Struggling to keep nitrates UP. Is my tank "carbon-limited"?

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Xandernfs

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I've been struggling to keep my nitrates up for some time. For a while my phosphates were running around .12-.16 and my nitrates around 4ppm. I was given advice from my LFS to turn on my skimmer and increase the lighting in my ATS. I did that and now my nitrate is at barely .25ppm and my phosphate is at .0X. I wanted to bring my nitrates up so I purchased some NeoNitro and dosed it yesterday with no change. I followed the directions and wanted to bring up my nitrates up to just 2ppm for now. However, I'm still at .25. According to the directions my tank is "carbon-limited" I'm not really sure what that means since I'm not using anything such as NoPoX. I've been fighting a large GHA out break and a cyano outbreak. I feel like I'm losing the battle. Guidance would be much appreciated.
 
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musicsmaker

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I've been struggling to keep my nitrates up for some time. For a while my phosphates were running around .12-.16 and my nitrates around 4ppm. I was given advice from my LFS to turn on my skimmer and increase the lighting in my ATS. I did that and now my nitrate is at barely .25ppm and my phosphate is at .0X. I wanted to bring my nitrates up so I purchased some NeoNitro and dosed it yesterday with no change. I followed the directions and wanted to bring up my nitrates up to just 2ppm for now. However, I'm still at .25. According to the directions my tank is "carbon-limited" I'm not really sure what that means since I'm not using anything such as NoPoX. I've been fighting a large GHA out break and a cyano outbreak. I feel like I'm losing the battle. Guidance would be much appreciated.
If you're having a large outbreak of GHA, it could be sucking up the nitrate as fast as you can add it. It does that.

First question: What kind of test kit are you using?
 

Jekyl

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I'm with the post above. Your algae is sucking up all the nutrients. Get that under control before changing anything else. Your nitrate is probably fine otherwise.
 
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My first recommendation would be a massive clean up crew. Go over what is recommended, you will lose some overtime of course. Right now, it sounds like the GHA has nothing to compete with, therefore it is keeping you completely stripped of nutrients. Once cleaners remove some of the algae, your nitrates will go up.

Reefcleaners.org is where I get mine.
 
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Xandernfs

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Currently I have 8 trochus, 10 nassarius, 1 turbos, 2 fighting conchs, 2 emerald crabs in my RSR250.

I’ve been manually removing as much GHA as possible. Perhaps use Algae Clean Out?
 

Jekyl

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Currently I have 8 trochus, 10 nassarius, 1 turbos, 2 fighting conchs, 2 emerald crabs in my RSR250.
I agree with post above. However I'd recommend half of your tank size from reefcleaners.org it will give you some diversity.
 

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Currently I have 8 trochus, 10 nassarius, 1 turbos, 2 fighting conchs, 2 emerald crabs in my RSR250.
You'll want to add 20 hermits (feed heavy, you want your nitrates up after all) 20 astreas, 100 zig zag periwinkles, and nerites(5-10) wont hurt. Conchs and nassarius dont eat algae, leaving you with only 3 algae eaters. Get 50-100 dwarf ceriths as well.
The periwinkles and ceriths are so small you'll barely see them.
When I had similar problems I did about this big of a CUC in my 30. Double that in my 75. It really does work.
 

brandon429

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On any thread where five brands of nitrate test kits are ran we will get five different readings ranging fifty ppm lowest to highest.

curious how this test was validated above

u should post a pic of a nitrate reading ran side by side with any other kit, let the lfs run a nitrate test on a sample u bring in, plus you run one right then too and post the side by side.

if you can get two to line up that will be astounding.
 
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On any thread where five brands of nitrate test kits are ran we will get five different readings ranging fifty ppm lowest to highest.

curious how this test was validated above

u should post a pic of a nitrate reading ran side by side with any other kit, let the lfs run a nitrate test on a sample u bring in, plus you run one right then too and post the side by side.

if you can get two to line up that will be astounding.
Doesn't matter, the symptoms being reported note that algae is growing out of control, meaning they are taking all the nitrates and PO4 out of the water stripping the tank of these elements. Eliminate the algae via CUC and the other issues go away, you may find yourself needing to lower nitrates if anything.
 

Jekyl

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There's not really a crew out there that will wipe out a gha break out. It's good to have enough though. Eventually it'll be gone though so I always try and not over do it. I had a bad GHA outbreak. I did my best to remove it by hand. After a month or 2 it was gone, never to be seen again.
 

Pistondog

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I've been struggling to keep my nitrates up for some time. For a while my phosphates were running around .12-.16 and my nitrates around 4ppm. I was given advice from my LFS to turn on my skimmer and increase the lighting in my ATS. I did that and now my nitrate is at barely .25ppm and my phosphate is at .0X. I wanted to bring my nitrates up so I purchased some NeoNitro and dosed it yesterday with no change. I followed the directions and wanted to bring up my nitrates up to just 2ppm for now. However, I'm still at .25. According to the directions my tank is "carbon-limited" I'm not really sure what that means since I'm not using anything such as NoPoX. I've been fighting a large GHA out break and a cyano outbreak. I feel like I'm losing the battle. Guidance would be much appreciated.
If you are not running a refugium, vibrant worked for me for the gha.
Algae eating bacteria, 4 to 6 weeks
 
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Dolphins18

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There's not really a crew out there that will wipe out a gha break out. It's good to have enough though. Eventually it'll be gone though so I always try and not over do it. I had a bad GHA outbreak. I did my best to remove it by hand. After a month or 2 it was gone, never to be seen again.
So where do you think it all goes in two months?
I just never manually remove it, and have dealt with it so many times in the same fashion, and huge CUC's always take care of it.

Now cyano is another beast of course..
 

LegendaryCG

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if you have algae in the tank the last thing you are needing to do is dose nitrate/phosphate. I’d stop that immediately, a large cuc will help. Vibrant works but doesnt really address the issue unless you get nutrient export under control.
 
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