Help Reducing Nitrates

Discussion in 'General Reef Discussion' started by H2OHOH, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    21,344
    My fish only tank tends to run about 100 PPM Nitrates or more (test only goes that high - Salifert), after a water change about 50PPM. I have about 600 gallons of water, filtration inlcudes:
    - 120W UV
    - 20 x 20 x 15 of bioballs and a gallon of Marine Pure balls
    - 4 of the big blocks of Marine Pure in sump
    - Running 2 x Reef Octopus 1000SS Bio Pellet Reactors
    - Running 2 x BRS jumbo reactors with Rox carbon and GFO
    - Reef Octopus 8000 EXT skimmer

    I do frequent 150-180 gallon water changes, every 2-3 weeks and my nitrate levels still seem to creep up. I feed probably 5.5 days a week, and I wouldn't say super heavy...I have dialed that back. I don't want to keep doing bi-weekly water changes.

    Any ideas?

    On my skimmer, is it better to run more water with a higher standing water level in the chamber, and open the gate up more for more flow...or lower water level with more closed out flow? Do I need to run it 24/7? It gets cleaned once a week. Gets pretty dirty.

    I also have room, I cound add ATS or cheto.

    Would appreciate any insights!
     
  2. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
    Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    New Richmond, WI
    Fishies collected:
    47,223
    I have often struggled with higher nitrates and it's mostly due to overstocking my fish population and feeding. I never reached your levels, but I tried just a couple of methods to reduce the nitrate levels before I found what seemed most effective.

    I added two of the MarinePure bricks and seeded them with cultured bacteria.
    I didn't see much reduction in nitrates with the MarinePure blocks. After I sent a water sample to be tested, I found out my aluminum levels were terribly high so I removed the blocks.

    I've never tried bio-pellets.
    If you're using bio-pellets, I believe that you'll want to keep running your skimmer 24 hours a day. Doesn't the skimmer move the film that the pellets create when consuming the nitrates? I set my skimmer so that the skimmate is dark and thick.

    I passively run carbon by placing a bag in my sump that I change out every couple of weeks. I think the carbon does more for clarifying the water than lowering high nitrates.

    I ended up finding that the algae turf scrubber has had the biggest effect on maintaining/lowering nitrates.
    My ATS unit seemed to keep my nitrate levels in line, but only after I performed multiple 50% water changes to get my nutrient levels down. This was due to that my ATS unit only had one light source, so I was only getting half of the production I could have. I have since redesigned my ATS unit to include two light sources for my new tank.
    I think having a natural method of algae consuming the nitrates is most effective; whether it's an ATS, algae reactor, cheatomorpha or large refugium.
     
  3. Reefking

    Reefking Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Plymouth
    Fishies collected:
    37,175
    A premium salt should take care of the issue.

    Regards
    Reefking
     
  4. csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
    TCMAS Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Vadnais Heights, MN
    Fishies collected:
    10,734
    I found biopellets to be disappointing in keeping up with nitrates. I’ve found dosing a DIY nopox solution to be much more effective, and can be tritrated to effect. To go with this, I would skim wet.

    Having a refugium for chaeto with strong lights would also help.
     
  5. Jonty

    Jonty I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    95
    Fishies collected:
    16,977
    install an aquarium engineering sulfur reactor and never worry about nitrates again. Check Marty's build thread.
     
  6. OP
    H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    21,344
    I have been using Morton’s with rust remover

    I think they sell it at Menards and Holiday gas stations
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Jonty

    Jonty I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    95
    Fishies collected:
    16,977
    Then you are all set ;)
     
  8. AsianReef

    AsianReef Former: 90ct
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,624
    Likes Received:
    100
    Fishies collected:
    30,679
    +1 for Sulfur Denitrifier reactor.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. OP
    H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    21,344
    I am going to look into the Sulfur reactor.

    Any recommendations?
     
  10. Riley

    Riley I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Burnsville
    Fishies collected:
    7,864
    Look at Aquarium Engineering for a sulfur denitrator: https://www.aquariumeng.com/products/sulfur-denitrifiers
    I have a 6 x 30 one I can sell you if a used one would be more appealing. I'm stepping up to an 8" one is why.

    You can also re-purpose a calcium reactor for the job. Design-wise, they're basically the same. You'd want one with a probe port to measure ORP. That is a much better way than trying to count drips.

    Yes, run the skimmer 24/7. The flowrate through the skimmer will depend on your bioload and then you can adjust the foam from there. 1 - 2 minutes is a good range for dwell time, with 1.5 - 2 minutes being a good place to start. Assuming the standard 8000 ext, that would be a feed of about 15 - 10 gpm. The cone model may differ depending on body volume.

    I've been running my large skimmer at a 1.5 minute dwell. I clean the cup once every week or two and dirty part of the neck is like peanut butter. I scrape it off with a cr-80 plastic card.
     
  11. nubbs

    nubbs Senior Member
    TCMAS Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2015
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    North saint paul
    Fishies collected:
    3,784
    Are your bio balls / marine pure balls submerged or trickle?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  12. Jonty

    Jonty I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    95
    Fishies collected:
    16,977
    @Riley how are you calculating skimmer dwell time are you assuming a calculation of skimmer volume vs flow?
     
  13. OP
    H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    21,344
    Both

    4 large blocks submerged and bio balls and marine pure balls in trickle tower
     
  14. OP
    H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    21,344
    210EE6C2-9C71-4903-BD2F-11F91F41034A.jpeg EC65AEB9-EFF4-4085-AF1F-177B364CE461.jpeg
    Here is a picture to help
     
  15. OP
    H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    21,344
    CC0FA9B8-EE9F-4611-9BEC-7300A77E2812.jpeg
    I clean my skimmer every week or so. If I do a water change it takes 1.5 week s or so to get like this. Otherwise looks like this in about a week

    Thoughts?
     
  16. cheezybuda

    cheezybuda I contributed!
    Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,864
    Likes Received:
    137
    Location:
    SE Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    17,941
    If you don't have a chance of overflow, I would recommend that you increase the water height in your skimmer. You have a lot of scum building up in the neck but not much in the cup. You would have to clean the neck quite often to maintain efficient skimming with the current setup.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
     
  17. OP
    H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    21,344

    I will do that. I go have an overflow going back in sump. Is the idea to have the scum in the cup v neck
     
  18. Reefking

    Reefking Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Plymouth
    Fishies collected:
    37,175
    Absolutely, the scum goes into the collection cup.
     
  19. OP
    H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    21,344
    Mr. King of the Reefs, thanks for the feedback. I don’t know what advice has helped me more:
    1) use premium salt
    2) keep consistent temperatures
    3) maintain appropriate salinity

    I would like to create a suggestion to this forum. I propose we have “The Reef King Korner”. A separate spot for your words of wisdom.

    Mr. Gregor, I appreciate all the help you have given me and the community, and no disrespect, but you are no Reef King.

    Dear sponsors, visiting your stores and businesses is fun and you make the foundation of our community, but you are no Reef King.

    Current and past board members, thanks for your efforts, but you are no Reef King.

    All hail the Reef King... Dilly Dilly
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Nickz

    Nickz Senior Member
    Staff Member BOD Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    193
    Location:
    Andover
    Fishies collected:
    23,533

    There can be only one
     

Share This Page