Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by boogie, Apr 13, 2009.
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that many fish and with those type of fish, im actually surprised you nitrates arent higher!
A larger plant of Chaeto will consume nutrients much faster than just a small softball sized piece. So its going to take some time to reduce the nitrates even with that (but chaeto does grow really fast).
Mangroves are effective, but slow to make a large effect on your system.
I'm a little biast due to my good experiences with an ATS Scrubber in conjunction with Chaeto and RDSB. With a refugium you can of course implement all of these, however you shouldn't have animals in there if you do. I've found those to be simple and very affordable to implement, and with what they can reduce in nitrates can be very good. By the sounds of it you need multiple approaches to help you reduce your nitrate issues. You may need all described above in addition to a denitrator, provided you aren't liking the idea of removing some fish.
Now I know you were talking about mechanical solutions only as from what I gather your running out of room. Just trying to offer other sugjestions that may be lower cost/maintance in the long run. But hey, eitherway keep us updated on your decision, and how well it works for you! Just be leary that all of those described above will take time to start working, even a nitrate sponge isn't 100% efficient the day you put it into the water. Also a denitrator will take a while to kick in as well, good thing your asking questions so you can plan accordingly!
Hope this helps,
P.S. Excuse my horrible spelling and grammer today
Unfortunately, the people who sold this system to me, I found out later, had very little knowledge - they just acted that way and charged me about 3 times what someone else would have - it was such a nightmare. My husband actually did 90% of the work and designed the system - where I live there are alot of scam artists and we were a perfect candidate for them. I was stupid in trusting the sales person and then found out they new less than I did, yet most of the money had been spent by then and it was just lets get this nightmare over with and deal with the consequences:-X
Anyway, I use 400 W 10,000 to 20,000 k. on top and bottom
They set up my aquarium for a reef system, that's how confused they were and I've been paying the huge price ever since. Again, it's only because my husband is a contractor that we were able to make the whole thing work. It was a nightmare for a long time but now, it's just a nightmare with the nitrates.
My one shark seems to have a goiter problem, that's why I need to cut the nitrates in at least 1/2.
I'm not really following one of the answers, so what do you think of the nitrate reductor? Thanks again for your help, you guys are great.
Also it is chaeto algae and I have a lot of it actually and also, why are mangroves talked about being so helpful, yet of course they were not for me. What are they good for? It was so disappointing. Also, why are animals in the refugium bad. I only have them there because I read puffers can really hurt sharks, so can't put them together.
mangrove arent that effective as they are slow growing. i think you would need a pretty large one to be as effective as a fast growing macro such. but they do get huge so they may be good when you have a tree.
the animals in the refugium will eat all the little creatures that take care of the detritus that build up there. they also may eat the plants.
my question was what lighting do you have above the fuge, you should be using a reddish 6500k-10000k bulb. that provides atleast 2 wpg over the fuge.
what type of skimmers do you have?
also do you know you total gallonage of your system? just guess it doesnt have to be exact.
Mangroves are like trees, they require stuff to grow. As they grow they consume nitrates. The larger the tree the more it requires to grow further. And like a tree, growth is slow going.
For more information on an ATS Scrubber check out:
* In a nutshell, its a screen that water pours over, and have algae grow on it to eat up the nitrates
For more information on a DSB check out:
* In a nutshell does the same thing a denitrator coil will do, except within the sand bed.
This may be a little extensive reading, but I found the articles that break it down and tell you why it works. I'm trying to avoid being like the salesman who told you, you need this! and not telling you why
Plant grow lights are normally what is used in a fuge. It is the one place in a reef (or your tank) where cheep lighting works better than the expensive type.
Is is possible that you have pockets of decomposing food in one of the tanks? That can up the nitrates very fast.
but really... can I please see some pics of this setup?! I am sooo curious as to how this looks.
Sounds neat. But not sure if I'm picturing all this correctly.
I cannot at all believe how great and informative you guys are - I have been on a ton of forums.....I came across you guys by accident...I was searching for nitrate reductors one night for about 4 hours and here you were, anyway...
In my refugium I have one SouthPacific Sunlight Blue life 400 W 20,000K halide
On top, I use same thing only 10,000 K. I have 4 lights but only use one as the algae on the acrylic grows too fast and cannot get any algae eaters (snails, etc) because my sharks actually eat them....And sharks don't like a lot of light that's why in shark tanks it's always low light. If it weren't for the algae on glass I'd love to have more light.
Anyway, as far as skimmers they are ASM G Series in sump G-4X if that means anything. I just have part of a box that says that.
And pictures - yes I do need to take some. I'm re-doing the wood though, as the wood was not good wood - another thing they scr...ed me on. It's a real shame. I have taken off a lot of the wood so it's down to the bare bones and the plumbing in some areas have to be re-done and it's a little ugly right now. When it is all refurbished, I will definitely try to learn how to take better pictures. I suck at taking pictures - always dark and the fish move, ya know?
As my tank is so high that I have to use a ladder to feed the fish, I do not know whether or not there could be food lurking somewhere. The tank actually takes the place of 1/2 of a wall entrance to my house from almost to the top of the ceiling to the floor.
As for trying to get a better picture. Think of a regular large/long (about 4 feet wide by seven feet long) tank but underneath is yet another large/long tank that is almost the same, but is not one tank but 3 tanks and not as high. Instead of 38 inches high it is 22 inches high and one of the tanks is about 1/3 the size of the other two tanks (where the water comes in and out to go through the pump in the garage under the house under the tank) sorry - kind of lost on words - you guys know all the words....
Not sure, but it was supposed to be 1000 gallons, but I think it is only about 700 gallons, another big disappointment.
I will look into scrubbers and all that. For some reason I really have a block for anything like that - I don't know why I don't understand all the funky reef stuff, that's why I keep researching and all my lfs don't have any of that so I don't even know what it is supposed to look like. But thanks for all the hints....I even wrote to my local aquarium, will ask another question but they are really in the business to help someone like me.....
Here's my 2 cents;
1. You are WAY over stocked with the worse possible livestock that you can have. In my opinion, no device out there will help you lower your NO3 until you lower your bio-load. The only way to lower your bio-load is to get rid of some fish. Look at it this way, by selling some of the fishes/eels, you'll be getting back some of the money that you spent before.
Your refugium should be fishless, only macroalgaes. Those fish that you have in there just might be eating the Macroalgae that you need to consume No3. So in essence, your shooting yourself in the foot by having them in there. Everything else that you have mentioned about your set up sounds fine.
I wish you luck in whatever choice you make. Luna
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