55 gal set up question?

motorbikemike

New member
I have a 55 gal tank that has been running for about a year and a half. all the life in my tank seems to do fine but I get a reading of around 20 or so on my nitrate. I have about 75 lbs of LR and 4 inch deep base of LS. I am also running a Berlin XL skimmer.

My question is do you think my wet/dry is where the prob is. I have heard that you dont need bio balls if you have LR and LS. I did a test on my tank today and here is how it came out.

PH 8.0
Ammonia 0.15
Nitrate 20
Cal 330

I dosed for the Cal so that should come up in the next few days.
Thanks
Mike
 

mg426

New member
Are you using RO water ?? have you tested your source water for nitrates ?? might want to try that just to mabe pinpoint the source. If that checks out ok I would look at your Bioballs. also anything but zero as far as ammonia is less than ideal.
 

motorbikemike

New member
I do use RO and I mixed up some water and checked it and it said 0 nitrate, 0 ammonia and a PH of 8.0 I have been using Tropic Marin sea salt. Is there any thing else I can check?
Thanks
Mike
 

MCary

Premium Member
Yes your wet dry is the problem. Remove all the bioballs and any other sponges or pads and just use the wetdry as a sump. With a deep sand bed and liverock your nitrates should fall.
 

IslandCrow

Reef Monkey
Premium Member
I've heard the same thing about wet/dry filters. . .definate nitrate factory. What I've also heard is to remove any bioballs slowly to make sure your tank is able to pick up the additional bio load on its own. I also just recently started running a cartrige filter with carbon, and I've finally gotten my nitrates down from 10-15 ppm to nearly 0. Now, my tank's only 7 months old, so it could be cooincidence, but it's sold me on using carbon to supplement skimming.
 

logans_daddy

New member
DEFINITELY remove them slowly....i found this at the hard way....but luckily didnt lose any livestock. i agree with the sump....the only thing i would do differently is add some sort of macro algae....chaeto being the preferred. you can get chaeto...a nice 75wPAR 30 light bulb and fixture for about $20 total. when i added chaeto with 12hrs of lighting my nitrates went from 30-40 to undectable. i dont think you need anything more than some LR rubble in your sump if you have LR in your display tank.

shawn:bum:
 

motorbikemike

New member
wow this is a great forum!! I will start to remove the bio balls slowly tonight. I have alot of them in my sump (60-75) how many should I take out at one time?

Thank you all very much for the help!!

One other thing I want to ask is what salt seems to be the best on the market now? I have been using Tropic Marin since day one but I can not find it local any more. I dont mind paying more for good salt.

Mike
 

logans_daddy

New member
i think its a personal preference....but i think instant ocean and reef crystals are two of the most popular/affordable/quality brands.

shawn:bum:
 

MCary

Premium Member
Reef Crystals is just Instant Ocean with a little extra calcium. I use it and have had no problems. I guessing the other stuff works great too.
 

motorbikemike

New member
I will look for reef crystals locally to see if I can get it.

How about the bio ball? How many should I take out per night?

Thanks for the Salt tip!!
Mike
 

logans_daddy

New member
i would take out a handful and monitor your nitrates. however, what you can do mike, is go ahead and convert your wet/dry to a sump and just let your bioballs float around the sump and slowly remove them over time. this way you have the macro and dsb absorbing your nitrates as you remove the balls. the reason you dont want to remove them all at once is because your also removing beneficial bacteria, but if you use this method you will reap the benefits almost immediately. good luck.

shawn:bum:
 

logans_daddy

New member
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