Mechanical Filtration and Nitrates

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So Ive been going through a dinos outbreak the past few weeks. My tank did fine at 0 nitrates for most of its life, until I unplugged the protein skimmer and plugged it back in a few weeks later. Nitrates went up a few ppm and then when I plugged it in, nitrates went to 0 and dino outbreak. Last week, I decided not to change my mechanical filtration (poly-fil) and so it has been sitting in there for 2 weeks instead of the normal 1 week. Nitrates are now detectable. Does mechanical filtration remove nitrates? I have always read that it does not.
 
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i think certain pads have been advertised to
Yeah I wonder if poly-fil is one of them. Compared to other sources of mechanical filtration, poly-fil hasn't had a ton of research on the parameter shifting side since it isn't really an aquarium designed filter (quilt batting)
 

minorhero

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Nitrates are caused by decaying matter (food, and poop typically). So the longer you leave food and poop in your tank the more it will decay. Then it will turn into ammonia which will get eaten by bacteria and turn into nitrite and then get eaten by bacteria and turn into nitrate and that is what you are seeing.
 
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mechanical filtration removes solid debris from the water. We call them "nitrate factories" because the solid waste is caught in the filter and gradually rots and increases nitrate. Changing the filter pad often avoids the nitrate buildup, but since you skipped changing the filter pad, thats why you see your nitrate increase now
 

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Interesting I see this as I we often say stable is key for corals but I been reading more that any rapid change in conditions can also led to unwanted bacteria etc. weather direction is good or bad. Your tank was happily tracking with 0 nitrate and was happy but soon as you started changing things caused a change in nitrate where bad bacteria took advantage. Anyhow sorry for my observation. Regarding mechanical filtration if I I change my socks every 2 days it helps lower nitrate if I change every three days does nothing to help! Just another observation I have on my tank
 
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mechanical filtration removes solid debris from the water. We call them "nitrate factories" because the solid waste is caught in the filter and gradually rots and increases nitrate. Changing the filter pad often avoids the nitrate buildup, but since you skipped changing the filter pad, thats why you see your nitrate increase now
From now on, would it be a good idea to replace every week, but leave the other pad in there and add the new pad just for it. Then a week later, just get rid of the pad that is two weeks old? So ill have two filters in there, one that is new, and one that is a week old.
 

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So Ive been going through a dinos outbreak the past few weeks. My tank did fine at 0 nitrates for most of its life, until I unplugged the protein skimmer and plugged it back in a few weeks later. Nitrates went up a few ppm and then when I plugged it in, nitrates went to 0 and dino outbreak. Last week, I decided not to change my mechanical filtration (poly-fil) and so it has been sitting in there for 2 weeks instead of the normal 1 week. Nitrates are now detectable. Does mechanical filtration remove nitrates? I have always read that it does not.
I have had a problem with gha. Used vibrant. Cleared it up. Then the Dino’s came. I’ll do a water change and within hours it’ll be visible on the sand. I have been running with poly full and the protein skimmer off and no visible Dino’s. However I have to clean the glass every other day
 
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