Nitrate levels

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by littleyea1, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. littleyea1

    littleyea1

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    I have a 30 gl salt water tank and my nitrites my amonia and my ph are fine but my nitrates are way high and i did a water change and it still seems to be high how do I lower them and would tap water be high in nitrates already?
     
    littleyea1, Feb 12, 2009
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  2. littleyea1

    stagofdoom Phi Kappa Psi

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    I would definitely stop using tap water. You can either get an RO/DI unit or get your water from your store.
     
    stagofdoom, Feb 12, 2009
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  3. littleyea1

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    +1 Stag
     
    yote, Feb 13, 2009
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  4. littleyea1

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Tap water is usually high in nitrates, phosphates and heavy metals, which is why it should never be used in a saltwater tank. Doing water changes is useless if you are just changing out the old water for new water that is high in nitrates. You can buy an RODI unit yourself (you can get a decent one online for around $100 to $150, I got mine at www.purewaterclub.com), you can also buy bottled water at Walmart or the grocery store.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 14, 2009
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  5. littleyea1

    Smitty

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    more water changes with ro/di water, less feeding, limited lighting.
     
    Smitty, Feb 14, 2009
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  6. littleyea1

    littleyea1

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    my tap water has no nitrates and neither should any of yours, i can't limit my lighting because i have a lot of soft corals
     
    littleyea1, Feb 16, 2009
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  7. littleyea1

    Smitty

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    Actually, your tank can go several days without light without it being harmful to the corals. Several members have gone a week with their sps's, so I know soft corals will be ok...I also had very high nitrates(around 180ppm), but after two weeks of water changes every other day and a nitrate removal media bag, my nitrates are a perfect Zero...I only feed my tank once maybe twice a week, and I kept the lights on for about 4 hrs during that period.
     
    Smitty, Feb 16, 2009
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  8. littleyea1

    sen5241b

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    Tap water may or may not have nitrates and phosphates but it also may have many other bad things in it. My tap water contains radioactive substances at the highest levels allowed by law in addition to a long list of other bad stuff, PCBs, etc. A good charcoal filter is way better than tap water as it will take a lot of crap out with the exception of phosphates.
     
    sen5241b, Feb 16, 2009
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  9. littleyea1

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Never underestimate the power of a bad test kit ;) I had one go bad after 1 months' use (and the expiration date on the packaging had no where near passed prior to opening). I did a side-by side at my lfs -- my test kit vs theirs. Mine was bad. Tested a new one before I left, and it matched the lfs'.
     
    wontonflip, Feb 17, 2009
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  10. littleyea1

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Who says? That's totally not true. Ever heard of blue baby syndrome? It's a fatal disease in newborns caused by high nitrates in drinking water.

    Tap water commonly has high levels of nitrates, because what's considered "safe" for human consumption is way too high for a reef tank. The current EPA standard for nitrates in drinking water is 10 ppm, the level determined low enough to protect infants from blue baby syndrome, meaning most tap water will contain up to 10 ppm of nitrates. Where I live, according to the annual water report, nitrates are routinely at 40 ppm coming out of my tap. Which is not safe for a reef tank (or infants, apparently).

    It is very common not only to have nitrates in tap water, but phosphates as well, which are also a common cause of algae. And not to mention, heavy metals that will slowly kill your inverts and corals, that tap water conditions cannot remove. There are so many reasons NOT to use tap water in a reef tank.

    Second, you CAN limit your lighting, especially if you have soft corals. Soft corals can live off of 4 to 6 hours of lighting a day. And you can turn off your lights for 4 days at a time and not have your corals suffer. Even if you have SPS, you can safely turn off your lighting for several days. It isn't sunny 365 days a year in nature on the reefs. You have cloudy days, stormy days, overcast days, where there is hardly any sun.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 17, 2009
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  11. littleyea1

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    I've went as long 12 days with my tank lights off,and all my SPS opened right up as soon as I turned them back on.Some corals may pout for a day or 2,but will usually get over it.
     
    yote, Feb 17, 2009
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