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Nitrate issues in 300g fowlr tank

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nldemo

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You can buy Reef Crystals for $12/50 gallon bag. (Amazon)
I'm not sure I follow your point. In order to do more water changes? Yes, I can do that - but it is not a simple endeavor to perform water changes on a 300gal tank ... unless you live in a place that accommodates you keeping a large reservoir somewhere on site.
 
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nldemo

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Had the same issues battling nitrates in a tank with big messy puffers. I always maxed out every test kit. Refugium, biopellets, and nopox didn't have any substantial impact on this tank. A Sulfur denitrator (aka biodenitrator) will take care of this and will give you near zero nitrates.

You will then have to spend some time with tuning alk/ph once it kicks in however since its fowlr its less critical.
What denitrator are you using ? Are any better than others? Should I get one "oversized" for my tank like a skimmer? I see one rated for 400gal and another for 700gal. Not cheap... but if I had a guarantee that it would solve my problem I'd spend the 700$ in a heartbeat.
 
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nldemo

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You mentioned the cost being an issue.
Let me clarify then. The cost of a service to do a 150gallon water change in my area is 270$ (+tip). The first time I did the 50% change - my nitrates still measured 160+ppm, so who knows how high they actually are or how many water changes it would take to get it below 160.

Technically, I could do the changes myself as well. If I filled my house with BRUT 25gal trash cans (I'd need 7 to do 50% change) ... I could technically do the same for cheaper. I would have the start up cost of buying the extra 4 bruts (I own 3) and dolley's to put them on. But it would still take several days to make all that water, more frequent DI resin changes, and I'd go through a lot more salt than I do now. Plus, the BRUTs that would be lining my hallways lol
 

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What would be the issue with running biopellets in the dual reactor?

Yes, and I think I mentioned this earlier, but the issue is the sump tank is boxed in by two support braces. So we'd have to cut out two large squares in the side walls and then put a new cabinet door on the far edge of the stand. Then I could potentially slide that one out and a new one in. Possible, but a good deal of effort and $.

I have been interested in the algae reactors such as these (reactors) but I'm not sure how well they work and for what tank size. Since I can't currently fit a fuge, this could be the next best thing. But since nitrates are my only issue, maybe all I really need is a sulfur denitrator...

Biopellets require really high flow which would destroy carbon or gfo.


As for the algae reactor, you can make one. You just need splash proof led strips to cover the entirety of the reactor. The hard part is cleaning them (at least from my opinion).
 
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nldemo

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Update, cleaned out the sump today. Still making water change to do another gravel vac tomorrow... then will test nitrates again after everything settles. Not expecting much of a change though.. I'm leaning heavily towards the sulfur reactor at this point.
20200912_124525.jpg
20200912_124513.jpg
 

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as long as the skimmer can keep up, increase the vodka.
Research a chaeto reactor.
 
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nldemo

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Another option not yet mentioned is a remote deep sand bed. A bucket full of sand with flow across the top can also drop your nitrates.
Thanks. I don't think I'd be able to fit that in my tank stand though.
 

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Do you recommend any brands in particular?
I run a refugium.
This one is made by a good manufacturer, comes with everything you need, and looks simple to maintain.

Video on page
 
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I have had my eye on that Tunze reactor for a while now actually. I was hoping they'd post a video of the different algae reactors (now that they are becoming available) and how well they work. I've read a lot of reviews that say it stops spinning, and I'm just not sure how much nutrient export / size of tank it is rated for.

..Actually, nevermind. Just found the reactor on Tunze's website. 3181 is rated for up to 169 gal (too small), but they have another model called the 3182 which is rated for up to 423gal. That could work... but it's also 650$, if I can find a site that carries them.
 

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Just adding my two cents - when I had my 110 reef I used a diy sulfur denitrator on it and that was amazing. I would dilute your test sample in half over and over again until you can get a measure with the test kit. It's important to know if your changes are moving you up or down the road you want.

 
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Damage12

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Before you start adding new equipment etc., as a bandaid, you need to fix the problem. If your tank is 10 years old and your live rock is that old or even 5 years old, it is probably packed with bad [email protected]#$% which is causing your nitrate problem.

My recommendation would be to remove your live rock, rinse it thoroughly and cook it for 30-45 days. All that bad stuff inside the rock will slough off. I’ve got the same issue going and want to cook my rock but still deciding whether to upgrade to a bigger tank.

Good luck.
 

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I have had my eye on that Tunze reactor for a while now actually. I was hoping they'd post a video of the different algae reactors (now that they are becoming available) and how well they work. I've read a lot of reviews that say it stops spinning, and I'm just not sure how much nutrient export / size of tank it is rated for.

..Actually, nevermind. Just found the reactor on Tunze's website. 3181 is rated for up to 169 gal (too small), but they have another model called the 3182 which is rated for up to 423gal. That could work... but it's also 650$, if I can find a site that carries them.
Does it matter if it stops spinning?
My fuge chaeto doesn't spin and grows well.
 
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Does it matter if it stops spinning?
My fuge chaeto doesn't spin and grows well.
In this case, yes I believe it does. The light is only mounted to one side of the reactor and the spinning is intended to evenly feed and grow the chaeto. I don't have the reactor so I can't mention to how well it works either way.
 
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nldemo

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Before you start adding new equipment etc., as a bandaid, you need to fix the problem. If your tank is 10 years old and your live rock is that old or even 5 years old, it is probably packed with bad [email protected]#$% which is causing your nitrate problem.

My recommendation would be to remove your live rock, rinse it thoroughly and cook it for 30-45 days. All that bad stuff inside the rock will slough off. I’ve got the same issue going and want to cook my rock but still deciding whether to upgrade to a bigger tank.

Good luck.
My rocks (pic at top of thread) do have some purple fuzzy algae that I'm curious as to what it actually is. Not any of the algae I'm familiar with. Anyway , I do think this is a good idea but as they are the primary source of filtration right now I wouldn't want to pull them all out. Maybe small parts at a time, but even that would be a major PITA to put back together (it wasn't easy the first time around, and that was in a fishless system).

Thus my thought process was I'd get my nitrates down first (as that is the only issue I am facing), then get some urchins to clean up the rocks -- if they die, it would be a bummer but not the end of the world as they are easy to hand remove.. unlike the smaller snails and hermits which die and then add to the nitrates.

I am trying to think of more sustainable solutions rather than bandaids, which is why I'm thinking a sulfur reactor and then eventually a chaeto reactor as well. Probably overkill for the nitrates alone, but both have their benefits and I can tune them to fit my need (and allow for more fish / heavier feedings). My end goal is lion fish after all, and they are definitely going to add to the bio load :)
 

Damage12

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My rocks (pic at top of thread) do have some purple fuzzy algae that I'm curious as to what it actually is. Not any of the algae I'm familiar with. Anyway , I do think this is a good idea but as they are the primary source of filtration right now I wouldn't want to pull them all out. Maybe small parts at a time, but even that would be a major PITA to put back together (it wasn't easy the first time around, and that was in a fishless system).

Thus my thought process was I'd get my nitrates down first (as that is the only issue I am facing), then get some urchins to clean up the rocks -- if they die, it would be a bummer but not the end of the world as they are easy to hand remove.. unlike the smaller snails and hermits which die and then add to the nitrates.

I am trying to think of more sustainable solutions rather than bandaids, which is why I'm thinking a sulfur reactor and then eventually a chaeto reactor as well. Probably overkill for the nitrates alone, but both have their benefits and I can tune them to fit my need (and allow for more fish / heavier feedings). My end goal is lion fish after all, and they are definitely going to add to the bio load :)
I hear you. It’s not easy to remove the rock but worth it. Just looking at your rock in the pics I can see it’s compacted with detritus, etc.

You won’t have a problem with filtration. I did it in my 180g with a heavy fish load and it was fine. Just leave a few small pieces for fish to nip at and you will throw those away after the cooking of the main rock is done.

When I removed my rock the last time I even had my bangaii cardinals spawn with almost no rock and no sand.

Without cooking your rock, I don’t think you will ever get your nitrates down. Best of luck though. If you have any questions, let me know.

Nick
 
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