Nitrates

boothy106

New member
So I'm a little confused here, I've had a 100g/400L Reef tank set up and established for 2 years. Never had any problems except for 1 round of white spot after about 11month which unfortunately caused 14 fish to die leaving only 4. After almost 13 months of no issues now my nitrates have spiked I think.... I test with API I get 30,i test with sailfert I get 80, red Sea its so high even when diluted I can't tell, tetra I get 50 and the lfs five in total all test different as well. My fish are fine, my inverts are fine (abalone snails are breeding like mad) and my soft corals are thriving. I have a refugium, carbon and dose no pox, fluidised Reactor, uv and even a hydro stream 2, I've completely cleaned and relaid my sump and upgraded my protein skimmer, changed my ro filters and tested it as 0 and done huge water changes but still all tests show different even the lfs is stumped. Surely having 100 or close would cause fish loss or at the very least inverts and corals. Obviously it's not affecting my tank or its inhabitants thankfully but seriously I'm stumped, any ideas?
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
How much Nopox are you dosing now;when did you start? What's in the fluidized reactor? Do you know the PO4 level? Have you checked nitrite and ammonia? A little nitrite might throw off the nitrate test? Sounds like you have removed accumulated detitus.
 

boothy106

New member
I have 0.25 phosphate a little high but I've always had it like that,I have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. I have bio pellets in there at the moment been on about 3/4 months, I use filter floss quite heavily in my baffles of my sump to stop detritus plus have power heads in there. In my tank I have a wp 10 and a maxspect gyre for movement and an orange spot goby that is constantly turning the sand bed over with the other critters. I dose 14ml of no pox daily been doing that for 2 months, also have cheato in my refugium. It's really odd as my softies are loving the tank parameters my xenia has gone crazy recently. What I can't understand is if it is as high as there saying surely the corals would be suffering.
 

Dan_P

New member
Judging colors at the high end of color tests is very difficult, so, I am not surprised that you seem to have different numbers for each test. I would prepare a fresh batch of salt water, test it to see how much nitrate is present, and then use it to dilute your tank water. Mix one part of tank water with 9 parts of new salt water. This should reduce the nitrate level to midscale, i.e., 30 becomes 3. You would do this to confirm just how high the nitrate level is.

Over what period of time did the nitrate climb?
What level was it before becoming so high?
How long has it been at this high level?
When did the sump redo happen relative to the nitrate rise?
 

boothy106

New member
I'll do a water change tomorrow and try that as it stands I've been diluting it with ro water as per the red Sea test kit. They started to climb when I was on holiday for 3 weeks and my step father looked after the tank. I initially just assumed it would have been due to over feeding but they continued to climb even when I took back over. Sump was reorganised and fully cleaned about a month ago now which would be 3 months after the initial rise as I tried no pox and reactors first, to be fair there wasn't much in it. I'll try that test tomorrow during my water change and I'll post the results, thanks for the help
 

Tanthaitrung

New member
How often do you clean your filter floss? What is your skimmer? How many fishes do you have? How many times do you feed your fishes a day? Do you over feed?

I would adjust skimmer to export more, clean the filter floss regularly, vacuum the sand bed when doing big water change.
 

boothy106

New member
I have a bubble magnus curve 5 skimming quite aggressively,i change the floss atleast once per week and the filter sock every 3 days. As for fish I have 1 Arabian sailfin, 1 java rabbitfish both quite large, 3 chromis, 1 dominoe damsel, 1 wreck fish and 1 orange spot goby. I feed shrimp and vitalis grazer tablets twice a day and some slow sinking pellets once but only a pince. Overall the bioload is fine for the size of the tank as its 400l plus a 50-70l sump,with between 90-100kg of fully cured live rock. As for vacuuming the sand bed it's not something I use to do regularly but since it started rising its become routine and with the power heads and the goby not much settles. No fish have died since to outbreak of white spot over a year ago and all the fish were pulled out of anything remained the healthy amount of bristle worms definitely took care of it. I know I keep saying this but wouldn't my corals be showing signs of struggling if they were truly that high? I have sponges, leathers, xenia etc
 

Tanthaitrung

New member
IMO, Curve-5 is not enough for your system. I'm running Curve-7 for my 62G FOWLR tank and Tunze-9430 for my 240G mix reef tank.

You have filter sock, why do you need filter floss? This may cause nitrate problem
 

boothy106

New member
It's rated for a 500l tank and works way better then the stock aqua one protein skimmer that came with it, the sump was designed to have a hang on skimmer so space is a premium. I run floss in between my baffles to stop the movement of detritus in my sump if my sock overflows etc which it never does. Floss isn't in there long enough to cause the problem and its not that much just a small handful
 

Tanthaitrung

New member
Yes, manufacturer rates for 500L but reef tank needs double size even triple. The only manufacturer I know is Buble King, that rates the their skimmers for reef tank
 

boothy106

New member
I always new to go for a slightly bigger one but never thought it would have to be so big. No way it would fit in my sump. I get a good skim off it although I'm running a wetter skim at the moment
 

boothy106

New member
I did the test as stated earlier and got 50ppm with the red Sea, which is middle of the board from the test although this was lighter in colour then the others as they have been quite dark. I've read up a lot of dosing vodka over the last 2 years with many success stories including its use by professionals and not just the hobbiest. Think I may try that as no pox hasn't worked, I found a chart that should make it easier as far as volume to dose goes and for how long.
 
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