nitrates

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by jimmy, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. jimmy

    jimmy Cuttlefish Registered

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    hi can anyone halp me i have very high nitrates 80 ppm in all 3 octo tanks. they all have good skimmers wet-dry and 2 ehiem 2217 on each. i do water changes every 2-3 weeks about 20-30 percent.does anyone think a deep sand bed would help its already 3 inces deep. i have tried all types of removers i dont over feed every other day. does anyone have any advice? thankyou. oh and i do have live rock and i took all the bio-balls out a couple of days ago. but now im worried about rising ammonia.
     
  2. dreadhead

    dreadhead Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    A refugeum tank might be a good idea.How big is your tank ,and how much live rock do you have?
     
  3. jimmy

    jimmy Cuttlefish Registered

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    there all 55 gal w/about 25 pounds of l-rock. i just took out the bio-balls so that should help and i made a diy de-nitrate w/coils in a pvc pipew/bio balls w/slow drip rate. its still not hooked up yet i just made it today. but i know it will take months to work if it works at all. but w/doing water changes i dont understand why there so high?
     
  4. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    I would suggest more live rock.
     
  5. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Refugium should help. People have also used remote deep sand beds. The bio balls probably was the source and you should be seeing it drop with progressive water changes. If your shooting to get completely 0 nitrates, you may also want to look into sulfur denitrators as well. Ive actually been reading alot about them lately.

    Heres a DIY posting on one in RC.
    http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1288082

    I made a dual stage calcium reactor and Im thinking of just converting the 2nd stage into a denitrator. It should be fairly cheap to make one. Or you can buy a cool one here

    http://www.midwestaquatic.com/PRODUCTS/sulfur_denitrifier.htm?gclid=CNux457trZICFQ0BiQoduCE_MQ
     
  6. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    I would suggest performing additional water changes; perhaps every week until the nitrates are back under control, at which point you may be able to do them every other week.

    Crushed oyster shell seems to work very well at sequestering the nitrate before finally releasing it into the water.

    Good luck with the denitrifier.

    Greg
     
  7. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Im having trouble with nitrates as well, do you just crush up some oyster and throw it into the tank? and how much for a 12 gallon?
     
  8. Obi one

    Obi one Larval Mass Registered

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    I think the above suggestions are good, more live rock, deep sand bed, water changes,remove dead animals... one Question is whether the nitrate level is different than in the past? It is amazing how much octopuses and other animals can tolerate in terms of the nitrate level as long as its not a sudden change. If you still have high levels after these changes I would suggest trying vodka.It is commonly used in reef aquaria systems. The 2 carbon ethanol acts as a food source to produce enough bacteria of the sort that breaks down nitrates to nitrogen gas. Much like a denitrator works,only much so much simpler. For a 55 g. tank 1 teaspoon daily is a reasonable dose. Chart the daily nitrates and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the drop over 3-4 weeks.
     
  9. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Export is usually the most surefire way to go. Large waterchanges or a denitrifier.

    How old are the systems?
     
  10. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    I would be hesitant to add ethanol (vodka) to a cephalopod tank even in small doses, but that does pose an interesting topic. Though, the concentrations recommended (~0.00025%) should not pose any risk as they are well below the concentrations of anesthesia (1-5%) and euthanasia (5-10%).

    Obi one,

    Is this anecdotal or is there research done on this subject. I am interested in trying this with a shrimp culture setup I have and at those concentrations I would not suspect to see any problems with the use of ethanol. I have ethanol (everclear actually), and I will be using it in a 125g system. I would assume that 2-3 teaspoons (5-10ml) would be sufficient for the system. The nitrate levels currently run around 75 mg/L and that sounds like an interesting method. Any other information you can give me on the subject would be much appreciated.

    Greg
     
  11. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Julian Sprung attended one of our MAS meetings and talked about this in depth. I haven't tried it personally but the man typically knows his stuff.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    How long would it take for the ethanol to evaporate out and how often would it be needed to effectively reduce existing nitrate? My thinking would be to douce a tank between occupants ...
     
  13. Obi one

    Obi one Larval Mass Registered

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    I've used the vodka method quite a few times, both in cold water and tropical reef systems. I am currently using it in 3 tanks. I had found it to be easy and the nitrates always came down to the 1-2 range from levels near 100. It will take about 3-4 weeks to see the drop, but then it is dramatic. A very good protein skimmer is a necessity.
     
  14. Obi one

    Obi one Larval Mass Registered

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    Info on the Vodka method is available. A couple of sources that come to mind are The Reef Aquarium volume 3 by Delbeek and Sprung, and a recent Coral magazine- an English version of a German mag. Also I recall several discussions on reefcentral.com. Often people substitute sugar for the carbon source. And I suppose that if you're not getting the desired results you could drown your sorrows by drinking the vodka(!).
     
  15. marinebio_guy

    marinebio_guy Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Methanol works better than ethanol in marine tanks for feeding denitrifying bacteria. But in reality you should be doing water changes as without a sophisticated denitrifying filter the amount of bacteria that you can grow in your aquarium is minimal and would not be able to convert the nitrate quick enough due to denitrifying bacteria needing specific enviormental conditions to grow such as very low D.O. also the bacteria will start producing Hydrogen Sulfide which is a lot more toxic than the nitrate if there optimal conditions are not present.
     
  16. jimmy

    jimmy Cuttlefish Registered

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    nitrate

    thanks for everones input. i talked to a guy today. he said to use a 2 liter fillit half way w/ live sulfer w/ a slow flow rate. the water enters to th bottom of 2 liter and over flows into sump. does any one know if that would harm octos? he used it on a fish only and he said it worked great.any answers about hurting my octos? thanks
     
  17. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Watch your pH very closely, sulphur can acidify in water (acid rain!)

    J
     
  18. mosthated

    mosthated GPO Supporter

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  19. ErikHarrison

    ErikHarrison Cuttlefish Registered

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    What is the root cause of the nitrates? Not enough LR, or LS? Are there pockets of built up detritus that are causing this?

    Hah, oops just read the other posts. A remote sandbed in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid on it would greatly help with NNR.
     
  20. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    The root cause of nitrate is simply having animals in your system. Regular water changes are the best way to keep it down. A remote sandbed may work, but most people who use advanced techniques like that keep animals that don't generate as much waste.
     

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