Nitrate control: 24g nano


New member
I have a 24g aqua top system that was set up on January 2nd of this year, so the tank is about 5 months old now.

Params are temp 79, alkalinity 8.0, calcium 430, nitrate 10. Don’t really test for phosphate, pH or Mg

Lighting: Kessil A360we
Skimmer: aquatop nano
Pump: Nero 3
Filtration: sponge in first sump chamber, bio media and about 20 lbs of live rock
Substrate: 1.5” of Carib sea

LPS dom but I want the option to add SPS and I have a monti which is doing well right now.

I dose ESV alkalinity with a dosing pump and ESV calcium manually (for now). Light runs on a sunrise/sunset mode for 10 hours per day. After a week without changing the water, I get nuisance algae on the glass and sand. I’ve been doing 5 gallon water changes once a week since the tank hit 3 months old.

Only fish in the tank are a pair of skunk clowns and pair of bangaiis which are all doing great.

I think it would be fun to plumb a 5 gallon refugium into the tank to control nitrates and phosphates but this might be more trouble than it’s worth. Maybe I should just get a more powerful skimmer.

What are your thoughts?
What kind of specific algaes are you having issues with? Every tank gets algae on the glass, and if it’s only after about a week that’s pretty good in my opinion. As for the sand, generally increasing flow can help.

With that said, when it comes to algae, generally both phosphate and nitrate are contributors and your nitrate doesn’t look bad at all. My guess is your phosphate is either quite high or is actually bottomed out.
With doing approximately 20% water change weekly, not sure the need to dose? Just add a cleaning crew
As Shane mentioned, it would be helpful to know your phosphate reading. I was having the worst cyano problem I've ever had in this hobby a while back. Turns out my nitrate and phosphate were, "out of balance." Both were at zero.

I removed the GFO from my media reactor and started dosing nitrate (yes, dosing nitrate) to bring it up. Since doing so, no cyano problems.

With doing approximately 20% water change weekly, not sure the need to dose? Just add a cleaning crew
I didn’t even think about that. Though I doubt dosing is causing the issues, are you using RODI for the water changes?
I am using 18.20 mega ohm RODI. About as pure as water can get. My alk does decrease enough in a week's span that I need to dose it automatically, which also maintains a stable pH. I should definitely look into my phosphate levels