nitrates and phosphates?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by littleyea1, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. littleyea1

    littleyea1

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    Ok I have a 29 gallon tank with 2 t5 29 wat lightbulbs, seaclone 150 skimmer, hang on biological filter with carbon pad, to power heads, small stone substrate.fish: I have 1 snowflake eal 1 copus tang 2 sergant majors. soft corals : 4 xenia 1 toadstool 2 leather corals 7 turbo snail 5 hermits 4 little snails ? ... I do partial water changes of 10 percent every week.. I can not get my nitrates or phosphate down at all... Why must this be so hard for me?? I do not have a refugium and dont feel like spending the money as of right now to construct and buy lighting ect.. Can I add macro algea directly to my tank liek cheato or calipura, and will that help me out a little.. any suggestions would greatly help me out...
     
    littleyea1, Mar 9, 2009
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  2. littleyea1

    littleyea1

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    forgot that I had 3 ricordea florida mushrooms and about 3 groups of 20 zoas
     
    littleyea1, Mar 9, 2009
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  3. littleyea1

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Your tanks over stocked with fishand your running a nitrate factory for biological filtration.
    Get rid of the eel,the SMs and the scopus tang.Then get a couple of fish thats more suited for a smaller 29 gallon tank.Take the carbon pad filter your running off and start doing water changes every day to every other day.
    What exactly are your nitrates?
     
    yote, Mar 10, 2009
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  4. littleyea1

    littleyea1

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    what do you mean I'm running a nitrate factory for biological filtration... why is the carbon pad bad.. and I forgot to mention also i have about 25 pounds of live rock ...
     
    littleyea1, Mar 10, 2009
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  5. littleyea1

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    A scopus tang needs a tank 3 times that size. Find it a new home ASAP.

    What Yote means is that a lot of the equipment you are using and things in your tank are creating nitrates, which is why it's not recommended for reef tanks. Small stones as your substrate are trapping detritus, waste and uneaten food and it is rotting, creating nitrates, since your cleaner crew cannot get in and clean the small stones (that's why using sand is recommended).

    An HOB bio filter with carbon pad is trapping the crap that flows through it. Not removing it from the tank, just trapping it on the pad and in the filter, where it decomposes and is washed back into the tank. That's why skimmers are better -- they physically remove the waste (into a collection cup). HOB filters just trap it, and let it get washed back into the tank.

    You have too many fish that are too big for your tank. They are producing more waste than your tank can handle.

    Try these suggestions first: get rid of the HOB filter. Remove the stones and replace it with a shallow layer of sand. Get rid of the tang and a couple other fish, and see what happens with the nitrates.
     
    Bifferwine, Mar 10, 2009
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  6. littleyea1

    Smitty

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    Are you doing water changes with tap water or ro/di water...tap water will test positive for nitrates and phosphates?
     
    Smitty, Mar 10, 2009
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  7. littleyea1

    littleyea1

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    I know I have a big bio load i intended on a large bio load but i would do more water changes and it has worked out fro 2 years.. but im getting tired of it ... thanks for the information on the hob filter cause i never thought about that... tap water by the way should not really test for nitrates my aunt is a water tester for ny and thoguh some people have a little due do wells and what not it really shouldn't for human consumtion ... and ya I use ro water
     
    littleyea1, Mar 10, 2009
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  8. littleyea1

    Teixeira29 Live Rock Fish only

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    I agree with evryone else. You have a huge load in such a small tank. The fish are to big for the tank and they are making to much waste for your system to handle. I would recommend taking some fish and stuff out. They test it again. A big water change wouldnt hurt!
     
    Teixeira29, Mar 10, 2009
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  9. littleyea1

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Yeah tap water SHOULDN'T test for nitrates, but it does, all the time. EPA has limits and standards as to what it should be, but where I live, nitrates are routinely higher than those limits (I think the annual average has to be below that limit, so you can get really high days here and there and still be in compliance). Even without the nitrates, tap water is usually high in phosphates and heavy metals.
     
    Bifferwine, Mar 11, 2009
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  10. littleyea1

    messiah023

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    I test my water here in Florida too.
    Nitrates, Nitrates, Nitrates.

    The Florida Aquifer (where most of us get our fresh water from) has loads of contaminants in it. Most of these contaminates come from fertilizer. Large golf courses (I think we have 1 or 2 in Florida) and planned unit developments (I think we have 1 or 2 of those in Florida too) have lush landscaping, which is fertilized, watered, and runoff into the Aquifer system.

    From a report in 2000 : "“Between 1950 and 1990, Florida’s human population
    more than quadrupled, and our population continues to
    increase,” a November 2000 report from the task force said.
    “Since the 1970s, scientists have documented a decline in
    water quality in most Florida springs, particularly in regard
    to nutrients such as nitrate.”
    Over the past 30 years, typical nitrate levels in Florida
    springs have risen from 0.02 milligrams per liter to 1.0 milligrams
    per liter, according to the report."

    Also, as a Florida resident, if you don't know about the Aquifer, you should read up on it....it's pretty interesting and you may enjoy it. TLC had a 1 hour special a few years ago about it (divers were mapping the cavernous underground rivers).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floridan_Aquifer


    PS...everyone above has you covered! :)
     
    messiah023, Mar 11, 2009
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  11. littleyea1

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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    Check out the tables in this article showing nitrate levels in various city water supplies.
    Reverse Osmosis/Deionization Systems to Purify Tap Water for Reef Aquaria by Randy Holmes-Farley
    From the article:
    "What Contaminants are Present in Tap Water?
    Tap water can contain a variety of undesirable impurities. Some are present in the freshwater source before it is collected by a municipal water supply company. These can include nitrate, phosphate, silica, certain potentially toxic metals (such as chromium), and a variety of organics"
     
    ccCapt, Mar 11, 2009
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  12. littleyea1

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Yeah, it says Phoenix's nitrates can be as high as the mid-30s, and that's the closest city in the table to where I am. I have tested my tap water for nitrates before and they've been in the 40s. That's why I don't understand it when people say "Tap water doesn't have nitrates in it!!" The annual water reports from any major city will show you otherwise.
     
    Bifferwine, Mar 12, 2009
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  13. littleyea1

    dustin_P74

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    im more concerned about cyanide in tap water then nitrates
     
    dustin_P74, Mar 12, 2009
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  14. littleyea1

    jhnrb

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    lOOKS LIKE YOUR COVERED FOR THE QUESTION. NOTHING TO ADD. EVEN IF YOU INCREASE WATER CHANGES IN THE SHORT TERM YOUR NITRATES WILL NOT DROP MUCH VERY QUICKLY UNTIL THE LIVE ROCK HAS LEACHED UM OUT AND SUBSTRAIT ETC. EVENTUALLY YOUR NITRATES WILL COME DOWN, BUT, 1ST YOUR NEED TO LOWER YOUR BIO LOAD ESPECIALLY THE BIG EATERS, IN ADDITION TO DOING MORE WATER CHANGES THE WAY ITS DONE IS IMPORTANT, SUCH AS, THE MORE YOU CAN KEEP OLD WATER DRAINING AND NEW SEASONED WATER REPLACING THE BETTER RESULTS YOU WILL HAVE INSTEAD OF JUST DOING A FREQUENT ONE SHOT DEAL. EASIEST WAY IS TO LOWER THE BIO LOAD. GOOD LUCK. KEEP US POSTED ON YOUR PROGRESS AND HOW YOU RESOLVE YOUR WATER QUALITY PROBLEM. IF YOU WANT TO KEEP A HIGH BIOLOAD YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER A DENITRATOR REACTOR.
     
    jhnrb, Mar 13, 2009
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