0 ppm nitrates, too much nutrient export? is no water changes an option?

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william swann

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i’ve been doing 13% weekly water changes and i have a refugium with cheato that is growing, my nitrates have stayed at 0 or undetectable on the API test kit, my question is is this too little nitrates for a mixed reef (acros, ephylia, mushrooms ect)

if it is, is keeping nutrient levels down with only cheato and no water changes an effective way to keep nutrients down, i have a clownfish and jawfish and might add 1 or 2 similar sized fish

ps i’ve been posting a lot of threads idk of that bothers people but i really appreciate everyone’s help on this forum, thanks in advance
 
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brandon429

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we must start out by saying that in several threads, on a given water sample, api vs red sea or salifert has a 50 ppm spread.

that could mean you have lots of nitrates

getting a clean reading/1st step before making change yep.
 
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william swann

william swann

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we must start out by saying that in several threads, on a given water sample, api vs red sea or salifert has a 50 ppm spread.

that could mean you have lots of nitrates
i think my test kit is accurate because in my 120 and my old 15g i do get readings that “make sense” but i will keep an eye out
 

SMSREEF

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I would get a different test. Salifert is inexpensive and easy to use.

A true 0 nitrate is not good in a new tank and can lead to issues with Dino’s. But test kit error is real, so if you have green algae growing on glass, you probably are fine.
If it really is 0, You could light your fuge less, take the protein skimmer out, feed more, dose nitrate.
 

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i’ve been doing 13% weekly water changes and i have a refugium with cheato that is growing, my nitrates have stayed at 0 or undetectable on the API test kit, my question is is this too little nitrates for a mixed reef (acros, ephylia, mushrooms ect)

if it is, is keeping nutrient levels down with only cheato and no water changes an effective way to keep nutrients down, i have a clownfish and jawfish and might add 1 or 2 similar sized fish

ps i’ve been posting a lot of threads idk of that bothers people but i really appreciate everyone’s help on this forum, thanks in advance
I'd say that if your chaeto is growing, you have some level of available nitrate in the tank. If your corals seem healthy and are growing, don't take too extreme of measures to bump it up.

If you intend to go the no water change route, keep in mind you'll have to dose major AND minor elements. If you intend to add a couple of fish anyway, you may want to see how that affects parameters before making any other changes. Corals seem to love fish poop.

About the threads. Yeah. you've kind of exceeded the 2 thread per month limit. Just kidding. The more questions the better! For every thread you start, there are probably hundreds of folks wondering about the same things and just haven't asked. Keep em coming! :)
 
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John08007

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Didn't read all these replies, have you tried to time your refuge light so that its only on over night? Would think cutting back on the lights would throttle the growing of the chaeto
 

Tankkeepers

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I'd say that if your chaeto is growing, you have some level of available nitrate in the tank. If your corals seem healthy and are growing, don't take too extreme of measures to bump it up.

If you intend to go the no water change route, keep in mind you'll have to dose major AND minor elements. If you intend to add a couple of fish anyway, you may want to see how that affects parameters before making any other changes. Corals seem to love fish poop.

About the threads. Yeah. you've kind of exceeded the 2 thread per month limit. Just kidding. The more questions the better! For every thread you start, there are probably hundreds of folks wondering about the same things and just haven't asked. Keep em coming! :)
Coral do love fish poo
 
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william swann

william swann

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I'd say that if your chaeto is growing, you have some level of available nitrate in the tank. If your corals seem healthy and are growing, don't take too extreme of measures to bump it up.

If you intend to go the no water change route, keep in mind you'll have to dose major AND minor elements. If you intend to add a couple of fish anyway, you may want to see how that affects parameters before making any other changes. Corals seem to love fish poop.

About the threads. Yeah. you've kind of exceeded the 2 thread per month limit. Just kidding. The more questions the better! For every thread you start, there are probably hundreds of folks wondering about the same things and just haven't asked. Keep em coming! :)
okay thanks a lot for the info
 
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tankstudy

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Unless your dosing and continually observing your Alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium, water changes are your only method at the moment of replenishing these. I wouldn't drop water changes if you aren't dosing, especially in a really healthy system where all three are consumed quite heavily in a single day.
 
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william swann

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Unless your dosing and continually observing your Alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium, water changes are your only method at the moment of replenishing these. I wouldn't drop water changes if you aren't dosing, especially in a really healthy system where all three are consumed quite heavily in a single day.
makes sense, thanks
 
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