Nitrate battles

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Cheygirl8, Jun 1, 2014.

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

  1. Cheygirl8

    Cheygirl8 Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I currently am in mid war against red algae. No prob, I've been doing 15 gallon water changes every week(my poor little jugs that could .-. would you say that is enough for at least a 10% change in a 120 gal?) But my nitrates are still reading well within the 80-100ppm range. No dead fish that I see, I have been cycling for almost 4 months now. Ammonia is below 20ppm, Nitrites were under .25ppm. Ph is a little low(8-ish), but I am slowly trying to get it back up. My alkalinity is where it needs to be. But then, oh then, I spy with my little eye, a clamp I had on my return to hold the vinyl tube on the barb is rusty. Does rust cause a spike in Nitrates? Needless to say that is immediately coming off come morning since I don't want to wake my bf with my sailor's tongue because this will be an adventure trying to reach it. Definitely one of my "smartest" things I've done yet o_O 2014-06-01_22-55-15_94.jpg
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. Pete polyp

    Pete polyp Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    Messages:
    93
    Good call at removing the rusty clamp, there's really no telling what kind of yuck has gotten into your system. Are you sure the ammonia is 20ppm? I wouldn't think anything would live through ammonia being that high. With that level there really should be no life at all in the tank.... Fish, inverts, clean up crew, bacteria everything should die with ammonia that high.

    What are the specifics of your tank? Equipment? Sand? Live rock? Total system volume? All known living inhabitants? All known dead inhabitants?

    Any other information you think could be useful in helping determine where the nutrients came from could help. What test kits you're using etc.
     
  4. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Bakersfield, Ca
    Hey chey. I don't think that would cause nitrates/ammonia to spike, but metals can cause other problems with toxicity. I'm not sure that's enough to be a problem but carbon should filter it out. The ammonia should be 0 of course. How recently did you add sand or live rock?
     
  5. Clownfishy

    Clownfishy Plankton

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    How old are your test kits only a Ammonia reading of 20ppm does not sound right so your Nitrate reading may also be false.
     
  6. Cheygirl8

    Cheygirl8 Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    The sand and live rock have been in there since day one. As far as my kit, all I can find on it is that it is by Aquarium Pharmacuticals Inc. It is the "Saltwater Master Liquid Test Kit" in the param booklet there is no date. There is also no expiration dates no nothing. The kit itself was gifted to me from my bfs coworker who was a former hobbyist. I don't know how long she had it. As far as inhabitants they are as follows. 2 choco stars, 1 firefish, 2 zebra gobies, 1 banded gobie, one pink and blue spot watchman, and two jumbo green chromis. and about 7 hermits. As far as dead, I had one neon cleaner goby who I never was able to find his body. I rearranged all of the LR, he wasn't in the overflow, wasn't in the sump. But he died at least a month ago. Total water volume 135 Gallons including sump. Retesting- Ammonia .25ppm, PH - 8.0ppm, Nitrite - .25ppm, Nitrate - again comes out to this cherry red which isnt specifically listed, but by gradient means it would fall between the color for .80ppm and .100ppm. .-.


    Equipment: 303 Sca 150 gal skimmer, aqueon return pump, two hydor koralia wavemakers, one aqueon 1250 wavemaker. About 40lbs of sand (due to finances) and 30lbs LR both of which will be increased once I get a new job.
     
  7. Pete polyp

    Pete polyp Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    Messages:
    93
    .25 is much different than 20... Still any presence of ammonia is causing damage. There's definitely a nutrient removal problem going on. What methods are you currently using? I would suggest doing several large water changes asap to help with removing all the nutrients. The levels your reporting are almost like the tank hasn't cycled, and the nitrate is extremely high.
     
    Billme likes this.
  8. Click Here!

  9. Pete polyp

    Pete polyp Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    Messages:
    93
    Reading your post again I notice you say between .80ppm and .100ppm nitrate. Is this 0.8ppm-0.1ppm or actually 80ppm-100ppm? These decimal points are very crucial.
     
  10. Cheygirl8

    Cheygirl8 Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I am not kidding it has been going for almost 4 months now. I even put in beneficial bacteria (bio-spira) at the very begining to help with the process. Plus like I said there is presence of red algae "cyano" in the tank which has almost completely gone away. As far as removal, water changes is what I have been doing along with my skimmer, but Ill increase the amount. The skimmer was off for a couple weeks because I had to order a new impeller but has been running well for thw past week. As far as the decimals, you are right (sorry it's like 1am DX) and all of the little cards for the readings have it different. So nitrate, is between 80 and 100 since it starts with 5.0 then 10,20,40,80 and finally 100.
     
  11. Pete polyp

    Pete polyp Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    Messages:
    93
    Getting the nitrate down can be the easiest part of everything that's going on. The ammonia is scary! The presence of ammonia and nitrite both are indicating a spike in dead organics or incomplete cycle.
     
  12. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Bakersfield, Ca
    Have you had your water tested at the LFS? API kits have been known to be inaccurate.