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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
I notice this morning that my clown has a raised white spot on her right side of her back. She's acting fine and eating.
I did a water test and everything was in order except my nitrate level is in the beware level. It doesn't seem like I can ever get it all the way down to 0.
Could this be related?
Does she have ich?
Im off to get water for a water change. All I can get around here is distilled, no RO/DI and I am still saving up to get the supplies to make that water.
Advice? Please?
29 gal Biocube stock setup w/ biocube protein skimmer
Thanks
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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are their any other fish in the tank. My male clown often has a injury given from my female... it is a part of the game so seeing a torn scale or little injury (which can appear to be white) is not all that uncommon. Still, if it is flashing against a rock or there are multiple white spots, then there is someting that can be identified, still a bity early to tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea I have one other fish, a fire fish goby, but he's a bit of a puss-cake and I don't think he would harm her. She does sleep next to the brittle star den, could it have hurt her? I have two emerald crabs, 2 peppermint shrimp and a cleaner shrimp as well. No I haven't seen her rubbing on anything.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Ok, well maybe the clown swam into a rock... I would think the cleaner shrimp would take interest if there was an issue. A crab could do it, but I wouldn't worry. If more spots appear the the clown starts to decline then start to take issue, but right now observe.
 

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Got to tell us about all your equipment to get suggestions on the nitrates. Like are you using ro/di or distilled water, how old's the tank, what equipment, yaddayaddayadda
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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what are the nitrate levels, I seemed to miss that
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My nitrate level is 80 ppm, or was, I just did a 5gal water change. I will test again after a while.
My setup is a 29 gal Oceanic Bio Cube. Everything is stock. Oceanic Bio balls, filter and Protein skimmer. The tank is now about 5 months old. We started with 20lbs live sand and 35lbs figi rock.
 

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80 ppm is pretty high. are you sure your test kits are accurate? Only asking because inverts usually cannot stand the nitrate levels like a fish can. I think you would be seeing them drop off. If you have a friend who can bring their test kit or can take a sample to a LFS just for a second opinion.

Another thing is that is a lot of live rock to be still using the bioballs. Bioballs will end up collecting detrimus and gunk which will elevate your nitrates. With adaquete flow around the tank via powerheads, you can slowly remove the bioballs and let the liverock be your filter. Want to circulate the volume of the display between 30 to 40 times an hour. It will be beneficial if you are planning or currently have corals. If it's a FO tank, then it's fine.

I am sure there is some sort of filter like a sponge or something in there. Are you cleaning it regularly- like every other day. Sponges and filter socks can build up nitrates very quickly.

How often do you regularly do WC's and are you using ro/di water or distilled for that and topoffs?

Sorry a lot of questions back but the more info the better to figure out a good solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
my test kit is a strip kit and the color match jumps from 40 to 80 so it could be anywhere between the two. yes I need a better kit but it does give me a good general idea of what is going on in there. I have to travel 50 miles to the closest LFS so I don't make it there often. I'm kind of out in the boonies (part of the reason I joined the forum) no friends with saltwater tanks. I do a water change every week to week and a half. There are two filters: one charcoal and a sponge in front of the built in pump to protect it from sucking up big objects. I clean the sponge with every water change and I have changed the Charcoal filter 3 times in 5 months.
I cna't get my hands on any ro/di water here so I use distilled until I can afford the setup to make ro/di water for myself.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
a small amount of food in morning and at night. not very much, like 1/16 of a cube of frozen plankton at night and some nori or a pinch of flakes in morn
 

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I clean the sponge with every water change and I have changed the Charcoal filter 3 times in 5 months.
Next time you do a WC and clean your sponge, start cleaning the sponge every day or every other day and after a couple days of doing this, check your readings. I used to run a filter sock in my fuge chamber and continually had high nitrates, 20 to 40, even right after a WC. I wasn't using ro/di, just straight ro and was having massive algae blooms so i was doing 2 -3 WC"S a week. I removed the filter sock, and nitrates drop to 0 <5 instantly. I now only use the filter sock during the water change and just vacuum out the first chamber of the refugium.

If you are good about picking up the detrimus, just remove the sponge for a few days and take a reading see if that makes a diference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
by the way my inverts seem to be doing good. My male emerald crab has shed 3 times, and has grown into a moster and the female just had some babys two nights ago. Shrimp are good and shed once in a while and my red and purple mushrooms are bright and have lots of color. I also have tons of tiny "pods" and such crawling all over the rocks and glass. The only one I was worried very much about was my clownfish
 

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Could just be the strip test kits too. If you have the money, do the comparison shopping thing on here for salifert tests. Highly recommended even though i am still using the crappy API bottles :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Should I just replace the bioballs with LR pieces? I dont really want to take my sponge out that filters in front of the pump but I could take the Charcoal filter out. Some people say to just leave that out anyway but others don't. What do you think?
 

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yeah 20 lbs sand and 35 lb of rock should be enough that could be your filter instead of the bioballs. How is your flow. Normally they recommend 30 to 40 times the display volume in circulation around and through the live rock for the bacteria to grow on. If you have around 1000 gph worth of powerheads circulating in the tank, you can remove the bioballs altogether but do it slowly, maybe only removing a few every week. I wouldn't put more than 1 piece of live rock in the filter chamber because that will build up detrimus as well unless it is vacuumed out. You can leave the carbon. Probably helps since you do frequent WC's.

As far as keeping the sponge, just clean it daily and then test to see if that might be the culprit for the higher nitrates. It really needs to be cleaned more than just once a week or every 2 weeks. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
right now I only have the biocube pump on. I do have a koralia evolution pump that has a flow rate of 750 gph but I took it out because it seemed to be too much. ???? should I put it in?
 
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