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At a loss


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  1. #1
    Rpalt1 - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northport N.Y.
    Posts
    112
    First Name
    rich

    Unhappy At a loss

    I have had the tank up and running for 6 months now and still can't get my nitrates below 25ppm. I purchased an ro di unit from brs and have done 2 50% wc in the last 2 weeks. I'm running an aquaclear 110 converted into a mini fuge with culerpa and chemipure elite. I'm also dosing probido digest and brightwells liquid reef fuel to try and combat it but it won't come down. all the livestock is appearing to be well. I have a pink birdsnest frag that is yellowish brown which i think is from the high nitrates, my 2 pocilliporas are fine and showing growth. Any ideas? I was thinking of bio pellets or maybe nitrazorb/gfo in a phosban 150 My salifert na kit expires in 2016. I'm at a loss. The mini fuge has been running for 1 1/2 months and has been harvested twice

  2. #2
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    U.P. of Michigan.
    Posts
    8,444
    First Name
    Jamie
    Awards Photo of the Month - October 2012 Photo of the Month Post and Reply Award - Winner of the first PAR Contest. Monthly Giveaway Winner

    Default

    I know certain dosing products can/will throw off your readings.
    There's nothing like being a Reefer! www.upmmas.com

  3. #3
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
    Admin/Founder

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    11,448
    First Name
    Jim

    Default

    How do your corals look?

  4. #4
    Tom@HaslettMI - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    2,144
    First Name
    Tom
    Awards Yugo Award - For helping with the CR Booth at MCES Monthly Giveaway Winner Monthly Giveaway Winner Photo of the Month Tank of the Month

    Default

    How much are you feeding the tank? Are you having any issues with nuisance algae?

  5. #5
    AZDesertRat - Reefkeeper
    Subject Matter Expert
    Water Treatment

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    376

    Default

    What size tank, what are the inhabitants and how much live rock/substrate do you have? How much, how often and what do you feed? What do you have for mechanical filtration if any? Filter sponges of foams and your cleaning method?

    First things I woud do is stop any supplements or additives and go back to as natural as possible, leaving all that stuff on the shelf where it belongs. Concentrate on small feedings no more than once a day and I usually skip a day here and there so feed 5 times a week and only what they can eat in a minute or two. I have always followed the rule of thumb that a fishes stomach is about equal to the size of its eyes and feed accordingly, it has worked well for over 30 years now.

    Do regular small water changes of 10-20% maximum and use a good name brand salt mix with no other additions or supplements. Take a nitrate sample, split it in two and take half to your LFS to confirm the readings you get with your half.


    Once you are back to "natural", monitor parameters for several weeks then make any changes One At a Time and monitor its progress again over a minimum of several weeks to see if it had a positive or negative effect on the system. Don't make any other adjustments or changes until you have a baseline to go from. Only bad things happen quickly in this hobby, all good things take time. If you find you want to start adding supplements or additives again do it slowly with time to monitor and adjust between each different change. At this point you really don't have any idea what is doing what and if any or all of it is good or bad. Basically start over and do lots of monitoring to see what effect each change has on the system and discontinue anything that is of no help or benefit. Most of all, Take Your Time.
    Last edited by AZDesertRat; 03-26-2014 at 11:22 AM.

  6. #6
    Rpalt1 - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northport N.Y.
    Posts
    112
    First Name
    rich

    Default

    The tank is a 29gal with 35 lbs of rock running a reef octopus skimmer. Running a aquaclear 110 converted into a fuge with a filter pad and chemipure elite. I have 2 clowns, six line wrasse and 2 yellow tail damsels. i feed 1/2 a cube a day to fish and a whole cube 3 times a week when target feeding corals . substrate is agronite 2" deep. I just got a hanna checker for po4[will check tonite] The corals overall look good, acan zoas and duncans are showing real nice growth I do a w/c once a week and chane filter pad then I use IO reef crystals for salt. I do have to scrape glass each day[slight green film] I run a 6700k light on fuge and noticed a start to some red cyno in the filter but not in the main tank yet Unfortunately my lfs isn't very knowledgable so i dont trust their opinion

  7. #7
    Rpalt1 - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northport N.Y.
    Posts
    112
    First Name
    rich

    Default

    I did a phosphate check and that reads zero so that's good

  8. #8
    Tom@HaslettMI - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    2,144
    First Name
    Tom
    Awards Yugo Award - For helping with the CR Booth at MCES Monthly Giveaway Winner Monthly Giveaway Winner Photo of the Month Tank of the Month

    Default

    I think you're feeding too much. Try feeding the fish half as much and the corals only once a week.

    Tom

  9. #9
    binford4000 - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    farmington hills mi
    Posts
    2,214
    First Name
    Old man
    Awards Tank of the Month - May 2012 Tank of the Month

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rpalt1 View Post
    I have had the tank up and running for 6 months now and still can't get my nitrates below 25ppm. I purchased an ro di unit from brs and have done 2 50% wc in the last 2 weeks. I'm running an aquaclear 110 converted into a mini fuge with culerpa and chemipure elite. I'm also dosing probido digest and brightwells liquid reef fuel to try and combat it but it won't come down. all the livestock is appearing to be well. I have a pink birdsnest frag that is yellowish brown which i think is from the high nitrates, my 2 pocilliporas are fine and showing growth. Any ideas? I was thinking of bio pellets or maybe nitrazorb/gfo in a phosban 150 My salifert na kit expires in 2016. I'm at a loss. The mini fuge has been running for 1 1/2 months and has been harvested twice
    How long have you been useing the bio digest and reef fuel?? Bio digest takes six to eight weeks to kick in as well the reef fuel needs time too. Do you use the reef fuel daily as recommended ? I use this same regiment and have had outstanding results. You are trying to kick start the denitrifying processes which takes time. Once your get biological reaction it will go down very quickly. I noticed you did not say if you use a skimmer or not. If not I highly recommend you get one.without a skimmer it will be very hard to get it under control. Filter pads are nitrate factory's,I would remove it ASAP and opt for a filter sock but you need to replace it often,even before it is clogged. they work great but if ignored the waste it gathers will breakdown in it and create No3 . I change mine every 2 days regardless. Keep to 10% water changes and siphon your gravel and be patient is my suggestion.
    Likes Jason c liked this post

  10. #10
    CR Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    48
    First Name
    Jim

    Default

    Hi,

    Your phosphate reads zero and this is your most important clue. If phosphate levels are truly zero then your beneficial bacteria will not be able to exploit the available nitrate. The small algal bloom removes any available phosphate due to feeding. Do a water change when you scrape the glass to remove those algae. Also set your skimmer to skim wet for now................Jim

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