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High nitrates, need a new maintenance plan

Discussion in 'Tank Chemistry' started by fonduecat, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. fonduecat

    fonduecat Copepod

    I found out last week I've been testing nitrates wrong for years. Pretty much since I got my tank. I ignored the length of time I needed to shake the vial of water and solution. I thought it was weird my nitrates were always 0, turns out they are really about 160ppm. Because everything always tested so low I never did a huge amount of maintenance and put it all down as just a stable tank with low livestock and lots of live rock. I've been doing 10% water changes every day/every other day while working to get those levels down. I plan on putting a Protein Skimmer in this week.

    Curious what other things I should do to start getting those nitrate levels down and help keep them down. It's a 30 gallon JBJ rimless tank.

    Only dosing I've been doing is:
    -Kalkwasser in the top off tank
    -Seachem AquaVitro fuel 1/2 times per week
    -Seachem Reef Fusion 1&2 Once a week or every other week

    Salt right now is about 1.021 and temp is stable at 77.
  2. whyamisofly

    whyamisofly Cuttle Fish M.A.S.C Club Member

    Why is your salinity so low? Are you testing with a refractometer or hydrometer?
  3. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Any of the below will help with nitrates.

    - Skimmer
    - reducing feeding
    - more frequent water changes
    - running activated carbon
    - running a refugium
    - manual removal of algae
    - deep sand bed
    - biopellet reactor
    - vinegar/vodka dosing
    - using more live rock

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
  4. fonduecat

    fonduecat Copepod

  5. fonduecat

    fonduecat Copepod

    Thank you! I hope the skimmer will help! I've been working on lowering feeding and feeding frozen shrimp when I do instead of flakes and pellets. I am going to look to see if it's possible to add a refugium to my tank, I know people have.
  6. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Get the salinity up to reef levels if you are keeping coral. Refractometer is a good idea.

    How much live rock and sand do you have? Do you skim?

    You can stop the additives... not only do they probably not work, they are making stuff worse in your case.

    I would keep up on the water changes. They are cheap and easy in a tank that small.... you can change 250 gallons of water for what a single ICP test costs.
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  7. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    As for food, pellets are the best. Soak them first to soften them up. Then only add what the fish will eat before they hit the bottom - that way you are sure that there is no waste. This is not totally necessary in all situations, but it can help you right now.
  8. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Assuming the test was actually accurate. I wouldn't change salinity levels on a tank without at least a calibrated refractometer saying so. I dont trust swing arms.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
    timnem70 and TheRealChrisBrown like this.
  9. fonduecat

    fonduecat Copepod

    Update! Got a protein skimmer in (thanks SUS and 2nd hand Zombie!) Getting is calibrated now but it fits perfect in one of the chambers. Grabbed some more water for water changes and hope to get these levels stable soon.

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