should i do something drastic?

str8clownr

New member
my nitrates are at 160
and pH is 7.8

nitrites and alk seem to be ok

its a 65 with a 20 gal sump with small fuge, with borrowed skimmer waiting on a css125

any advice....going out of town soon, need to get a hold of this..

thanks guys
 

chaseracing

Premium Member
Just do a decent water change and add some buffer.

Maybe 10 gal. the first night. Maybe another 5 gal tomorrow. You should be good for a week.

-=E=-
 

Fcataudo

New member
Nitrates 160? Should be lest then 5 if you have coral zero. I would recommend a few water changes and agressive skimming to bring this back in line
 

str8clownr

New member
i have lots of coral, wow, i didnt know that it was that out of line, by aggressive skimming what do you mean, im getting the css125
is there anything i can do to improve the css125?

thanks
 

chaseracing

Premium Member
Most likely the numbers have goneout of ideal range over time. I have learned the hard way, that if you do a DRASTIC water change or chemical change, then you will not have favorable results.

Especially with a Ph shift. Ph can cause all sorts of issues with corals. Do a few 5 gal water changes for the next few days to bring the numbers back in line slowly.

-=E=-
 

drummereef

Team RC
Re: should i do something drastic?

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9813080#post9813080 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by str8clownr
my nitrates are at 160
and pH is 7.8

nitrites and alk seem to be ok

its a 65 with a 20 gal sump with small fuge, with borrowed skimmer waiting on a css125

any advice....going out of town soon, need to get a hold of this..

thanks guys


Need to ask some questions about the system first before dealing with the nitrate level.

1. Do you use bio-balls, sponges, filter floss, socks, or any other biological and mechanical media besides live rock?
2. Do you use RO/DI or Tap water? What's the TDS?
3. Can you please list all your water parameters?

Do not use pH buffers to raise the pH. Safe levels for pH are 7.8-8.5. Your pH will fall after the lights go off and might go as low as 7.8 in many cases. Most of the time depressed pH is due to high Co2 levels in the tank/house. Open some windows in your house and let some fresh oxygen in. This method will help low pH in most cases. Please read the following articles. ;)


Low pH: Causes and Cures
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-09/rhf/index.htm

:)
 

str8clownr

New member
i only use a small piece of filter after the refuge with rubble above it....
i use rodi water, i do not know what TDS is


well i only know it as 7.8 from the lil cheap test strips that you can buy, it closely resembles "7.8"

as far as the others i cant tell right now....

so 5 gal changes every two days? (so i need to add salt to this newly added water right)

i am also battling cyano and used red slime remover two weeks ago
 

drummereef

Team RC
That's the other issue... the method of testing pH. The test strips are worthless, imo. I use a controller so I monitor pH 24/7. The Salifert test kit would be my second choice to a pH monitor. I'd buy a TDS meter and see what your water is after the DI stage. A properly functioning RO/DI will show 0 TDS after the DI stage. I would also recommend getting a Salifert nitrate test kit too. If you are using the strips for nitrate, the test might be off.

I would start doing weekly 15% water changes. Mix the saltwater in a seperate container and allow to mix for 24hrs before doing the change.

Sounds like you might have a low flow issue too if you are battling cyano and the like. How much flow do you have? What skimmer are you running?
 

str8clownr

New member
as of now its some no named skimmer, but a CSS125 will be here tuesday, i have a mag9.5 return with 2 mj1200s and a rio400 in the tank.... one mj has a hydor flo mod.

im thinking maybe an upgrade from a 9.5 to a mag12?
 

drummereef

Team RC
The new skimmer will really help. I wouldn't increase the return flow, just the flow in the display if need be.

What size tank/sump do you have?
 

Im14abeer

BRILLIANT!
IMO the high nitrates and low pH are probably because you just nuked a bunch of organic material in your tank. The cyano was probably fixing that nitrate, and the decomposition probably lowered the pH.

So, my mostly budget friendly plan would be: Start making water, it's hard to dilute away a chemical problem, but a few spaced out 10 gallon changes will let you bring the pH back in line and if you blow off the rocks and do some vacuuming during the water changes, you'll get some of the decay. Cut way back on feeding, especially if you feed the corals. You don't say what you have for flow, but if it's lacking get it up to snuff. That will make the protein skimmer more effective, and help combat cyano. Get a good set of test kits, at least for the important things. Also, some light over the sump, on a reverse photoperiod from the main tank, and a nice ball of chaeto should help. HTH.
 

rkcca

New member
If you have sand, it may be saturated with nitrates and phosphates.

You may want to remove and/or replace your sand. I went nearly bare bottom and my skimmer production declined (less junk) and algae disappeared.

Lots of 25% water changes and your tank will be happier.
 

str8clownr

New member
why would it be a bad idea to upgrade the mag drive? i would figure it would be a better turnover rate?

i have about a 3" sand bed in the display and a 4.5" DSB in the sump/fuge deal....that will be reworked as soon as the skimmer comes in,....

for flow inside the tank what should i go with? any mods i should be aware of?
 

drummereef

Team RC
It is recommended to have 3-5x the display volume for flow through the sump. You'll gain contact time for the skimmer and there are other benefits to your fuge. You should then suppliment the flow in the display. I personally recommend a minimum of 20x flow for the display. More would be better imo. I have 30x turnover in my 40g mixed reef. ;)



Still need to know the size/dimensions of your tank... How many gallons?
 

drummereef

Team RC
Looks like you have roughly 23x turnover then. I would suggest bumping it up. I prefer prop-style powerheads over maxi-jets or any other laminar flow type powerhead. You'll get a lot more dispursed flow throughout the tank without the harsh direct flow of the others. Pick your poison, but I prefer Tunze products. Adding a Nanostream 6045 be a simple fix. ;)
 

hahnmeister

In Memoriam
Flow may be the problem... or the amount of Live Rock... or a combo of the two, since they go hand in hand as far as the nitrogen cycle goes. But if the LR wasnt getting enough flow, you would have high ammonia and trites as well.

You may consider vodka dosing for a bit... just to get things down to where they belong before more stuff dies off. Ive done it before on new tanks to keep the critters safe during breakin. A shot of everclear once every couple days is all I did. Nitrates dropped to 0 from 50 within a week. But the key to the vodka method is to have a skimmer to process the bacteria that the vodka boosts, as these bacteria will contain the phosphates and nitrates you want to remove.

Or, there is a sulphur reactor, but your situation doesnt sound permanent... yet.
 

str8clownr

New member
ok ill try the vodka thing soon enough... is it possible to have too much LR.... i have quite a bit and am thinking that the powerheads' flow that i have in the tank right now are all restricted because of the mass of LR in the tank....
 

drummereef

Team RC
Before you start dosing, I think you need to revisit your test kits. If you are using the strips as you mentioned above you need to either buy a quality test kit (Salifert) or take some water to your LFS to get a second opinion. ;)
 
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