Nitrates

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by mirosh, Jan 27, 2005.

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

  1. mirosh

    mirosh Feather Duster

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, GA
    Hello All,

    A while back I posted on my Brittle Stars losing legs and eventually dieing. Not sure if you remember or not, but we established that it was probably the high Nitrate levels and/or the swift changes in Nitrate levels that caused the brittles to have issues.

    Well, after about a month or so of doing weekly water changes at 10%, I still have high nitrates (30ppm range) and a bunch of my inverts (turbos, nass's, and hermits) are suffering and/or dieing! My two 3-stripes and the coral banded are doing great, however!

    Any ideas what the issue might be with the nitrates? I am using RO/DI water and tests before I put it in the tank indicate all levels at 0ppm (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate).

    The most current average readings on my tank are as follows:
    SG: 1.026
    Nitrate: 30ppm
    Nitrite: 0ppm
    Ammonia: 0ppm
    pH: 8.2

    I feed twice a day (small pinches of Formula two, substituted every once in a while by 1/4 cube frozen mysis).

    I have no idea...help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. redboy

    redboy Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Hayward, CA,California
    Hey Mike, it doesn't look like you're running a fuge, but its possible to add some caulerpa in the tank to suck up the 'trates.
     
  4. mirosh

    mirosh Feather Duster

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, GA
    I am not running a fuge...but am very interested in getting one started come summer time...I just don't have the time and/or the money for one right now!  In the summer, after I experiment around a little more with this 35 gallon (my first Saltwater), I am going to try to get my hands on a 90 gallon or so and use the old 35 as a fuge...should be an interesting project when the time comes!

    For now however, the caulerpa is a plant that I can stick in the tank directly?  How much will I need?  Where can I buy it?  Will the fish eat it?  I only have a standard flourescent light...is that going to be a problem? Anything else I need to know!

    The guy at my LFS tried to sell me the nitrate sponge...but he only had the very large container ($40) and I didn't want to spend all that on something I would probably use once or twice.

    Anyway, let me know the caulerpa details.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  5. pdlman

    pdlman Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    MO,
    30 ppm is no big deal for a FO tank IMHO. Are you giving the inverts any iodine?
     
  6. mirosh

    mirosh Feather Duster

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, GA
    No, havent considered iodine. Do I have to test for it, is it necessary, and is it just a chemical you add?

    I occassionally drop a piece of seaweed attached to a rock to the bottom, but the coral banded goes to town on it and the hermits arent too fond of it!
     
  7. mirosh

    mirosh Feather Duster

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, GA
    Got some iodine today...I will be adding it to the tank on a daily basis...the directions on the Kent Marine bottle says 8 drops per day...that shouldn't be too tough!

    Also...bought some new lighting today...wanted your opinions!  My LFS had a Coralife deluxe series Lunar Aqua Light for sale.  24" housing with two 0.75 watt Blue-Moon-Glow LED lamps, one 65 watt True Actinic 03 Blue, and one 65 watt 10,000K compact flourescent, and two cooling fans.  I got it for $100 including mounting legs.  This is a HUGE improvement over my old lighting (just one 15 watt flourescent).  Let me know what you think.

    [​IMG]

    Also, should I look into some Caulerpa?

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. Birdlady

    Birdlady Finback Whale

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    PhillySuburbs, Pennsylvania
    Well, I would not add iodine every day without testing!!! I use Lugol's solution and have only needed a few drops total in like....5 months ;D

    You can add caulerpa directly to the tank, but you run the risk of not being able to eliminate it from the tank once you get the fuge up and running.

    Chaetomorpha does not root, it just floats around....that might be better (plus it is supposed to be a better one than caulerpa)

    PS, I like the pet's names ;D ;D ;D
     
  10. mirosh

    mirosh Feather Duster

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, GA
    Thanks for the tips BL, I will use the iodine sparingly!

    Maybe I should look into the Chaetomorpha instead since it doesnt root...I can just use it for a little while.

    And about the pet names...I thought I would get creative with them and since I live in the DC area...why not political!

    Thanks for all of the advice...you are always a great help!

    -Mike
     
  11. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    9,219
    Location:
    CT
    [quote author=mirosh link=board=Water;num=1106836140;start=0#0 date=01/27/05 at 09:29:00]I feed twice a day (small pinches of Formula two, substituted every once in a while by 1/4 cube frozen mysis).

    I have no idea...help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Mike[/quote]
    I still think that you're feeding too much considering you only have two fish and one shrimp. Have you tried reducing your feeding for a few weeks and retested?
     
  12. dx7fd2

    dx7fd2 Sea Dragon

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    San Diego, CA,California
    Remember that if you add Caulerpa and fish start eating it they will excrete the nitrate right back into the tank. Don't harvest it and feed it to the livestock.

    And yes, feed less..biggest cause of nutrients in the water column!!

    Yeah, a FOWLR tank can tolerate Nitrates but inverts do not tolerate them well at all. Especially shrimp!!

    BL how is your CD working out?? Mine has been running great and I have 0 nitrates..I can't even get any reading out of a test kit at all. I built one for my FW Dempsey tank and it is now reading 5 for the Nitrates. Of course the Dempsey doesn't care if the nitrates are 80 he just wants food!!!

    Drew

    I like people that name their fish...I've got Boo the Blennie, Tobey the Rabbit, Stevie the Damsel, Roswell the Y. Tang, Indie the Betta, Ares the Dempsey, Styx a Plecostomus, Benny and Joon and Max, and a Dwarf Cichlid Captain Nemo. ;D