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  #1  
Old 12/23/2007, 05:03 PM
cajundolphin cajundolphin is offline
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HELP!! Nitrates 160

Can someone please tell me what to do? My nitrates are at 160. They are showing the dark red which is the highest on my chart. I can not even imagine why they are suddenly spiked like this. I did a water change about 3 weeks ago and changed out my filters. At that time my nitrates where at 20-40. Nothing has died in my tank....which is surprising to me with those levels. My other levels are Amonia 0, nitrite 0, ph 7.8 and salinity 1.022. The tank is 75gal fowlr. I have a 3" porc puffer, coral beauty, a dragon goby, and a orange diamond goby. The tank has been up and running for about 8 months. It has a cascade 700 canister filter, maxijet 1200, and a coralife super skimmer with 60lbs live rock and crushed coral bottom. I am not sure what else you may need to know to help me so please let me know if you need more info. Thanks
  #2  
Old 12/23/2007, 05:06 PM
JPReef JPReef is offline
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i suggest a massive water change. like 50% then check your levels in about 30 mins. Work on getting rid of the canister filter and try to impliment a sump with a refuge with cheato. cheato will suck up the remaining nitrates and a sump will increase your water capacity cutting down on massive level spikes.


Also, 20-40 is still too high on nitrates. Strive for 10 or less. 0 is optimal, but hard to get sometimes.

OH and one other thing. What test kit brand are you using? I suggest Salifert test kits. they are said to be most accurate but thier pricey. Still worth the extra cash though.
  #3  
Old 12/23/2007, 05:08 PM
Blown 346 Blown 346 is offline
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Most of the time when you have rising levels of Nitrate your ammonia will rise as well. The CC isnt the best and could be helping with a nitrate problem. But at those levels the life in the tank wouldnt be alive. I would get some different test strips.
  #4  
Old 12/23/2007, 05:10 PM
JEFFTHEREEFER JEFFTHEREEFER is offline
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With a FOWLR Nitrates are not a huge concern at or less than 30ppm- But agree with JPreef, you need a large water change, followed with several smaller ones 10-20% over the following days IE 50 percent day on- day 2 or 3 20 percent day 5 20

you will then need to plan your attack baised off of how much they have come down.


Dont panic- I have had high nitrates too- It sucks but with multi water changes over multi days it will come down
  #5  
Old 12/23/2007, 05:11 PM
JPReef JPReef is offline
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Sorry every time i read again i keep thinking of stuff. Your PH should be closer to 8.3. 8.1 to 8.3 is optimal. Also, your salinity needs to be raised. 1.026 is optimal.

I know these are closer to Reef type parameters. But these are also actual ocean parameters too. The closer the better because it gives you more room to work with if something goes severely wrong.
  #6  
Old 12/23/2007, 05:15 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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Change water at least 30%.
Run carbon.
I'm suspecting the validity of this test...run it again. If you still have corals, they're a miracle.
Filters must be changed weekly. Cannisters are good at causing a nitrate rise: so is a crushed coral substrate. If you have corals you should have 1 lb live rock per gallon---55 to 60 lbs. How much live rock have you got?

I'm hating the amount of omg news I'm delivering here, but this is the hard way to do a reef. If it were mine---I'd pull everybody to quarantine, pull the live rock there too; totally pull the sandbed, in favor of buying aragonite fine grade, immediately replace the live rock , add the washed aragonite sand, and wait for a cycle, feeding tank 3 flakes of fish food daily---cycle which should be real fast, like a week. Then when you've spiked a tiny bit of ammonia and settled again to 0 nitrate, 0 ammonia, add a cleaning crew, about 20 snails, 10 scarlet hermits. AND NO FILTER at all. Trust your skimmer and your sandbed. An aragonite sandbed is a lot more potent at reducing waste and breaking down nitrates.

After that, you should run without ammonia or nitrate at all, certainly no higher than 3. You have 2 major nitrate generators in your current tank, in that uncleaned cannister and your cc sandbed, and if you can rid yourself of those, you will solve your problem---much work as it may be now, it will save you a world of frustration.
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  #7  
Old 12/23/2007, 05:17 PM
cajundolphin cajundolphin is offline
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Can I do a water change now or do I have to let the water sit for 24hrs to dissolve the salt and do the water change? Thanks for everyones help.
  #8  
Old 12/23/2007, 05:20 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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If you have a mixing pump or a strong arm and a stick ---heck, even a hand kitchen mixer [but wash your blades when done] you should be able to cut that down to about 3 hours in an emergency: you don't want to burn corals or fishy gills with undissolved salt grains. ANY submersible pump can serve as a mixing pump: just toss it into the bucket and mix away. When the water is clear, and nothing stirs on the bottom of the bucket, it is pretty well mixed.


Note: see if you can get your lfs to board those corals for you for a week or so while you get this straightened out. Mine will board corals and fish in an emergency.

Doh! Amquel. I think that Amquel or Prime might be able to help the nitrate situation temporarily! Call your lfs or another reefer and see if you can get any. It's one of the rare miracles-in-a-bottle that really works. If you can get it, you can use it, clean those filters totally, and get out of this for a saner, more deliberate fix later.
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Last edited by Sk8r; 12/23/2007 at 05:25 PM.
  #9  
Old 01/12/2008, 02:07 AM
JEFFTHEREEFER JEFFTHEREEFER is offline
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Here is a good read for you. I am going to go this route for my on going problem with nitrates


http://archive.reefcentral.com/forum...readid=1036447
  #10  
Old 01/12/2008, 02:21 AM
Billybeau1 Billybeau1 is offline
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Well Caj, this thread is a couple of weeks old and I'm sorry I didn't catch it sooner.

Nitrates in the level you speak do not affect fish much.

In fact my trates have run the course of 50 to 200 ppm over the years with no apparent problems. Happy and healthy fish.

Well maybe some microalgae outbreaks due to the excessive nutrients.

Bottom line, if you are running 160 or so, you need to study up on your husbandry and try to get it down a little. But this is not an emergency by no means.

Read the article posted above and make nitrates a personal issue to lower in the long term. I don't believe your fish are in any danger where you are at.

 

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