UV Filter and High Nitrate levels

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by alarkins, 12 Jan 2011.

  1. alarkins

    alarkins

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    Hi all,

    The start of Decemebr I had a breakout of whitespot that killed two fish. Medication (Octozin) was added to the main tank and was ineffective - hence the death of a Royal Gramma and a Clownfish. To ensure that the parasite was destroyed through its lifecycle, I added a UV filter which is running all the time now.

    Question: My nitrates have soared upwards and are at 10 - 20ppm average + now in my 250l tank. I am using the Red Sea test kit and will be doing a "High" test reading this afternoon to see where exactly this stands. Could the 15w UV filter be causing the rise in nitrate readings by killing the nitrifying bacteria? I added more bacteria this week (straight into the sump where the bio balls and biolite materials are) just in case the treatment killed the bacteria as well. I did an 80L water change last weekend which dropped this to 10ppm but I don't seem to be gettign anywhere. System in 4 months old

    Nothing seems to make sense as all other readings are great
    temp - 25
    kH Alkalinity- 6-7
    Ammonia - 0.25
    Nitrite - 0.1
    Nitrate - 10-20ppm +

    Your valued advise please?
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    nope, it wont have an effeect, its due to no bioload and that some medication can kill the bacteria as well
     
  4. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    The u.v will kill bacteria , but only what passes through the light.
    Most bacteria is housed on filter media and the water will only have a small ammount of bacteria washing arround.

    The bioballs aslo hold bacteria that converts ammonia and nitrite, its genuraly the live rock or dsb that will carry the de nitrating baceria, but usualy take a few more months to settle and do its job ...if you arnt overfeeding which will put in more of a bio load that the denitrating bacteria will be able to consume.

    some meds state - turn off the u.v while treating, but make sure next time you use a med - see if it says reef and filter safe.

    Good luck
    David
     
  5. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    UV will have no effect on nitrifying bacteria, only the medication
    my previous post might have come out wrong
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2011
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  6. alarkins

    alarkins Thread Starter

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    reff safe meds were added before I owned a UV system. Since it was ineffective I wanted to completely erradicate this from getting to the other fish and break the parasite lifecycle- hence the addition of the UV filter. What I can say is that everything is going well in the tank (corals and remaining fish) - just concerned about the nitrate levels....

    Could the medication have done something bad to the live rock as well?
     
  7. alarkins

    alarkins Thread Starter

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    I don't think it is over feeding - all food is consumed within 1-2 minutes leaving nothing left "hanging" around.
     
  8. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    it would have just killed the bacteria, but if you dose stability it will sort itself out, also add some cheato to remove nitrates created by the bio-balls
     
  9. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Is this the tank with the anemone? If so, how is the anemone holding up?
     
  10. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    You may be right, not over feeding, but nitrate can only come from 3 place ( as i know it )
    1 - the fish breaths out small ammounts of ammonia from the gills and it goeas through the nitrigen cycle to end up as Nitrate.

    2 -If there is a sourse of decaying organics E.G a dead fish not found or a rotting coral that breaks down into ammonia and goeas through the nitrigen cycle ending up as nitrate.

    3 - if the fish are fed "T00 well ", they dont absorb all protien and nutrition given to them in there food and the waist they excreat breaks down into Ammonia and goes through the nitrigen cycle.....

    the bioballs or other filter meadia houses the bacteria whitch consume ammonia and excrete nitrite , and other strains of bacteria will consume nitrite and excrete nitrate.

    The denitrating bacteria is hard to " culture " and take a while to work, so also think of a nitrate removing granule/pellet or liquid to help your filtration if you are very concerned.

    David
     
  11. alarkins

    alarkins Thread Starter

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    yes - same said tank with the nennie :) - nennie opens beautifully during the day with nice long coloured tentacles. Taking the small food very well with no regurgitation that I can see. Clown fish sleeps inside his tentacles at night perfectly. Was very "wilted" this morning but when I left for work it had opened nicely and back to form. I think the hermit crab's cruising across the rock structure annoys it. I do spend MUCH more time watching the tank that the TV set but it is more interesting :) Wife thinks I am NUTS for the long watching sessions.:)

    I have added a Seachem Puri-chem bag to assist with the nitrate removal - way too soon I think to see any results.

    I love the chaeto idea (natural resolution) from dallasg - just need someone to advise where I canget this - in Midrand JHB.

    Thanks to all - awesome forum this :)
     
  12. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    pm me on friday, i am in sunninghill and will have some cheato for you, got loads of pods etc
     
  13. sihaya

    sihaya

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    If Octozin contains an antibiotic (probably does), then I agree with the posters who have said that the medication killed off some of your good bacteria. If the medication has been stopped, the bacteria should repopulate.
     
  14. alarkins

    alarkins Thread Starter

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    Did another 40 liter water change yesterday - looking much better. Time to invest in an RO filter as this buying water is getting expensive :( Any ideas where I can get one - reasonable price - and what I should be looking for ?
     
  15. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i sent u a pm
     
  16. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    @sihaya.

    To pic your brain....

    If the question is about the climb in nitrate , i cant see how the Bacteria dying off is the cause...

    If there is no bacteria to convert ammonia and nitrite , there whouldnt be nitrate.
    if the antibiotic killed off bacteria it would be nonspicific and kill airobic as well as anarobic bacteria and there would have been a devistating ammonia and nitrite spike which would have threatend the livestock, but the question was about rising nitrate levels instead.
    This would mean to me that the bacteria count is high and working as theres no other ammonias and nitrites to talk about ( only nitrates ? ).

    I might be missing somthing , but cant see it ?

    Thanks
    David
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  17. sihaya

    sihaya

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    Two points to explain; 1) There are different kinds of bacteria. One kind processes nitrites, another processes nitrates... and even within those kinds there are many different kinds. 2) an antibiotic probably isn't going to kill all kinds and types of bacteria at equal rates.

    Thus, it seems quite possible to me that whatever antibiotic was in the medication, killed off the nitrate processing bacteria more so than the nitrite fixing bacteria. Or, in whatever way, it disrupted the bacteria populations to result in there being more nitrates.

    But I'm not attacking the use of medications or anything like that. I'm just saying that broad span antibiotics are probably going to kill off at least some filtering bacteria along with the bacteria you don't want.
     
  18. alarkins

    alarkins Thread Starter

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    ran all my tests yesterday again - surprisingly nitrite was up from 0.1 to 0.2 and nitrate at just under 20ppm - rest as expected. Did another 75L water change. Will test again later today / tomorrow morning. Everything in the tank is doing great - maybe it is me being paranoid trying to get to the holy grail of a zero reading..?
     
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