Nitrates

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by Alex Hanneman, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. Alex Hanneman

    Alex Hanneman Member

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    Hi, I have an 80 gallon tank and I do water changes quite often and afterwards I check the pH,ammonia,nitrites,and nitrates. Everything is always normal except the nitrates are always very very high. I can’t seem to get them down, I’ve tried using prime and we have a refugium but nothing seems to work. Do you recommend anything else?
     
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  2. SPR1968

    SPR1968 Fish & Coral Addict! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 UK Reef Club Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Hi Alex and welcome to R2R!

    Do you have a RODI water system to make your own water ?

    You need to make sure whatever your using is 0 TDS, were ever it’s from, otherwise your could be introducing nutrients back into the tank

    If you do a 20% water change nitrates will reduce by 20% approximately if the water is good so a series of changes will bring down your nitrates

    Other methods include biological filtration, carbon dosing, which you can read up on as well
     
  3. ccombs

    ccombs Valuable Member R2R Supporter MTRCMember Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Welcome to R2R! When you say high, what is the actual test result? High for some is 10ppm, high for others is 200pm and those are addressed very differently.
     
  4. MrObscura

    MrObscura Well-Known Member

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    What is "high?"
     
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  5. Gary Inwood

    Gary Inwood Member

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    my nitrates are around 80 ppm and my reef is great corals healthy and fish have no issues and my TDS is 0
     
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  6. duffer

    duffer Active Member

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    Vodka dosing seems to help some, I’m trying it now and having some success
     
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  7. Reefer's Cove

    Reefer's Cove New Member

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    I would carbon dose 2.5mls daily and check numbers. Should get you down in about 2-3 weeks which should be slow enough for the tank to not go through a major adjustment
     
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  8. bigdrew

    bigdrew Member Build Thread Contributor

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    You could try adding some chaeto to the sump. Get a decent light to help it grow.
     
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  9. MrObscura

    MrObscura Well-Known Member

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    Before he starts vodka dosing and what not it would probably be best to know what no3 actually is and if there's actually any reason to lower them.
     
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  10. Gary Inwood

    Gary Inwood Member

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    i have about 2 foot of refugium which is full of cheato and grows very well so it is not that
     
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  11. bigdrew

    bigdrew Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Gary, it’s interesting because I’m having the exact opposite problem! I can’t get any measurable level of nitrate or phosphate on my tank, no matter how much I feed. As a result, my Chaeto/Gracilaria won’t stay alive. My fish are super fat, which is good but running so low on nutrient isnt good. It’s not balanced enough. Good luck! I’m pretty new at this reef game too, so just helping where I can.
     
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  12. William DeCoursey

    William DeCoursey Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    What's your phosphate at? If it has flatlined, your Chaeto won't be nearly as effective at reducing nitrate
     
  13. Tautog

    Tautog Valuable Member

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    Welcome to Reef 2 Reef !
    High nitrates aren’t all bad. I have high nitrates too. What I’ve found, the hard and expensive way, eventually, high PO4’s will catch up to the high nitrates, then corals die. What test kits are you using? Red Sea is consistent, and cost effective, but API kits are a waste of money. Hanna makes the testing simple, but not always consistent. Hanna kits don’t work as well with fingerprints or air bubbles. Whichever kit, your consistently will make all the difference. Keep your testing equipment clean and dry.
     
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  14. MrObscura

    MrObscura Well-Known Member

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    While I wouldn't use ati for the big 3 I think it's just fine for the basics such as no3.
     
  15. Gary Inwood

    Gary Inwood Member

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    welcome to the reefing world.
    I do not test for phosphate and my reef is you can say very over feed, i have to change filter socks at least every day 2 at a push and my fish and corals are doing great.
    But i do understand regarding your cheato /gracilaria not staying alive I had the same problem a few years back and i worked out it was my Refugium light so i changed it for a cheap full Spectrum led off ebay and I have not looked back.
     
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  16. lilfish717

    lilfish717 Well-Known Member

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    What exactly are you saying here? I also have between 40-80 ppm nitrates. (can't tell with stupid ati kit) and 0 ppm phosphate. Are you saying my nitrates will raise Phosphate and kill my corals?
     
  17. TitanCi

    TitanCi Valuable Member

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    Usually with NO3 that high it’s a water quality issue, be it from lack of maintenance, intervals between maintenance, or amount of maintenance (small water changes vs large ones), and usually the PO4 catches up as the water quality isn’t being maintained. The NO3 doesn’t raise PO4 but they go hand in hand in the sense of being from poor water quality.
     
  18. lilfish717

    lilfish717 Well-Known Member

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    It's due to high nitrates in tap and no Rodi.
     
  19. TitanCi

    TitanCi Valuable Member

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    Well that’s a whole different situation, but it’s still a water quality issue (just not from lack of WC). Regardless, your NO3 won’t make the PO4 increase but you’ll be adding NO3 and PO4 from fish waste, food, etc.
     
  20. beaslbob

    beaslbob Valuable Member North Alabama Reef Club

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    IMHO if your corals are doing fine you might not want to change anything.

    I would not use any chemicals or additives to lower nitrates.

    Water changes limit but do not eliminate nitrates or anything else the changes in the tank. If you have an increase of 1ppm nitrates per day and do a 10% water change every 8 days the tank will wind up at 80ppm just before the water change. down to 72 then back up to 80 before the next water change.

    In order to lower nitrates you have to increase the nitrate consumers. I recommend macro algaes. They not only consume nitrates but actually consume ammonia first. Plus phosphates and co2 while returning oxygen and fish food. Other nitrate consumers like dsb, nitrate reactors, and so on rely on anaerobic bacteria which can cause problems if not working correctly.

    my .02


    later edit. IMHO nitrates come overwhelming from the livestock not the input water.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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