Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > General Interest Forums > The Reef Chemistry Forum
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

User Tag List

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 08/09/2020, 07:52 PM   #1
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
High Nitrates on established tank

I noticed last week that my frog spawn wasn't extending like it normally does. So I checked parameters and all was within range with the exception of nitrates which read 40 ppm.
I have an 80 gallon with a 30 gallon refugium. I estimate with all the live rock and sand I probably have about 80 gallons of water. I've done three water changes (2 15 gallon and 1 30 gallon) in the last week and they still read 40. I added purigen but that did nothing. I'm at a loss at to what to do.
I've checked my RO water and the nitrates were at 0.
I've had a reef tank for 15 years. About 8 years ago I did upgrade my tank and moved some of the sand and live rock to the new tank. Could the nitrates spiking be old tank syndrome?
I've thought about carbon dosing but if there is a better way of reducing nitrates I'd rather do that given I've read bad things can happen with carbon dosing.
Any advice is welcome! Thank you!


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/09/2020, 08:54 PM   #2
Tcook
Premium Member
 
Tcook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 1,350
Do you ever clean/vacuum the sand bed? How deep is it?

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk


Tcook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/09/2020, 09:28 PM   #3
Sk8r
RC Mod
 
Sk8r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 34,511
Blog Entries: 55
Cleaning the sump, if it's collecting stuff, would help. You might need a better skimmer, depending on what you have. Consider refreshing the CUC and maybe feeding a little less for a while. All suggestions in additon to those above.


__________________
Sk8r

Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
Sk8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/10/2020, 12:00 AM   #4
bertoni
RC Mod
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mountain View, CA, USA
Posts: 88,616
I would try running a nitrite test. Nitrite will confuse nitrate test kits. That problem is very rare, but it's annoying to discover that you're trying to solve the wrong problem.

Assuming the nitrite level is zero, I agree that the problem might be organic debris buildup, either in the sump or refugium, or the sand. Coarse sand is more prone to this problem, and crushed coral is terrible, in my experience.

For the time being, since a coral seems to be having trouble, I'd stop feeding for a bit. If there's no debris issue, you might need to consider carbon dosing or adding more live rock to the system.


__________________
Jonathan Bertoni
bertoni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/10/2020, 04:22 AM   #5
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
I vacuum the sand with every water change. It's maybe 2-3" deep in some places. My refugium does have a dsb but I've never vacuumed that.


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/10/2020, 04:29 AM   #6
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
Cleaning the sump, if it's collecting stuff, would help. You might need a better skimmer, depending on what you have. Consider refreshing the CUC and maybe feeding a little less for a while. All suggestions in additon to those above.
I did take out some filter pads that I had in the refugium in the event I had to seed an emergency tank or something. I have a CUC in quarantine right now. I don't want to put them in right now because of the nitrates. I did cut back severely on the feeding and my foxface is not happy with me
I have the correct size skimmer for my tank but I HATE it! It will be running fine then it'll overflow everything right back in the the refugium (of course when I'm not home). So I'll have to unplug it until I have time to mess with it and it could stay off for a day or so. I don't remember the name of it but I got it at Marine Depot and it gets good reviews...not from me though.
So I'm off to do research on a GOOD skimmer


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/10/2020, 04:34 AM   #7
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
Thank you Bertoni..I'll do a nitrite test. Should I replace my sand? I've read that in an old tank the sand will need to be replaced or removed all together (which I'd rather not do due to the livestock).
Shouldn't I have seen some changes in the nitrate results given I did such large water changes?


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/10/2020, 10:12 AM   #8
Michael Hoaster
Registered Seaweedist
 
Michael Hoaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,709
What's going on in your 30 gallon refugium? Get it well-lit and put some macro algae in there. I recommend a combination of fast-growing greens and slower growing reds. Ulva and Grasilaria are two good examples.


__________________
As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
Michael Hoaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/10/2020, 11:54 AM   #9
Sk8r
RC Mod
 
Sk8r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 34,511
Blog Entries: 55
As for skimmers, I have an Eshopps that's performed well. Needs some maintenance right now but that's after years of service, and I haven't angsted over it because I'm cultivating shrooms right now. It did bust my own nitrate problem.


__________________
Sk8r

Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
Sk8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/10/2020, 03:56 PM   #10
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
Really!! It helped with the nitrate problem? Thank you for the recommendation


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/10/2020, 03:59 PM   #11
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
What's going on in your 30 gallon refugium? Get it well-lit and put some macro algae in there. I recommend a combination of fast-growing greens and slower growing reds. Ulva and Grasilaria are two good examples.
The dsb in the refugium has never been vacuumed so I'll try that next. I do have chaeto in there and a light, but it's not the best light. I have a ton of chaeto in my QT but I have a CUC team in there so I will have to wait til the quarantine time is up, which is next week.


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/11/2020, 03:05 PM   #12
bertoni
RC Mod
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mountain View, CA, USA
Posts: 88,616
Nitrate levels can bounce back up rapidly, so depending on how long you waited before measuring, the water changes might not have much effect. You could try a 30% change and then measure immediately. If that doesn't help for a bit, then there might be a test kit problem.

I don't know how coarse the sand in your tank is, but anything above the finest grade can trap a fair amount of debris, and then need changing. Personally, I'd consider this after trying some other measures.

Anything where debris builds up or is filtered aerobically can produce nitrate in the water column. That includes artificial bio-media, like bio-balls and the like.


__________________
Jonathan Bertoni
bertoni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/11/2020, 04:27 PM   #13
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by bertoni View Post
Nitrate levels can bounce back up rapidly, so depending on how long you waited before measuring, the water changes might not have much effect. You could try a 30% change and then measure immediately. If that doesn't help for a bit, then there might be a test kit problem.

I don't know how coarse the sand in your tank is, but anything above the finest grade can trap a fair amount of debris, and then need changing. Personally, I'd consider this after trying some other measures.

Anything where debris builds up or is filtered aerobically can produce nitrate in the water column. That includes artificial bio-media, like bio-balls and the like.
I waited about 20 minutes to retest. I've ordered a Salifert test kit but it hasn't arrived yet (no LFS carry them). The sand is not very coarse (it's Aragonite) and I've been vacuuming it. I did recently get a tiger pistol and he has dug a lot under the live rock that has been there for years. I'm wondering if that hasn't released nitrates in to the water column. I've never used bio-balls as I read they did contribute to increase in nitrates. I just have filter floss in there but it gets changed weekly.
I believe that my skimmer is a big problem. I've been having problems with it for years. It's a Skimz and I hate it. I'm researching a good skimmer that'll fit in to my refugium. I'm currently looking at an Aquamaxx ConeS.
Thank you for your advice Bertoni!


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/11/2020, 05:23 PM   #14
bertoni
RC Mod
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mountain View, CA, USA
Posts: 88,616
You're welcome. I agree that a good skimmer is an excellent investment. The digging by the tiger pistol shrimp could be part of the problem, too.


__________________
Jonathan Bertoni
bertoni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/12/2020, 06:06 AM   #15
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by bertoni View Post
You're welcome. I agree that a good skimmer is an excellent investment. The digging by the tiger pistol shrimp could be part of the problem, too.
Ugh dang shrimp😞 Iím researching skimmers now and poised to do another water change. Thank you all for your help!


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/12/2020, 08:02 PM   #16
bertoni
RC Mod
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mountain View, CA, USA
Posts: 88,616
You are welcome. Good luck!


__________________
Jonathan Bertoni
bertoni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/13/2020, 04:18 AM   #17
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
Thank you�� Retested yesterday and nitrates were down to 20. I did another water change after that. Maybe the water changes, aggressively vacuuming the sand and cutting back on feeding is working���� I also tested nitrites in the event that was affecting the nitrate readings..they were 0.


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/13/2020, 08:21 AM   #18
Sk8r
RC Mod
 
Sk8r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 34,511
Blog Entries: 55
If you do go for another skimmer, get one that produces whipped-cream-like foam, not one that just bubbles. My own rule of thumb is get a skimmer rated higher than your tank size. Double is not too much.


__________________
Sk8r

Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
Sk8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/13/2020, 02:27 PM   #19
Newsmyrna80
Registered Member
 
Newsmyrna80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
If you do go for another skimmer, get one that produces whipped-cream-like foam, not one that just bubbles. My own rule of thumb is get a skimmer rated higher than your tank size. Double is not too much.
Thanks Sk8r, any recommendations for a skimmer? I have an 80 gallon w/ a 30 gal refugium. I was looking at a Red Sea RSK300. Thank you


__________________
80 gal frag with 30 gal refugium, Orphek Atlantik LED, Red Sea RSK300 skimmer, predominately SPS and LPS

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon reef tank with 30 gal refugium
Newsmyrna80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:29 AM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2021 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright ©1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.