NO NITRATES!?!?!

JCortez3

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Hi I have a biocube 32 for about 3 months with live sand and dry rock. Let cycle start with turbo start for about 2 weeks and no lights before adding a damsel. I am currently up to 2 clownfish, a damsel, a pinkbar goby, and about 6 hermit crabs. Since I've had the tank I do a weekly water change of 5 gallons and the fish are doing great but I test parameters right after a water change and right before and I never have a traceable amount of nitrates with my API test kit. I have weekly diatoms take over the tank so instead of doing a water change this week should I just clean the glass and change floss and let nitrates build up?
 
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JCortez3

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Here is a picture of my tank. Also I might add that a few days after having my clean up crew and damsel I tried a decent size frag of Green Star Polyp thinking since it is very hardy it will be OK. It actually ended up dying so I know something wasn't right. It started breaking apart and building up algae.
 

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Is the water cloudy? Or is it just the picture?

You really should get s better nitrate test kit. Red sea pro will measure more precise at lower levels.

I would let the nitrates come up to about 5-10ppm(4-6ppm is my personal sweet spot) some may say more, but it's a good starting point. Have you tested phosphates? And what is your lighting schedule ?
 
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JCortez3

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Is the water cloudy? Or is it just the picture?

You really should get s better nitrate test kit. Red sea pro will measure more precise at lower levels.

I would let the nitrates come up to about 5-10ppm(4-6ppm is my personal sweet spot) some may say more, but it's a good starting point. Have you tested phosphates? And what is your lighting schedule ?
No the water is very clear its just the picture. For media I'm using chemi pure elite, a little bit of phosguard and some rubble live rock. I also tested phosphates and they are zero even before using phosguard. And I have the lights on full intensity for a total of 7 hours and the blues on for about 10 hours.
 
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JCortez3

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I would hold off on water changes for awhile. Test ammonia and nitrite to make sure you aren’t having a spike some where in the nitrogen cycle.
I test everything weekly including calcium phosphate and KH and everything is where it should be except nitrates.
 

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No the water is very clear its just the picture. For media I'm using chemi pure elite, a little bit of phosguard and some rubble live rock. I also tested phosphates and they are zero even before using phosguard. And I have the lights on full intensity for a total of 7 hours and the blues on for about 10 hours.
If po4 is zero, y run a po4 removing media? Low nitrates and low phosphates are a recipe for dino disaster. Lol.
I've never run chemipure so I cant say anything about that.. cut back on your white lights for a while, atleast till you get your nutrients up. you should be looking to get po4 readings of about 0.08ish as a starting point.

And what are your calcium and alk readings since you test it...( btw these have nothing to do with the nitrogen cycle, amonia, nitrite, nitrate are the elements hemdog was referring to)
 

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I test everything weekly including calcium phosphate and KH and everything is where it should be except nitrates.
Well that’s good. Grab a better test kit like salifert or Red Sea and see where you are really at. I bet you have more than zero. What are you feeding? How much and how often?

pull the chemipure elite and phosguard. Zero isn’t the goal. You want 0.03-0.08
 
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JCortez3

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If po4 is zero, y run a po4 removing media? Low nitrates and low phosphates are a recipe for dino disaster. Lol.
I've never run chemipure so I cant say anything about that.. cut back on your white lights for a while, atleast till you get your nutrients up. you should be looking to get po4 readings of about 0.08ish as a starting point.

And what are your calcium and alk readings since you test it...( btw these have nothing to do with the nitrogen cycle, amonia, nitrite, nitrate are the elements hemdog was referring to)
When I had the huge diatom bloom I cut back on lights a lot and still couldn't get rid of the diatoms and other algae was starting to grow all over the rocks so I was told to run just a little bit of phosguard to stop feeding the algae. And my calcium readings are high about 600 but not sure about alk.
 
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JCortez3

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Well that’s good. Grab a better test kit like salifert or Red Sea and see where you are really at. I bet you have more than zero. What are you feeding? How much and how often?

pull the chemipure elite and phosguard. Zero isn’t the goal. You want 0.03-0.08
Well if it isn't zero it is not detectable with my test kit after a week. I am feeding mysis shrimp and flake food 2 times a day and some pellets for the CUC just for some extra food but not a lot only like 2 times a week.
 

motortrendz

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Your going to get some algae on a new tank... it has to go through its ugly phases, I have a hard time seeing other algae growing in your tank with less whites, it would be the other way around. More white, more algae. You need some phosphates, and the tank needs to mature. Stripping all nutrients are just going to make things harder

For the .most part diatoms will turn everything brown for a week or so then just vanish. It's usually the last part of seeing a tank cycle.

So honestly, what I'd do, remove the phosguard, lower the whites and not do a water change for about 2 maybe 3 weeks while testing regularly, get those. Nitrates up, phosphates too, and let the diatoms run their course.
 
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JCortez3

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Your going to get some algae on a new tank... it has to go through its ugly phases, I have a hard time seeing other algae growing in your tank with less whites, it would be the other way around. More white, more algae. You need some phosphates, and the tank needs to mature. Stripping all nutrients are just going to make things harder

For the .most part diatoms will turn everything brown for a week or so then just vanish. It's usually the last part of seeing a tank cycle.

So honestly, what I'd do, remove the phosguard, lower the whites and not do a water change for about 2 maybe 3 weeks while testing regularly, get those. Nitrates up, phosphates too, and let the diatoms run their course.
I'm going to give that a try
 

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Ok because I had a major diotom issue due to the fact my water had silicone in it and I wasent filtering my water. Is it dinos or diatoms? I remember watching a BRS video saying dinos thrive of low NO3. Dinos looks more like brown snot with bubbles
 

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I had a small (10g) AIO that i setup for coral QT with a bag of chemipure blue in a media rack. Soon after I started seeing the characteristic "snot with bubbles" telltale of dinos. Those things are hard to deal with so prevention is key.

As several people recommended, remove the chemipure bag and let your nutrients rise a bit. I keep phosphates between 0.03 and 0.05ppm, while nitrates are around 5ppm. You might want to consider reducing the frequency of your water changes. If you have a skimmer, you could turn it off for 12 hrs a day.

The raise in nutrients will increase diatoms and other algae, which should go away in a few weeks. You could also consider adding more variety to your CUC in order to deal with the algae. If you add snails, make sure you provide your hermit crabs with empty shells or they will kill snails for them.

Finally, use a reliable testing kit and a consistent method to test. Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.
 
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JCortez3

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Hi reporting back and I'm going on my mid 3rd week of not changing the water and letting the cycle do its thing. Since I've added 2 chromis and all fish and CUC are alive and well but with my API test kit I still show no detectable nitrates. Should I allow another week to pass? Diatoms are pretty ugly but seem to be very very slowly going away.
 

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I am linking this thread right now to page one of the microbiology of cycling thread, any reef tank can show zero nitrates it has nothing to do with your cycle.

In that thread we demonstrate using examples like yours that ammonia control is the only param we need to know, to begin reefing. Nitrite is fully neutral in marine aquariums anyway, no need to test for it. Can't harm a system even if it's there, nitrite always catches up in time regardless of start date for a reef tank. Nitrate, as you show, may or may not even show up but your tank keeps fish alive past ten hours because its 100% cycled.


To cycle an aquarium, we only have to measure (or demonstrate) that ammonia is controlled. Excellent thread you have here.
B
 
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