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  1. #1
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    stupid high nitrates!

    I've set up my 90 gallon (thanks Tang-Man), but haven't moved the fish over yet. I can't get the nitrates lowered. The tank is full of 75% deionizied water (RO is my next purchase).
    My readings are: pH 8.3 (I need to lower that as well)
    alk 3.5
    nitrites 0
    nitates 40!!!
    ammonia 0
    kH 10

    I've been curing live rock for months now and I haven't feed the tank. What's going on?How can I lower the nitrates? I want to get the fish happy and settled before I go on vaction in a week and a half.

    Help!
    Sara

  2. #2
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    try some macro algae.
    are you feeding the tank anything?
    Albert
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  3. #3
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    I've had macro algea in the tank for a few days now. I have feed the tank a miniaml amount of food to keep the bristleworms happy, but it's a smidge, not even a pinch.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Water changes... and not small ones... Do 30% waterchanges weekly.

    There isn't a fast way to go about it. Patience, waterchanges, and more patience.

    There are products like AZNO3 that reduce nitrates in aquariums, however it's a quick fix that doesn't cure the problem, in the end the nitrates will come back unless you fix the source.

    Likely culprits are overfeeding and not enough nutrient export (ie: skimmer and/or macro-algae)

    Combining all the above will help.
    ie: use a good skimmer, reduce feedings, 30% waterchange, use AZNO3, incorporate macro-algae.... repeat waterchange weekly...
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  5. #5
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    So can I move the fish into the larger tank in the next week, or should I get nitrates down to 0 before I do that? I'd like to move them, as I'll be having people who know basically nothing about saltwater (and don't feel comfortable doing water changes) coming over to feed the fish while on vacation, and I think the larger tank would be more stabile for two weeks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    most fish should be fine with those nitrates, its more of an issue for corals and algae growth.
    try to get the nitrates down as far as possible before you go - at least around 20.
    Albert
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  7. #7
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Also Sara,

    How long are you gonna be gone for and what kind of fish do you have?

    If you're gone for a week only, you could get by having the fish-sitter only come 2 or 3 times to feed the fish. Prepare separate daily portions so that they don't get overfed by mistake and so that you keep nutrient intake at a minimum while you're gone.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  8. #8
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    I'll be gone for just over two weeks, and there will be at least two people taking care of them. There are only two fish (maroon clown and coral beauty), no corals (except for hitchhikers).

    I'm leaving detailed written instruction about how much to feed them, and topoff water. Hopefully it's enough.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Sara

  9. #9
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    I would still leave measured portions of food for daily requirements of the fish. Not everyone's got the same opinion on how much a "pinch of flake" is... Let alone that a person may say... "hmm... he still looks hungry"

    When I go on vacation, I leave daily portions of food labelled Monday Wednesday Friday, etc, in ziploc bags so that there's no mistake to be made. I rather have the peace of mind that comes with that way of doing it.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    30 ppm might be on the high side, but I don't think the fish will even notice. As Alhra said, it's really only a problem if algea is uncontrollable. It makes sense to try to lower them, but don't go crazy and get obsessed about it just before you leave, The tank will be fine until you get back and then can really address the problem.
    Tang man's got words of wisdom, here
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

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