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Old 12-24-2009, 06:30 PM   #21
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What kind of substrate do you have in your tank. Sand or crushed coral? How deep?

Bottom line is then, the food you add is the only source of nitrates. The food is broken down several times by the critters. Eventually, after the bacteria break it all down it winds up as nitrate. There is nothing that "produces" nitrates. Once waste is broke down to nitrates, there are only a couple of ways to remove it. Water changes, algae, or nitrate eating bacteria. That's it. nitrate eating bacteria require oxygen depleted zones to live.... live rock, sand beds, or coil denitrators. Skimmers remove waste before it can be broke down.

You are not going to turn this around over night. you need to feed appropriately. You need to skimm to remove waste before it breaks down. You need to allow time for your fuge and live rock to do it's job. You can't remove your canister filter and bio balls all at once. you need to do it in stages, and allow time for the bacteria colonies to relocate to the live rock. Then your live rock will begin to remove nitrates. Fuges take time to establish. My 3' sand bed in my DT bubbles nitrogen all day. My 5" DSB in my fuge still does not bubble nitrogen after 8 months. It has some worms in it, but I think I need so more earth movers in there to stir it up a bit more.
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:56 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by rewris View Post
Magnesium Ive never checked, I know I really should, but the kit is expensive and funds are tightening up. Hard being a reefer in NY, I swear.
its like that in chicago too trust me
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:38 AM   #23
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its like that in chicago too trust me



Ok.

So I went to get some salt yesterday and got a magnesium test kit while I was there.

They only had a Red Sea kit, I don't like Red Sea at all, I've have two of their skimmers, Prizm and C skim, and they both were pieces of crap, but I go it anyways, I figured its better than nothing.

So I tested and the magnesium level I got doesnt even show up on the chart. I had to use the entire syringe.

So I'm gonna see about dosing that and see if things get better.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:58 AM   #24
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I have had the same problem with my nitrates for a long time. My LFS suggested I remove the bio balls completely. I did and it had no effect on the nitrates. I've learned to live with higher nitrates than I would like...so have my fish.
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:38 PM   #25
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I have had the same problem with my nitrates for a long time. My LFS suggested I remove the bio balls completely. I did and it had no effect on the nitrates. I've learned to live with higher nitrates than I would like...so have my fish.

It's not the fish Im worried about, they seem fine. It's the corals that look like they're on the brink of death.
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:44 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by patrick824 View Post
not to steal answers here but i have a questions relating to this thread... if my tap water tests negative for nitrate... can I use it with no ill effects?
you need to test more than just nitrates, copper for one
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:45 PM   #27
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Sound like your on the right track adding a skimmer and fuge,still for now I think water changes are your best friend even though they're a PITA!!!
there is no substitute for water changes
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:34 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by rewris View Post



Ok.

So I went to get some salt yesterday and got a magnesium test kit while I was there.

They only had a Red Sea kit, I don't like Red Sea at all, I've have two of their skimmers, Prizm and C skim, and they both were pieces of crap, but I go it anyways, I figured its better than nothing.

So I tested and the magnesium level I got doesnt even show up on the chart. I had to use the entire syringe.

So I'm gonna see about dosing that and see if things get better.
Red Sea Mg test is kind of hard to use. Run it a couple of times to make sure you're doing it right. All that 1 drop swirl 15 seconds, repeat just makes it easy to mess up.

In any event, if it's not showing up (no color change) then it very well may mean your Mg is very high, in which case you don't want to dose it. If you get the color change instantly, then it's low. Odds are (unfortunately) you did the test wrong... Or miss counted how many times you drop and swirled I hate that test

For future reference, the Salifert Mg test is many times easier to do.

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Originally Posted by dreiling View Post
you need to test more than just nitrates, copper for one
Why does he need to test for copper? How about listing it out for him all the things he should test...


Like was mentioned earlier, nitrate eating bacteria is anerobic. To that end, how much live rock do you have? Live rock is my primary means of nitrate export - I keep about 100lbs in my 55 gallon. I didn't reread the thread, so sorry if this was already mentioned.


Earlier post said food is the only source of nitrates... that's kind of misleading IMO. True a fish won't poop unless it's eating food, etc... but your bio-load produces ammonia - which is converted to nitrites that's converted to nitrates. So, indirectly, you get nitrates from having life in your tank.

Again I didn't reread the thread - but is your bio-load high (lots of fish)? Do you feed a lot? It depends on the fish, but I only feed my clowns 2x a week... They've survived the past 18 months with me too.

If you feed them less, they'll eat more of what's growing in your tank which assists in reducing nitrates etc. Not to mention you'll be adding less food so you'll be adding less phosphates and nitrates.

Be sure to be doing water changes. I find it to be a band-aid with high nitrates, but you need the band-aid until you can fix the root problem
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