Nitrates dropped to 0

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Aerofoil

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Hi all, first time poster!

I was wondering if someone can help me solve a problem i have with my tank. As it says in the title my nitrates have dropped to zero. I have been trying to feed more and get all my other levels as spot on as i can however really struggled to get nitrates up to anything higher than 1. Recently i have had an outbreak of white spot which i am currently treating with Polyplab medic (11 days into treatment) but unfortunately have lost 3 fish to white spot and also had a jumper making that 4 fish so i am currently left with 4 fish in the tank. Can anyone suggest ways on getting my nitrate to increase?

Red sea Reefer 350
UV filter
x2 Red sea LED 90's
Red sea Skimmer
x2 eheim streamon 9500's

Fish:
x2 clown
coral beauty
leopard wrasse

Coral:
x1 BTA
x2 zoa frags
x1 goniapora frag
x1 hammer coral
x1 green start polyp

My levels:
PH 8.0-8.3 (start and end of light cycle)
Nitrate 0 (was at 1 a week ago)
Phos 0.08 (down from 0.12 a week ago)
Calc 440
Mag 1350
DKH 9.5 (slowly raising this to 11.5)
Salinity 1.025
Temp 25 C

I have been dosing Tropic Marin plus NP for about 10 days now to help bring up the nitrates but havent noticed any difference. I also gave it 3 weeks without doing a water change hoping this would raise the nitrates but had little effect. Last water change was 1 week ago. The tank has been going for about 4 months now.
 
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HuduVudu

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Tropic Marin is the test kit for Nitrate and Phosphate ( Tropic Marin No2/No3 pro )
Api for Ammonia, calcium, PH and DKH
Salifert for Magnesium
Wow. Didn't know they made test kits. I apologize.

As stated early I really doubt that your nitrates are that low.

Can you get your LFS or another friend/hobbyist to test your water with a different test?
 
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Aerofoil

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Yeh i could try that. The test kit is new (i used it a week ago for the first time and got the reading of 1) my API test goes from 0-5-10-15-20 so not much use. Thats why i got the tropic marin one because it test in the very low ranges.
Would turning my skimmer off and going back to feeding more help? Obviously i've lost half the fish in the tank so that no doubt wont have helped.
 

nereefpat

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Are you having troubles with corals that you think are nitrate related?

You could simply dose a couple ppm of sodium nitrate.
 
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Aerofoil

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Potentially. One of my Zoa frags has shrunk and lost nearly all its colour and my BTA has moved around the back of its rock and its losing its colour. All the other corals are fine including the other zoa frag which is 5 inches from the one that doesnt look great.
 

SMSREEF

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Would turning my skimmer off and going back to feeding more help? Obviously i've lost half the fish in the tank so that no doubt wont have helped.
Yes. I had to take my skimmer offline.
even with this, you may still need to dose.
 
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Aerofoil

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Ok i'll look into dosing then. I assume as i dose and over time when its safe to stock more fish in the tank (white spot issue) i should see my nitrates rise naturally?
 

nereefpat

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over time... i should see my nitrates rise naturally?

Maybe, but not always. My tanks have always fell to zero nitrates, due to rock and sand. I don't worry about it, but some people like to have higher nitrate levels.
 
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Aerofoil

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Maybe, but not always. My tanks have always fell to zero nitrates, due to rock and sand. I don't worry about it, but some people like to have higher nitrate levels.

You might have touched on something there. I recently (about 1-2 weeks ago) added 2 pieces of manmade rock and about 5 days ago added my green star polyp coral which was attached to a decent sized rock from the store. Could this new man made rock have soaked up the nitrates that were in my tank a week ago?
 

SMSREEF

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Could this new man made rock have soaked up the nitrates that were in my tank a week ago?
New rock will soak up phosphate. It does not soak up nitrate that I know of.
algae, coral, bacteria use nitrate and phosphate. Maybe a bacterial bloom or algae growing on new rock used it.
 

nereefpat

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You might have touched on something there. I recently (about 1-2 weeks ago) added 2 pieces of manmade rock and about 5 days ago added my green star polyp coral which was attached to a decent sized rock from the store. Could this new man made rock have soaked up the nitrates that were in my tank a week ago?

The anaerobic bacteria deep inside rock and deep under the sand will convert nitrate to nitrogen gas.

I guess it's possible, but maybe not that quickly...don't know...it would depend if the rock was large and 'live.'
 

SMSREEF

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I think the fear with 0 nitrate or 0 phosphate is due to corals beginning to RTN and Dino’s or other opportunistic organisms taking over. It does not always happen and is much less likely in a tank with live rock and one with a large and diverse microbiome.

If you have a high in nutrient and high out nutrient tank, 0 is meaningless. If you have green algae growing on the glass, I wouldn’t worry about a 0.

If not, 0 is usually a problem, or soon will be.
Testing error is real and double check prior to making changes. Also go slow with any changes you make.
 
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Aerofoil

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Either way i gues for now dosing would be my best option. Are there any recommend marine brands for Calcium or sodium nitrate? or are these basic chemicals from a chem store?
 
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Aerofoil

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I think the fear with 0 nitrate or 0 phosphate is due to corals beginning to RTN and Dino’s or other opportunistic organisms taking over. It does not always happen and is much less likely in a tank with live rock and one with a large and diverse microbiome.

If you have a high in nutrient and high out nutrient tank, 0 is meaningless. If you have green algae growing on the glass, I wouldn’t worry about a 0.

If not, 0 is usually a problem, or soon will be.
Testing error is real and double check prior to making changes. Also go slow with any changes you make.

That is exactly my fear right now which im trying to avoid if possible. I have a brownish red algae that grows on the glass (not green) which i tend to scrape off every 2-3 days.
 

nereefpat

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Either way i gues for now dosing would be my best option. Are there any recommend marine brands for Calcium or sodium nitrate? or are these basic chemicals from a chem store?

It would be in any chemical supply store, but might be more expensive there. Anything food grade should be safe, even from amazon or etsy or wherever.
 
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