Filtration media and nitrate production


Reefing newb
Hey Guys, I have had my 47 set up for about a year now with about 15 inches of fish, live sand and about 20 lbs of live rock. (yeh I know I am still adding live rock as money permits). By what I usually read my nitrates are not too terrible but I would like to keep them below 10 PPM. Currently 40 PPM. I have a CPR bak pak hob skimmer and a aqua clear hob filter with the foam block, carbon, and bio max. Could I reduce some nitrates by changing to differnt media in this aqua clear? Or should I wait until I get more live rock? And by the way I change 20 gallons of my water once every four weeks.
You'll have to be anal about cleaning those sponges and filter media.But you can drop the nitrates.
I rinse and change my mechanical media every day.I've got 7 or 8 pieces,so I just take whats in there out,put a dry piece in,rinse the dirty one and let dry,repeat.
Using filter media like that seems to raise nitrates in people's tanks by 10 to 20, on average. Everything should be rinsed out at least once a week.

I suggest not using any of it, actually. Get yourself a decent protein skimmer instead, and there will be no need for any type of mechanical filtration, except to occasionally polish the water or run carbon or phosphate media.
Biff, does it really raise it 10-20? I have a whisper 20 and I'm at 0 nitrates. I only change it every 2 weeks with one rinsing in the middle. I do have a lot of rock though and a remora protein skimmer. Waterdog, other than getting a good protein skimmer or more rock, rinsing the filter every day like yote is. That would be the only way to really reduce nitrates. You would be physically removing the nutrients like a protein skimmer.
Thanks guys, I have extra sponges I think I will start rinseing and exchanging it everyday, I was always afraid of loosing too much bacteria. I have a CPR bak pak skimmer that I am very pleased with and alway collects quite a bit of skimmate. Is this not an adequate skimmer?? Thanks again you guys rock!
Is this not an adequate skimmer?? /quote]
It all depends on how low you want your nitrates. As the dissolved organics (cause of nitrates) decrease, the ability to skim them out becomes more difficult. With your skimmer, I don't think it could skim much more than it already is without some mods. Considering you only have .5 lb/gal of rock, check you NH3/NH4 and NO2 every few days to make sure that taking away the filter bacteria doesn't reduce your tanks ability to handle the bio-load
Biff, does it really raise it 10-20?QUOTE]

Not for everyone. Some people run that sort of filtration and never have any problems (Yote), but it seems when people are having nitrate problems and they remove the canister fiter or HOB filter, that alone drops the nitrates by 10 to 20. I used to have a canister filter, and my nitrates dropped by 10 when I stopped using it. I've noticed that trend with others that post about their problems too. But if it's not giving you problems, I would say not to worry about it. Every tank is different after all.
Sponges, filter pads and ect...ect...will cause Nitrate & Nitrite issues. Canister fitlers are the worst for doing this. Oxygen must be able to reach it for it to be broken down. Canister filters are sealed units so they take in oxygen but the water coming out is poorly oxygenated. Sponges & filter pads hold the waste, as the oxygen rich water runs through them it feeds the waste that's trap. There is no removel of the waste, there for it leaches the Nitrites and Nitrates back into the water.

My best friend placed a filter pad in his sump to stop tiny bubles from returning to his MD. I told him about this. He said everything tested out at zero. He started complaining that his corals didn't do as well as mine. I told him to remove the filter pad, and see if that helps. He unwilling did, his corals have since bloomed. He placed a new filter pad back in the sump 3 months later, with a month his corals started looking bad again, so he removed the pad. Again they bloomed. He complained that he would rinse it & he tested zero with different test kits. He recently had to frag out some of his coral do to there sizes, something he never had to do last year.

A good skimmer and the right amount of LR & LS is all the filteration need. Sometimes a GFO reactor is needed to help keep the phosphate undercontrol. No mechanical filteration is NEEDED but can sometime aid in large partical remove, all though it should be remove once the large particals are cleard. For example:

Sometimes when messing around in my sump I strirr up the junk on the bottom, I have a HOB filter hooked up and running during the time. I let it run for an hour or so after I'm done. Then I shut it off and remove it, and throw away the filter pad that was in it.