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  1. #1
    Senior Member ABahn's Avatar
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    NItrate levels in a Reef Tank

    Roll over from other posting......same one...

    Q1)
    Just got a nitrate test kit from AC, and tested my water to approx 1ppm. Did a water change (5-7%) and re-tested at 0.5ish ppm. Also did some reading on this to see what the sought after levels in a typical reef tank would be. There was some variance, but the general consensus seems to be either less than 1ppm (RHF on RC) or simply undetectable.

    WHat I found interesting are thoughts that suggest that some corals may seem to do better with some nitrates present, dont recall exactly where I read this.

    Anyway, I would like to hear from some reefers on where they keep there levels, and what nitrate reduction method they feel works best for them, i.e. skimming, NNR, chems, etc.

    POssibly a poll somewhere in here....

  2. #2
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    Rolling over from the other thread:

    Personally i use Macro Algae to soak up my nutrients as well as live rock and a DSB to reduce Nitrate. it is usually around 1ppm when i test for it, but i dont think it has a negative effect on anything
    Albert
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  3. #3
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    This was Vjvl51's post on the other thread: (now we have everything here where we left off)

    Abhan, I try to keep my nitrates as low as possible. I have also read that some corals as well as clams prefer some nitrates in the water. I look at nitrates in the same way as phosphates. You can have 0 phosphates and algae because the algae is using the phosphates before you test for it. What I see in my testing for nitrates is the excesss that my present bio-load does not require. If the nitrates start to climb like when the phosphates start to climb, to me, it is a sign that a water change is needed with a clean up of debris.

    Vickie
    Albert
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    The first couple years I kept my nitrates at about 1.5 or below. Lately I've been letting them go up to about 7 and have found that not only are the clams happier but the whole tank. I don't have any problem algae either. I really think it helps to have some nitrates.
    Susan

  5. #5
    Senior Member ABahn's Avatar
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    Thats amazing Suzan. Thanks for the feedback. I'm not surprized that the clams like it, but why not the ALGAE!!!!

    NOT FAIR

  6. #6
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    It's a mature tank, when it was younger I had algae problems like everyone else, even though the nitrates were lower then.
    Susan

  7. #7
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    Phosphates are the REAL food for micro algea- I have to admit that Iv'e never tested for no3 in my current reef- of one year- I use a dsb, plenum and macro algea to help control them- even though Iv'e never tested........maybe I'll do a test and get back to ya!
    Matt.

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

  8. #8
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    To add to the above posting - my nitrates normally run about 0.2. I haven't tested for nitrates in a few weels (that same time that I stopped testing for ammonia and nitrites) as everything has been steady for months. I had stopped worrying about nitrates not being 0 since reading that many corals and clams use nitrates as food and was mainly looking for a change in the amount of nitrates. I would assume, like any food, excess is not good and would do a water change if the nitrates had showed a sharp increae. I've never had nitrates as high as Susan (that I know of) which could be a result of the water changes to lower the phosphates.

    I agree with Reefmutt - phosphates is the real problem area. Since I feed phyto daily, I'm hoping that eventually I will have enough macro algae/mangroves to keep the phosphates low enough for the corals.

    Vickie

  9. #9
    Senior Member ABahn's Avatar
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    Ah finally the ReefMutterator speaks!

    Thing is, I've checked Phosphates a few times and found all readings to be zero. Perhaps phosphates are more present following a feeding? OOPS, better start another Phophates Thread!

  10. #10
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    your phosphates could also be testing at 0 because it is already locked up in your algae or even live rock/sand. if you have no algae problems, then you may not have a phosphate problem.
    Albert
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