Nutrient Nightmare... - Aquarium Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation Nutrient Nightmare...

Alright, so, before I start, I will mention that I have experience caring for saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image aquariums, the past two years I took care of a classroom full of 35 100 gallon tanks as well as a 200 gal of my own. And I have never had an issue like this. I recently invested in a lightly used 35 gal tall, with a 5 gallon refuge. I originally had 3" of live sand (harvested myself, I live on an island and throughly rinsed) along with some live rock with plenty of macro algaes. After it stabelized I began adding fish, and then the murder began.... My nutrient levels were ridiculous, nitrates over 100ppm and nitrites so high my test kit couldn't read.... My fish began disolving. I did two 80% water changes and 3 50% within a month. I had been getting my water directly from the ocean, as I mentioned before I live on an island and have resources that most aquarium lovers dream of, so my water came directly from the gulf stream just offshore. Still, levels through the roof. After my favorite butterfly fish died two days ago, I put my foot down and did a complete tank remodel. I mixed my own water(amquel and instant ocean) and took everything out of the tank. Removed all live rock and sand, and replaced it with store bought crushed coral, thoroughly rinsed. All of my inverts and two small sergeant majors recieved a 45 second freshautolinker.com autolinking image water bath, all of the equiptment was throughly washed(no soap, just hot water) and this morning, after doing all of that for 4 hrs last night, I have nitrate levels of 50 ppm and nitrites at 1. My salinity is a comfortable 30ppm (1.022) ph is a 8.0 exactly, and ammonia non existant. I'm out of ideas. I am about to throw the tank out the window of my apartment. Please help!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 07:46 PM
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

This is all I can come up with. Sanity checker, are you checking the Ocean Water before you put it in the tank, yes I know its supposed to be good, but did you check it out? Next, what did you mix your own water with? Tap? RO? RO/DI? And did you test that water before adding it to your tank? And finally, how old is the test kit? Did you test that kit on actual RO/DI Pure water to make sure it was working?

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Water Parameter: Alk-8:PH-8.2:Cal420:Phosphate.05:Temp77:Nitrates-20:Mag1250:SG1.025
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

I did test the ocean water, less than .25 on nitrites, and nearly zero nitrates.... I used tap water that I dechlorinated with amquel, and afterwards tested with zero across the board and 10 ppm on the nitrates, which, I decided (maybe wasn't such a good idea) was alright. I bought the test kit yesterday... Exp dates in the 2015's. I'm at a complete loss. I added a basic filter sheet and some activated charcoal as a last resort today. And since my post, tonight, my nitrites were at 2.5 and my nitrates were around 40 ppm. I spoke to a friend of mine who is also good with tanks and he and I have come to the sad conclusion that I might just have to let it ride out and see how it goes, probably at the expense of most of my critters that I have left. Gettin on here for ideas was kind of a last resort. Thanks for the help Reefer.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 09:39 PM
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

was tearing the filter apart and cleaning it included in the equipment wash?

i keep going back to the fact that the craziness started when you added fish, and that the tank was stabalized before that. maybe something managed to get into the filter and has been decaying? armchair theory, i know, but maybe...

You show me a man who can reliably grow algae and I will show you a man who can reliably grow fish.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 10:18 PM
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

Now Nitrites aside, I can point you in the direction of gettin rid of the Nitrates quickly.
But, why they arose, welp, your adding Nitrates to the system everytime you change the water, which, is supposed to take them out. So, why change it? But, here is something you can do, of which I still dose my tank with, Vodka, aka Carbon Dosing.
Vodka Dosing by 'Genetics' and 'Stony_Corals' - Reefkeeping.com

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Water Parameter: Alk-8:PH-8.2:Cal420:Phosphate.05:Temp77:Nitrates-20:Mag1250:SG1.025
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auban View Post
was tearing the filter apart and cleaning it included in the equipment wash?

i keep going back to the fact that the craziness started when you added fish, and that the tank was stabalized before that. maybe something managed to get into the filter and has been decaying? armchair theory, i know, but maybe...
I did I rinse on the filtration, I didn't want to completely eliminate all of the good bacteria growing in the bio balls but I did want to get a nice clean start. There was nothing that was rotting in there... Great idea though. Thanks.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefing Madness View Post
Now Nitrites aside, I can point you in the direction of gettin rid of the Nitrates quickly.
But, why they arose, welp, your adding Nitrates to the system everytime you change the water, which, is supposed to take them out. So, why change it? But, here is something you can do, of which I still dose my tank with, Vodka, aka Carbon Dosing.
Vodka Dosing by 'Genetics' and 'Stony_Corals' - Reefkeeping.com
Wow! I have heard of the Vodka dosing but never really looked into it because I didn't understand. I read that whole article and am really looking forward to trying it. Especially since, as of this morning, my nutrients were once again off the charts, litterally. What I don't understand is how on earth I measure
Out .15 ml of vodka... I don't have any syringes handy... Is that a typo? Is it supposed to be 1.5 ml? Can you please give me a little insight here? Thanks.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 11:25 AM
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

Welp, I got a baby medication syringe from the drug store. Depending on the size of your tank, this will determine how much we start with. Ir yiu start with wat they advise it will rake you 2 years to get it high enough to bring down Nitrates. I currently dose 17mls a day. 8 in the morning and 9 at night. This keeps niteates in my tank at 10. I was dosing 40mls for 2 weeks to bring nitrates down to 10. I started out using 5mks a day for a week, then added 5mls a week until thise nitrate levels started to come down. I just recently have reduced from 40ppm trate levels. Got them down in 3 weeks. But I've been doing it for some time now, and just went from 20mls to 30 in just a few days to start bringing them down. My sytem is a total of 240g with a 35g sump.

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Water Parameter: Alk-8:PH-8.2:Cal420:Phosphate.05:Temp77:Nitrates-20:Mag1250:SG1.025
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

Alright, that makes a lot more sense. I have a 35 gal with a 5 gal sump, my levels are rediculous so I was thinkin about starting with 5ml.... If anything can survive in this a little vodka shouldn't hurt. Do you think this is too much? Or maybe too little?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 02:24 PM
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

Sounds like a good number to start with.

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Water Parameter: Alk-8:PH-8.2:Cal420:Phosphate.05:Temp77:Nitrates-20:Mag1250:SG1.025
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Talking Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

After only one dose of vodka my nitrate and nitrite levels have nearly dropped in half! Worked so much better than I had even imagined and will stick with this does until it gets under control. Thanks Reefing!
*w
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 09:27 PM
 
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Re: Nutrient Nightmare...

Any updates?
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