Urgent Nitrates 180ppm... What do?

Discussion in 'ASAP' started by elweshomayor, Jun 3, 2016.

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  1. elweshomayor

    elweshomayor Giant Squid

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    Hi guys, so I recently got new fish for my 150G tank. I been testing the water with my API test kit, but my dumb self did not check the expiration date of the thing.

    So I went to the LFS, bought 7 new fish. (schooling fish, garibaldi and an angel fish). I acclimated them for like 4 hours.
    I was cleaning up and realized the Kit was expired, so I rushed to the LFS and bought a new kit. Needless to say results where different.
    While it says that everything else reads: Ammonia 0, Nitrires:0 and PH anywhere around 7.8-8.0 but im figuring its closer to 8 in the scale. However, the Nitrates are a whooping 180ppm. Im assuming they're higher since the color of the test tube was RED.
    This tank has been up and running for about 8 years now. However I did recently introduced a porcupine puffer, so i figured the bioload would be higher. Im going to cut down in feeding in the next weeks.

    Ive been feeding the puffer about 2 mysis shirmp cubes, and 1 emerald cube. (and sometimes just a bit of krill as candy).

    I feed the rest of the fish 2 cubes of mysis and 1 emerald as well. Total of 6 cubes a day.

    I have 6 Chromis, 5 Silver batfish (still about 2 inches)? (i forgot the name just now ill post pics for ID later). 1 yellow tang, 1 sailfin tang, 1 foxface, 1 flame angel, 1 Garibaldi (still a youngster), 1 saddleback clown, and the porcupine pufferfish.

    At exception of the 7 new fish, everything in my tank is around 6+ years old. (chromis, tangs, clown). I feed once a day.

    I know that a water change is in order, even though I dont look forward to moving around that volume of water. What do you guys say, 40G+ water change?

    I threw about 6 caps of Prime in there since the label says it detoxifies Nitrates. My chaeto is about as big as a basketball.. How small should I be trimming this thing for my size tank for better results?
    My refugium is a 55G tank but its maybe halfway filled.
    Skimmer was turned off for a while (mother doesnt know how to fix it when it starts overflowing and foaming so she shuts it off).
     
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  3. Swisswiss

    Swisswiss Caribbean Reef Squid

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    so you dump 6 cubes in your tank all at once? that does seem like A LOT of food, then again you have a large fish population.....your reading could indeed come from excess feeding/bioload..... BUT......are you sure you didnt do a false manipulation during the test? i dont think you get 180ppm nitrates over night so if your other animals have been doing well thus far it gives me hope that it comes from a false test.....
     
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  4. elweshomayor

    elweshomayor Giant Squid

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    I figure that the 'OK' readings where probably the false ones. They were reading about 30-40 ppm. ( my test kit expired last year before I bought the new one yesterday).
    I repeated the test twice so I am fairly certain.
    Yeah they're basically all at once. 3 cubes the puffer swallows whole and the rest is for the remaining fish. I thought about cutting somewhere permanently, but given the fish population it seems too little. Especially since the puffer is just HUNGRY all the time lol. He is literally begging for food when its time to feed.

    I feel like maybe my chaeto is too big so the dying parts are releasing nitrates back maybe? How big should my chaeto be anyway? I figured with the size of it, there shouldnt be any readings at all..
     
  5. mr_tap_water

    mr_tap_water Astrea Snail

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    You really do need to get that proteins skimmer up and running which will help a awful lot with your bio load and if you do not want to get rid of your puffer or any other fish you need to start doing some big water changes first of all and look into a No3 remover product. Plus getting the skimmer back up and working my help as well with your PH ,and in my opinion a protein skimmer is a central piece of equipment when stocking a heavy Fish load.


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  6. insanereefer420

    insanereefer420 Fire Worm

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    I may be wrong but just my opinion... not sure if that size chaeto would tackle the nitrates fully in a tank that size with the bioload you have. It would be helping though.

    Id look at maybe adding a second skimmer if you didnt want to rehome any fish. :)
     
  7. civiccars2003

    civiccars2003 Great Blue Whale

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    Your very large bioload is creating nitrates. Do small frequent water changes until it reduces. Consider scaling down on your fish and your nitrates problem will go away.
     
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  9. elweshomayor

    elweshomayor Giant Squid

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    so allow it to grow bigger? It looks pretty huge on the 55. I always heard that people trim the chaeto so that it has room to re grow?. What size of it should I be keeping it at?

    Also, LFS tested my water and he says my Nitrates are around 40PPM. One of us is wrong lol because when I did it, the thing turned red, when he did it, it was barely orange. He tested it twice as I did.. I did buy a buffer, (which I had ran out of, and slowly pulling the PH to 8.2.

    As to reduce bioload, I honestly dont want to remove any of the fish that are there already lol I was thinking on returning the Saddle back clown and getting 2 Maroon ones, or perculas. (just because smaller clowns would probably get eaten by the puffer). Then call it fully stocked. I did take into consideration that the juvenille fish I have now will double in size so im on the fence and probably wont add anything else.

    The Skimmer will definitely need to stay running all the time. Im working on teaching my mom on how to fix it when it foams too much. (Im at home like once every 3 weeks). Ill Post a pic of how the tank looks now.
     
  10. elweshomayor

    elweshomayor Giant Squid

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    the Nitrates I read where prior to the addition of the new fish. Was my bioload still large then?
     
  11. elweshomayor

    elweshomayor Giant Squid

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    [​IMG] This is how the tank looks like right now. Im not a fan of fake plants but coral are a bit too expensive for me right now lol