Nitrate issues.

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bigsmoke

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So I can’t seem to get my nitrate levels under 25. They stay right at 25 on my salifert test kit. I run a skimmer and filter media to bind nitrates. Any suggestions? I also do weekly 20% water changes but stays the same. It spiked to 40 when I had a snail die but right back to 25 next week. My frogspawn is growing and seems very happy. New reefer and not really sure what to do. All other parameters are right where they need to be.
 
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CuzzA

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Is your tank suffering from algae? Does your tank look good? If so, then don't chase numbers.

To answer your question though it's very simple. You must remove organics before they dissolve. We use a number of techniques, often in combination with one another. Skimmer is one. Mechanical filtration is by far the most effective, but only if you change the filter out every couple days. This is why filter rollers are so popular. Changing filter bags every couple days turns a hobby into a chore that increase laundry, not cool in my eyes. I do have one filter bag though and I use it to vacuum the sand bed once a month. Sand beds often become nutrient sinks. Other tactics include using turf scrubbers to grow algae and then export the algae with the nutrients going with it. Same thing with bio pellets by growing bacteria and skimming it, along with the nutrients, out of the system.

Bottom line is you need to remove more than your putting in until you hit the sweet spot you're looking for. If this is a new tank, you've heard it before I'm sure, patience. If you have too many fish, over feed, or feed incorrectly you need to fix those issues.
 
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bigsmoke

bigsmoke

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I feed a small amount of frozen food once daily. I have 2 clowns. A royal gamma and a lawnmower Lenny. 4 snails and 2 hermits. Everything looks great. Just started dosing carbo cal. This week. Tank is 5 months old. Phosphate is 0.
 

CuzzA

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If the tank looks good then don't worry about it.

I don't even test nitrates anymore. I can just look at my tank and know when I need to do a little extra husbandry. If rocks start looking a little fuzzy or my sand bed is a little dustier than normal it's tell that my nutrients are up. 5 months is still really young unless you used all ocean live rock. One year is about the time things really equalize. During that first year people chase all kinds of solutions for what is mostly just part of the natural process of a maturing reef.
 

mdb_talon

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I agree with Cuzza he makes great points. The one thing i will say is especially at this point(newer tank) is keep testing frequently. Dont get too concerned if numbers not where you want them as long as tank is doing great. However keep testing so if there are changes to tank(lot of algae, coral health, etc) you can correlate it to parameter changes. Once tank is more mature and stable then generally testing for nitrates is much less frequently needed...though if high stony load then alk/calc and occassionally mag testing becomes more important.
 

vetteguy53081

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My first reef will only be adding lps/softies. Only reason I’m concerned is wanting to start adding some more coral.
Try adding a med size pouch of Chemipure Blue or elite to tank. It will lower it and keep it in check. Been using it for a couple of decades and it works !!

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BoxKing

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20% water changes leave you with 80% of the problem. Try a 50% change.
Agree with the mentioned above. I always run a bag of Chemi Pure Blue in my systems.

Only other though not mentioned is you could have a source unknown to you that is keeping your nitrate levels high... dead snail tucked away somewhere just decaying away?

Last thought... buy another test kit like the Nyos Nitrate. Its possible you have next to know nitrates due to a bad test kit, and you’re pulling your hair out for no reason!
 

jeffchapok

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I wouldn't do anything. Soft corals prefer "dirty" water. My PO4/NO3 run .5/50 and everything thing is happy and growing, even LPS and some SPS.

Don't get caught up in chasing numbers. Focus on results instead. If everything is doing okay, don't change anything.

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