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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So some how i lost one of my bottles of api nitrate test. My tank (125 gal) has been up for a 1 1/2 years. water changes were very seldom like maybe 4 small changes in that time (i know bad but that is why im changing my ways). i always tested the water and it allways showed 20 ppm. I have now bought a red sea test kit and have been doing water changes again. after a few water changes i tested it and it was 60 ppm :O . i then did a few more water changes and ran the water to the lfs to use her api test kit. it once again tested at 15-20 ppm. is there really that big of a difference in those test kits. and which should i believe, my fish seem fine and my corals are ok even the birdsnests and monti seem fine. Any help will be appreciated. Water changes on a 125 are a pain... cant wait till i have my own place and can design a easy water changer.
 

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how much water do you change out when you do a water change? Maybe doing smaller changes would be easier...

To answer the question, personally I think 20 is bad for nitrates, 60 is horrible, so either way it is not good. Might want to look at a more long term solution. Perhaps a skimmer or different substrait or more flow or different filter material.... something needs to change. Can you post some pics or better description of your system so we might be able to find the root of the nitrate issues?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I change about 5 gallons every other day atm at least till they get lower. i have a fine sand that in most parts of the tank is 3-4" deep 170 lbs of rock and just switched a few weeks from a cpr double bak pak (which was horrible) to a BH-300 octopus which is great it works 5x as well. also have a penguin wheel on the back i know its fresh water tech but it has the carbon in it and is easy to replace. looking to getting maybe a second smaller octo skimmer. one problem is that the house i live in isnt mine so i cant get a ro/di unit so i have to make trips to walmart to get 10 gallons of ro water... if there machine is ever running....
 

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5 Gallons every other day isn't doing you much good. I would starting doing 15-20% every three days until you see you Nitrates at an acceptable level. If possible, go to an LFS and get there RODI water. You can still hook up an RODI unit where your at, it will just need to be a portable setup that attaches to the facet.
Are you running a sump or is that new skimmer also a HOB?
What does your water circulation consist of?
How may fish do you have in your tank?
How often and how much do you feed?
 

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5 Gallons every other day isn't doing you much good. I would starting doing 15-20% every three days until you see you Nitrates at an acceptable level. If possible, go to an LFS and get there RODI water. You can still hook up an RODI unit where your at, it will just need to be a portable setup that attaches to the facet.
Are you running a sump or is that new skimmer also a HOB?
What does your water circulation consist of?
How may fish do you have in your tank?
How often and how much do you feed?
+1 5 gallons every other day isn't going to make a dent. Also try to get some live plants like chaeto, they are great nitrate reducers naturally and a couple handfuls of that stuff can make a huge difference, not to mention the pods you could produce. Look into a hang on fuge if you don't have other room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
one of the things on my list is to set up a sump/refuge or hob refuge. Ill try to start hitting the water changes hard. For my stock i have 2 clowns, 4" lunar wrasse, 4.5" powderblue tang, six line wrasse, 3" domino damsel, albino watchman goby (looks like a watchman but not sure) and i think that is it besides the few 100 crabs, snails, brittle stars, oh and some sps, lps, shrooms, and a rasta leather. Just tested with the red sea pro again and get somewhere between 32-45 ppm so guess im gonna believe that. also what do you guys think of vodka dosing. been looking into it and thought that if i did that plus the water changes it might knock it down. also if any of you have done it did you follow the guidelines on the web cuz i thought maybe cutting the dose in half as to not trully relly on it and more on water changes but if it helps it start lowering it that would be great. thanks so far you folks are allways a ton of help. still feel like a new reefer even after a year and a half...
 

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Do a ton of research before starting vodka dosing. there are a few threads on here and on RC that have a lot of good information in them. Personally, I would set up a sump/ Refuge with a good skimmer and some macro algae before starting the vodka dosing. Even set up a Bio Pellet reactor. You would be much better off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yea i would love to add a fuge not only for water quality but also as a place for some cool shrimps (lunar wrasse would have an expensive meal) but the problem is the cash. College student who drives 44 miles one way every day so not much on the money side. plus live with wifes parents and they are already afraid my tank is gonna break the floor. should be saving for my own place instead of buying for my tank but im so addicted. I will also take your advice about research. i study everything on the web about my tank. its one of my favorite parts of the hobby.
 

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Refugeum with a mad pile of chaetomorph in there would be good. I ran a penguin biowheel on my 75 gallon for 8 years strait without a skimmer for most of that and never had detectable nitrates even once, so the filter cannot be all that bad, it is actually still on the tank, but the tank has nothing in it other than the original sand bed and some live rock right now. I never ran much carbon or anything other than purigen. A small biopellet reactor might be a wise investment for your system also. 3-4" deep substrate might be the root cause of the nitrate issue, that is a bit deep IMO, increasing water flow inside the tank can help, epspecially if you have issues with gunk getting stuck inide the liverock. I know most of my tanks do not have enough flow in them. Could you get your wrasse to leave any naussarius snails alone long enough for them to cultivate some O2 down into your sand bed? might help. A true DSB is 6-8" deep with lower flow and can help similar to a bio-pellet reactor or vodka dosing by encouraging sulfer reducing bacteria in anoxic conditions. Might be something that could happen in a refugeum with chaeto in it.. :3195: .. Budgets are a tough thing for reef tanks. I know, I am on a tight one with a big tank. Chaeto is the cheapest thing, don't look pretty in your display nessesarily though. Bio-pellet might be a worth while investment for you, much more so than another skimmer or sump. Sumps are over-rated... I have a 5 foot wide one, don't do anything good. Don't even have my skimmer in it right now lol.. anyway, Best of luck.
 
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