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FAQs on Marine Water Quality involving  Nitrate Reduction via Other Biota

Related Articles: Nitrates in Marine Aquariums, NitritesAmmonia, Establishing Cycling, BioFiltrationPhosphate, SilicatesNutrient Control and ExportDeep Sand Beds

Related FAQs: Nitrates 1, Nitrates 2, Nitrates 3, Nitrates 4, Nitrates 5, Nitrates 6, Nitrates 7, Nitrates 8, Nitrates 9, Nitrates 10, Nitrates 11,  & FAQs on: The Actual Science Re: NO3 Compounds, Importance, Measuring, Sources, Means to reduce: NNR (Natural Nitrate Reduction, Anaerobic Bacteria), Algae, Physical Filters, Chemical Filters... NitritesAmmonia, Phosphate, Silicates, Biological Filtration, Fluidized Beds, Denitrification/Denitrifiers, Bio-Balls, Wet-Dry Filters, R.O./Distilled/Treated Water Chemical Filtrants Deep Sand Beds

Shortlist of Nitrate Absorbers/Users/Integrators... Some anaerobic bacteria groups, bunch of thallophytes and some embryophytes, some invertebrates: some protozoans and sponges, many cnidarians

Nitrates:), reef maint.    7/31/08 Hi Bob/Guys hope you are well, I have started reading your sight alot <... no such word> of late and have found it great and informative reading, but however has raised a few questions which I hope you can answer. My set up consists of a 125G tank 30G sump, I have 55 Kilos of Fiji/Tongan liverock , <What is going on with the grammar in this msg.? Do you run your writing through a grammar checker?> Instant ocean 1200 skimmer in sump with a Deltec pump set up for ROWAphos, PolyFilters etc,Deltec Kalk stirrer,wavebox set alternately powering 4 1000lph powerheads <Lots of gear> My tank is just over 2 years old and consists mainly of my favourite stony corals including G.Stokesii,Branching Alviapora,Elegance,Frogspawn and Hammerhead Euphyllia,several Caulastrea,one Acanthastrea and a lovely now softball sized red Closed Brain. I also have several rapidly growing species of Caribbean Gorgonians( strictly Photosynthetic ones of course). Fish include a 5" Zebra Lion, 4" Sailfin Tang, Pair of Leopard Wrasse, pair of Emperor Cardinals,3" Marin Beta. Now to my problem, well actually its only been a problem since reading your site but pretty much from the word go my Nitrate readings have been 30 ppm I do 12% water change per week with r/o and test water weekly keeping a log of readings typically 1.024 salinity 430 calcium 1300 Magnesium 0 phosphate/nitrite/Ammonia KH 10,PH 8-8.3My nitrate has been 30 or sometimes slightly less for well over a year even though I have added no fish or Coral in more than 16 months and to be honest the tank looks great. I understand from a fair bit of research that quite a few stonies like more lagoon like nutrient rich water, <Relatively... yes... and the poritids you have need such... the other Scleractinians fine with this> the question is is this why they all seem to be growing and happy or am I awaiting disaster ? <... no worries> Assuming disaster is around the corner I have 14 x12 x 10 space in my sump which I could either turn into a Mud refuge I think I have read every faq on this site) or I could fit about another 15kilos of rock in the sump. So in short am I playing with fire with nitrates and if so which is best use of the sump in your opinion. Thanks for your forthcoming reply and your great work on this site. <I wouldn't "sweat" the NO3 concentration here... as all is/seems to be functioning fine. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

High Nitrates Hi Bob! <Howdy> I use your brilliant site a lot and have a copy of your excellent book but I can't see anything relating specifically to reducing high nitrate levels. <I need to write, post a definitive series of expository statements re the topic... for marine, freshwater, pond... In the meanwhile, have been accumulating input and archiving it in a couple of FAQs files: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/no3probfaqs.htm and the link at top> Since becoming the proud co-owner of a 75 gallon (98 US gallon) reef tank 6 months ago, things have been going quite well. The water levels are all fine (ammonia 0, nitrites 0, phosphates 0, SG 0.123, pH 8.2, dKH 12, calcium 400) except the nitrate level. No matter what we do, we just can't seem to get it below 80ppm (I can see you thinking "yikes" as I write!) <Yes...> After reading some info on your site we started using PolyFilter alongside our other filtration methods (Eheim biological filter, Eheim canister filter with activated carbon, phosphate and nitrate medium, protein skimmer and UV sterilizer) but the levels will not budge. <Time for more action in the "opposite" (denitrification) reaction series... Do read through the other links on the FAQs file above... on the use of macro-algae, DSBs, denitrification, live rock...> The fish, corals and invertebrates all seem happy enough and, in fact the Goniopora corals (yes, I know these are not a good choice but did not find that out until after we bought them, having consulted your site) appear to be thriving! <Yes!!! This is their "natural" setting... that is, they do appreciate higher soluble organic, inorganic "fertilizer"... This is the principal reason most folks have such dismal success in keeping "flower pot" corals... their systems are "too clean".> Is there anything you can recommend to help us reduce the nitrate levels back to <10ppm?.  <All sorts... as stated above... please follow the links, parts of the site listed as you read through the various FAQs... a sump/refugium that is lighted, with macro-algae... would be ideal... but/and there are other approaches to augmenting uptake, biological denitrification that are worthwhile> We have since realized that we have overstocked somewhat and are working on getting a 200 (UK) gallon aquarium ASAP to alleviate this and I suspect this could be contributing to the high nitrate levels. <To an extent, yes> I won't list our entire livestock here as I don't want another "yikes" - one is reprimand enough! :-) <Yikes! Sorry.> Meantime, I would be very grateful of any assistance you could provide to reduce our nitrates for the time being until we are able to get the new tank. Keep up the good work and thanks! <Will endeavor/endeavour to do so.> PS my husband loves scuba diving too! Lesley <Brrrrr, hopefully in the tropics, not just "off the coast"! Bob Fenner>

High Nitrates, Large Letters  I have a 55 gallon salt water tank fish only, nitrate levels are at 140ppm. Running a small wet and dry filter, protein skimmer, Eheim canister, 4lbs of carbon., 50% water changes every four weeks and nitrates are still at high levels. Would adding live sand and bio balls help? <Yes to the live sand... no to bioballs... Do consider more live rock, macro-algae, possibly adding a refugium... maybe with a plenum there... increasing aeration, ditto Redox by ozone, uv use... Take a read over the Nitrate area on the www.wetwebmedia.com site> Thanks Louis I was not aware that caps meant I was shouting sorry was not meant that way. <Oh, and not to worry. Not admonishing you (have mercy!), but the "shouting" term is Net-parlance... Appreciate the re-keying... much easier to read. Bob Fenner, the bleary-eyed pet-fish man>

Live Rock, Nitrate I am very new to saltwater tanks, and I have a few questions. <Okay> First off I have a acrylic hexagon tank (about 18 gallons) with one porcupine puffer, about 4.5 inches long, and one blue damsel. The porcupine puffer is a very messy eater and the damsel doesn't seem to help much. <Not "its" job> Do you know of any small scavengers that wouldn't be eaten by the porcupine puffer? <Not really... in this setting... the size, shape of the tank... are too limiting... it's too small for the puffer alone in reality> I have about 1.5 pounds of live rock. I was wondering if it really does remove nitrate from the water, and if you would recommend getting more live rock. At what nitrate level do you recommend doing a partial water change? Thanks, Ariel <More live rock would help, and I would do regular water changes (likely 20-25% every two weeks, with pre-made water... Please read over the following parts of our website on water changes, puffers...:http://wetwebmedia.com/diodontpuffers.htm, http://wetwebmedia.com/water.htm And live rock, nitrate FAQs...
Bob Fenner>

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