Can't seem to get the nitrates down

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

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  1. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree. I'm pretty sure that rock can leach phosphates for just as long because there was a time where we did everything possible to eliminate them and there were still detectable levels every time we tested.
     
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  3. JasonSquared

    JasonSquared Spaghetti Worm

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    However I think that in this case, the bioload is the culprit, and if you're not willing to lighten the load, you will have to deal with high nitrates if you don't do SOMETHING... Cabon dosing is the most effective, cheapest, easiest way to get the results you want, without having to add/build another piece of equipment. It's not without it's cons, but even those are minimal to nonexistant if done correctly. (Basically not overdosing, and having a decent skimmer)
     
  4. Zzippper

    Zzippper Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Not to be critical or confrontational but... If you never had a nitrate problem to begin with, then how can you say that your coil denitrator works great? :-/

    It's like saying... 'ever since I started taking asprin, my foot feels great!'... that is until someone asks you 'did your foot hurt before you took asprin?' and you answer 'no'. :confused:

    All that I am pointing out (in your specific case) is a solution cannot be properly measured and deemed a success unless there was a problem to begin with.

    I have also heard that coil denitrators work well. There are many testimonials to their success. My personal experience with two of them was contrary to this however. I followed all the instructions and advise I could find on the Internet in terms of design, setup, flow rates, patience, etc., etc. and finally gave up on them after about 8 months of trying with zero results.

    By comparison, my experience with the sulfur denitrator were the complete opposite. Slightly more complicated and costly to build - but the results were almost immediate by comparison. As I stated in an earlier response, coil dentritators take months to cycle. My sulfur denitrator took 3 to 4 days to cycle. Coil denitrators, once fully cycled take weeks to months to reduce nitrates. My sulfur denitrator took a total of 3 weeks to completely eliminate my nitrates. Period.

    Both are recognized solutions for reducing/eliminating nitrates. Coiled denitrators appear to have a fairly good, but not perfect track record (no where near perfect from what I have read) whereas, from everything I have read, sulfur denitrators have an almost perfect track record.

    For me, I would have been smarter to go directly to a sulfur denitrator and saved the time, cost, aggrevation (and even some dead corals) spent trying to get coil denitrators to produce results. In the end, I spent $$$ on three units (2 x coil plus 1 x sulfur) to get the job done. Had I gone with the sulfur unit 1st, I would have save myself some money.

    By the way - I also tried sugar and alcohol dosing for about 1.5 months and it did not work for me. I suspect that my LR was leeching nitrate though and thus could have been a factor. Emphasis on "was" as it is no longer a problem anymore.

    Z
     
  5. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe you missed this part of my post :)

     
  6. JasonSquared

    JasonSquared Spaghetti Worm

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    Can you elaborate on your carbon dosing? I have only heard of one other case where it didn't work, the details of which I don't recall. But there is no reason why it SHOULDN'T have worked. It's pretty much an A+B=C type outcome... There's little left to chance.
     
  7. Zzippper

    Zzippper Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    I was using a commercially available product called 'Nitrate Destroyer' that available here in Canada. It's main pitch is that it provides "bio-available organic carbon". It smelled like alcohol to me (and believe me - I know what alcohol smells like :cheesy:)
    Directions Shake well before using Dosage increases until full strength is reached. Day 1-7: 1/4 capful per 25 gallons, Day 8-14 ½ capful per 25 gallons, Day 15- 21 3/4 capful per 25 gallons, Day 22-plus 1 capful per 25 gallons.

    As Nitrates drop tank must be weaned off this product until minimal amount are needed to maintain zero nitrates. Often 1/4 capful or less per day is needed over long term use

     
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  9. Zzippper

    Zzippper Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    No, I saw that... but to me it doesn't clearly indicate that the coil denitrator was the cause. If you and your hubby were both incapacitated (I almost said 'laid up' and then stopped myself :eek:) , I am sure other general upkeep / husbandry (or wifery if you prefer ;D) practises also declined - which also could have led to a increase in nitrates.

    I am not saying definitively that the coil denitrator was or wasn't responsible - it's just not a black & white enough situation to assign blame or responsibility to any one thing. I can see why you might assumed it was the coil denitrator though...

    On the other hand, when we start with a tank that already has a nitrate problem and add a denitrator (coil or sulfur) - all else remaining the same - and see a particlar result (or lack thereof) - there is a much more direct cause and effect linkage.

    Z
     
  10. unclejed

    unclejed Whip-Lash Squid

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    Hi everyone, seems to me this thread has exhausted any fruitful information. Debating methods is not giving advice. Each individual must make a decision as what they deem will work after gathering information on a particular subject. The methods have been presented and now one must be selected for adaptation. Bickering about the methods doesn't help. My solution; Halimeda. It worked for me.
     
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  11. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. Let's hope that the original poster has found or will find a solution to their nitrate issues soon.
     
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  12. artspeaker

    artspeaker Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Yes I have. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread. Although there may have been a little too much back and forth, I believe a healthy discussion is worthwhile for those of us who truly want to learn and do their best in this inexact science. I particularly found rewarding: the discussions on the pros and cons of syphoning your sand, the differences and advantages of sulphur vs. coil denitrators, and the affects of bioload on the filtrations systems.

    For this who are interested, I called in the people who set up my tank originally and they were able to fix my problem in less than a week by doing a 40% water change and removing the bioballs which my LFS had added about a year ago.

    I'm sure that can start a whole new discussion...but let's put it on another thread.;D