High Nitrates

nycfishy

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Just got red sea nitrate kit, tested and the results were so high I had to go with dilution method. Long story short I've got over 64 PPM tested again to confirm as the results really surprised me. Dug out an old expired API kit and that read something closer to 10 ppm. So have 2 questions, how is it possible for the 2 kits to be that far off? Do reagents really expire and become inaccurate?
and more importantly, what do I do to get Nitrates under control.
I had low Alk levels and have slowly been raising them but stupidly assumed my nitrates were fine (till tonight).
alk, ca, and mg all slightly low but within 10% of optimal.
API kits shows 0 ammonia and nitrite
PH with hanna meter was .08 yesterday before I changed out GFO and carbon.
last water change was about 3 weeks ago.
thank in advance
 

nycfishy

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I some ceramic bioshperes in the backchamber, could those be contributing to high nitrates? I had added them months back with the intent they would help control it better.


Also with the API kit results, would an older expired kit give much lower results or are they just very inaccurate compared to red sea kit?
 

piranhapat

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First thing what are you using for your bio load. LR ect. Ceramic biospheres will help your nitrates. How old has your system be running. Nitrates are coming from over feeding. Bad skimmer and not doing weekly or monthly WC. Over stock tank. You don't have to worry about having low nitrates unless you have SPS coral. Fish only just do some WC and cut back your feeding. You can add some bacteria help biospheres break down nitrates. Need more information.
 

nycfishy

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I've got about 20-30 pounds of pukani live rock in the tank. Systems has been running about 24 months. Possible I am overfeeding. Skimmer is OK, largest I can fit in the back chamber. I want to keep SPS and have not been able to very interested in getting nitrates down.
Would do carbon dosing but some concern about skimmer being able ot keep up.
 

BKLYNREEF123

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API kits are just not very good, even brand new. It's tempting to believe the lower reading, but I would put my money on the Red Sea kit. I would look into a bigger HOB that can keep up with your bio load. Speaking of which if worst comes to worst you may have to lower the bio load.


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nycfishy

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fish wise a have pair of clowns, a diamond goby, dotyback, blood shrimp, 3 small chromis and a yellow wrasse. Some assorted snails, crabs, a serpent star and a banded star.
 

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