Nitrates. Confusion. Are they Too high??!

BRS

JAWSIII

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
111
Reaction score
31
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
METAIRIE
Hi all, I have a 65 DT with a 20 high DIY sump. Filtration includes 80+ live rock, sump with (2) 4” filter socks, 1 large filter sponge, xport bio block, cheato, red macroalgea and a UV light. In addition I have a reaction chamber loaded with sea hem bio media and a reef octo HOB 90 skimmer.

I cannot seem to get nitrates under 30 consistently. Is this even bad?? My nitrates ping between 25-42 avg is about 35 ppm over the last several months.
I hear different opinions regarding these values but everyone at the LFS looks at me as if it’s the worst thing ever if my nitrates aren’t below 15-20. Should I be doing more to keep em down or if everything isn’t stressing should I just stay on my current schedule?

I change the filter socks and rinse large sponge once per week and I do water changes about every 2 weeks

yesterdays water test was

mag 1600
Cal 420
Dkh 8.3
Ph 8.0
Temp 78
Amonia.0
Trite 0
Phosphate.03
Salinity 1.025
Trate 37


livestock: ( this I’m sure is a contributing factor, but the only thing that looks bad in my tank is my bubble coral but I believe that’s just from me setting my lights to acclimate mode for a new hammer that got before lights were dimmer the bubble looked great)

vlamingi tang
Foxface
Orchid dottybsck
Diamond goby
Lyretail anthais
2 black clowns
5 chromis
Pencil wrasse



2 head duncan
6 head trumpet
Medium torch
Sm Rbta
3 patches GSP
Ricordea mushroom small
Bubble coral
Three different zoa colony’s 1 large 2 small
Sm


10 or so hermite
7-10 snails




7FD65041-EA9F-4522-8674-9605640F5E30.jpeg
57AA2EBB-3A30-4328-B239-DCCB0DFEEFC1.jpeg
8E1C3B08-B0E1-4DB3-A645-7D1C33F63ECC.jpeg
FA934AC3-16FF-494D-9066-506E4FEBCE6B.jpeg
 
BRS

JCM

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
932
Reaction score
1,034
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I dont like filter socks. If they aren't changed every day or two, they do more harm than good. Most people probably disagree.

The sponge and block are probably aiding the excess nitrate as well, I don't see a need with enough live rock.

That tang needs a 500g tank, not 65g.

All that said, 35 ppm nitrate wouldn't bother me. Your tank looks good, no need to chase numbers when things are going well.
 
OP
JAWSIII

JAWSIII

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
111
Reaction score
31
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
METAIRIE
I dont like filter socks. If they aren't changed every day or two, they do more harm than good. Most people probably disagree.

The sponge and block are probably aiding the excess nitrate as well, I don't see a need with enough live rock.

That tang needs a 500g tank, not 65g.

All that said, 35 ppm nitrate wouldn't bother me. Your tank looks good, no need to chase numbers when things are going well.
Hi, I thought that the bioblocka were supposed to help cultivate nitrate removing bacteria. I realize that in order for that to happen it has to be low to no oxygen and low flow. I have the blocks in two places in the sump. One in very slow flow and the other in faster flow. I got the blocks from an established system at my LFS and they tell me that they have to dose nitrate into their system and all they use for nitrate control is cheato and these blocks. He gave me a rather large piece and told me it has been In their system for over a year.

did I get bad info?
 

nereefpat

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
4,620
Reaction score
5,198
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Central Nebraska
I wouldn't sweat the nitrate value, since the tank and corals look good, and you don't have an algae problem.

How old is the tank? It takes some time for the rock and sand to do their thing. In my tanks, nitrates eventually drop to near zero as the rock and sand turn the nitrate into Nitrogen gas.

I don't know about bio blocks. Sorry.

I agree about rehoming that Naso vlamingii. I would do it soon. It will bring some money, so trade it for something good.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
1

176327

Guest
View Badges
I’m with @JCM except I’m not a member of the tang police.

I really wouldn’t worry about those numbers, but if you want to lower them. Try changing out those socks daily. I’m not kidding. They’re cheap. Buy enough for a week, collect them daily. Once a week wash 6/7 pairs while the last pair is filtering.

also, weekly water changes if you’re not doing that.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find you at >15ppm at that point.

or do nothing but watch it and make sure it’s stable. A constant 30ppm is probably way better than a never ending bounce between .5 and 5ppm.
 

Azedenkae

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
2,083
Reaction score
1,954
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
I agree with others about not chasing numbers, your corals look good and so long as they continue to do so, don't worry about it.

@Randy Holmes-Farley I believed mentioned he saw tanks with 100ppm nitrates and still looked good. He's our resident chemistry guy so I'd believe that.

Yes the bioblocks should eventually house plenty of denitrifiers, provided flow through the blocks, yet anoxic conditions.

I don't much care about tangs in a small tank, but anyways yeah a lot of people probably will dislike you for that. Eh whatever.
 

BiggestE222

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
449
Reaction score
359
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
carrollton
Hi all, I have a 65 DT with a 20 high DIY sump. Filtration includes 80+ live rock, sump with (2) 4” filter socks, 1 large filter sponge, xport bio block, cheato, red macroalgea and a UV light. In addition I have a reaction chamber loaded with sea hem bio media and a reef octo HOB 90 skimmer.

I cannot seem to get nitrates under 30 consistently. Is this even bad?? My nitrates ping between 25-42 avg is about 35 ppm over the last several months.
I hear different opinions regarding these values but everyone at the LFS looks at me as if it’s the worst thing ever if my nitrates aren’t below 15-20. Should I be doing more to keep em down or if everything isn’t stressing should I just stay on my current schedule?

I change the filter socks and rinse large sponge once per week and I do water changes about every 2 weeks

yesterdays water test was

mag 1600
Cal 420
Dkh 8.3
Ph 8.0
Temp 78
Amonia.0
Trite 0
Phosphate.03
Salinity 1.025
Trate 37


livestock: ( this I’m sure is a contributing factor, but the only thing that looks bad in my tank is my bubble coral but I believe that’s just from me setting my lights to acclimate mode for a new hammer that got before lights were dimmer the bubble looked great)

vlamingi tang
Foxface
Orchid dottybsck
Diamond goby
Lyretail anthais
2 black clowns
5 chromis
Pencil wrasse



2 head duncan
6 head trumpet
Medium torch
Sm Rbta
3 patches GSP
Ricordea mushroom small
Bubble coral
Three different zoa colony’s 1 large 2 small
Sm


10 or so hermite
7-10 snails




7FD65041-EA9F-4522-8674-9605640F5E30.jpeg
57AA2EBB-3A30-4328-B239-DCCB0DFEEFC1.jpeg
8E1C3B08-B0E1-4DB3-A645-7D1C33F63ECC.jpeg
FA934AC3-16FF-494D-9066-506E4FEBCE6B.jpeg
You may need a better refugium light. Also with a big bio load you need to clean the refugium weekly. I would add a $300 skimmer.
 

BiggestE222

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
449
Reaction score
359
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
carrollton
I dont like filter socks. If they aren't changed every day or two, they do more harm than good. Most people probably disagree.

The sponge and block are probably aiding the excess nitrate as well, I don't see a need with enough live rock.

That tang needs a 500g tank, not 65g.

All that said, 35 ppm nitrate wouldn't bother me. Your tank looks good, no need to chase numbers when things are going well.
Sirens going off. Tang police on patrol!!!!
 

Attachments

  • 99F7F2D4-78DE-4F72-8F02-C051005962BA.jpeg
    99F7F2D4-78DE-4F72-8F02-C051005962BA.jpeg
    198 KB · Views: 22
BRS

blasterman

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
1,923
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Tang police need to lose qualified immunity-lol

Bio bricks and bioballs actually increase nitrate, not decrease it. The only place nitrate reducing bacteria can form without the aid of sugar or carbon is deep areas of your tank without much water flow.

I would toss the biobslls and bricks and invest in a skimmer.
 

Azedenkae

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
2,083
Reaction score
1,954
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
Are bio blocks similar in concept to bioballs of years past that we used to call nitrate factories? Agree on the socks or any type of filter the collects stuff, change more often.
Yes and no.

The purpose of both are to harbor (as much) beneficial microbes as possible. Difference is the blocks are designed to harbour denitrifying microbes.
 

ReefGeezer

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
645
Reaction score
771
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Wichita, KS
The line marking "high nitrates" varies depending on what you want to have in your tank. SPS keepers might place the line at maybe 5 ppm. Fish only tanks can be like 50 ppm or more without harm. You have a high bioload. The potential nitrate production of all of those fish, particularly if they are "well" fed, may be in excess of the potential reduction capability in the space you have available. Export is your friend. Removing dissolved organics before it becomes free ammonium and then nitrate would be a big help. Does your macro algae grow? Do you ever harvest any? Could you increase water changes? Do you have a skimmer? Have you considered carbon dosing?
 
Corals.com

srobertb

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
314
Reaction score
393
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
SE Texas
I dont like filter socks. If they aren't changed every day or two, they do more harm than good. Most people probably disagree.

The sponge and block are probably aiding the excess nitrate as well, I don't see a need with enough live rock.

That tang needs a 500g tank, not 65g.

All that said, 35 ppm nitrate wouldn't bother me. Your tank looks good, no need to chase numbers when things are going well.
The filter socks become nitrate sinks pretty quickly. There’s a BRStv video on them that’s enlightening and supports your claim. I think I change mine every 2 weeks but on the flip side they keep my sump clean and I have no nitrate problems.

+1 to not chasing numbers.
 

srobertb

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
314
Reaction score
393
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
SE Texas
Hi all, I have a 65 DT with a 20 high DIY sump. Filtration includes 80+ live rock, sump with (2) 4” filter socks, 1 large filter sponge, xport bio block, cheato, red macroalgea and a UV light. In addition I have a reaction chamber loaded with sea hem bio media and a reef octo HOB 90 skimmer.

I cannot seem to get nitrates under 30 consistently. Is this even bad?? My nitrates ping between 25-42 avg is about 35 ppm over the last several months.
I hear different opinions regarding these values but everyone at the LFS looks at me as if it’s the worst thing ever if my nitrates aren’t below 15-20. Should I be doing more to keep em down or if everything isn’t stressing should I just stay on my current schedule?

I change the filter socks and rinse large sponge once per week and I do water changes about every 2 weeks

yesterdays water test was

mag 1600
Cal 420
Dkh 8.3
Ph 8.0
Temp 78
Amonia.0
Trite 0
Phosphate.03
Salinity 1.025
Trate 37


livestock: ( this I’m sure is a contributing factor, but the only thing that looks bad in my tank is my bubble coral but I believe that’s just from me setting my lights to acclimate mode for a new hammer that got before lights were dimmer the bubble looked great)

vlamingi tang
Foxface
Orchid dottybsck
Diamond goby
Lyretail anthais
2 black clowns
5 chromis
Pencil wrasse



2 head duncan
6 head trumpet
Medium torch
Sm Rbta
3 patches GSP
Ricordea mushroom small
Bubble coral
Three different zoa colony’s 1 large 2 small
Sm


10 or so hermite
7-10 snails




7FD65041-EA9F-4522-8674-9605640F5E30.jpeg
57AA2EBB-3A30-4328-B239-DCCB0DFEEFC1.jpeg
8E1C3B08-B0E1-4DB3-A645-7D1C33F63ECC.jpeg
FA934AC3-16FF-494D-9066-506E4FEBCE6B.jpeg
Your bio load is too high. Plain and simple. Increase water volume (by like double) or re-home the fox, vlamingi, and anthias. No matter what rehome the Vlamingi. Chromis are like fish tank puppies. 5 seem just fine until you see what a full grown chromis looks like. They get larger than you think.

I have a 6’ long tank about double your volume and had to rehome my vlamingi after 6 months. He started small but by the time he went to a 500g tank he looked like a whale in a bathtub in my 120g. It wasn’t fair to him and it was stressful and difficult to get him out despite the fact that he was so big. Do it now along with the other fish and your nitrates will drop, you will be happier, and their unhappiness won’t weigh on your conscience.

35ppm is probably fine for what you’re doing but it won’t change without adding water volume or large frequent water changes.
 

JCM

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
932
Reaction score
1,034
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Hi, I thought that the bioblocka were supposed to help cultivate nitrate removing bacteria. I realize that in order for that to happen it has to be low to no oxygen and low flow. I have the blocks in two places in the sump. One in very slow flow and the other in faster flow. I got the blocks from an established system at my LFS and they tell me that they have to dose nitrate into their system and all they use for nitrate control is cheato and these blocks. He gave me a rather large piece and told me it has been In their system for over a year.

did I get bad info?

They may eventually harbor denitrifying bacteria but they could also be loaded with nitrifying bacteria contributing to the higher nitrates. You have plenty of live rock so other surface areas for bacteria seem unnecessary.
 

JCM

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
932
Reaction score
1,034
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I've never been called tang police before, I'm honored haha. I actually keep a tang in my 65g as well, just not one that will get two feet long and be unable to turn around in my tank.

Plus having giant fish in a smallish tank is absolutely relevant to a question concerning high nutrients like Cell said.
 
Avast
BRS

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 43 6.3%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 475 70.0%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 5 0.7%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 61 9.0%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 66 9.7%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 65 9.6%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 3 0.4%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 16 2.4%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 10 1.5%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 4 0.6%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 60 8.8%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 14 2.1%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 36 5.3%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 12 1.8%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 200 29.5%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 259 38.1%

New Posts

Inkbird
Top