Can't seem to get the nitrates down

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by artspeaker, Mar 6, 2009.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. infamous

    infamous Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    741
    You can use Prime and see if that will reduce the nitrates. Don't disturb the sand or the live rock while doing a water change or just in general. Leave it alone when you do water changes. Its impossible for the nitrates not to decrease after a water change. Do you use any kind of a mechanical filter? If you are using frozen food. Stop using it and see if that makes a difference. Use something like Cyclopeeze when the filter are turned off.

    Also do you turn off filters while feeding? I turn off all my filters for 2 hours during and after feeding. Get all new filters. That should help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  2. Click Here!

  3. Zzippper

    Zzippper Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada
    That's just a very short term band-aid solution... and the results are questionable at best.

    Z
     
  4. infamous

    infamous Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    741
    The results are not questionable, they are real, if you follow the directions. Its just untill a water change can be done so the fish don't stress out and die.
     
  5. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,933
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Why? Have you tested your water after syphoning the sand bed? Did the results of the tests conclude that by syphoning the sand your No3 spiked? Luna
     
  6. bmshehan

    bmshehan Fu Manchu Lion Fish

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,904
    Location:
    Columbus, Indiana
    Contact Tangster about a nitrate coil IMO
     
  7. JasonSquared

    JasonSquared Spaghetti Worm

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Ive been in the same situation before. You can do a water change, but you will end up in the same situation in a short time... You could be a good candidate for carbon dosing (sugar, ethyl alcohol, or vingar) I've used sugar, and it works really well. I know that there are many here who jumped all over me, but the science behind it doesn't lie. I've done this in full blown sps reef tanks, and my corals and inverts loved it! FOWLR I'd have NO hesitation at all... f you're interested, PM me as I have no interest in having another thread where people who doubt this proven method go all in on trying to make alternative methods look foolish. But this is the general idea:

    Vodka, Sugar, Vinegar, molasses are a source of carbon, and that cabon is what is called "limiting" in regard to bacterial growth. In a reeftank, that is ALL bacteria -aerobic and anaerobic. As you may know, aerobic bacterium change ammonia to nitrite, while anaerobic, or bacteria not requiring oxygen to function, utilize nitrogen in the absence of O2 to metabolize carbon and hydrogen, and other organics to divide, grow and otherwise go about their day. This nitrogen is in the form of nitrate, and it gets changed into nitrogen gas. Since the Carbon is limiting, the bacteria can only grow as long as there is enough carbon. The simple part is: Add more carbon, get more of the bacteria that eat nitrate, as well as ALL other bacterium.

    The cabon doesn't have to be in the form of Vodka, it can also be sugar C6H1206 or one of the more complex sugars... As you can see from the formula, you basically have 6 carbon molecules, and 6 water molecules... SO theres your carbon...

    So what will you see when you put in vodka (usually a tsp per 25 gallons or so)? You may see a bloom of bacteria, and it may look like your water is cloudy. The dangerous part is deoxygenation due to overdose, so heavy skimming as well as an air stone or two may be necessary to combat an overdose. All that cloudiness is bacteria in the water. Your skimmer will go nuts, so be prepared - I wasn't and it overflowed in half a day. But all those bacteria will trigger a massive feeding response from your corals who will happily feast on all those bacteria. The next day your water will be clear and you will have 0 nitrates, or close to it.

    This method is common in water treatment to rid nitrates from water treatment plants and the like.

    You can find the original thread that was closed here: http://www.3reef.com/forums/water-chemistry/ok-time-drink-vodka-44386-2.html but you'll have to read between the bickering.

    But here are some real world testimonies on this from people who have done this:

    well, after 3 long weeks and lots of reading... my nitrates tested 0 tonight!!! That is down from a shocking 160 3 weeks ago... hence my discovery of this thread and the beginning of my dosing sugar...I dosed 1/2 tsp everyday for 3 weeks... saw no ill effects on anything and they are finally DOWN to a big fat 0!!!

    Does anyone know what I should dose to maintain this??

    Thanks for lots of good advice!

    Jenni
    Second Post: my nitrates continue to be at 0... I have been dosing a couple of months now... I am down to every other day and they stay at 0....they started way off the color chart, say 160 or so...long story...don't ask...you can find it somewhere in this looonnnggg thread...things are doing great! No bleaching or ill effects that I have seen...my skimmate does smell especially putrid though lol
    Jenni


    Whoah...I just tested my nitrates...0! They were only 5 before, but I only started dosing a relatively small amount of sugar maybe a week and a half ago. Very cool...just have to get that pH back up...

    jds


    After almost 3 years with 50-80ppm nitrate I start to dose sugar.
    after 4 days the skimmer works harder, I think it is good sign.
    I will keep dose for another week then I will monitor the nitrate again.

    I;'ve been dosing about 6 months. My 18" Sebae continues to grow like a weed, and my 8" derasa looks fine, and is growing.

    I'ts weird that people are so scared to put sugar in but have no problem putting in garlic???? Now at 0 nitrates after the first week!

    I dose 2cc of vodka daily to help control nutrients it really clears the water almost like ozone and causes great polp extensions probably because of the temporary food source. It lowers the nitrates and PH4 by boosting the bacterial populations that will consume the nutrients as food and causes them to grow which allows them to be skimmed off.


    0-5 ppm nitrates from 160 ppm and more than 3 months now I believe of dosing sugar. Everything is great. No hair algae, NO diatomic, no algae of any sort, no red slime nothing. In fact my hair algae outbreak went away within 2 week of the first dose. I am sold on this. There will always be naysayers, but it worked great for me, and I would tell anyone that is having nitrate problems to do the same.

    [After dosing sugar] Yeah you may be right. ALL of my hair algae just vanished! I mean it was gone in like 2 weeks. But I do still have a good bubble algae colony going on.

    I still think you guys are using too much.I'm dosing 1/8 teaspoon for 55 gallons net in my system.I also dose 1ml of vinegar daily.I'm on my 3rd week of Prodi too.Everything is great water is crystal clear and no Nitrates or Phosphates.

    My nitrates have been at 20-40ppm for the longest time. I dosed my 55g with 1/4tsp of sugar daily, and after a week my nitrates went down to 5ppm. Just thought I'd post my results.

    Nitrates down to 10 from 120-160. Gonna keep going! Coral already starting to chenge color!

    I have a 150 G reef tank that the nitrate level never been below 10, infact it was usually around 20ppm. After reading this thread I started dosing sugar. In less then 10 days nitrate went down to zero.

    well I dosed about 1/4 teaspoon yesterday, and my nitrates were upwards of 60-70, they are now showing 40 this morning...all of my corals look great polyp extention is normal, water clarity is normal as well.

    I think the best way to do this is slow, dont try and get them down immediatly just take it slow so you dont messs anything up. I dosed another 1/4 tablespoon this morning as well.

    Rob


    This sugar treatment made all my cheato die.

    I'm currently dosing 1/2 tsp every other day and my nitrates are about 40 from 180+ This is quite awesome results considering I have doubled my feedings, which aren't all that small in the first place.

    Just tested an nitrates went from 120ppm to 30 in 24 hrs. I added another 1/4 tsp just now.


    Well I added a half tsp of sugar three days ago, noticed nothing, then added another half tsp yesterday, the water had turned slightly cloudy, and my skimmer started to pull very wet foam out of water (I intentionally did not adjust the skimmer to see the effect on skimming product).

    Nitrate has dropped to 5ppm from 15ppm. I have put sugar addition on hold until the tank clears up. I did not think half tsp of sugar would amount to much for my 125g tank but apparent you only need a very small dosage.

    BTW I used organic cane sugar after seeing it next to the regular cane sugar granule at the store. The organic sugar was off white compared to the regular sugar, lead me to think some bleach agent must have been added to the regular sugar.


    Well, I've been dosing sugar every other day for 2 weeks now. 1 full table spoon for 280 gallons of TWV. Nitrates have gone down from 20 ppm to less than 5 ppm, and I am not sure if this is at all related to the sugar dosing, but the tank water now looks extremely clear and hair algae is disappearing. FWIW
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    9,219
    Location:
    CT
    I disagree with this statement. Coiled denitrators have been proven to work and work very well. I have been running one on my tank for years and have never had any detectable nitrates.
     
  10. JasonSquared

    JasonSquared Spaghetti Worm

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    How bad was the problem before the Nitrate Reactor? I agree that they can and do work when set up right, and consistantly tuned. But I don't have any nitrate problem s on my current set up, and I DON'T have a Coil Denitration Device, barely skim, don't dose carbon, and have no sump. But on a tank that has NO3 at 160, it might take more than one Coil, and be alot of trouble to go through to get the NO3 down. I'd also add that you should be sure that other methods are tried before dosing of anything.

    1. Consistant Water Changes
    2. Sump with macroalgae
    3. Remote Deep Sand Bed
    4. Coil Denitration -If Plausable
     
  11. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    9,219
    Location:
    CT
    I never had a problem with ntirates but I do have a heavy fish load. When my husband was down with a broken leg and I was too pregnant to work on the tank, the coil stopped up and it wasn't long before the nitrates started to rise. We have never had nitrates as high as 160 but if we did, we'd be looking more into fixing whatever was causing nitrates to get that high.
     
  12. JasonSquared

    JasonSquared Spaghetti Worm

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    My honest belief is that SOME rock seems to eminate it for more than a year... When I had a problem, I did EVERYTHING... I didn't even HAVE livestock, and it was still rising. Did everything. Changed RO filters (Which I didn't see anyone here mention as the water source is CERTAINLY a usual suspect in high NO3 cases), added RDSB, Chaeto, everything that could be tried. The only thing that wasn't changed was the rock... The only thing that worked was carbon dosing.