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Thread: Nitrate Levels

  1. #1
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    Nitrate Levels

    Hello
    I've been battling high nitrate levels for a long time, and I've finally brought them down with plenty of water changes.
    Before, Nitrate levels were at 40-50 ppm, but now they are near 20. Is it safe to start re-populating yet? Should I lower the Nitrate levels even more? Somebody told me anything below 40 ppm is safe. Is this true? Thanks

  2. #2
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    What are you wanting to add?
    Nick

  3. #3
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    Depending on what you want to add, 40 can be too high.

    I would consider refraining for one more maintenance cycle (whether it is weekly water changes, or monthly) and see what happens with your Nitrates. If they stay high, or continue to climb, you might need to change something.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    I have a few fish in mind that I want to add. Maybe a tang (powder blue/kole) or a nice angel. I haven't decided yet, but if 20 ppm is too high, then I'll do a few more changes. I don't want my new fish to die. I'm also thinking of adding a sebae anemone for my ocelaris clown.

  5. #5
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    I would find the source of the nitrate and correct it before moving forward. Water changes may prove to be a "band-aid" cure for the issue that led to the high readings.
    Rob

  6. #6
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Traditionally, both Rob & Cres are dead on the money. But what has been studied on marine life shows that nitrates aren't half as toxic as we were led to belive.

    I totally agree that you should look for a problem, but you may not find one. It could be as simple as you don't have an export method that can keep up to the production. If you want to get to 0ppm, you may be looking at chemical removal.

    This is where my regular speech on setting goals for your tank comes into play (speech #2 I think). If you're only after a couple fish and hardy softies, 20ppm nitrate won't hurt anything.

    It will irrate them somewhat and that may be the straw that breaks the camels back, but the nitrates alone won't harm them. (Avoid nitrate sensitive inverts)

    If you're looking to get tank of the month, or have an awe-inspiring collection of hard too keep coral & other animals, keep looking for that problem, improve your nitrate export, and / or think about using chemical filtration. If this is more where you want your tank to go, you really need 0ppm nitrates.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

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    Adding clams can help too since they can use nitrates as nutrients.
    Nick

  8. #8
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help. What kind of clams?

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    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    The kind with shells?

    Some people buy live clams from the grocery store and stick them in the sump. They are not pretty, but, they do scrub the water of Nitrates.

    Otherwise, you will have to consider your setup and the demands of the given clam. Some demand high water quality and high light, others are more tolerant.

    But, a nice looking clam is nice to have. I'm not sure about the sump loaded ugly ones. ;-)
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member boyohboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cres
    The kind with shells?

    Some people buy live clams from the grocery store and stick them in the sump. They are not pretty, but, they do scrub the water of Nitrates.

    Otherwise, you will have to consider your setup and the demands of the given clam. Some demand high water quality and high light, others are more tolerant.

    But, a nice looking clam is nice to have. I'm not sure about the sump loaded ugly ones. ;-)
    That sump loaded with "normal" clams is interesting... you have some links about it?
    Hardwares: 50G reef tank, 30G sump & ~55lb Indo/Fiji LR. Finnex 36"x4 T5 lights, Coralife Superskimmer 220g, Mag9.5 return and SEIO820+MJ600 PH.
    Corals: zoosss, mushrooms, hammer, torch, fogsprawn, blasto, crocea clam, RBTA
    Fish: Percular clown PJ cardinal, royal gramma, yellow watchman goby, 3x chromis.

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