help!! i did a major water change 2 weeks ago...i had nitrates at 100ppm! :cussing: well, i did some research and did a 100% (or close to it) water change as was recommended to me. i removed about 80% of the water, then i filled the tank back up to about 40%, then removed 50% of that water and then filled the tank back up. i "blasted" the sandbed and rocks with a powerhead right before removing the water. well, i took a sample of my water to my LFS today and lo and behold! nitrates are back up around 100ppm!!!! :banghead: i have a 55 gallon tank with one Yellow Watchman Goby, one Yellow Banded Coral Shrimp, one Tiger Pistol Shrimp, a Serpent Starfish and about 15 or so Mushroom Anenomes (most of which are very small, newly spawned individuals). i rarely feed the tank (once a week at most). everyone seems fine but i've been battling nitrates for over a year now! i have a Nautilus TE skimmer (which produces brownish fairly thick dry foam. if i don't clean it for 2 days i get a relatively thick build up of...well...brown yuck-a-yuck on the inside of the tube leading into the main collection cup), a Mag Drive 7.5 for return and 4 powerheads in the tank (one upper left rear, one lower left front, one upper right front, and one lower right rear...all 900 Maxi Jets except the left upper rear which is a 1200) and i have a Fluval 3 in the sump for mechanical filtration...i know i'm totally lacking a "clean up crew" except for the starfish, but i should have some snails coming in soon. i have about 60-70 lbs of live rock (i think!) and a sand bed that's an average of 3" deep (this tank was originally set up for Yellow Headed Jawfish but i've been unable to keep them due to the darn nitrate problem!!)...i am at my wits end!! :smt089: i just spoke with my friend at the LFS and he said it sounds like my sand is...well...dead...there's nothing moving around in it...no worms...not much at all and there's probably a lot of material down in there...probably not much living in my rocks either...i've seen one bristleworm lately and he was pretty small...help! i can't keep doing 100% water changes every 2 weeks...i really want to add some nice corals to my tank and get my jawfish in there but i'm afraid of killing everything due to the nitrates...well, sorry for the long post but i'm quite frustrated! thanks in advance for any advice! i really enjoy reading this message board!
(heh...sorry for going "emoticon crazy"...i was havin' fun!!