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Lowering Nitrates

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by pickupman66, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. pickupman66

    pickupman66 Well-Known Member MTRCMember

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    So, i have been battling my 180 for the last two months. I cannot seem to get my Nitrates where they need to be. Some History:

    I have not been a water change type of guy. I know this can contribute but in the past I have always been able to keep it under control with a nitrate coil or bio-pellets. Lately, not so much. they have gotten as high as 50ppm but lately, seem stuck on 25ppm according to my salifert kit. even riht after a water change, I got 25ppm. same as I had before. I thought my salifert kit was bad, so i tested some freshly made up water. it tested at zero.

    I have done a 50 gallon water change this weekend and last weekend. and have not made an impact. (total water volume is in the 225 gallon range)

    I am running about 1500Ml brs biopellets

    I setup an ATS about 5 weeks ago. I am getting a good strong growth on it now and feel it should really kick in soon.

    FWIW, my Alk is 7.8, Ca is 450, Ph is 8.0, phos is .03

    any additional suggestions? I lost two very large colonies to my issues. they went up in massive RTN events likely due to sustained exposure to the >25ppm Nitrates.
    2013-12-03 20.49.38.jpg
     
  2. beaslbob

    beaslbob Well-Known Member

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    When the ATS "kicks in" nitrates and phosphates will become unmeasureable. and pH will increase also.


    my .02
     
  3. pickupman66

    pickupman66 Well-Known Member MTRCMember

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    Thanks BOB. thats sort of what I was hoping to hear. the ATS is 9" wide and 18" tall so it is pretty good sized. Lit on each side by a pair of 100 watt EQ CFL.
     
  4. zemuss

    zemuss Well-Known Member Reef Squad

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    Important part of this is not to clean the ATS fully. Leave some of the established algae on the screen. So a good scaping would do for the cleaning.

    I used to run a ATS and plan to do this in the future, but am running a bio-pellet reactor now.
     
  5. pickupman66

    pickupman66 Well-Known Member MTRCMember

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    I think no cleaned not too good last time so this time I only did one side. I'll do the other side next weekend.
     
  6. Reefing Madness

    Reefing Madness Carbon Doser(Vodka) Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Only if the ATS is comprable in size to the DT. If its not big enough, it won't.
     
  7. pickupman66

    pickupman66 Well-Known Member MTRCMember

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    ATS is 9x18 for my 180.
     
  8. zemuss

    zemuss Well-Known Member Reef Squad

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    I agree with Reef Madness on this. Your ATS should be based on the size of the tank. If Nitrates are not being impacted and you have that algae growth, which is good growth, perhaps adding another or increasing the size is in order.
     
  9. zemuss

    zemuss Well-Known Member Reef Squad

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    Also can you show us the complete ATS setup. Just for my knowledge. I am going to be building another one and looking for ideas...
     
  10. pickupman66

    pickupman66 Well-Known Member MTRCMember

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  11. zemuss

    zemuss Well-Known Member Reef Squad

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    Dude you gave me a very good idea!!! THANKS!!!

    However lets get back to these high nitrate issues your having.. What you might want to do is perform a series of large water changes.

    what fish are in your tank?

    Do you have a CUC?
    If so what do you have?

    What is your husbandry like?

    Feeding Schedule?

    What type of Sand bed do you have?


    What I am thinking is your ATS is maintaining your Nitrates but your feeding more than you need too.
    "Z"
     
  12. pickupman66

    pickupman66 Well-Known Member MTRCMember

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    well, lets see here... I have performed two 50 gallon changes over the last two weeks. Nitrates didnt change very noticeably at all. tank is 180 gallon with a 150 stock tank sump that has ~60 gallons in it.

    what fish are in your tank?

    --8" Naso, 5" Blue hippo, 5" Atlantic blue, 4" powder brown, Yellow pyramid butterfly, Copperbanded butterfly, 3 chromis, 4" melanarus, 4" 6 line, bonded pair Black/white percula, mandarin goby (had a 2nd but it went missing about 2 months ago), large Pajama Cardinal


    Do you have a CUC? yes. consists of about 2 dozen astria snails and I restocked with 50 blue leg hermits. i have 1 very large brittle star. (i had two but one disappeared about 2 months ago). 1 bajillion babby brittles and 1000 asternia
    If so what do you have?

    What is your husbandry like?

    --historically, not a water change person. never have been and historically worked for me. thats not to say Im not opposed, but I am not one to preach weekly or bi-weekly. ive gone months without before and have not had any nitrate or phosphate issues.


    Feeding Schedule?
    --Feed 1/4 nori sheet nightly along with enough frozen for the fish to completely demolish in about a minute. no more. feed PE mysis or Hiraki mysis and LRS reef frenzy.

    What type of Sand bed do you have? 2" most places aragonite sand.

    Tank history. it has been setup and running for over 3 years in current location. I have a SRO3000XP internal skimmer. 1000-1500 ML bio pellets. it is a mixture of Ecobak and BRS. I am thinking the BRs dont work as well as ecobak.

    now, the ATS JUST became mature. so it really hasnt been growing good quantities of greens but for a week now. instead of cleaning both sides, I am going to alternate weekly so that I always have a good bit on there to see if that helps pull down the nitrates.

     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  13. zemuss

    zemuss Well-Known Member Reef Squad

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    yes let the ATS mature and start working.

    Nice setup btw..
     
  14. pickupman66

    pickupman66 Well-Known Member MTRCMember

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    thanks man..... I appreciate it. Unfortunately, I know I have some large high pollutin fish.
     

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