Nitrates still !!!!


Go Big Or Go Home !
So my nitrates are at about 20 or 30 ppm and im freken pissed, before with my canister filters it was lower.

I have sump refugium set up now for more than a month and i have chaeto in the refugium and nothing is going down. i have noticed that the chaeto is breking of into little pieces so im thinking i might not have the right light on it. I used a 20 watt energy saver light that says its as brignt ad a 80 watt light.

Also my skimmer is working, its no pulling out nasty sluge but it is pulling out dark green brown water, how often should it be filling up ??? it takes about 4 or 5 days for it to fill up at the moment so i dont know if its working properly.

i have plenty of live rock, at about 160 lb of LR now, i have a 2 inch sand bed that i stir up every water change. Should i not be stiring it up ???

I just recently got a phosban reactor and im currently using it with carbon in it, is there something i can put in it to reduce the nitrates, i heard something about bio pellets ???

So yeah those are my questions, My coral and fish still seem nice and happy. Just getting little bit of diatoms on my sand bed.

Oh yeah also feeding ones a day with frozen misis, and nori for the tangs ( Yellow and Kole ) should i feed every other day instead ???

Should i maybe do some vodka dosing to get it down ??

Please help if you can

ok i would put some GFO in the phoseban reactor and is the chaeto little?
how many fish do you have ing the tank?
you have a sump but do you have filter socks or bio balls?
with the food i would only give them half a cube of misis shrimp a day with the seaweed.
if you can try to get some more marine plants.
take off the canister every 3 to 4 weeks (depending on the size) and clean it out when you change the Media.
dont gravel vac all of the sand bed at one time only do 30-40% each time.
for the sump light you can get some good lighting from Ebay and get a good deal in it as well.
with my tank i have 2 carbon bags and a 2 phoseban with gfo and carbon.
I hope this helps.
Current stocking list is

Yellow and kole tang
3 fire fish
1 scoter blenny
1 sand sifting goby
1 flame angel
1 six line wrasse
2 clowns

Sand sifting start fish
3 pepermint shrimp
1 blood red shrimp
1 skunk cleaner shrimp
1 coral banded shrimp
about 20 or 30 nassariuse snails
3 big turbo snails
4 nirite snails
about 200 or 300 dwarf cerith snails.
about 10 hermits in the DT.

Refugium has 4 hermits 1 margarita snail and a emraled crab.

The Chaeto is pretty big i bought alot when i set it up.

I no longer use the canister filters, And i usually only use the filter socks when i do water changes that way they gather anything that goes down into the sump or refugium.

I was going to go purchase a couple more and start using them all the time and change them out with the clean ones every 3 days.
At this time im doing it ones a week but i would like to cut back to ones every 2 weeks. Im thinking my cheato might not have the right lighting couse its spliting out into little pieces so im going to go get another light for that also. and on my feeding i think i might do nori every day like i have ben doing but just feed misis ones every other day.
Stop stirring your sand! Leave it alone!

I tought it was bad to no stir it up if its not a DSB. Being as my sand bed is under 3 inches i tought i should be stiring it up ??? I usually just run the top of a tube cleaner thru all the sand every water change to stire it up.

When i dod this along the glass i see a couple little bubbles come out of the sand. i tought it was good to get those bubbles out ???
I do have a clean up crew that stir the sand
i have a sand sifting goby and SF star and some nassarius snails.
I might need more nassariuse since i only have about 20 or 30.
I think Sen stirs up his sand, but ONLY a little bit at a time, and he siphons as he stirs. By doing a small piece at a time, it's not enough to cause a spike, and eventually, his entire sandbed has been stirred and stays clean.

But essentially, everytime you stir the sand, you cause a mini-cycle. Do you stir up ALL the sand at once? Cuz that would do it.
Yes actually i stir it all up. Usually befor emptyibg the last 15 gallons from the dt. Then i refil my tank with new water turn all pumps back on then i place the socks back in leave it for 2me days then i remove the socks
I'd cut back to feeding the same amount but every other day, with nori on the opposite days of the mysis. I found it took a litlte bit for my chaeto to start using up the nitrates. I'd leave the light pointed right at your chaeto and leave it on all the time for a week and see if that helps. You also need strong flow in your sump - try adding a powerhead in there to keep detritus suspended in the water so that your skimmer can pull it out. Chaeto also needs strong flow so adding a powerhead to your sump will help. Have you tested your RO/DI water before mixing it with salt? It could be that you have some nitrates in your water before it even goes into the tank - if so, its probably time for a filter change on your RO/DI unit. What else? Is your skimmer producing a nice head of foam/bubbles at the top? If not, then I'd lower the gate valve a little to see if you can get a better head of foam. I know mine hardly pulls out water, almost all just solid stuff - when I clean it out its like cleaning a diaper! And yeah, stir the sand only a little at a time, or only when you get ready to do a water change. I'd still continue doing 10-15% water changes weekly until you can get your nitrates consistently under 10. I know I reduced my water changes to biweekly a few months back and I've been battling cyano ever since!
Yes actually i stir it all up. Usually befor emptyibg the last 15 gallons from the dt. Then i refil my tank with new water turn all pumps back on then i place the socks back in leave it for 2me days then i remove the socks

Wait, you're changing out 100% of your water every time you do a water change? Or am I misunderstanding?
I think the problem is with you stirring all the sand up. Stirring a small portion in a 125g won't make much difference. Stirring it all up is most likely causing the spikes.

Also, have your lfs test your water. When I first started w/ my 45g, when my cycle was done, my nitrates would not go down despite how many water changes I did. I even had a brand spanking new test kit. Finally went to the lfs to do a side-by-side test, and turns out my kit was bad. It kept testing 20ppm nitrates when it was really 0. Got a new kit, did another side by side of my water, and it did show 0.
Ok so if i start ising the filter socks will my skimmer still pull stuff out? ? I might just go get some more filter socks and change them every 3 days. Im also thinking of getting the bio pellets for the reactor. I was also thinking i might not have enouph flow restrictor in the tank i have 2the power heads rated at 1250 gph and the returns witch is split into 2 so it should be at 300 each. I was thinking of putting in a couple more power heads rated at atleast 500o gph
I think you should just stop stirring your sand and cut back on feeding and see where there leaves you before you try all that other stuff.
Ok so yesterday i feed only nori today i will do only misis and i will continue this rutien. Also placed both filter socks on and i got a 65k light its a 10 power saver light. But says 65kwe warmth on it so i think ots the right one. I noticed it has alot more of a blue hue to ot than the one i was using before that looked yellowish. Anyways water change sunday should i just mix a bit of the sand or not touch it at all? Also should i blow off the rocks with a turkey baster i read some people do that???
Anyways water change sunday should i just mix a bit of the sand or not touch it at all? Also should i blow off the rocks with a turkey baster i read some people do that???

Stop stirring your sand! Leave it alone!



(Just to make it clear)

LOL. :lol:

If you blast the rocks off with a turkey baster, you should be using a powerhead connected to tubing to suck up any gunk that comes off of them. I have never bothered blasting the rocks off during water changes. A good CUC will help keep the rocks clean too.