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Trailermann

Can't lower nitrate

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Even after multiple 25% water changes of my 30 gallon JBJ rimless, the nitrate remains at 10 using Red Sea Pro test kit (and repeated testing).  I get higher readings in my live rock holding tank, and lower results in my other 30 gallon LPS tank.  On top of that mystery, the nitrate level does not go up from 10 after a fortnight of regular feedings and no water changes.  I am puzzled.  

If my readings are accurate, what can cause the nitrates to hold at a rock solid ten?

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11 minutes ago, Trailermann said:

Even after multiple 25% water changes of my 30 gallon JBJ rimless, the nitrate remains at 10 using Red Sea Pro test kit (and repeated testing).  I get higher readings in my live rock holding tank, and lower results in my other 30 gallon LPS tank.  On top of that mystery, the nitrate level does not go up from 10 after a fortnight of regular feedings and no water changes.  I am puzzled.  

If my readings are accurate, what can cause the nitrates to hold at a rock solid ten?

If it isn't a bad test kit, your live rock could be leaching nitrate into your system. I'd try a different test kit to rule that out first.

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Let's just say that I have bought a new nitrate test kit and the results are the same.  If the live rock is leaching nitrate, wouldn't the nitrate level be rising between water changes?  And what is the solution to those low-down, no-good nitrate leachers?

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19 minutes ago, Trailermann said:

Let's just say that I have bought a new nitrate test kit and the results are the same.  If the live rock is leaching nitrate, wouldn't the nitrate level be rising between water changes?  And what is the solution to those low-down, no-good nitrate leachers?

Perhaps, but these kits are not super-accurate, so you miss the post-change drop.

Another possibility is that you have nitrate in your tap water. Are you RO filtering your water before using to make salt water?

Given that your other tank has lower nitrates I suspect it is the rocks and not the water. If it is the rocks, I wouldn’t get too concerned over a stable nitrate of 10. It will eventually go down if you use an algae scrubber, feed light, skim wet, do frequent water changes, etc.... I like to have a nitrate level of about 5, so you actually aren’t too far from my target zone, anyway.

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I wish I could keep my nitrates at 10. Lex has the good info above.

stability promotes success 

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mine is crazy high like around 25 + no matter what I do. Been like that for ever...

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Good news, just completed my third large water change, and the nitrates now measure only 5.  My fingers are crossed that a forth change will finally get me down where I want.

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how far apart did you do your changes? I just did a 25% change. Cleaned everything

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Lex, thanks for the info and encouragement. Yes, I use RODI water, and an algae scrubber is on my wish list.  My SPS are not happy and I suspect the "high" nitrate could be a factor.

LadyS, my three water changes were within the span of eight days.  When you say that you cleaned everything,  are you referring to all the sand and rocks and refugium floor (if you have one)?  Many experts in our club recommend leaving the sand bed alone.  

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It's an AIO tank, in my 6 years owning them I always had an issue here and there controlling Nutrients & Nitrates, unfortunately providing proper filtration is near impossible with the limited space. My best advice is to either swap out the sand bed with a fresh one after a good vacuum, or remove the sand bed completely and make sure you vacuum out the back chambers, the 2 corners on the back under the overflow builds up a ton of crap. I finally went back to a tank with a refugium as its a million times easier to hold stable parameters with adequate room for growing macro algae

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I do vacuum the sand ever water change which is weekly. And I so clean once a month the back. It's a pain in the butt. I'm considering adding a sump with a hob overflow. Time to prep for a tear down and sand change I suppose. I was thinking of moving the tank good time to change out sand. Next time in going for a drilled tank... lol just no room in these tanks

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You could always try a denitrator brick if it doesn't go away permanently. 

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I just ordered a very small power head that I hope fits in the back middle chamber so I can turn it on, stir up the crap and then suck it out with the return pump when I do my next water change.  I had some cheato go over the overflow and think it's rotting in there, my nitrates are around 20 and I only have 1 fish in my 20gal Nuvo. 

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I will look into that... ahhh I have something similar already, but I will look at brightness export no3 brick

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On 2/24/2018 at 10:29 PM, Trailermann said:

Lex, thanks for the info and encouragement. Yes, I use RODI water, and an algae scrubber is on my wish list.  My SPS are not happy and I suspect the "high" nitrate could be a factor.

If your sps arent looking great with a nitrate of only 10 there's a number of factors that could be causing the issue. Are they browning out? Rtn/stn? Bleaching? Ive had my nitrates hit 20-25 before in an sps dominant tank, and if I wouldn't have tested nitrates specifically I wouldn't have even noticed. Now I try to keep my nitrates around 5 in order to help cope with the lack of intensity I get from my current light setup. Any lower nitrates and I start to get pastel colors, any higher and corals start to brownout.

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I was speaking with @albertareef at Holly’s frag sale this weekend and he had mentioned some additive that worked for him. He was unsure of what ot was called but said he would check. I have nitrates around 10 ppm and no matter how may water changes I do they seem to hover right at 10 ppm. 

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Good information from all of you.  I'll be considering sand bed change or complete removal.   Cleaning with tons of turbulance of the back chambers of my AIO after three years could also help.  Interestingly, I have a second 30 gallon tank that receives about the same amount of food.  It only has a HOB filter and a HOB skimmer, but the nitrates are nearly undetectable.  

 

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2 minutes ago, Oregonic said:

I was speaking with @albertareef at Holly’s frag sale this weekend and he had mentioned some additive that worked for him. He was unsure of what ot was called but said he would check. I have nitrates around 10 ppm and no matter how may water changes I do they seem to hover right at 10 ppm. 

I am not ready to apply @albertareef's chemical treatment yet, but I suggest you PM him directly.  Good luck Oregonic.

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56 minutes ago, Trailermann said:

I am not ready to apply @albertareef's chemical treatment yet, but I suggest you PM him directly.  Good luck Oregonic.

That reminds me I was going to look that up!

This is the product I tried and worked great for me (https://www.marinedepot.com/AZ_NO3_Nitrate_Eliminator_240mL_Specialty_Additives_Supplements-AZ_NO3-CP2151-FIADSA-vi.html?utm_source=mdcsegooglebase2&utm_medium=cse&utm_campaign=mdcsegooglebase2&utm_content=CMFSSWSKU-CP2151&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIn9aAv9LJ2QIVDpFpCh01TwVGEAQYBCABEgLHCfD_BwE)

Was running about 20PPM (primarily due to a large algae die-off I believe), started to try this and by the time I ramped up to the recommended dosage nitrates were already on their way down.  Ramped back down and have been at less than 0.25 ever since (at least a couple of months now).  No noticeable side effects that I saw in my tank (primarily SPS with some LPS, fish, inverts).

Hey @Oregonic let me know if you have any questions.

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Hmmm I'll check it out after I do a big water change and take a flashlight to the back again to make sure I didn't miss anything. I'm still thinking of maybe a hob refugium for macros...or work on hob overflow and patch this old trickle filter sump

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Ok this kinda goes with the nitrates issues, has anyone ever added a hob o overflow and sump to a nuvo all in one? Lol yeah so much for the all in one...

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Nitrate at 10ppm is not bad. If it does go up at consistent rate, I wouldn't distrub the sandbed. For small tanks, if you want to lower nitrate with water change, do like 90+% at one time. Just make sure the new saltwater is well mixed at least for a entire day in advance. You should match the salinity/temp and match major elements as close as possible. When we buy new fishes/corals, they go through 100% water change when they're placed into our tanks. However, if your nitrate keeps increasing, better to fix the cause before doing water changes.

Any easy fix would be to dose volka. That's assuming you have a good enough skimmer. There are charts online for dosing volka instructions.

Algae scrubber is another good option. ATS box can sit on the top back corner but might be too unsightly? Or a cheato reactor in the stand would be another option for AIO.

Sent from my SM-N950U1 using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)

dont really care about sightly or not... just want to fix the tank... yeah protein skimmer not very good.  I will look at the ATS box or some kind of cheato reactor.. Im going to do a very large change either later today or tomorrow. I pre-mix my saltwater a week ahead...  any recommendations for the all in one?

Edited by LadySaber

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chaeto + pods is like sorcery. I'm actually battling nitrates of 0 for the last 4 weeks. Finally got a nitrate of 1 yesterday after heavy feeding

nitrate of 5-10 is what you want

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