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So started testing frequently about a month ago (use to just test when things were going wrong which is what started this and trying to get into the habit of regular testing) and my alk, calcium and PH have all been stable (11dkh, 440 ppm, and 8.2) but my nitrates seem to be staying at 80 ppm... I have done 60 gallon water change (tank is a 180gal), started carbon dosing (doing 5mL 2x a day) and upgraded the protein skimmer to a bubble magus curve 7, but my nitrates are staying at 80 ppm... Any ideas would be helpful cause im running out of ideas on how I could lower them... Also have about a 4 gallon refugium. 

Im using API tests for all 4 parameters, I also tested my RODI water for top off and water changes and that was reading 0 ppm.  

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In theory  to even cut your nitrates in half you would have to do a 90gal water change.  Cut feedings will help.  More biological filter(rock) , algea scrubber.  Just some ideas. Hope these help some.

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I have cut feedings back (havent fed in like 5 days due to trying to lower the nitrates and hasnt even budged, I figured the color on the test would have lightened up atleast a little with all the things I have done so far. 

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1 hour ago, bamburgb said:

Also have about a 4 gallon refugium. 

What are you using that makes it a Refugium? With only 4 Gallons sounds like a very cramped sump. If that's the case I would increase the size and for the quickest solution I would throw some Macroalgae like cheato in there.

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I have a section of the sump blocked off for the refugium area and its FULL with cheato. 

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I would suggest not carbon dosing.

Remove half of that chaeto weekly. 

Also API are probably the worst test kits you can use.

 

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I have hanna Testers for ALK and CA but not nitrates (not sure if they even have one for nitrates) and the API were right inline with those so i figured I would be ok with the nitrate but thats something I was thinking as well is maybe its the test kit. I may try to get a Salifert one. I'll pull out some cheato right now and hope that helps.

 

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38 minutes ago, xmas_one said:

I would suggest not carbon dosing.

Remove half of that chaeto weekly. 

Also API are probably the worst test kits you can use.

 

Agreed on all but their nitrate test.  I use theirs and salifert at the same time.  

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5 minutes ago, youcallmenny said:

Agreed on all but their nitrate test.  I use theirs and salifert at the same time.  

So you think there nitrate tests are good? 

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I don't know if 'good' would be the word I would use but as far as nitrate tests go it's one I use routinely.  The Salifert is the back up one for me.  I don't much like them compared to my Red Sea Alk/Cal/Mg stuff but they're definitely effective.  

Edited by youcallmenny

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Dang I was hoping you would say it wasn’t accurate haha. I Just pulled out half of my cheato (it was packed...) and turned off the dosing pump for the vodka. We will see if this cuts down the nitrates...

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Get salifert kit

if you want nitrates to go down quickly, only a water change will do that

carbon dosing with nopox took months to make a change in my system and it was only a small effect (nitrate from 5 to 1)

maybe look at a better light for refugium. Not sure what you are using

not feeding fish for 5 days won’t make a difference. Lighter feeding over months will slow down nitrate build up but won’t really make it go down 

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3 hours ago, Manny Tavan said:

Get salifert kit

if you want nitrates to go down quickly, only a water change will do that

carbon dosing with nopox took months to make a change in my system and it was only a small effect (nitrate from 5 to 1)

maybe look at a better light for refugium. Not sure what you are using

not feeding fish for 5 days won’t make a difference. Lighter feeding over months will slow down nitrate build up but won’t really make it go down 

Ya i think ill pick up an additional test to run it. I guess I was just thinking that by doing 60+ gallon water change that my nitrates would have went down a little bit on that test. As for the refugium light I am running a cheaper white led, it seems to grow the cheato pretty well.  

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A 30% water change will lower your nitrates by 30% unless there are nitrates in your rodi water (chloramine). Or your test kit is bad. Easy way to know is mix couple mls of 50% tank water and 50% rodi. Then test nitrate to see if they come down by 50%. If it doesn’t then your test kit is bad

Edited by Manny Tavan
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I’ll test that later tonight, would love to figure out if the rest is wrong or if the water is just really high. 

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This is definitely puzzling. I agree that it's either a bad test kit or something's wrong with the water you're adding. Curious to know how it goes.

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Update: bought a Salifert test from cuttlefish and coral today and cording to that my nitrates are only 25ppm

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Update: bought a Salifert test from cuttlefish and coral today and cording to that my nitrates are only 25ppm
Did you ever test your source water?

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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8 hours ago, Higher Thinking said:

Did you ever test your source water?

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

Not yet with the Salifert I tested it with the api and it read 0ppm or close to it

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Also if you want to bring nitrates down you can use a denitrator brick.  I use the brightwell xport no3 brick seeded with their microbactr7 product.  This brought my 25ppm nitrates in roughly 500 gallon system down to 0 in a little over a week.  

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8 minutes ago, stylaster said:

Also if you want to bring nitrates down you can use a denitrator brick.  I use the brightwell xport no3 brick seeded with their microbactr7 product.  This brought my 25ppm nitrates in roughly 500 gallon system down to 0 in a little over a week.  

I’ve been reading up on those, how long do they seem to last a lot of the things I have read say that after 2-3 weeks they became a pile of mush that you have to fish out of the water.

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i have had mine in the tank for couple months now and it has not mushed on me.  I believe that was an issue with earlier ones, now they seem to be pretty stable.  I put mine in a container and put it in my sump just incase

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Ok might need to try that if I go that route. I’m gonna give the purigen, and carbon dosing a little longer to try to lower it before I add another thing 

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