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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone;
I'm new to the reef hobby as well as new to "the reef tank".
I have a 150 gallon tank with live rock live sand 3 power heads 1 wet dry sump 1 ehim wet dry 1 aqua clear power filter and a red sea berlin protein skimmer. I have about 12 fish the largest being a hippo tang about 6 inces and the smallest being a bi color gobie. I also have several diffrent coral all soft. 1 toad stool some mush room 2 colt coral and some polops.
I'm having problems with my nitrate levels I can't seen to get them blow 40ppm. I've changed as much as 40 galon and it has made little or no change inmy leveals. The fish all seem to be very happy and most of the coral seems fine except the toad stool and some of the polops. I bought a product I found on line called Al-cure and have been runing it for 10 days but so far no help. I was wanting to add more coral but not sure if I should with my leavals this high. Has anyone had this problem? If so is there anything and can do tolower it or corals I can add that dont mind high nitrates?
Thanks!
 

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I think you have the nitrates because you have to many fish, and too much mechanical miltration that collects detridus. Do another water change and clean/ vacum out the sump. Clean the bio balls of the wet dry in salt water. Clean the whole enhimem and take the aqua clear, replace the carbon, rinse the sponge and / or ceramic bodies in salt water.
 

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I agree with the mechanical filtration being part of your problem. You say you are new to the hobby so I'm guessing your tank is pretty new too? It will take a well established, and balanced tank to handle that bioload and not have nitrates.

I'd read up on the alternatives to wet/dry filters, I converted mine to a sump w/ live rock. JUST read up on it, and do it very slowly as your rock will have to take over the load......

Water changes frequently are your best answer for now, as well as watching how much you feed. You may need to think about getting a quality skimmer that is rated for at least double your actual volume. Just keep reading and asking questions. And 40 ppm nitrates, isn't always that bad on softies.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Zxcv123
I will be sure to do that. I had no Idea I needed to cleam my bio balls. How often should I clean them and do I clean all of them at the same time?
Partobe
 

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partobe said:
Thanks Zxcv123
I will be sure to do that. I had no Idea I needed to cleam my bio balls. How often should I clean them and do I clean all of them at the same time?
Partobe
clean about 1/3 every few days. You dont want to loose a whole lot a bacteria that fast. In tank water from a waterchange.
 

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partobe said:
Thanks Zxcv123
I will be sure to do that. I had no Idea I needed to cleam my bio balls. How often should I clean them and do I clean all of them at the same time?
Partobe
it would probably be best to slowly remove them from the system, either leave it empty or put rock in there. all the filters you hvae and the bio balls just trap organics that continue to break down in the water. the skimmer removes them completly, so upgrading your skimmer would help alot. if you get one thats large enough, you can get rid of the filters if you want too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Little fishy; My tank si new about 5 months but I took all the water from my old fish only tank and it had been up and running for several yrs. My skimmer is rated for 250 gallon so I'm on track there. I had also heard about the live rock in the sump but wasnt sure if I could do that because the live rock really wouldnt be getting much light. With my wet dry the water runs over the bio balls so the light fits over the open part where I have plants at. Would live rock servive with little or no light?
thanks.
Partobe
 

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Sponge-tastic!!
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partobe said:
Thanks Zxcv123
I will be sure to do that. I had no Idea I needed to cleam my bio balls. How often should I clean them and do I clean all of them at the same time?
Partobe
Welcome to The Reef Tank!!

Have a look around the site and you will find that most people ditch the Bioballs in favor of some Liverock rubble or nothing at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks leveldrummer
I can leave the wet dry empty? Really? That would be cool if it would work. To be honest I really hate messing with the wet dry I dont want the hose to become lose and start leaking. My protein sckimmer is rated at 250 gallon but doesnt produce much bubbles maybe I need to turn it up a bit.
thanks
Patrick
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the welcome Saltwater wannabe. I think I might just try diching the bio balls if all of you think its a good idea.

Thanks
Partobe
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Bill I think I will remove them I will start today and I will take the good advise I've been given and remove them slowly over several weeks. Should I ad live rock to replace them or leave it empty?The funny thing is if I wouldnt have tested I wouldnt have known my nitrates are high. I have no hair algae the only prob is a cpl of my soft coral isnt open.
Thanks
Partobe
 

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the 250 rated capacity of the Red Sea skimmer, is a bit optimistic, honestly to get serious skimming at that level you need something that pushes water with more than a powerhead, The Beckett, and HSA skimmers work well as does the EV series from Aqua C. Thats a good size tank with a goodly fish load, you need something that really skims
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Doug I will check out the Becett as well as the HSA but hate to buy a new one the one I have is just a yr old.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Bill
does it matter that the live rock wont get any or very little light? My light sits over the empty part of the sump where I have plants and a cpl of live rocks.
Patrick
 

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I just did a "nitrate sweep" of my system this morning. It seems that I have many nitrate factories in my system. The sponge in the overflow box, the sponges in the skimmer, the phosphate pad in the wet dry, and the carbon bag in the sump. They were all quite dirty except for the sponge in the overflow box as I clean that almost daily. I am going to remove the bio balls a few at a time, but they are hard to get to, so I procrastinate. Good luck on lowering yours!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks cobray
I was just doing the same thing going over my tank and finding all the places the nitrates could be hiding and have with the help of all of you find a few places I hadnt even thought about before this morn. I just removed the spong from my aqua clear and will start removing the bio balls this week. I dont want to go too fast. Do you know if the live rovk will work in my sump with little or no light? My light is over the empty part of my sum where I have place a cpl of small live rock and some plants not where the bio balls are now.
Oh yeah nice pic ;-)
Patrick
 

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pat, the live rock will be fine with no light, its the bacteria and other fauna that your interested in, not the stuff that lives on light, if you add slowly, you can use base rock, and add a little live rock with it each time, that will seed your bacteria and turn all that base rock into cured live rock.
 
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