Super high nitrates help

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Hugh Mann

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Lots of things you can do to reduce nitrates, but I also agree, use a better test. APIs are notoriously inaccurate.

Pick your flavour of macro algae to grow in your tank, chaeto is the most popular and the tangs won't eat it.

DIY algae scrubber/chaeto reactor.

Nitrate remover filter pads.

Larger/more frequent water changes.

Carbon Dosing.

And while I agree that many tangs in a 40 is a hefty bioload, that can be dealt with. As long as they're happy and healthy, don't listen to the Tang Fuzz.
 

SMSREEF

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You don't think that anoxic bacteria turning no3 into nitrogen gas is dilution of no3? ...or that changing 5 gallons on 36 is more dilution than 5 on 40?
I think nitrate level with 36 gallons of water is not the real problem.
this:
4 tangs and a cow fish and clownfish
In not enough water volume is the problem.
 
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MnFish1

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You did read this is a 40 gallon right? Adding 2” of sand would likely change it to 36 gallons (if there is nothing else In it).
taking volume away at this point seems to be a big mistake because the solution to pollution is dilution.
like is said in a previous post - ask 10 reefers a question - you will get 50 answers. IMHO - there is no need to add 'sand'. I have 1/4 - to zero inches of sand in my tank. I like the look of sand - I dont think its a benefit - until it becomes a liability
 

MnFish1

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Lots of things you can do to reduce nitrates, but I also agree, use a better test. APIs are notoriously inaccurate.

Pick your flavour of macro algae to grow in your tank, chaeto is the most popular and the tangs won't eat it.

DIY algae scrubber/chaeto reactor.

Nitrate remover filter pads.

Larger/more frequent water changes.

Carbon Dosing.

And while I agree that many tangs in a 40 is a hefty bioload, that can be dealt with. As long as they're happy and healthy, don't listen to the Tang Fuzz.
Api tests are not notoriously inaccurate..... Unless you have some proof - many people who post say 'they are inaccurate' - but in reality - so what?
 
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MnFish1

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You don't think that anoxic bacteria turning no3 into nitrogen gas is dilution of no3? ...or that changing 5 gallons on 36 is more dilution than 5 on 40?
It w0uld be good if you quoted the post you're referring to. Otherwise no one knows to what you're referring
 

SMSREEF

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like is said in a previous post - ask 10 reefers a question - you will get 50 answers. IMHO - there is no need to add 'sand'. I have 1/4 - to zero inches of sand in my tank. I like the look of sand - I dont think its a benefit - until it becomes a liability
I love the look of sand too. I have about 1-2” in my tank. but it’s only for the look and making the tank brighter.
Once you get into deep sandbed it opens a whole other set of possible problems.
 

jda

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Not all API test kits are inaccurate. The nitrate one is a fine swag, just like many other type of nitrate test kits... most probably use the same method since there are not a plethora of ways to detect nitrate in saltwater for a reasonable price. Probably a good idea not to lump every type of API test kit in with one and another... and could have this discussion another thread.

If people don't like or want sand, that is OK... plenty do not want it or like it. Hard to argue that a few inches does indeed remove nitrates very efficiently while leaving the perfect amount for coral growth and also limiting nuisance algae, dinos, diatoms and matting bacteria. It does need work every handful of years and it not good in perpetuity if not maintained. It is a good solution for a lot of people. ...and it works in any size tank. Not mentioning it as an option in any discussion where somebody wants lower nitrates shows a lack of knowledge or experience, IMO. It is just an option, like many other options to solve the problem. In mature tanks with established sand beds, it works better than any amount of water changes at just keeping nitrate low.

I also forgot to mention a sulphur denitrator, but this is a more involved solution that is often very expensive and best used for chronic high nitrate tanks that are not going to be upgraded or changed, or the owner has done all that they can to keep nitrate down. On the good side, you can move them from tank to tank.
 
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I was waiting for that
 

KrisReef

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Anyone use seachem denitrate or matrix. Will be adding it to a hob filter
No experience with either.
Since the TP has already done the obligatory drive-by patrol, I am going to suggest something that will really help the situation. Cut the rations.

Have you ever seen a school of tangs swimming out on an open reef during a tropical storm? Some of those storms stir the currents up for days and the fish all duck down into their reef hideouts and starve to death. Happens every time there is a big storm except that they actually don't starve? Without any "scientific" evidence to support my next claim I'll just walk the tang plank and say, going hungry does not hurt them all that much when they don't eat for a few days.

IME, they will get sick and perish faster in a polluted tank than from regular fasting. Do those water changes, feed lighter than you believe possible and the tank will move towards JDA's equilibrium removal of nitrates sooner than you can get an accurate and precise test nitrate reading with many hobby kits.

So, with those claims posted, I'm gonna dive into my own reef shelter and hope you realize that fish can eat much less and thrive in our clean tanks than Hikari would want you to believe. (Yes, I love the Hikari cubes!) I love my fish more so I don't overfeed unless my nitrates are going towards zero.
 

zert11797

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I feel so sorry for you, the tang police are gunna kick your butt for this one lol. I recommend u get a protein skimmer if you don't have one, larger water changes, and you should get a new/more accurate testing kit
 

2Wheelsonly

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Not all API test kits are inaccurate. The nitrate one is a fine swag, just like many other type of nitrate test kits... most probably use the same method since there are not a plethora of ways to detect nitrate in saltwater for a reasonable price. Probably a good idea not to lump every type of API test kit in with one and another... and could have this discussion another thread.

If people don't like or want sand, that is OK... plenty do not want it or like it. Hard to argue that a few inches does indeed remove nitrates very efficiently while leaving the perfect amount for coral growth and also limiting nuisance algae, dinos, diatoms and matting bacteria. It does need work every handful of years and it not good in perpetuity if not maintained. It is a good solution for a lot of people. ...and it works in any size tank. Not mentioning it as an option in any discussion where somebody wants lower nitrates shows a lack of knowledge or experience, IMO. It is just an option, like many other options to solve the problem. In mature tanks with established sand beds, it works better than any amount of water changes at just keeping nitrate low.

I also forgot to mention a sulphur denitrator, but this is a more involved solution that is often very expensive and best used for chronic high nitrate tanks that are not going to be upgraded or changed, or the owner has done all that they can to keep nitrate down. On the good side, you can move them from tank to tank.

Do you feel there is a time when it's best to replace an entire sand bed? I have a 300G tank that has a 1.5 inch sand bed that's been fairly "managed" since 2016 but I am now facing nitrate issues I can't seem to stay on top of with large water changes (partly because my fish are getting much bigger). I am debating ripping out the sand and replacing with new and not sure if I should even explore this larger task.
 

jda

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I don't recommend replacing it. The current sandbed could be full of benign detritus and is not allowing water to flow to the lower areas and/or bacteria to populate there. This is easily remedied with just a cleaning - sand vac about 20-25% every 3-4 months until you are all done. You could also add another inch, or so, to make it more effective, but I would still clean it first. I like to clean sand beds starting in year four or five, but I do it slowly - you have to go slow so that the new areas have time to recover from the reorganization (oxic to anoxic and anoxic to oxic).

The stuff that accumulates in the sandbed is not full of organic material, this has all been used up, but even this benign junk can "gum up the works" and not allow the sandbed to act as an effective de-nitrator.

However, if your tank has a huge bio load, then it might not be able to keep up.
 
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2Wheelsonly

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However, if your tank has a huge bio load, then it might not be able to keep up.

I fear this may be the case, lined all the open space in my sump with no3 export bricks with no effect and added a sulfur denitrator which is very slowly kicking in. Carbon dosing thus far has not had any effect (vinegar dosing for over 9 months now). Nitrates stuck at 25ish, po4 0.02
 

Uncle99

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Yup, my API told me the same thing, I worked for months on both Nitrate and phosphate just to find out that those test are not sensitive enough to detect small amounts.
API never left 25ppm, whereas Salifert and ICP showed 5ppm, which what was expected

Phosphates of 0.02ppm with nitrates of 25ppm is out of balance and may contribute to pest algae’s and/or cyano appearing.

phosphates of 0.02ppm would work better with nitrates in the 2-5ppm range.

I don’t use Vinegar at all, did nothing for me. Nopox I have used for years, working every time but took 3-5 months to bring nitrate from 50 to 5ppm.
 
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2Wheelsonly

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Yup, my API told me the same thing, I worked for months on both Nitrate and phosphate just to find out that those test are not sensitive enough to detect small amounts.
API never left 25ppm, whereas Salifert and ICP showed 5ppm, which what was expected

Phosphates of 0.02ppm with nitrates of 25ppm is out of balance and may contribute to pest algae’s and/or cyano appearing.

phosphates of 0.02ppm would work better with nitrates in the 2-5ppm range.

I don’t use Vinegar at all, did nothing for me. Nopox I have used for years, working every time but took 3-5 months to bring nitrate from 50 to 5ppm.

My tank's volume means that nopox is an expensive additive if used daily for long term. I read a lot of experiences where people have tried carbon dosing with vinegar/vodka without success and then find that this stuff works I often want to try it long term. Then I read a majority of reviews on this product where people say they dose it when nitrates are high and act like the next day they are low again which is not possible and instantly invalidates the reviews as spam to me.
 

CMMorgan

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I have been dealing with crazy nitrates for months. One frustration for me personally is how limited the test kits are. The red sea colors are so similar and the gap between readings is so vast that I truly did not know my number other than HIGH. My LFS said about 6 weeks ago that it was north of 50 - they used API. I did a lot of research looking for a more precise HIGH nitrate test. I just received the NYOS kit yesterday. Wow - so easy to use, so easy to read. It put me at 40 - honestly, I was a tad lighter than 40 but definitely darker than 25. Overall, I'd say to just stay on it. Test your phosphates, do bigger water changes, find a test kit that YOU are happy with and get them into a bigger tank.
 
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