Indomitable wall of Nitrates

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by Skibum, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Skibum

    Skibum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2016
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    24
    Some background first:

    1. I purchased a used RS 170 Aquarium for a really good price (Good!) April 28th system start date, however the system has been running since November, cycled.

    2. It came with the following livestock (good and bad)
    Yellow Tang
    Kole Tang
    Scooter Dragonet
    Lawnmower Blenny
    Bluespotted Watchman Goby
    Ocellaris Clownfish
    ___

    Peppermint Shrimp
    60 lbs of TBS LR
    Candy Cane coral
    Some zoanthids
    Acropora (Bali Slimer)
    Duncan Coral
    Sponges various sp.

    3. I've upgraded several pieces since aquiring this system:
    1. Vortech MP40s
    2. Vectra pump
    3. Aquamedic dosing pump (4 heads)
    4. Reef Octopus 150SSS Classic skimmer
    5. Radion XR30W Pro fixture

    4. Since moving the tank, and setting it up in my home, the Nitrates have basically been off the chart.

    Readings:

    N03 = 100 ppm Salifert
    Po4 = 0.0 Salifert
    CA = 500 ppm Red Sea
    Alk = 9.001 Hannah
    Mg = 1350 Red Sea
    SG = 1.026
    PH = (varies from 7.90 to 8.1 with carbon dosing)

    5. I've done two 15 Gallon water changes in a week as the corals and fish didn't look so good, I was orginally intending to control N03 with carbon dosing, and pursue GlennF's DSR method. However, the livestock was suffering. Hence the two water changes. Everything looks much better now, but the result of these changes are absolutely no dent in NO3.

    6. I started dosing Vinegar on May 10th and I started with 4 ml daily. Every week since I've upped the dosage. I'm currently at 56ML daily, dosed in the daylight hours 9 times a day. I have bacteria strings in the sump, nothing in the display, and the skimmer picks up about 50 ml of dark gooey stinky skimmate daily.

    Obersvations and Changes:

    1. It's likely my N03 is over 100 ppm, that's really the only variable that could have possibly changed when doing a WC. The Candy cane stopped receding, the Duncan doesn't seem to care about N03, and the Slimer stopped receding.

    2. The only livestock I've added since acquiring this system was a small pistol shrimp and a feather duster, both doing fine.

    3. I feed one cube of Brine/Mysis/Mystery mix daily in hopes to increase my P04. This has not changed.

    4. I've vacuumed the sand thoroughly each WC, and removed about 15 lbs of LR. And there is still too much in there for a tank this size.

    Next Steps:

    1. Does Po4 limitation in any way inhibit the effect carbon dosing has on Nitrates? I've seen some threads regarding adding Po4 to a system that's devoid of them but have no idea if it works regarding Carbon dosing with vinegar.

    2. I was thinking of increasing my Vinegar dosing each week until the N03 drops, then pull back to a maintenance dose.

    3. I'm not adding any livestock until I get this under control.

    4. I've been dosing Vinegar for approximately 5 weeks.

    Thoughts?
     

  2. Pongo

    Pongo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    311
    Location:
    Vacaville, CA
    When I started up my Reefer 525XL I used the RedSea reef mature pro kit with nitrifying and de-nitrifying bacteria and dosed the tank with ammonia up to 2ppm.

    In a few days I had NO3 at 64ppm on the RedSea test - oops over shot my goal a little.
    I did 20% water changes twice on 09.06.16,
    once on 09.07.16, 09.08.16 and 09.10.16.

    NO3 readings before wc were :
    32ppm 09.07.16
    16ppm 09.08.17
    4ppm 09.10.16.

    After the water change on 09.10.16 NO3 was 2ppm. It has only been above 2ppm once since.

    My advise is do water changes until you reach the level you desire, then work on maintaining that level with other sustainable methods such as carbon dosing.
     
  3. Skibum

    Skibum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2016
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    24
    Nitrates are up past 100 ppm on Salifert, (API has them above 100-160 ppm, not sure of the validity of that test.) I did verify both API and Salifert on newly mixed SW, both read 0.00. The problem is I received this tank as is, livestock and all. Not sure if the previous owner really paid attention to Nitrates as the test kit that she gave me looked barely used. I was kind of hoping for a dent in the No3 after vinegar dosing for 5 weeks, but it may take months to lower as WC seem to do absolutely nothing, even after 40% WC.
     
  4. Robin Haselden

    Robin Haselden Turtle R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2017
    Messages:
    2,200
    Likes Received:
    3,124
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I would say those rocks are full of nitrates and they are leaching back out into your tank. The previous owner had to be feeding the tank every time she looked at it. Any algae outbreaks? Best bet is to keep up with the vinegar and water changes until you beat those nitrates down... or just get all new rock and ctrl+alt+del the tank.

    Just though of this, chaeto ought to grow like kudzu with that many nitrates. Might be worth a try.
     
  5. Pongo

    Pongo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    311
    Location:
    Vacaville, CA
    I basically did a 100% water change over 5 days to get my nitrates in line.
    I think that is that fastest way to achieve your goal.

    If you don't think the nitrate level is hurting anything, then slow and steady will win the race.
     
    Ponraj A likes this.
  6. brett_schn

    brett_schn Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    685
    I would pull all the water out but just 1” and put all the water in buckets with the fish and then refill it keep the pumps off then do a sump water change
     
  7. Skibum

    Skibum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2016
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    24
    -no algae outbreaks, a little bit after a WC got some green turf. No hair Algae as of yet.
    -I'm thinking of doing a 40% every 5 days just so I can get a different color on the test other than deep purple lol
     
  8. Skibum

    Skibum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2016
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    24
    -Might be the last resort if every other day changes and vinegar don't start making a dent soon
     
  9. Skibum

    Skibum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2016
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    24
    -The only thing that seems to be suffering is the Acro, it's still there, but not growing, and possibly STN. Before the WC it was going downhill fast. I placed a bit too much credence in carbon thinking it would get the No3 in line faster.
     
  10. Skibum

    Skibum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2016
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    24
    -Yup. I wish I had control over the tank at the beginning, but had to take it as it was.
     
  11. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    22,229
    Likes Received:
    10,490
    Location:
    Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
    I'd keep at the vinegar and slowly up the dose till nitrate appears to begin to drop. :)

    I doubt phosphate is limiting the nitrate drop. Your dose is not yet especially high.
     
  12. Skibum

    Skibum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2016
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    24
    Thanks Randy. I've been increasing about 10ml daily a week. EG, Week1 was 4 daily, then it went to 14, 24,34 until 56ml which is my current dose. Do you think I could be more aggressive with the increases?
     
  13. Skibum

    Skibum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2016
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    24
    Hi Randy, thought I would update the thread. Since the last post on Jun 17th, my nitrates have gone to 0 as of yesterday. 1 week ago I increased my dosage to 72 ML of vinegar daily. Then I finally stopped reading 100+ PPM on Salifert, the next day was 90-100, then 50, 25, and today finally 0 ;-). Now I want to get into a maintenance dose without nuking my nitrates completely, I would like a maintenance level of 2-5 ppm. How would you go about ramping down the dosage?
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Loading...