Protein Skimmer On the way - nitrates

schnebbles

New member
I am having high nitrates, I am running a canister which I've been cleaning with my weekly water changes so far. I don't have a lot of bio media in it, I do have sponges which I may remove eventually but they helped clear my initial water being cloudy.

The skimmer won't help with nitrates will it? I have probably 30# of live rock and 10# that started out dry. Tank is pretty new and I used bio spira and ammonia to cycle it. I probably should have changed out more water before I put any fish in.

I have 2 small clowns and and a 3" midas blenny. No ammonia or nitrite. I think I'm just waiting on my bacteria to build. I'm still adding stability almost daily just because I have it.

I am trying to feed as little as possible. I put some corals in and I'm concerned that if I don't get the nitrates lowered I'm going to lose them.

How much water is safe to change? I've done 10% and it's not enough. My mom says her fish lady says to keep old water but she was having problems with nitrites, somehow her tank wasn't fully cycling. I think I'm fine to go ahead with bigger ones, do you agree?

I have a reef octopus hob on the say- no sump. No room or I'd have a sump.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
The skimmer won't remove nitrate, but it will remove organics that can be processed into nitrate, so better skimming sometimes helps. That fish load probably is fine, but the sponges might produce some nitrate. I might consider removing them, although they might need to be phased out gradually. How much food is going into the tank per day, by volume, and what types? What kinds of corals did you add? Soft corals won't care about nitrate.

I think the Reef Octopus skimmers get decent reviews, but we have very little useful data on skimmer performance. You might want to ask in the equipment forum about that setup.

Have you measured the nitrite level recently? Nitrite will confuse nitrate test kits.
 

schnebbles

New member
my nitrite is zero. The skimmer will probably help a bit it sounds like. I can get rid of the sponges most likely, my water is crystal clear.

I don't know the volume of food, I cut up tiny pieces of frozen. I suspect it's probably too much though and I should try to make it less. The fish seem so hungry, but they are good fakers, that's how fish are. I have 3 types of frozen, brine shrimp, reef plankton and formula 2 i believe. a bit of each.

I have some hard corals too, I'd have to see what types they are. I went on a spree ordering and I was just looking at "easy/moderate". I have a lobo and a pavona, some zoas, a monti cap and some of the flat mushrooms and a duncans. I know, I didn't plan out my tank. Probably not the best idea. I just got what I liked.

I'm dying for a tuxedo urchin and I know he won't like nitrates.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
You could try a ¼ inch cube of food per day, and cut down from there as needed. Fish will beg for food endlessly. :)
 

Joey_bananas420

New member
I would ditch the canister. They are notorious nitrate factories. Keep the particulates in suspension so your new skimmer can pull them out the system rather than collecting them inside your system. Cleaning a canister every week just isn't feasible. The easier maintenance is the more likely you will do it. More live rock and that hang on the back skimmer maybe some marine pur or something similar will perform much better just keep the flow up inside your tank no dead spots.
 

schnebbles

New member
Thank you.

I got the skimmer going today, did another 10% wc tonight. I can do bigger next time, I had already mixed up my 10 gallons which is about 25% - I did vacuum a little better this time, had been just skimming the surface.

I'm shaving off a tiny bit of frozen food, not much, I've decreased it.

So, am I ok with no filter? Just the skimmer? I thought I needed something. I'd love to be rid of it. Thought of a HOB Aquaclear instead.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
A skimmer and live rock should be fine. The canister filter would be fine for running carbon or GFO, if you'd like.
 

Joey_bananas420

New member
Yea canister filter isn't needed whatso ever. Like bertoni said you can run some carbon and gfo in it but get rid of the mechanical filtration part of it. nobody wants to clean pads in a canister filter every few days which is what's required to keep them clean. I clean my filter sock everyday if I miss a couple days it's disgusting. Lol.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
If the canister has a lot of biological media in it, you might want to phase it out gradually, to avoid any possible ammonia spike.
 

schnebbles

New member
it doesn't and I'd just cleaned it a few days ago. Hardly any media in it because I read it was a trap.

I'm still having nitrate issues - they are probably 20ppm. I know it's not terrible but not where I want them.

I am contemplating this product, but not sure if it's a great idea to start with stuff like this when I should be able to get them down with water changes. I really don't think I'm overfeeding.
The skimmer isn't getting really nasty, the color looked kinda like light pee and not at all brown.


http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/red-s...paign=specials&utm_content=blackfriday_112116

Oops - I just noticed someone upthread recommended this product. I get a little leary of dosing things but I may try this. BRS has it on sale.
 
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bertoni

Premium Member
That product should be fine. There's a DIY recipe available if you'd like to save some money. It contains ethanol and vinegar.
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
A canister filter is fine for moving water and treating it with things like GFO, GAC, purigen, polypad, cuprisorb etc. I've used mine for many years without media or sponges on a 65 gallon which houses leathers, discoma ,. xenia and gorgonia.

These filters also provide surface area in high flow for ammonia oxidizing bacteria to colonize when media and/or sponges are used. While these surfaces afford very good ammonia reduction it leads to NO3 as part of the process. So, removing the media and the sponges may lead to an ammonia spike. Removing them gradually,as others noted , will allow bacteria on the live rock and other surfaces if available to grow and oxidize the ammonia in proximity to anaerobic areas ( low oxygen /low flow areas) which are needed for the bacteria to take the oxygen from nitrate, leaving N ,some of which binds with other N and leaves the tank as N2 gas.

The skimmer is a good add,IMO. It improves aeration,gas exchange and takes up amphipathic organics and the nutrients they hold. GAC also takes out organics.
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
The NOPOX is a way to dose organic carbon which feeds heterotrophic bacteria that take primarily ammonia for nitrogen without oxidizing it to nitrate;these bacteria also consume other nutrients, most notably inorganic phosphate. The bacteria and there byproducts are organics which can be skimmed out . Personally, I use vodka and vinegar .
 

schnebbles

New member
I have read a little about carbon dosing, so this NOPOX is basically the same thing? I will probably try to figure that out when this stuff is gone.

I should have posted about it. I know there are tons of threads but I get confused on all the chemistry.

I'll check my ammonia tomorrow and keep an eye on it. I'll plug the canister back in w/out the sponges. I do have carbon in it.
 
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