Nitrate is always high...HELP!!!

sun1914

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peace MR,
hoping you guys can help me out. Running a Oceanic 29g BC modded with InTank media baskets, have Poly Filter, Purigen and Chemi Pure Elite in one basket and looking to add some cheato in the other as soon as I can link up with dubs. Anyway, my issue is my Nitrate, its always high. Ran test today and its about 80 ppm. No matter how many water changes I do its always high.
I got the tank from a friend so I know the substarte is really dirty. I've been blasting it with a turkey baster every other day to get the waste out and hopefully into the filter but not sure what else to do. Doing 5 gallon water changes once a week...should I do a larger water change? Maybe 10-15 gallons?

Fish seem to be doing fine...heres a pick of my tank some far.

2 clowns, 1 Yellow Tail Damsel, 1 Domino Damsel, 1 Six Line Wrasse, 1 Engineer Goby, 3 Emerald Crabs, 1 Hermit Crab, 1 Turbo Snail (had more but think my Emeralds put in some work) and about 10 SandBed Snails. I would say about 25-35 lbs of live rock. Have some huge base rock pieces.
 

lnevo

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You need some large WC like 10g 2x a week for 2 weeks. See where they at after that..if they keep rising to that range they need to look for some other options.

Start with stirring up the sand bed in phases. One corner at a time. Stir it up real good and then start siphoning. Or even get rid of the sand altogethet.

Equipment options...better skimmer, biopellet reactor.

Biochemical options. Vodka or vinegar. Nopox3, prodibio.
 

lnevo

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Dosing vodka or vinegar provides a carbon source to bacteria that also processed nitrates and converts that nitrate into nitrogen gas that is then released by your skimmer. Theres a pretty standard dosing method that you can find if you search for how much vodka to dose. Vinegar is 1/8 as strong so you would adjust accordingly.
 

sun1914

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I need a skimmer. Actually reached out to another member about one earlier today but no reply yet. I'll look up the vodka and vinegar in the mean time.

I have crushed coral which I'm not too happy with. Would like to switch to sand but how do I do that now? Maybe I'll just wait until I up grade to a larger tank.

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sun1914

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trolling through the market place for one now. No responses yet.

Picking up some RO/DI today and will do a 10g water change tomorrow instead of my usual 5g. Im also gonna add some cheato Saturday. Hope that brings it down at least to 20-40 ppm.

I appreciate the suggestions.

What do you guys know about swapping out sand beds? I don't like the look of the crushed coral rather go sand.

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duromega

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your tank is small you can put all your livestock in containers and clean the tank then add rock and then add live sand, fill with your old water and then add your fish
 

sun1914

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your tank is small you can put all your livestock in containers and clean the tank then add rock and then add live sand, fill with your old water and then add your fish
Are you saying in general or for swapping sand?
I would like to be able to do something like that but I don't have another tank or enough buckets to house my fish, live rock and inverts.


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hjp109

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How often do you feed your fish? Maybe you are overfeeding them... which might lead to more waste.
Also, how long have you had this setup? Maybe your tank is still cyclying.. and since your at 0 for Ammonia and Nitrite... IMO you tank it probably at it's last stage of cyclying. Continue with 10 gal water changes.
 

sun1914

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How often do you feed your fish? Maybe you are overfeeding them... which might lead to more waste.
Also, how long have you had this setup? Maybe your tank is still cyclying.. and since your at 0 for Ammonia and Nitrite... IMO you tank it probably at it's last stage of cyclying. Continue with 10 gal water changes.
I've had the tank for about 3 months but it was established way longer than that. I took it over from a friend. Same water and all.

I just looked up feeding and how much I should be feeding and YES, I am guilty of over feeding.
I've been feeding 2 times a day, generously. My 2 clowns and 2 Damsels are beast and rarely let any food hit the ground for the Engineer Goby so I've been adding more. Which is one reason I'm summer my nitrates are so high.

How do u guys feed? (How much and how often?)



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hjp109

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Well there's one of your problem! :) Over feeding. Typically most people feed at most once a day.. or once ever 2 to 3 days.. depending on what you have in your tank. I typically feed, ever other day, but I alternate between frozen stuff and pellets. Again.. you have to keep an eye on your fish.. and if you see them looking skinny.. maybe feed a bit more, but don't over do it. I've done similar mistakes when I started in this hobby about 3 years ago. You'll notice a big difference in your coral/anemones/inverts when you reduce the feeding to every other day... as your nitrate starts to drop. For now, continue with more frequent water changes until you get it down... atleast under 10 ppm. So 10 gal a week for next 4 weeks and then cutting back on your feeding... will help, as well.

And for your goby to get some food.. try to soak some food and then with a turkey baster or something... target feed them at the same time you are feeding your other fish... this way.. they won't come down to eat the food intended for the goby.
 
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duromega

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in general and for swapping the sand

about feeding I feed once a day 2 cubes of frozen food but I have more fish in my tank





Are you saying in general or for swapping sand?
I would like to be able to do something like that but I don't have another tank or enough buckets to house my fish, live rock and inverts.
 

sun1914

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After a 10g water change and shifting live sand very aggressively I got my Nitrate from 80 ppm to 40 ppm which to me isn't a big change accoding to the chart but I'm hoping after another 2 or 3 water changes and feeding once a day it should be under control.
Should be picking up a skimmer later today, I'm sure that will help a lot as well.
 

lnevo

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Do that 2x a week. And feeding every other day will help. 80 to 40 is a significant drop. If you go light on feeding that should be 40-20 next time...
 

sun1914

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I added pods to my sump and my nitrates dropped significantly! I was amazed at the difference...
Pods? newbiw here...please explain.
I don't have a sump running on my Biocube. I did remove the bioballs and modded the tank with the InTank Baskets. Still haven't found a skimmer but I'm working on it.
 

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