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Nitrate levels


wegotjs
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This is my first reef tank, so not sure were to go from here.My nitrate levels are running between 10.0

& 20.0 ppm . How do I get those levels down . First I did talked to a couple of people that said it's not realistic to see the levels at 0.0, on the other hand most books and shops say for reef you must have it at zero.Tank is 30 g hex W/ 20g sump,vho's,85 pounds live rock ,live sand.Been running for 6 months . A few soft corals and two small clowns Plus the cleanup crew.I clean my filter sock a couple times a week and do reg water changes 50% every three weeks . Still no help, I've even done Multiple changes the same day changing 75 % water It does bring it down a bit but never lower than 10.0ppm I have seachems

de-nitrate in the sump , no help over 5 weeks. I have even tried feeding almost nothing

for 2 weeks to try and help. AM I CRAZY. The corals are not dying, they seem healthy but I would'nt say they were taking off either. DOH! Set me strait were am I going wrong.DOH!

Jon

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Guest Mbeef61

feed a little less....once a day or every other day until under control...change 20percent weekly instead of 50percent every 3. maybe vaccumm top 1/2 inch of sand bed to pickup extra detritus. start growing some macro algaes....a combo of this put me at untracable levels....i agree there is no such thing as 0 nitrates but there is a point where out pewny test kits cant pickup any traces...which we call 0....if im not mistaking i think clams prefer a little nitrate in the water and can actually clean it up a little...

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Have you confirmed your test kit is accurate? Take a sample to your LFS as a double-check.

 

Do you have any other symptoms of high nitrate? Algae growth?

 

It seems to me you have plenty of live rock for the size of your system. How deep is your live sand?

 

What kind of water to you use to top-off and to make up your salt water? Have you tested it for nitrates?

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Tell us more about your filtration system, skimmer, anything you use for nutrient export.

 

Do you use bio-balls? Any kind of filter media other than your filter sock?

 

What kind of sand bed? Sugar sized, crushed coral?

 

What test kits are you using?

 

Sorry about all the questions.

 

Jay

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Maybe John might jump in, as he might have more info on the plenum. IMO they just aren't used much anymore. Is the medium sized sand a Crushed Coral? They tend to hold alot of detritus, but then again, I'm not sure how much they would hold in a tank with a plenum. I'm not saying plenums are bad either, there are some long running tanks that use plenums, but I personally would not use one. I like bare bottom, so I can see that all the junk has been removed.

 

Are you using RO/DI water? If not do you know the TDS ( total desolved solids ) of the water you are using? If you are not using RO/DI water, then I would thing this might be the culprit. Test your fresh water and see what the result is.

 

Jay

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I would bring a sample of the water to a store who will test it using salifert kits. Also, what is your nitrite level? Ammonia? test your nitrate the day after you change your filter sock, see if there is any difference int he reading. Is your r/o water also deionized?

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ammonia & nitrites are at zero. filter cleaned 2 times a week. I put the plenum in on the advice of Woody at Seahorse.The filter really does not get that dirty because i am feeding so little. So what is the suggestions on substrait , none or some or lots?I get all my water at woodys , fresh and salt so all i know is that its r/o.

I want to thank everybody for there time and suggestions I really appreciate it.

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