How do I reduce nitrates?

Shazbop07

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Started dosing vinegar to reduce nitrates which were at 32. After 8 weeks got it down to 16, but kH rose from 8.5 up to 11.6. Lost more corals in the process than leaving the nitrates high.
So stopped vinegar and restarted biopellet reactor. I have tried nopox in the past with little effect. I can't get the nitrate lower than 16. Im sure they will bounce back up now Ive stopped the vinegar.
Po4 always sits around 0.08 as i run a gfo reactor. What should I aim for with PO4 to reduce no3? Any other ideas? Tank is nearly 2 yrs old.
 

Sashaka

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Weekly water changes, cleaning sump once a month, and using bio pellet works for me. I've been using BIO Spheres pellets and love the brand. Problem is the bulk quantity are often hard to get. Any recommendations for another brand of pellet that works well, lasts as long, and produces low/no mulm would be gratefully appreciated.
 
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Sisterlimonpot

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The reason why you're seeing little nitrate reduction with any form of carbon dosing (vinegar, biopellet, nopox) is because they primarily reduce phosphates.

There are many ways to reduce nitrates, as stated above. Ask 10 people and you will get 20 different answers for nutrient control.

And most wont be wrong, there are many ways to skin a cat, so you have to figure out which one will suit your needs. I personally tumble cheatomorpha under a grow light, and I dial in the amount of nutreints pulled from the tank based on how long the grow light is on. Another popular way is using a algae turf scrubber, they are neat little all in one units both set to target primarily nitrates.

Despite what I use, figure out what's causing your excessive nutrients and if water changes, skimming and good husbandry alone don't fix the problem then incorporating another means in the form of macro algae might be the way to go.

Good Luck
 

jurgenph

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Started dosing vinegar to reduce nitrates which were at 32. After 8 weeks got it down to 16, but kH rose from 8.5 up to 11.6. Lost more corals in the process than leaving the nitrates high.
are you dosing anything to raise alk? or did it jump up all by itself? this just feels odd.

J.
 

jurgenph

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in addition... you should probably pick a method, rather than mixing or switching between them.

it sounds like you had a biopellet reactor, then switched to vinegar, then back to pellets. pick one, stick with it.
also, running gfo will reduce the phosphates that are required by carbon dosing method.
you need both nitrates and phosphates in order for this to work properly.

is your skimmer pulling out more gunk when you are dosing or running the pellets? this is the critial part with carbon dosing, you need to export that bacterial biomass that you're growing.

oh, and 16ppm nitrates is nothing to worry about.
some coral farmers run it at 50 or higher ;)

J.
 
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Shazbop07

Shazbop07

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are you dosing anything to raise alk? or did it jump up all by itself? this just feels odd.

J.
Nothing at all. I figured it was the vinegar? My tank is only consuming mag at the moment which is also odd
 
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Shazbop07

Shazbop07

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in addition... you should probably pick a method, rather than mixing or switching between them.

it sounds like you had a biopellet reactor, then switched to vinegar, then back to pellets. pick one, stick with it.
also, running gfo will reduce the phosphates that are required by carbon dosing method.
you need both nitrates and phosphates in order for this to work properly.

is your skimmer pulling out more gunk when you are dosing or running the pellets? this is the critial part with carbon dosing, you need to export that bacterial biomass that you're growing.

oh, and 16ppm nitrates is nothing to worry about.
some coral farmers run it at 50 or higher ;)

J.
So more info- I ran pellets for 12 months with no drop. Then tried no pox for a few months. Then the vinegar. So i didnt just switch. I have a good skimmer (jns). If 16 is fine then I'll live with it. Conflicting info sometimes re nitrate. Many say get below 10. I guess depends what you're keeping. I have softies and lps. Thankyou for the info and confirmation
 
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Ryan9212

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You’re fine at 16. I try to keep mine under 30 and I have everything including sps. Also if you don’t have algae issues maybe take the GFO out to let the phosphates come up a bit. My phosphates are usually around 0.2 As others said you need nitrates and phosphates for carbon dosing to work. The nitrates will drop a lot quicker but if you run out of nitrates or phosphate it doesn’t work.

You can try vodka, I have the best luck with it and you don’t need as much as dosing vinegar. As long as you start slow you should be fine. There are guides out there which in my opinion are too low but to put this into perspective...I have a 92g and dose around 15ml of vodka/ day spread out. But I did work up to that and feed a lot.

Also with higher Alk you want more nutrients in the water. I keep
My alk at 9.5-10. Coral growth is very fast the way I have it now. The key is making sure you have enough phosphate and nitrate with carbon dosing. I use sodium nitrate to raise my nitrates if I want to get the phosphates down. So much easier But that’s what works for me.

Oh and if you are worried about algae, my tank was out of control at one point with hair algae and I added I think to be astrea turbo snails and added a kole tang. Now not a single patch of algae.
Good luck
 

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Started dosing vinegar to reduce nitrates which were at 32. After 8 weeks got it down to 16, but kH rose from 8.5 up to 11.6. Lost more corals in the process than leaving the nitrates high.
So stopped vinegar and restarted biopellet reactor. I have tried nopox in the past with little effect. I can't get the nitrate lower than 16. Im sure they will bounce back up now Ive stopped the vinegar.
Po4 always sits around 0.08 as i run a gfo reactor. What should I aim for with PO4 to reduce no3? Any other ideas? Tank is nearly 2 yrs old.
Also sulfur denitrator, use from time to time.
 

5280Reefer

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Just a quick question, why is having 16 ppm nitrate a bad thing? If you are not having any algae issues why drop it? I found the my coral have the best colors above 10ppm also look the best.
 
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Shazbop07

Shazbop07

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holding 15-20 ppm nitrates is perfect.

run a fuge if you're overly concerned
Contradictory ideas about nitrate levels I guess. Been told to get it less than 10. However, I dont think its going to stay at 16. Maybe an algae reactor may be the best idea if it goes up again
 

jurgenph

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are you dosing anything to raise alk? or did it jump up all by itself? this just feels odd.
Nothing at all. I figured it was the vinegar? My tank is only consuming mag at the moment which is also odd
what test kit are you using for Alk?

testing error maybe?

are you doing water changes with a salt mix that's higher in Alk than your tank is? and the coral loss you had is nor resulting in reduced Alk uptake?

trying to kinda think while i type ;)


J.
 

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LARGE WC, like 50% or more if you could. It seems people forget the easiest things and turn to chemicals and the such?
 
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Shazbop07

Shazbop07

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what test kit are you using for Alk?

testing error maybe?

are you doing water changes with a salt mix that's higher in Alk than your tank is? and the coral loss you had is nor resulting in reduced Alk uptake?

trying to kinda think while i type ;)


J.
Thanks for your input. Appreciate it. Im using nsw i have delivered kh is 8. I use salifert. Always test a few times. New in date kits. Had lfs check water too and was accurate. Doing water changes but didnt want to cause more swings with kh by suddenly dropping it with a large change
 

SeaDweller

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Thanks for your input. Appreciate it. Im using nsw i have delivered kh is 8. I use salifert. Always test a few times. New in date kits. Had lfs check water too and was accurate. Doing water changes but didnt want to cause more swings with kh by suddenly dropping it with a large change
That’s why you match your WC alk to your current tank alk, to avoid swings. What salt are you using?
 
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