NITRATES!

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Coinzmans Reef

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I had a 30 gallon tank nitrates were near 0 (bio balls and all) only had 2 medium and 2 small fish. I upgraded to a 75 and transferred everything over except the trickle filter, I went with an Eshopps 100 with the same bio balls.
Two months later my nitrates were 40ppm. I was stumped until the overflow box backed up from the sponge being clogged. Well I now rinse the sponge in the overflow box twice a week. The tank is now eight months old and the nitrates are steady at 2.5ppm

Sometimes its the simplest things.

I would add more rock, larger skimmer, make sure your sump has enough flow, rinse and clean everything in RO water weekly and maybe you need a refugium to lower those nitrates.

PS. no more fish
 
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I will personally take on helping you if you are willing to learn, make tough immediate choices, and understand complete change is most likely needed.

And what guarantee does the OP have that YOU know what you are doing?

Doesn't matter. As long as the OP knows how lucky he is to have such a wonderful mentor. :face-with-rolling-eyes:
 

Thomas Jedlicka

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I have an Aquamaxx FC 120. Does your skimmer have more foam or more water? I feel like I’m not running it correctly. I empty and clean it every time I do a WC and then it takes another couple days for it to tune again?
When my nitrates were high my skimmer produced this sludge of removed waste. now that my nitrates are lower i get a more water like consistency.

however i have a 450 gallon and a skimmer rated for 1000 gallons plus. i planned for overkill because mine had heavy bioload. i would suggest a beefier skimmer if you want to make more of a difference
 
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And what guarantee does the OP have that YOU know what you are doing?

Doesn't matter. As long as the OP knows how lucky he is to have such a wonderful mentor. :face-with-rolling-eyes:
Not sure how to take this.....Insult or compliment.
To answer this question, that's why I stated this. See below.

Oh, I forgot the most important part.............
Pick a mentor, a known successful reefer and follow him or her. If you get 25 different opinions, you're going to have 25 different avenues to chase. This will for sure extend your time to success.

I'm willing to help you get back on track, but there may be better true mentors out there for you. It doesn't have to be an in person mentor, it can be an online mentor, but you have to stick to that path until you feel you understand this hobby inside and out.
 
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Guys, I have been trying to lower my nitrates for weeks now! Every few days or once a week I lose a fish. Other fish in the tank barely swim, I thought maybe they’re just lazy. I have zero ammonia, nitrites, my ph was low but got a reef buffer and that increased my ph. I am running hyposalinty because my DT has Ich but screw it I purchases copper power and will be dosing my tank once my salinity is up, it’s currently 1.010, I’ll be slowly increasing it. Im pulling my hair because my nitrates will not go down. I replaced my purigen, carbon, was still high. I purchased filters and replaced them and did a 50 gallon water change, total system is 200 gallon and the nitrates still look the same! What in the world is going on?!!!?? This is tick*ng me off! I’ve done multiple water changes with the old filters and now even with the new it’s the same. I use purigen, carbon and these rinseable then eventually replaceable green filter balls from pet o. I see seachem has a de nitrate which looks like some sort of bio pellets. Can someone please suggest how to lower nitrates! Or what to use in my filter canisters?! Please, I’m about to throw my 200 gallon system out, what am I not getting.

So I saw the hippo tang and it seems like it’s flukes? I’ve never had or seen this before? Is copper still the treatment?
 

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14 foot reef

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So I saw the hippo tang and it seems like it’s flukes? I’ve never had or seen this before? Is copper still the treatment?
Fresh water dip is the absolute best for flukes.
Here is some instructions from @Humblefish who is very very respected in the reefing community and most people would call him a trusted mentor in fish disease.


Pretty sure @PlumbTuckered will have an opinion on this also. Most likely very negative like 90% of his post here on this fabulous forum Reef2Reef
 

14 foot reef

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So I saw the hippo tang and it seems like it’s flukes? I’ve never had or seen this before? Is copper still the treatment?
Looking at the pics, this may not be Flukes. Gonna copy the resident Disease expert here on R2R @Jay Hemdal
 

Jay Hemdal

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So I saw the hippo tang and it seems like it’s flukes? I’ve never had or seen this before? Is copper still the treatment?

Visual clues do not always tell us enough to diagnose diseases. However, those large white spots are not flukes. The tang *could* have flukes, but those spots are not them. I see that the clownfish above also has the same white spots. The first assumption would be marine ich. However, these spots are too large to be ich by themselves. Sometimes, ich causes a generalize skin reaction and the fish produces mucus around each ich trophont, making the spots seem larger. However, there is also something called "mucus plugs" that are really common in hepatus tangs (less common in clownfish). If the spots change in number and location over a day or two's time, then it is likely ich. If the spots are in the same location in the same number for 48 hours+, then it is more likely to be mucus plugs.

Here is a write-up I did about the mucus issue:

Idiopathic mucus plugs/cones: Fish sometimes develop excess mucus that excretes from the
producing skin cells and rather than spreading out along the body, rises up as a cone or a plug. These
presumable develop from some sort of skin irritation. If you do a skin scrape on them, all you see is
mucus. They do show up on dark colored fish more often, probably because the contrast makes them
easier to see. The cause(s) for this is unknown. In some cases, they just go away, in other cases, the fish
dies - but in those cases, it is probable that there was a secondary issue. There may be some correlation
between copper sulfate use, or a reaction to a previous skin infection. There is also some strong
correlation between this issue and the species of fish; surgeonfish, tetras and Anabantids are all known to
develop this. Many people misdiagnose these mucus plugs as Cryptocaryon or Lymphocystis, but the
plug or cone shape to the mucus is diagnostic to some degree.

Jay
 
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newreef1

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Visual clues do not always tell us enough to diagnose diseases. However, those large white spots are not flukes. The tang *could* have flukes, but those spots are not them. I see that the clownfish above also has the same white spots. The first assumption would be marine ich. However, these spots are too large to be ich by themselves. Sometimes, ich causes a generalize skin reaction and the fish produces mucus around each ich trophont, making the spots seem larger. However, there is also something called "mucus plugs" that are really common in hepatus tangs (less common in clownfish). If the spots change in number and location over a day or two's time, then it is likely ich. If the spots are in the same location in the same number for 48 hours+, then it is more likely to be mucus plugs.

Here is a write-up I did about the mucus issue:

Idiopathic mucus plugs/cones: Fish sometimes develop excess mucus that excretes from the
producing skin cells and rather than spreading out along the body, rises up as a cone or a plug. These
presumable develop from some sort of skin irritation. If you do a skin scrape on them, all you see is
mucus. They do show up on dark colored fish more often, probably because the contrast makes them
easier to see. The cause(s) for this is unknown. In some cases, they just go away, in other cases, the fish
dies - but in those cases, it is probable that there was a secondary issue. There may be some correlation
between copper sulfate use, or a reaction to a previous skin infection. There is also some strong
correlation between this issue and the species of fish; surgeonfish, tetras and Anabantids are all known to
develop this. Many people misdiagnose these mucus plugs as Cryptocaryon or Lymphocystis, but the
plug or cone shape to the mucus is diagnostic to some degree.

Jay
So I’m increasing salinity slowly. Should I continue with the copper power treatment? Or should I also do a freshwater dip before to make sure?
 
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newreef1

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Fresh water dip is the absolute best for flukes.
Here is some instructions from @Humblefish who is very very respected in the reefing community and most people would call him a trusted mentor in fish disease.


Pretty sure @PlumbTuckered will have an opinion on this also. Most likely very negative like 90% of his post here on this fabulous forum Reef2Reef
Thanks so much, the video also helped a lot!
 

Jay Hemdal

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So I’m increasing salinity slowly. Should I continue with the copper power treatment? Or should I also do a freshwater dip before to make sure?
Prazipro is better for flukes, FW dips are really only a diagnostic tool to see if fish have flukes and then to buy you some time - putting the fish back into the tank they were in just reinfects them with flukes.
Copper doesn’t help with flukes, but it would if the white spots (or some of them) are ich. Copper can make the mucus plug problem worse.
Jay
 
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newreef1

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What skimmer do you run? Even with consistent water changes, if your stocking is too much for the skimmer to handle, nitrates will perpetually climb.
Sorry my mistake I have a Aquamaxx FC 280. I just saw the box. Is that good enough for my tank?
 
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Sorry my mistake I have a Aquamaxx FC 280. I just saw the box. Is that good enough for my tank?
I just checked the specs and even with a heavy bio load it’s good to handle around 240 gallons. I remember when I purchased it, it was suppose to handle more fish than I thought I would purchase, boy was I wrong!
 
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newreef1

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Guys, I have been trying to lower my nitrates for weeks now! Every few days or once a week I lose a fish. Other fish in the tank barely swim, I thought maybe they’re just lazy. I have zero ammonia, nitrites, my ph was low but got a reef buffer and that increased my ph. I am running hyposalinty because my DT has Ich but screw it I purchases copper power and will be dosing my tank once my salinity is up, it’s currently 1.010, I’ll be slowly increasing it. Im pulling my hair because my nitrates will not go down. I replaced my purigen, carbon, was still high. I purchased filters and replaced them and did a 50 gallon water change, total system is 200 gallon and the nitrates still look the same! What in the world is going on?!!!?? This is tick*ng me off! I’ve done multiple water changes with the old filters and now even with the new it’s the same. I use purigen, carbon and these rinseable then eventually replaceable green filter balls from pet o. I see seachem has a de nitrate which looks like some sort of bio pellets. Can someone please suggest how to lower nitrates! Or what to use in my filter canisters?! Please, I’m about to throw my 200 gallon system out, what am I not getting.

UPDATE: So I slowly increased the salinity, maybe not so slowly but the tank is reading now 1.018 with WC’s, I hope to have it up to 1.020 at least for now. I removed the Ro water from ATO and replaced it with salt water hoping that will slowly increase to 1.020 although it will take some time for a tank as big as this. Although for now the fish are all doing fine, thank god and all of you for your input and suggestions. The blue hippo might have Ich and the mucus that @Jay Hemdal was saying because this morning the spots seemed more flat than the pic and right now he’s sleeping in the rock. Also I got some more filter media and the acurel nitrate reducing media pad just came in. The algone also arrived which is suppose to reduce nitrates and other toxins to make the tank clear. After testing again while the nitrates are still high, I think they might have decreased slightly maybe due the the increase in salinity, not sure. Still waiting for the salifert kit to arrive and the marinepure bio blocks to arrive. As of now I plan on replacing the media filters tomorrow along with the sera crystal clear media filters, and the algone to see if that clears the tank. I will add some copper power to begin the ICH treatment later tonight, I plan to reach treatment levels over 3 days, we purchased a Hannah copper tester to make sure the levels are accurate. I will continue with the salt in the ATO until the salinity reaches around 1.020-1.021. I will do the next WC in two weeks so around the 15 or so and add copper as needed to keep the treatment levels consistent. And keep an eye on the fishes of course. In the course I hope to eradicate ICH and hopefully make my tank water clearer, it’s still slightly cloudy. So that’s the plan for now, what do you guys think?

Also, my mp40s make noise when running at high or default levels, does anyone else run into this issue. I had one of them fall off once even though they’re suppose to be suited for my glass thickness.
 
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newreef1

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UPDATE: So I slowly increased the salinity, maybe not so slowly but the tank is reading now 1.018 with WC’s, I hope to have it up to 1.020 at least for now. I removed the Ro water from ATO and replaced it with salt water hoping that will slowly increase to 1.020 although it will take some time for a tank as big as this. Although for now the fish are all doing fine, thank god and all of you for your input and suggestions. The blue hippo might have Ich and the mucus that @Jay Hemdal was saying because this morning the spots seemed more flat than the pic and right now he’s sleeping in the rock. Also I got some more filter media and the acurel nitrate reducing media pad just came in. The algone also arrived which is suppose to reduce nitrates and other toxins to make the tank clear. After testing again while the nitrates are still high, I think they might have decreased slightly maybe due the the increase in salinity, not sure. Still waiting for the salifert kit to arrive and the marinepure bio blocks to arrive. As of now I plan on replacing the media filters tomorrow along with the sera crystal clear media filters, and the algone to see if that clears the tank. I will add some copper power to begin the ICH treatment later tonight, I plan to reach treatment levels over 3 days, we purchased a Hannah copper tester to make sure the levels are accurate. I will continue with the salt in the ATO until the salinity reaches around 1.020-1.021. I will do the next WC in two weeks so around the 15 or so and add copper as needed to keep the treatment levels consistent. And keep an eye on the fishes of course. In the course I hope to eradicate ICH and hopefully make my tank water clearer, it’s still slightly cloudy. So that’s the plan for now, what do you guys think?

Also, my mp40s make noise when running at high or default levels, does anyone else run into this issue. I had one of them fall off once even though they’re suppose to be suited for my glass thickness.
Oh and remove the carbon before adding the copper, should I also remove the purigen or is that good? Also run skimmer as normal or not while treating with copper?
 

Jay Hemdal

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UPDATE: So I slowly increased the salinity, maybe not so slowly but the tank is reading now 1.018 with WC’s, I hope to have it up to 1.020 at least for now. I removed the Ro water from ATO and replaced it with salt water hoping that will slowly increase to 1.020 although it will take some time for a tank as big as this. Although for now the fish are all doing fine, thank god and all of you for your input and suggestions. The blue hippo might have Ich and the mucus that @Jay Hemdal was saying because this morning the spots seemed more flat than the pic and right now he’s sleeping in the rock. Also I got some more filter media and the acurel nitrate reducing media pad just came in. The algone also arrived which is suppose to reduce nitrates and other toxins to make the tank clear. After testing again while the nitrates are still high, I think they might have decreased slightly maybe due the the increase in salinity, not sure. Still waiting for the salifert kit to arrive and the marinepure bio blocks to arrive. As of now I plan on replacing the media filters tomorrow along with the sera crystal clear media filters, and the algone to see if that clears the tank. I will add some copper power to begin the ICH treatment later tonight, I plan to reach treatment levels over 3 days, we purchased a Hannah copper tester to make sure the levels are accurate. I will continue with the salt in the ATO until the salinity reaches around 1.020-1.021. I will do the next WC in two weeks so around the 15 or so and add copper as needed to keep the treatment levels consistent. And keep an eye on the fishes of course. In the course I hope to eradicate ICH and hopefully make my tank water clearer, it’s still slightly cloudy. So that’s the plan for now, what do you guys think?

Also, my mp40s make noise when running at high or default levels, does anyone else run into this issue. I had one of them fall off once even though they’re suppose to be suited for my glass thickness.

With a Hanna checker, you do not need to take 3 days to raise the copper power - you can do it in 24 hours, or even less. Taking longer just allows the disease to get a stronger foothold. This is old advice, based on ionic copper.

Jay
 
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With a Hanna checker, you do not need to take 3 days to raise the copper power - you can do it in 24 hours, or even less. Taking longer just allows the disease to get a stronger foothold. This is old advice, based on ionic copper.

Jay
Thanks for the suggestion, I just added around half the dose and tested to 1.15 ppm. I removed the carbon, replaced filters. I still have the skimmer running is that alright? I plan to add the remaining half dose tomorrow morning.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion, I just added around half the dose and tested to 1.15 ppm. I removed the carbon, replaced filters. I still have the skimmer running is that alright? I plan to add the remaining half dose tomorrow morning.
Correct, you can still run your skimmer. Your 1.15 dose is almost exactly half, so you should dose the remaining half today, let it circulate for a few hours and then test to confirm.

Jay
 
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