How to raise nitrates

Cheems

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Hello so my 29g has been up for around 4 months now fish and invert only and a few weeks ago I added my first coral, a Pom Pom Xenia. It hasn’t been doing good and so I tested the tank and the levels are:
~0 nitrate
~.2 phosphate
~179 KH
~360 calcium
~1.025 salinity

I’m assuming the issue is my nitrate being 0, it’s been a bit pale and it looks a little rough. Until I got any corals my goal was to get nitrates as low as possible so I’ve been doing everything I can to keep them low. Deep sand bed, protein skimmer, HOB

What’s the best way to raise nitrates? I know feeding more and more fish can help but I’m already feeding like 2-4 times a day and my stocking is:
2 young clownfish
2 mollys
1 lawnmower blenny
CUC
 

disaster999

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Ive added urea, or ammonia nitrate to my tank to bump up the nitrate levels. You need to add this slowly to your tank tho as this will also raise up the ammonia level, but if your tank is mature and have good health beneficial bacteria, they would convert the ammonia to nitrate in no time and it would seems as the fish is just peeing/pooping in your tank.
 

MrGisonni

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Feed more skim less and or add some brightwell neonitro. Less than recommended dose. You need to get your phosphates down under .1 try rowaphos or phosguard. Shoot for nitrates 5-15 and phosphates
.02 - .1
 
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Cheems

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Feed more skim less and or add some brightwell neonitro. Less than recommended dose. You need to get your phosphates down under .1 try rowaphos or phosguard. Shoot for nitrates 5-15 and phosphates
.02 - .1
Hmm alright, would stocking more help or just add more risk if things go wrong? Also I have tried turning off my protein skimmer and I also feed sometimes 4 times a day so it feels like I’m already over feeding by a LOT
 

MrGisonni

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Maybe double check your testing, bring the water to an aquarium store or test again to see if nitrates really are zero. If the test still comes back to zero, then maybe dosing nitrates is the way to go. Neonitro is easy. Last time I had to dose,1 ml gave me 10 ppm of nitrate. There are other ways. People will chime in.
 
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Cheems

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5 fish is plenty for a 29. Try adding some frozen food like a high protein PE mysis to your schedule.
I feed once usually sometimes twice a day mysis and many other types of frozen food. And yes 5 fish in a 29 gallon is quite a bit but I will be moving the mollys out soon to my 75 gallon reef for algae control. So I will be at 3 fish soon and then I might want to stock more. We will see though as this is mostly a clownfish tank and im trying to grow them out as fast as possible so ive been feeding like crazy
Maybe double check your testing, bring the water to an aquarium store or test again to see if nitrates really are zero. If the test still comes back to zero, then maybe dosing nitrates is the way to go. Neonitro is easy. Last time I had to dose,1 ml gave me 10 ppm of nitrate. There are other ways. People will chime in.
hmm, I am using my API master test kit. The only lfs are petco and they do the same thing. I could dose nitrate but that seems a little annoying to have to do that. If it is what I need to do I will.
IMO, the best choices to raise nitrate are to feed more, dose sodium or calcium nitrate, or ammonium chloride or bicarbonate. All of these are DIY.
also interesting. I will see if I can get any of these
 

CreatiVe2

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Awesome! Thanks for the update. May I ask what your dosing process is? And what product did you end up using
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Dose ammonia like Randy suggested. Super easy and fantastic results IME

As more folks have done that and posted results, I’m leaning toward ammonia dosing being a better choice than nitrate dosing.
 

Reeferbadness

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I would watch how much you feed as your Phos is a bit high (if .2 is correct). I have a similar problem due to my refugium(s) - same issue in 2 x 200g tanks. I took out lots of the chaeto in the fuge + started dosing Brightwell's NeoNitro. Was able to raise my nitrates slowly to manageable 5 - 10 ppm - and the corals immediately perked up with growth and more color.
 

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