High Nitrate Levels

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Jimboaf, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Jimboaf

    Jimboaf We can build it

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    Just added my LR and LS about 4 days ago and did a reading today and the Nitrate (NO3-) levels are 40ppm. When I tested the water out of the tap ( I have well water so no other chemicals are in there) it tested 20ppm which is acceptable. Is there anything that I should be doing to keep them down further I have been doing 10% water changes. I have not did a change since I put the LR and LS in the tank, but if I do a water change it will prob only drop to 20ppm anyway not 0. :helm2:
     
    Jimboaf, Oct 2, 2012
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  2. Jimboaf

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    if you keep adding water with nitrates when you water change your never going to get them down to an acceptable level. You need water with 0 nitrates to top off with and water change with.
     
    Kelz88, Oct 2, 2012
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  3. Jimboaf

    little_fish Moderator

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    +1 klez
    I also wouldnt consider that to be acceptable in a reef tank
     
    little_fish, Oct 2, 2012
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  4. Jimboaf

    moncapitane

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    Are you using tap water or RO/DI water? Using ro/di should help get you to the 0 nitrate level.
     
    moncapitane, Oct 2, 2012
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  5. Jimboaf

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Also, if you are just starting your tank cycle, your nitrates will go up even further by the time the cycle is done. I'd wait until you finish cycling and then do a 50% water change with RO/DI water (NOT tap). If you don't have an RO/DI filter, you can buy one fairly inexpensively through Bulk Reef Supply (I think they run $130). Not only is using tap water bad for nitrates, but there is also a ton of other stuff in your tap water that is bad for your tank - hard minerals and heavy metals, micro organisms, etc.
     
    FishyReef, Oct 2, 2012
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  6. Jimboaf

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Check out this article:
    https://www.livingreefs.com/why-using-tap-water-bad-idea-t19865.html

    Nitrates at 20 is acceptable if you are only keeping fish, but is borderline dangerous and even fatal to inverts, corals, etc.

    And at 20, you will have algae problems that you won't be able to get rid of because water changes will only replace bad water with more bad water.

    I highly recommend an RODI unit for you.
     
    Bifferwine, Oct 2, 2012
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  7. Jimboaf

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    Well water can have just as many harmful chemicals in it as city tap water.

    Are there farms nearby? All that fertilizer and manure leaches into the water.

    Any industrial plants nearby? Any chemical spill will get into your water. Even if it happened 30 or 40 years ago, it could still be in the water.

    What other minerals are in the ground? Any number of heavy metals can be leaching out of the rock and into the water.

    It might be fine for human consumption, but might be too harsh of an environment for the sensitive corals and livestock. IMO, an RO/DI unit is a must for a salt water tank.

    But like said before, you will never get your nitrates down since you are supplying the tank with nitrates.
     
    bjohanson1234, Oct 2, 2012
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  8. Jimboaf

    Jimboaf We can build it

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    Could I use prime for the time being to reduce the Nitrates? Everything else is at 0 and perfect its just the Nitrates? I will have to get a RO/DI unit soon but have to wait till next pay.
     
    Jimboaf, Oct 2, 2012
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  9. Jimboaf

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I don't think Prime reduces nitrates.

    There are good ones that you can get for $140 and up. Since you plan on buying one soon, don't sweat it until then.
     
    Bifferwine, Oct 3, 2012
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  10. Jimboaf

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    Prime detoxifies nitartes and ammonia, but it does not remove it from the water.
     
    Civicdemon, Oct 3, 2012
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  11. Jimboaf

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Even if using prime was a solution, at some point, a RO/DI system will be cheaper than constantly buying Prime to treat the water

    Start off right from the start, or you're just going to have an endless string of problems
     
    Northstar24, Oct 3, 2012
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  12. Jimboaf

    Jimboaf We can build it

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    So as of last night I did nothing to my system except put a timer in for my lights and checked the water again. The Nitrates are at 20ppm now, could they fluctuate this much?
     
    Jimboaf, Oct 3, 2012
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  13. Jimboaf

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    Could just be the test. Could just be the lighting in the room. Those color charts are sometimes tricky to read.
     
    bjohanson1234, Oct 3, 2012
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  14. Jimboaf

    Jimboaf We can build it

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    Thanks so much, yea it should not be the test because it reads that it was made in June. Thanks for all the help :Cheers:
     
    Jimboaf, Oct 3, 2012
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  15. Jimboaf

    Big K

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    Big K, Oct 3, 2012
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  16. Jimboaf

    Jimboaf We can build it

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    Let me know how it works, I was looking at that same one last night and I have it on my watch list.
     
    Jimboaf, Oct 3, 2012
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  17. Jimboaf

    Big K

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    I should receive it this week. I'll run it and test the water and let you know!
     
    Big K, Oct 3, 2012
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  18. Jimboaf

    algy1943

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    Hi Sarah, I recently managed th get the really large anenome out of my tank (it was the white one that replaced its zooxanthella and grew) so it gave me the chance to clean out the tank, thoroughly clean the live rock, restock , after a 2 week period put the fish back , corals , but my nitrates are still at 40+ , the fish and the corals, invertebrates all seem ok but the algae is really serious, I have recently purchased Red Sea RO, Po X awaiting delivery , this I hope will cure the problem , I have also cut down on their food , have you heard of Bio-Spiro I've been told this will help with the nitrate problem, haven't put it in the tank yet .
     
    algy1943, Oct 3, 2012
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