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need some help with nitrates!


mcarr3

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My tank has been up for about six months now and my nitrates are climbing. I originally let it cycle for about 5 weeks with 6 lbs of live rock, and about a 1.5 inch live sand bed. I was very patient and careful to get my water levels perfect before I put anything in. It is an eclipse 12 with the stock filter. I added a small percula clown and a bengai cardinal. I slowly added 4 hermit crabs, 4 margarita snails, and a emerald crab. I have done 25% water changes about once a week. I recently changed the stock lighting to the current usa sunpac 1x40w and have added a button polyp, two small mushrooms, and a pulsing xenia. Since then my nitrates have gone sky high (around 80). I bought the current USA fission skimmer, removed the bio wheel from the stock filter,reduced my feedings, and changed the water 4 times in the last two weeks with distilled water but cannot get the nitrates below 40. I am a starving grad student and dont have a lot of money so i was wondering if there is anything that i could do without trashing my stock filter and spending 150-200$ on a skimmer. I am scarred to put more live rock in because i dont want to start another cycle and make things worse. The fish, corals and inverts all are very active and appear fine but I know that the nitrates have to come down. I am sorry for the length of this entry but i wanted to explain everything. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Is there anyway for you to place some Chaeto? That stuff is very good. I had the same issue and it went from sky high levels to 0 in a matter of a week or two. I would add something like an AquaClear filter remove all the crap that comes in there and put some Chaeto. This is what we call a fuge. You will need a light on top of that too. You can do a search on Fuges and it will explain a bit better. Hope this helps.

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Some people have told me that if i remove the stock filter medium from the eclipse 12 and mount a light than i could use that compartment as a mini fuge where i may be able to put some chaeto and some LR rubble. In order to do that though i would have no filter medium for mechanical filtration. I really did not want to get into adding a fuge on to the tank because i have no idea how to do it and i wanted to try to keep it simple. I may end up trying that though because it seems like the only thing to do. Would adding an eheim ecco canister filter and removing the stock filter help? that is another option that i have been toying with but i dont want to spend the money on that if it will be no better than the stock eclipse power filter. Thank you for your reply!

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I would definitely pursue a fuge w/ some chaeto. Has worked wonders with my tank. Also get rid of the stock media. Mechanical filtration is not necessary if you keep up on regular maintenance. I have a AC500 with chaeto and LR in it and that is it for filtration. My corals do awesome. Of course if you want to keep SPS you should seek some better filtration as they prefer the cleaner water. But with softies and LPS they will appreciate the lack of mechanical filtration.

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