Zero Nitrates

essop3

New member
We've been awful slow on here lately. With our meeting a month away I thought we could use a good debate.

I tested my water the other day and had zero nitrates, as always. It got me to wondering how. I'm kinda lazy about water changes so I don't think that's doing it. I'm gonna list facts about my tank and you tell me what you think.

125g tank with 30g sump
15 gallon refugium with chaeto/feather calupra lit 24/7
660w of VHO (I do need new bulbs)
Use RO/DI for top offs and water changes
changed ~70g in 2007 (told you I was lazy)
3" DSB
~225# live rock
I feed macro from the fuge, nori on rare occasions (~1 sheet month) Average 1.5 cube of mysis per day

Fish stock:
6" foxface
5" purple tang
2- false percs
royal gramma
spotted mandarin
bangaii cardinal
Yellow watchman goby

Cleaning crew:
many many mixed hermits & snails
Huge brittle star
serpent star
1 skunk cleaner
a few peppermint shrimp
a few emerald crabs

So what do you credit my zero nitrates?
 

essop3

New member
Aquarium pharmacuticals test kits. I've also used Red Sea.

DSB was setup Jan 2004. I try to reseed it annually.

Skimmer is ETSS Reef Devil ran with a Mag 7. It skims about 1 cup a week.

Flow:
Mag 9.5 return
Sieo 620
Sieo 820
3 maxijet 900 for a total flow of 3080 gph plus the skimmer if you want to count it.
 

coralreefer

No Pistons
LOL I thought I replied yesterday.
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10451344#post10451344 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by essop3
I'll get this stirred up...

I think it's the DSB that keeps the nitrates down!
I agree 100%. I think it's sinking nutrients just it's suppose to do for now. :D

My turn to stir.
How do you know when to recharge other than just doing it every however many months?
Do you think you'll see the same results 2-3 years down the road?
 

essop3

New member
If the theories I've read hold true it should still work years from now. I'll be screwed if not huh :)

I think most DSB that fail aren't done right. Sand that's too shallow, stiring, wrong sized/type sand all are mistakes. Being setup in smaller tanks is a usual fault too.

Since most of the life that makes the sand bed work isn't seen I just do it on a regular basis. I think if you see signs then it's already pretty depleted.
 

coralreefer

No Pistons
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10451891#post10451891 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by essop3
If the theories I've read hold true it should still work years from now. I'll be screwed if not huh :)
If the theories I've read hold true you might be screwed in a year or so ;)

Keep in mind I don't doubt at all that a DSB works but I've never seen scientific evidence they work the way some folks, like Dr. Ron, say they do.
I think most DSB that fail aren't done right. Sand that's too shallow, stiring, wrong sized/type sand all are mistakes. Being setup in smaller tanks is a usual fault too.
Yep sand should be at least 3-4" otherwise it ain't a DSB just a pile of sand. I consider 1" or less to be a SSB.
Don't agree with the stirring. Several successful (longer than 5 years) DSB keepers stir and vac their sand on a regular basis. BUT they did it from the beginning. I wouldn't recommend stirring an established bed.
Proper sand is needed.
IIRC a standard 29 gallon footprint is the minimum size Ron recommended for a DSB. That may have changed in the last couple of years.
A lot of failures didn't follow the recommendation to restock their sand "critters" like they should either.
Since most of the life that makes the sand bed work isn't seen I just do it on a regular basis. I think if you see signs then it's already pretty depleted.
I agree. There use to be a lot of debate on how to tell when it was needed. FWIW at one point Dr. Ron recommended examining your sand with a microscope every few months.
 

Boca Kris

New member
I've also yet to see any nitrates in my tank either. I have a DSB, and am steadily increasing my bioload (very very slowly) so hopefully its a matter of my tank adapting to the environment. I also am not running a sump or refugium. My tank is only 55g so that might have something to do with it. Anyway, good luck with your tank, I hope it stays healthy for ya!
 

Boca Kris

New member
I dont know him...but Im not sure I would miss his postings! Ha ha! I'm still new....I guess I still have alot to learn.
 

firefish2020

New member
I dont know him...but Im not sure I would miss his postings!

Well let me introduce you.
Matt is the primary reason the CVRC exists :) He knows more about the hobby than anyone I have met so far but unlike the "experts" he does not act like it and thats rare in this hobby :thumbsup:
 

firefish2020

New member
Not really, I like BB because I can throw a lot of flow into the system. But if you look at the new 150 display at the shop you will be surprised SAND! What? Yep I put a small layer of sound in there just enough to give it a nice natural look, same thing I have at home. The flow kicks it all around here and there but it settles into natural valleys and hills. The only reason I like BB is the maintenance factor, in the systems I have used it on before I have had no nuisance algaes from day one, but a little glass cleaning don't hurt so I'm ok with a little sand.
 

MattG

Premium Member
That is too kind Ron. Luckily, we have lots of knowledgeable folks in the area including everyone on this thread. Well except for Boca Kris since I don't know him :lmao: . Just giving you a hard time boca.

I do like a Barebottom :D or SSB because the corals I'm interested in keeping seem to fair best with them. I would consider a DSB if I was interested in certain critters. Fortunately I'm not :lol:
 
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Boca Kris

New member
Ha ha!! I'm already getting smarter! Though Im not even sure on the technical differences in DSB's & SSB's! I went with what they recommended when I bought all my stuff. My tanks only a few months old, and its my first one...so, I guess so far so good! :)
 

firefish2020

New member
Boca, in time you will find that each tank is like a snowflake, they are all different. Many variable come into play in tanks. What works for one may not work for others. Remember more than anything else, deep sand beds, shallow sand beds, T-5s, Halides, whatever, the one thing you need to learn about and achieve is balance. Once your system finds it's perfect balance point and can maintaine it easily you will have a great tank and great success.
It will be a long road filled with many trials and errors but you will learn from your mistakes as we all do and one day you will be giving personal advice to new reefers.
 
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