Nitrate Issue

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by costa, 15 Jul 2010.

  1. costa

    costa

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    Hi Guys!

    I need some help with an irritating nitrate issue that has hounded my tank for
    about a month now.

    My tank has been up & running since October last year and everything seems to
    have gone smoothly until now.
    My nitrates have gone up to about 20mg/L. I know that it is not too detrimental
    to the fish, but I am worried about my corals in the long-term.

    I have been doing regular water changes(+/- 20%) and dosing the tank with
    both Microbacter 7 & Reef Biofuel to reduce the nitrates and phosphates.
    I have even reduced the feeding to only twice a day.But to no avail.:(

    Someone suggested that my problem could be the DSB.Possible?

    Water parameters are: Nitrite +/- 0.
    Nitrate +/- 20
    pH 8.2
    Alkalinity 9.5 dKH
    Calcium 398
    Magnesium 1 200
    Sainity +/- 1.025

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Costa.
     
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  3. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Stop dosing the MB7 and reef bio-fuel. Firstly, MB7 is know to increase nitrates, I've heard this from a few people and have experienced it myself, rather use seachem stability. Secondly, dosing a bacteria strain and carbon source whilst you have a DSB is a not really a productive thing to do, they seem to counteract each other and thus the raise in nitrates.
     
  4. Pete

    Pete

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    Costa cut back some more on the feeding. You could also be over dosing the biofuel.
    Has that person given you any good reason in his thinking why it would be the DSB.
     
  5. Pete

    Pete

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    Thanks manic thats what I wanted to say
     
  6. costa

    costa Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your opinions guys!

    Will cut back on the feeding Pete and stop the dosing altogether. Thanks Manic I will give the Seachem a try.

    The person who suggested a possible DSB problem gave me a vague explanation which
    eludes me right now. He mentioned that the Nitrate to Nitrogen exchange takes place
    in the DSB & obviously it is not happening quickly enough in my DSB!

    The problem only cropped up about a month ago so I can only assume the DSB was o.k. up until then.

    I just want to get to the cause of the problem in the first place.
     
  7. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Your problem is being exaggerated dosing MB7 and reef biofuel with a dsb.
     
  8. costa

    costa Thread Starter

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    The Nitrate issue started a while before I started the dosing.

    Could it have been over-feeding that triggered it?
     
  9. Evo R

    Evo R

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    Do you maybe have a potensial detris 'trap' ? eg. lots of LR in your sump with not enough flow that causes detris to build up,or bio balls or noodels ect. Are all your LS accounted for?Maybe you have something hidden away that is rotting.
     
  10. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    got any more information on this manic?
     
  11. Monti

    Monti

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    Also, check your test kit
     
  12. maj

    maj

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    how long has ur dsb been in place,also what is the flow over the dsb?
    get some cheato for ur sump,helps with absorbing the nitrate
     
  13. costa

    costa Thread Starter

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    Hey Maj,

    My DSB has been running for about 6 - 7 months now.
    My return pump is rated for 2 200 l/h & I have been advised to slow this rate
    down to about 1 500 l/h.
     
  14. costa

    costa Thread Starter

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    Hi Guys,

    I have received some advice that my flow rate is too fast & I plan to rectify that soon... will slow it down to about 1 500 l/h.

    I also need another question answered because there does not seem to be a
    definitive answer..... HOW DEEP SHOULD THE DSB BE?

    I have a feeling that mine is too deep : +/- 14cm deep in a 30 cm chamber.
    It does not look as though much is happening in my DSB..I see a few worm tunnels
    but no gas bubbles!
     
  15. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    :nono: Flow over a DSB needs to be reasonably brisk to create a high O2 level at the surface of the DSB. The 14cm gravel depth is fine but how big is the DSB?
     
  16. costa

    costa Thread Starter

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    Hi NJ!

    Considering I only have a 4ft. tank, my DSB is reasonably small & I hope that is not
    where my problem lies.

    The DSB is only 42cm x 32 cm x 32 cm!

    I see a few pods running around but not much other life to write home about, except
    a crab that I removed from my DT that did not look reef safe. I must say that he has
    grown some!

    Is my 2200 l/h return pump to strong in your opinion Nemos?
     
  17. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    @costa there are many considerations, and i do not believe that a 2200lh flow (more likely about 1000lh after head height etc) is enough over your DSB. However we need to know more about your setup. As i see from some of your previous posts you have 10kg of LR. Is this still the case and what skimmer and stocking levels do you have. Please post a PIC or two of the filtration and tank so that we are able to advise best to your system.
     
  18. costa

    costa Thread Starter

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    Nitrate & DSB

    Will try to supply you with photo's as soon as possible!

    I have about 30kg of live rock in my tank at the moment.

    As far as stock levels go, I do not have much:
    1 Midas Blenny
    2 x Percula Clowns
    1 x Regal Tang
    1 x Banana Wrasse

    1 Frog Spawn
    1 Brain Coral
    1 Leather
    4 small mushrooms

    Running a TS 2 Protein Skimmer at the moment.
     
  19. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    The LR amount for the tank size and stock level is great. Tell me about the circulation (water flow within the tank) that flows around the LR.

    The skimmer you have is also fine. How do you have it set? What is the skim-mate quality? and quantity? With the twice a day feeding regime you should have a healthy production.

    I would
    1) stop the bacteria dosing
    2) reduce feeding to once a day - once every two days.
    3) Vacuum the substrate on water changes to remove detritus.
    4) Skim a little wet.
    5) improve flow over the DSB. This does not mean a bigger return pump. Just greater O2 over the DSB surface.
    6) gently, and, very carefully remove the detritus/sediment build up on the DSB surface due to low water movement.

    Your Nitrate will not miraculously reduce. It takes time. But if it continues to climb, then we will have to look at other means to control.
     
  20. maj

    maj

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    another thing to add is just check the flow around ur LR,see if ther are no dead spots where dirt can settle,this build up also assist in kepeing the nitrate levels up
     
  21. costa

    costa Thread Starter

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    Hi Nemos!

    I have stopped the dosing for some time now & reduced the feeding as suggested.

    I am a little confused about your point #5.Could you please elaborate?

    I will be posting some photos tonight.

    Thanks all.
    Any advice is much appreciated!

    P.s. I am currently using Tunze pumps to alternate the flow in a clockwise/anti-clockwise direction in my DT
     

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    Last edited: 25 Jul 2010
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