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jophenna jophenna
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  • Posted on: 4/11/2009 21:23
How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #1
I posted about 3 months ago as my Phosphate level was rising and Howard kindly suggested a Rowaphos reactor which is now in place happily removing Phosphate :) My level is now 0.03.

I now have a problem with Nitrates... I have caleurpa in my sump with the skimmer skimming nicely but the Nitrate level stays between 25 and 50. I am changing 10% water weekly, cleaning skimmer cup and replacing filter floss twice a week without any reduction.

Any idea on how to get this down?

Cheers!
jophenna jophenna
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  • Posted on: 4/11/2009 21:33
Re: How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #2
kieranLocke kieranLocke
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  • Posted on: 4/11/2009 22:21
Re: How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #3
hey jopenna

Im sure it would help but its quite expensive. have you tried all other options first? like increasing flow rate round your live rock etc? are you using bioballs or anything like that? they can cause high nitrates. whats your feeding regime? stock level?

kieran
Kieran
jophenna jophenna
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Re: How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #4
Hi kieran,

Thanks for your response. One of my powerheads in the display tank has been playing up lately so I have just replaced it with a Koralia which seems to have a nice wide flow. Will this make much of a difference?

The tank is 220l plus 50l sump with the following stock: regal tang, firefish, royal gramma, coral beauty, dwarf angel, fire shrimp x 1, 11 crabs and 4 turbo snails.

I feed a pinch of flake once a day and a pinch of granules later once per day. I feed a 1/2 block of frozen every 3 days.

Any more ideas?

Cheers!
Freakyshrimp Freakyshrimp
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Re: How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #5
Firstly, have you tested your RO water directly as it comes out of the unit and before you catch it in your container, then test again when it has stood for a while in your collection container, then test again after adding and mixing in your salt to rule out any issues with that? If you get pre-mixed from LFS test that instead. If theres no issues with your freshly mixed water it could be that you are overfeeding or overstocked (I'm not familiar with your stock level or tank size). Do you rinse your frozen food in RO water before feeding? it can be very high in nitrates and phosphates if you don't. Have you tried another liquid test kit and got an equally high result? It's best to rule everything out before going to the expence of a nitrate reactor.
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EagleC EagleC
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Re: How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #6
In adition to what freakyshrimp suggests, it could also be a test kit issue. Hobby Nitrate test kits that are available to the likes of you and me are not all that good and have quite a short shelf life. Certain brands have reportedly been giving false high results.
I think perhaps take a good critical look around the tank and see if you have any symptoms associated with high nitrates.
Rampant algae, listless fish or poor appetite, corals dieing?

If you're not actually getting any problems then you can relax a little and perhaps try another brand of test kit first - your lfs or another local fish keeper should be able to offer a nitrate test on your tank water for comparison. You can also try www.tanktests.co.uk to get a benchmark test. These are reportedly very accurate.
kieranLocke kieranLocke
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Re: How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #7
i cant think of anything else not mentioned. may i ask what crabs you have got? 11 seems a high number
Kieran
jophenna jophenna
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Re: How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #8
I am using the Salifert NO3 kit... I have just mixed up water as I was due a water change and tested the water before and after adding the salt - both resulted in a zero reading.

I do believe that the readings are correct, as I am having algae problems (although I wouldn't describe this as rampant) and a couple of corals are looking smaller than usual.

10 of the crabs are new and were bought as a way of trying to battle the algae issue. They are all blue legged; one rather large and the other 10 are tiddlers.

I'm hoping that the extra flow resulting from the new powerhead in the display tank will improve my live rock filtration so the nitrate level drops... Other than that I can't think of anything!

Thanks again.
Howard Howard
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Re: How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #9
Rather than go for a reactor , i think you should identify the root cause of your nitrate issue.

Circulation issues can cause problems with nitrates , also , is your live rock supported on egg crate or sitting on the sand ?

Don't get too hung up on it , while it is nice to have low nitrates , it's not the end of the world if they are highish.

I have seen some very successful tanks run by experinced reefers that run at high ( approching 100 ) nitrate levels. My own tank , i just can't get below 25 .... some people just can't get it down ...

I practise what i preach , i check the RO , my circulation is good , i don't overfeed , live rock on egg crate , etc etc .... and still they are high .
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kieranLocke kieranLocke
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  • Posted on: 5/11/2009 18:55
Re: How do I reduce Nitrate Level? #10
i dont think your hermit crabs will help with the algae and there quite destructive in large numbers. i would recommend reducing the number of them alitle. i always follow the rule of 1 hermit crab to 10 gallons. will reduce the load on your natural filter too so certainly wont make your nitrate problem worse.
Kieran