I can't raise my nitrates

OP
Chlorinated

Chlorinated

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
478
Reaction score
408
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Acton, MA
Been a while since I've updated this.

The fist and easiest thing I wanted to try was just raising nitrates. I bought a bottle of Brightwell NeoNitro. While I was waiting for the bottle to be delivered, I noticed my return flow was super low...like barely flowing. So I decided to pull my return pump...it has been a few months...and give it a scrub.

Normally when I pull the pump I pull it apart and give it a good scrub with a toothbrush. I haven't bothered with the tubing as it's a major pain to pull apart and cleaning the pump alone has always gotten flow back. This time I pulled the tubing as well. I should have taken a picture but I didn't unfortunately...the tubing was 95% clogged with white snot!

Without scrubbing, I dropped the pump and tubing in a bucket of citric acid and let it run for an hour. The snot wasn't even changed, flow was still slow, but the bucket stank really bad. So I pulled the pump and tubing apart, cleaned it all with Qtips to clear the snot and re-ran in CA again. Needless to say flow was back to normal.

I also took the time to pull my reactor and heater and run them in CA as well to clean them out well. Refilled with fresh carbon and got the tank running again.

The flow was increased so much I had to top off water because the level in the display went up.

Corals looked good, and then I dosed nitrates to 3ppm. I tested last night and....no nitrates!

So I went a step farther. Pulled my media racks..which had been pulled 2 days ago....and they were covered in slime. So I gave them a bath. I then scraped the glass and went to town on every inch of sand I could find and basted it over and over.

After a few hours the tank cleared...changed floss atleast 6 times. I dosed again with nitrates to 3ppm. Plan to test tonight.

If there's more of this bacterial snot somewhere i don't know where it could be hiding. I certainly got the major mass of it anyway.

I will report back with test results...
 
Lazy's Coral House
OP
Chlorinated

Chlorinated

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
478
Reaction score
408
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Acton, MA
If the tank is using the nitrate, there's nothing wrong with increasing the dose.

Are you dosing any organic carbon?
Not dosing any carbon. Just feed the fish daily. I feel like its this snotty bacteria consuming it but could be wrong. That's why I'm trying to remove as much as possible.

After the cleaning, my favia looked a lot better than it has all year, so whatever it is, it's bothering atleast the favia.

How high you think I should dose? I'm thinking it may be hard for me to keep it up if the bateria consume it so rapidly.

Is NeoNitro potassium based, should I be concerned about too much K buildup?
 
OP
Chlorinated

Chlorinated

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
478
Reaction score
408
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Acton, MA
So I tried dosing nitrates for a few days and could never detect them. The slime continued to form and coat everything. So I decided to try another way.

For the last week, I have been using my baster on every inch of my rock and sand. I would baste repeatedly every 15min or so over a couple hrs at night and change my floss as needed....usually 3, 4 times each day. After a week, the slime reduced, but still very much present.

2 days ago I did a dose of ChemiClean. No idea if it will be effective againt this but It was worth a shot. Today I pulled all the equipment...powerhead, reactor, return pump, media baskets...and scrubed the slime off everything. I then did my usual 20ish% waterchange.

Tonight all looks good. All corals open and happy. I should know in a day or so if the slime has been beat back or not. Been a long day so I plan to do a full panel of tests tomorrow and dose as necessary...including nitrate. Will see what happens and report back.

Pics from tonight
20211202_204145.jpg
20211202_203834.jpg
20211202_203901.jpg
20211202_203935.jpg
20211202_203948.jpg
20211202_204001.jpg
20211202_204426.jpg
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
47,463
Reaction score
37,204
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
2 days ago I did a dose of ChemiClean. No idea if it will be effective againt this but It was worth a shot. Today I pulled all the equipment...powerhead, reactor, return pump, media baskets...and scrubed the slime off everything. I then did my usual 20ish% waterchange.

Let's hope the antibiotic in the chemiclean killed off the problem bacteria. :)
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

DanTheReefer

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 2, 2019
Messages
176
Reaction score
182
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I’ve had this exact filter clogging slime bacteria/ dino, whatever it is mess. For me it was as easy as removing carbon filtration (BRS rox). Now I run it for a day or two every month or two for periodic polishing, but I only use as needed and don’t leave it in there.

Here’s a video from reefgrrl on her experience. It can be really bad if it starts to clog things that affect your ATO. Into her ordeal she saw a flatworm and decided to treat it with flatwormX, and the slime disappeared shortly afterwards. She thinks the flatwormX did it, but flatwormX also involves messing with carbon, so who knows.
 
Last edited:

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
47,463
Reaction score
37,204
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
I’ve had this exact filter clogging slime bacteria/ dino, whatever it is mess. For me it was as easy as removing carbon filtration (BRS rox). Now I run it for a day or two every month or two for periodic polishing, but I only use as needed and don’t leave it in there.

Here’s a video from reefgrrl on her experience. It can be really bad if it starts to clog things that affect your ATO. Into her ordeal she saw a flatworm and decided to treat it with flatwormX, and the slime disappeared shortly afterwards. She thinks the flatwormX did it, but flatwormX also involves messing with carbon, so who knows.

I'm missing any possible connection between using activated carbon and a burst of problem bacteria or dinos.

IMO, it was more likely coincidence.
 
OP
Chlorinated

Chlorinated

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
478
Reaction score
408
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Acton, MA
I’ve had this exact filter clogging slime bacteria/ dino, whatever it is mess. For me it was as easy as removing carbon filtration (BRS rox). Now I run it for a day or two every month or two for periodic polishing, but I only use as needed and don’t leave it in there.

Here’s a video from reefgrrl on her experience. It can be really bad if it starts to clog things that affect your ATO. Into her ordeal she saw a flatworm and decided to treat it with flatwormX, and the slime disappeared shortly afterwards. She thinks the flatwormX did it, but flatwormX also involves messing with carbon, so who knows.
I have always run carbon 24/7. Keeps water nice, and gets rid of the softy toxins.

I had to remove it for the ChmiClean treatment, but that was just 2 days. Filters less slimy, but still clogging within 24hrs. May take more than 2 days to notice I suppose.

I'm missing any possible connection between using activated carbon and a burst of problem bacteria or dinos.

IMO, it was more likely coincidence.
I have never heard of carbon causing this issue as well.

Mis day today and both filters were clogged. Not crazy slimy like usual, but clearly not clogged by just debris. The filters were slightly brownish, but flow highly restricted. Looks like the mass clean for a weak and ChemiCkean treatment probably didn't do much.

Next step would be skimmer or UV? Was really trying to avoid additional equipment. I feel my nutrients are already super low...granted most likely due to this bacteria...so wouldn't a skimmer just exacerbate the situation? The bateria is clearly in the water column so I imagine it could be skimmed out, but it also coats all my equipment. It's like my pumps are covered in clear slime.

Anyway...any advice appreciated
 
OP
Chlorinated

Chlorinated

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
478
Reaction score
408
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Acton, MA
I've had good luck using using plus NP, and bacto balance by tropic marin for this exact problem
Looked these up. One is a balanced N/P source and the other is a Carbon source for dosing.

How did you use these to solve your issue? Did you run a skimmer? Carbon dosing would require it I imagine due to the Carbon dose.

Thanks!
 

Rjmul

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
456
Reaction score
300
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Looked these up. One is a balanced N/P source and the other is a Carbon source for dosing.

How did you use these to solve your issue? Did you run a skimmer? Carbon dosing would require it I imagine due to the Carbon dose.

Thanks!
Looked these up. One is a balanced N/P source and the other is a Carbon source for dosing.

How did you use these to solve your issue? Did you run a skimmer? Carbon dosing would require it I imagine due to the Carbon dose.

Thanks!
From my understanding
Plus np raises n and p
Bacto balance maintains then
Eleminp lowers them

ALL contain carbon sources.

I started with plus np, then moved onto bacto balance. If phosphate dips below .05 I go back to plus np

@Lou Ekus could explain better as he's the one that explained it to me
 
OP
Chlorinated

Chlorinated

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
478
Reaction score
408
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Acton, MA
From my understanding
Plus np raises n and p
Bacto balance maintains then
Eleminp lowers them

ALL contain carbon sources.

I started with plus np, then moved onto bacto balance. If phosphate dips below .05 I go back to plus np

@Lou Ekus could explain better as he's the one that explained it to me
Would love to understand how it works. I do believe that thos bacteria is due to nutrient imbalance. I've tried correcting but I can't budge from 0.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
47,463
Reaction score
37,204
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
From my understanding
Plus np raises n and p
Bacto balance maintains then
Eleminp lowers them

ALL contain carbon sources.

I started with plus np, then moved onto bacto balance. If phosphate dips below .05 I go back to plus np

@Lou Ekus could explain better as he's the one that explained it to me

They are, IMO, simply products that contain organic carbon and sources of N or P.

You can attain the same additions yourself.
 

Koh23

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 23, 2021
Messages
223
Reaction score
161
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Croatia
Hijacking once more.....

No matter how i feed, dont change water, no3 and po4 are undetectable....

I feed a lot, few cubes a day, bioload is small,.only 3 fish, but, no luck in getting water a little dirtier... No algae, only brown stuff on glass and pumps... Brown algae, diatoms, who knows?

I even throw whole shrimp from time to time and let it rot in tank, but still nothing.....
 
REEFTIDE
OP
Chlorinated

Chlorinated

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
478
Reaction score
408
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Acton, MA
So taling to someone on another forum and they think it may be some type of clear sponge. Obviously rapid growing. I didn't realize a sponge could go water borne like that but maybe?

Anyone ever experience this?

I'm ruling out UV because while it may kill what's free floating g, it won't touch what's coating all my equipment and rocks. What I need is to find the source but I'm at a loss right now.
 

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

  • Yes! I have. (Tell us about what issue you faced in the thread.)

    Votes: 184 24.6%
  • No. Thankfully, I haven't.

    Votes: 387 51.7%
  • Nope, but it almost happened. (Share your experience in the thread.)

    Votes: 55 7.4%
  • Not yet, but I'm almost there. (Tell us what you're dealing with.)

    Votes: 61 8.2%
  • If you reef long enough, this will eventually happen to you.

    Votes: 47 6.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 14 1.9%
Vivid
Top