends on the shrimp...some mantis are prone to shell rot and require a cleaner tank than others but that depends how much higher than 4 it is.

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Mr_slinky_dragon

Im not sure as the test only scaled to 4ppm. 

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Humblefish
16 hours ago, MrObscura said:

In my opinion that's irrelevant. It's a false belief that sps need less and softies need more. Fortunately this practice is slowly going by the wayside. 

 

Nitrates are probably the least important parameter, as long as they don't hit 0. Just keep them above 0 and below crazy high. 

I had a SPS (mostly acros) and LPS/soft coral tank side by side. Nitrates in the SPS reef hovered around 5ppm; the LPS/softy tank was always between 30-60ppm depending upon how lazy I was being.

 

I often would cut a frag from the LPS/softy aquarium and try it in the SPS tank. Soft corals would almost always shrivel up & die, while LPS typically did fine but grew at a slower rate than the mother colony in the LPS/softy tank. ICP-OES Testing showed all other parameters were a very close match between the two tanks.

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MrObscura

Yea, I should have clearer, Lps and softies will struggle with very low no3, but sps do fine and even appreciate elevated levels as well. 

 

Personally, I aim for 25 or so in my mixed reef. 

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Clown79

I wouldn't worry, if anything its worrisome to have low nitrates and phosphates.

 

The tank needs nutrients.

The old school method of low to no nutrients is no longer recommended, if anything alot of hobbyists are proving that higher nutrients has many benefits.

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Mr_slinky_dragon

I will keep an eye on them 🙂 but not worry too much then

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Sjadet
On 5/28/2019 at 4:21 PM, Mr_slinky_dragon said:

I will keep an eye on them 🙂 but not worry too much then

Make sure to increase light flow and alkalinity as you go up in nitrates cus if the ratio is incorrect it could cause indifference in skeletal, flesh and zooxanthellae distribution. Generally corals turn darker with too high nutrients and lighter when the light/alk is higher.

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MrObscura

That doesn't seem  quite accurate either, since there are some who say the lower the light the higher the nutrients should be.  And though high Alk with low nutrient can lead to issues, and there's really no reason to run those levels of Alk, lower Alk with higher nutrients is just fine.

 

At the end of the day adequate light and flow are necessary regardless, so no3/po4 levels simply dont really matter... unless they're very low or unbelievably high. And it's much easy to run into a problem with them being too low in my experience. 

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Melfy77

No need to lower them 😉 In my previous tank I was OBSESSED  with having both NO3 and PO4 at 0...well as a reward for my hard work I got dinos!!! I now  have an IM lagoon 25g and I'm much more relaxed about nutrients. As long as I don't have hair algae all over the place I'm happy lol. Tank is still very young (2 months) and diatoms stage is finally over!!! I don't test PO4 yet. As far as no3 go last time I checked they were around 5ppm. I do run rowaphos though. Always have.

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Sjadet
3 hours ago, MrObscura said:

That doesn't seem  quite accurate either, since there are some who say the lower the light the higher the nutrients should be.  And though high Alk with low nutrient can lead to issues, and there's really no reason to run those levels of Alk, lower Alk with higher nutrients is just fine.

 

At the end of the day adequate light and flow are necessary regardless, so no3/po4 levels simply dont really matter... unless they're very low or unbelievably high. And it's much easy to run into a problem with them being too low in my experience. 

If you have higher nutrients you’ll need to keep the same supply of light to provide the zooxanthellae with adequent energy to sustain the growing polyps. If your polyps are growing too fast (nutrients) with too low alk the flesh will grow thicker, the zooxanthellae will overgrow, causing darker colors. If the light is too high the zooxanthellae will die off to prevent overfeeding, causing bleaching. If the alk and minerals are too high, the flesh can’t keep up with skeleton causing tearing in the flesh. I’m not saying these are always the immediate effects as there are many different spots that different corals perfer, some like everything, some only specific combinations. But my point is you’ll see color changing as you’re adjusting your nutrients, light, flow and alkalinity relations. You can experiment to find the best spot that you like and your corals thrive in. But having everything too high or too low is riskier than keeping everything in medium range, as it leaves less room for alterations.

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mcarroll
Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2019 at 2:22 AM, Mr_slinky_dragon said:

So i shouldnt worry too much then?

Worry (and then taking action on that worry) is the #1 problem when you're starting out.

 

Someone once said that worry is a misuse of imagination.  I thought it was a clever thought (and very true!) so it stuck with me.  😉 (Wish I could remember where I read/heard it.)

 

Getting things balanced is your only real concern, and it can be a mostly-hands-off affair. 

 

There's a small tendency for algae blooms to get out of control, so IF that happens you may have to apply some elbow grease to keep that down while you upgrade your cleanup crew to the point they can handle it without your help. 

 

You do see a lot of people reaching for magic bullet type solutions like keeping nutrients super low, or whatever else....but herbivory (including your efforts) and a nice stable system is nature's "magic bullet".

Edited by mcarroll
...forgot to finish! Oops.
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BearCoral

There is no need to lower them than that.  For me I run them even higher on both tanks.  Dare I say I ran them at 100 for a while with SPS with no issues (I didn't care to check them for a while).

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