Can't get rid of Nitrates!

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by LoveJC03, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    Can't remove nitrates!! :frustrat:

    We started noticing Nitrates for the past week or so, started at 20ppm and now staying at 10-15ppm. Fish, inverts, cuc & LPS all seem fine, except our Frogspawn is slightly smaller. Montiporas are not happy. We have a Red Monti Cap, Green Monti Cap, Pink/Red Monti Cap, Purple Monti Cap, Pokerstar Monti & a Monti Confusa. The Red and Confusa are the best looking of all of them. Our Green looks the worst, it's not even green anymore, but it is not bleached. Our Purple looks pretty bad too but still shows purple. We also have a Green Acro that has some bleaching. We lost a Super Blue Acro before we noticed nitrates present. We just pulled out a bleached Staghorn Acro. Our 2 Birdsnests, Stylophora, Babydoll Acro all look great.

    We were letting our chaeto grow and it was pretty much overflowing our fuge, then about 75% of it died. We're thinking the chaeto dying because we were not harvesting it, put all the nitrates into the tank. We also never cleaned out our sump.. had lotsof detritus all on the bottom of our fuge under all the rock rubble. We cleaned out our sump a couple days ago, got almost all the dead chaeto out and pulled alot of the rock out, sucked out all the detritus and it's all clean and nice down there now. Our chaeto is now about cantaloupe size since it started dying, it was about a 14"x14" cube. Once it starts growing again we will be pulling it out every week.

    Before cleaning the fuge, we have done several 10gal water changes. We have added new carbon. We do not overfeed. We test weekly and change 10gal of water weekly. We just cannot seem to get rid of the nitrates and don't want to lose anymore coral. Not sure if the nitrates came from just the chaeto dying and releasing them back into the tank...but leaning towards that. How long til these nitrates go away?


    Tank Stats: 1 year old, swapped from 55gal
    We test weekly, feed 1/2 block mysis & 1/2 block brine, change 10gal water weekly, change filter sock everyday, lights run 10.5 hours a day, fuge light runs when lights are off, dose magnesium, use Seachem Reef Salt & use RODI water (always have)
    - 90 gallon with 20 gallon sump
    - 5 bulb Aquactinics T5HO fixture with ATI bulbs (new as of Feb)
    - Reef Octopus Diablo XS 160 Skimmer
    - BRS 4 stage
    - Mag 9.5 pump
    - Koralia 550, Koralia 425 & Maxijet 600
    - About 75lbs of live rock, 70lbs of sand

    Fish / Inverts
    - 5 Blue Green Chromis
    - 2 Ocellaris Clowns
    - Diamond Watchman Goby
    - Six Line Wrasse
    - Longnose Hawkfish
    - Magnificent Foxface
    - Spotted Mandarin
    - Peppermint Shrimp
    - Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
    - Tiger Conch, several hermits & snails

    Coral (about 50)
    - Several zoas & palys
    - Frogspawn, Octospawn, 2 Torchs, 2 Hammers
    - Several Mushrooms including 2 Ricordea
    - SPS: 6 Montis, Sour Apple Birdsnest, Brown/Green Hystrix Birdsnest, Purple Stylophora, Babydoll Acro
    - Brain Coral, Toadstool, Aussie Fungia, baby plate, Duncan, Feather Duster

    Sunday Params
    SG: 1.025 / Temp: 79.4° / PH: 7.9 (up to 8.2 now) / Alk: 8.4 / Ammo: 0 / Nitrite: 0 / Nitrate: 10-15 (still same) / Phos: 0 / Calcium: around 1300
    **checking Mag, Calc, PH & Nitrate right now, will update when my bf is done**
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
    LoveJC03, Jun 15, 2013
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  2. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    Water change yesterday

    Just tested:
    Calc: 475 / Mag: 1280 / Alk: 10.6 / PH: 8.0 / Nitrate: still 15

    Been bringing up PH & Alk this past week
     
    LoveJC03, Jun 15, 2013
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  3. LoveJC03

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    My guess it was the cheato dying. But now also you dont jave as much and stiring.up tje fuge made them stay up a bit. This happened to me back when i cleaned my fuge. After that i just made sure i had a small clean up crew down there. I recently sold a bit to much cheato and notice a little spike in jitrayes but not huge. Do you run any reactors?? I run biopellets also and ineed to change them out also since its already ben about 5 months on those. But yeah just do an extra water change and let the fuge get back to working for you and not against you and you will be fine. In a bit of time. Bigest thing for the mean time is those water changes to keep it in check
     
    Civicdemon, Jun 15, 2013
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  4. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    Yeah that's our guess too..only thing we can come up with. Our tank is so clean and tests have always been spot on. We don't have any reactors. We dose mag and use carbon in a small mesh filter sock. Sure hope they go away!
     
    LoveJC03, Jun 16, 2013
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  5. LoveJC03

    little_fish Moderator

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    The brine and mysis could also be adding to the nitrates, those food sources are known to be high in nitrates for a frozen food. I personally would suggest mixing it up some more, it will be a bit more nutrious too
     
    little_fish, Jun 17, 2013
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  6. LoveJC03

    reefnoob

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    Not meaning to hijack this thread, but what type of food would be low in nitrates?
     
    reefnoob, Jun 17, 2013
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  7. LoveJC03

    little_fish Moderator

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    I feed rods food which a blend of everything and it seems to have a small impact on nitrates and I usually have quite a bit that goes uneaten. But there are quite a few different frozen foods, like emerald entree and others I can't remember the name of at the moment. You can also make your own food with shrimp, scallops, squid, fish and other sea food. Remember, variety is the spice of life and the key to good nutrition.
     
    little_fish, Jun 17, 2013
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  8. LoveJC03

    reefnoob

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    But doesn't Rods Food have a bunch of tiny particles?
     
    reefnoob, Jun 18, 2013
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  9. LoveJC03

    little_fish Moderator

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    It does, which goes to feed the filter feeders
     
    little_fish, Jun 18, 2013
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  10. LoveJC03

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    Do you rinse your food before feeding ??? I usually will let the cubes or anything I feed defrost in RO/DI water and then run it thru the fish net then I put it back into the cup I use for feeding with some saltwater. If its still looks milky I do it again but usually ones is plenty.
     
    Civicdemon, Jun 18, 2013
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  11. LoveJC03

    noy

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    can't really tell whats ailing your monti's. can you post a pic? is it lack of coloration/tissue lost - can't tell from your descriptions. Monti's are generally not that affected by nitrates (under 40ppm) except you may not get great coloration and growth; i.e. they won't die from nitrates.

    Acro's is a different story, but usually they brown out instead of bleaching. Are your acros actually bleaching or its is RTN/STN? Bleaching often is improper light acclimation; tissue loss (necrosis) is a whole different thing (you coral still turns white but no tissue). Were you getting polyp extension?

    Your Calcium levels (if that is the correct reading) is off the rails. check it with another test kit but you should start lowering it (400-500 is ideal). I really don't know what the effect that level of calcium has on the corals. Check your mg levels too.

    Turn your chaeto over every week - that way you ensure it all gets light.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
    noy, Jun 18, 2013
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  12. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    little_fish We also use Marine Cuisine, just recently bought some more. :) We've always used a mix of Mysis, Brine & Marine Cuisine. Our Foxface gets 2/3 of an algae sheet per day too. We haven't ever had a problem since we started with this tank, kinda sucks because Nitrates aren't easy to just remove and be done with it :-/
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
    LoveJC03, Jun 18, 2013
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  13. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    We put 1/2 a cube in a little cup, add a turkey baster syringe full of tank water and let it thaw out then we squirt it in the tank. We haven't ever strained it out, might need to try that.. but I don't think that's the problem. Thanks for the tip though ;)
     
    LoveJC03, Jun 18, 2013
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  14. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    Our green has completely lost its green color (no polyp extension), purple is pretty much faded and has brown algae on it now (no polyps). Pokerstar started coming back but most of it is brown. Red looks the best, and small red/pink is faded. Monti Confusa still looks great.

    Only test that is coming up bad is Nitrates, hopefully our chaeto starts working again and pulling the nitrates out and we will definitely pull some out every week! Also, our fuge will be staying clean too lol :frustrat:

    Yeah, I just noticed the error LOL our calcium stays at 475-485 with the salt we are using. Our mag was at 1400 the other day, but we keep it between 1250-1350. With all the water changes we have to keep dosing mag to maintain it. We did our weekly water change Friday and we changed it again last night.
     
    LoveJC03, Jun 18, 2013
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  15. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    Thanks everyone for all your help. We just added 10 more lbs of LR. We have a new Nitrate kit being shipped right now, it's a Red Sea kit. Currently, we are using API for PH, Ammo, Nitrite, Nitrate & Phos. We use Red Sea for Calc, Mag & Alk.

    I have been doing some reading and alot of forums people are saying it could be a potassium issue with the Montis, just not sure. We don't have a kit to test for that.

    Fingers crossed that they drop soon!
     
    LoveJC03, Jun 18, 2013
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  16. LoveJC03

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    What light is over your cheato ??? Might need to be changed out.
     
    Civicdemon, Jun 19, 2013
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  17. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    65w flood light, just changed it this month. Did have a 65w grow light in there before. Grows good with both kinds lol too good which is why it got so huge and then died.
     
    LoveJC03, Jun 19, 2013
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  18. LoveJC03

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    O wow thatsa grip of watts. LOL I have mine with one of those power saver spiral bulbs 10 w lol 65k do.
     
    Civicdemon, Jun 20, 2013
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  19. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    Lol alot of people use 65w ;)
     
    LoveJC03, Jun 25, 2013
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  20. LoveJC03

    LoveJC03 Reef Enthusiast

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    Ordered from Bulk Reef Supply:
    - Red Sea Algae Control Multi Test Kit (NO3/PO4)
    - BR-110 Reef Octopus Biopellet Reactor (combo pack).

    Test kit will be here tomorrow & reactor will be here Thurs.

    Now hopefully we'll get better readings on those 2 tests and we'll be able to better control these nitrates with the bio-pellets! :D
     
    LoveJC03, Jun 25, 2013
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