Nitrate removal

Mojohoffer

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So I’m new to the saltwater community and I have a question about nitrate removal. In freshwater aquariums we use water changes as a way to remove nitrates as they accumulate. In saltwater I’ve noticed that water changes are done by some to remove nitrates but usually not on a regular basis if at all. My question is how do those who don’t do water changes remove nitrates. Is it all through a refugium or is it done chemically (through vodka dosing/chemical additives)
 
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Nitrates can be "exported" (i.e. removed) in a number of ways. One is water changes, as mentioned. Others include refugium, algae scrubber, carbon dosing (vodka, vinegar, sugar, or combination), biopellets, and maybe others that aren't coming to mind.....oh, Natureef system, a system that converts nitrate back to nitrogen gas (denitrification).

Note, carbon dosing/biopellets does require a skimmer to be effective.

Personally, I'm a carbon doser, with vodka and vinegar mix.

#reefsquad , any other thoughts?
 

Crabs McJones

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So I’m new to the saltwater community and I have a question about nitrate removal. In freshwater aquariums we use water changes as a way to remove nitrates as they accumulate. In saltwater I’ve noticed that water changes are done by some to remove nitrates but usually not on a regular basis if at all. My question is how do those who don’t do water changes remove nitrates. Is it all through a refugium or is it done chemically (through vodka dosing/chemical additives)
Nitrate removal in tanks that don't do water changes are generally done by refugiums, reactors, and skimmers. But in my opinion nothing beats a good water change :)
 

Brew12

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Nitrates can be "exported" (i.e. removed) in a number of ways. One is water changes, as mentioned. Others include refugium, algae scrubber, carbon dosing (vodka, vinegar, sugar, or combination), biopellets, and maybe others that aren't coming to mind.....oh, Natureef system, a system that converts nitrate back to nitrogen gas (denitrification).

Note, carbon dosing/biopellets does require a skimmer to be effective.

Personally, I'm a carbon doser, with vodka and vinegar mix.

#reefsquad , any other thoughts?
Coral can directly process and remove nitrates, also. But that is a very nice list!
 

Potatohead

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In freshwater you don't typically have the same type of rock that is used in saltwater, the rock houses denitrifying bacteria deep inside the pores of the rock and it can really cut down on nitrate that way. Also in freshwater you typically use a canister or hang on filter instead of a sump, as a result the water stays very oxygenated and that type of bacteria can't really exist anyway (they live in low water movement, low O2 zones).
 
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3 years and counting on MNB 5 hours per night and skinner startup at the same time.
No water changes at all.
Yes on the ATO and bi-weekly test on saltwater 1.025.
Nothing less nothing more.
 

beaslbob

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So I’m new to the saltwater community and I have a question about nitrate removal. In freshwater aquariums we use water changes as a way to remove nitrates as they accumulate. In saltwater I’ve noticed that water changes are done by some to remove nitrates but usually not on a regular basis if at all. My question is how do those who don’t do water changes remove nitrates. Is it all through a refugium or is it done chemically (through vodka dosing/chemical additives)
nitrate removal could be done either with plant life like algae or chemically through various dosing methods, or anaerobically through a deep sea bed.

BTW the same thing applies to FW as well only with live plants.

To me it is best to balance out the system with thriving macro algae (or plants in FW). The algae with consume ammonia first then nitrates plus phosphates and carbon dioxide while returning oxygen and fish food. With those methods I have kept aquariums both FW and marine with no nitrates running for up to 10 years with no water changes and no mechanical filtration. FW no circulation even.


my .02
 
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Bayareareefer18

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So I’m new to the saltwater community and I have a question about nitrate removal. In freshwater aquariums we use water changes as a way to remove nitrates as they accumulate. In saltwater I’ve noticed that water changes are done by some to remove nitrates but usually not on a regular basis if at all. My question is how do those who don’t do water changes remove nitrates. Is it all through a refugium or is it done chemically (through vodka dosing/chemical additives)
That was one of the huge draws for me to the reef world. I love that their are pieces of equipment, media, macro algae, etc that can take the place of water changes. After keeping discus for 2 years and changing around 80% of my 75 every couple weeks it was a very welcome change

Im brand new to the reefing world since March. I keep a brightwell no3 port plate seeded with microbacter 7 in my fuge with my chaeto. Can't speak long term but after nitrates rising during cycle they fell to 5 or less and have not gone above that
 
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Mojohoffer

Mojohoffer

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So the balancing will take a long time. To grow enough algae and bacteria to process the waste. So small changes (fish/corals etc) over a longer period of time. No large changes and nitrates should stay low
 
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Mojohoffer

Mojohoffer

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That was one of the huge draws for me to the reef world. I love that their are pieces of equipment, media, macro algae, etc that can take the place of water changes. After keeping discus for 2 years and changing around 80% of my 75 every couple weeks it was a very welcome change

Im brand new to the reefing world since March. I keep a brightwell no3 port plate seeded with microbacter 7 in my fuge with my chaeto. Can't speak long term but after nitrates rising during cycle they fell to 5 or less and have not gone above that
I’ve kept African cichlids (usually over stocked for aggression) and many others and I’m used to 50% water changes twice a week. I do have one 30 gallon planted tank that I seldom do water changes on. It is how I’m imagining my salt water will be just a little different approach to the how.
 

Brice Wagner

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nitrate removal could be done either with plant life like algae or chemically through various dosing methods, or anaerobically through a deep sea bed.

BTW the same thing applies to FW as well only with live plants.

To me it is best to balance out the system with thriving macro algae (or plants in FW). The algae with consume ammonia first then nitrates plus phosphates and carbon dioxide while returning oxygen and fish food. With those methods I have kept aquariums both FW and marine with no nitrates running for up to 10 years with no water changes and no mechanical filtration. FW no circulation even.


my .02


I have a 3 month old 20 gal. I have taken my time with it and have decent water chem; pH-8.2, Amm-0ppm, NH2-0ppm, NH3-~20ppm. I added 2 clowns, 1 golbi, 1 shrimp a week ago and I am working on the "true" cycle. This brings me to the Nitrate. There isnt any algae build up that I can see; I'm kinda looking forward to it (weird I know). Should I consider adding micro-algae at this stage? My thinking is that I should populate with the algae I prefer while the tank is still young. I dont foresee setting up a sump any time soon. Is carbon dosing an option with my tank size?

Do you recommend a type of algae? Once I'm sure the tank is stable and I have the feeding schedule normalized I will add coral but I sure that will be a long process.

Thank you for any guidance! (The shrimp's name is Ryan Howard... get it?)

0810182005h.jpg
 

dimidragos

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I have a 3 month old 20 gal. I have taken my time with it and have decent water chem; pH-8.2, Amm-0ppm, NH2-0ppm, NH3-~20ppm. I added 2 clowns, 1 golbi, 1 shrimp a week ago and I am working on the "true" cycle. This brings me to the Nitrate. There isnt any algae build up that I can see; I'm kinda looking forward to it (weird I know). Should I consider adding micro-algae at this stage? My thinking is that I should populate with the algae I prefer while the tank is still young. I dont foresee setting up a sump any time soon. Is carbon dosing an option with my tank size?

Do you recommend a type of algae? Once I'm sure the tank is stable and I have the feeding schedule normalized I will add coral but I sure that will be a long process.

Thank you for any guidance! (The shrimp's name is Ryan Howard... get it?)

0810182005h.jpg
you can't dose carbon without a skimmer, i don't know about micro algae....
 

Arthurfarris

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The traditional method of lowering nitrate levels in a freshwater aquarium is to change a good portion of the water every week or so. Or you maybe use an effective nitrate remover to keep the water as livable as possible. If you can afford it, you should get a bio pellet reactor. It can help remove nitrates and ammonia from the water quite quickly and will keep it that way for a long time.
 
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