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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So - here is the story. Back in August I replaced my 45 gallon reef tank with a new one since mine was leaking. Took the opportunity and had an overflow built in. Under everyones advice I transfered all the livestock and liverock over to the new tank but replaced my sand with new so I would not bring all the krud over from the old. I have done monthly 20% water changes since then. Problem is that I never had nitrates in my old tank and now I find that I am having problems. A couple of weeks ago I found 80ppm using api test kit. Did a 20% water change and it did not really make a dent. I did another 20% change this Sunday and again very minor change- I am doing another 20% today and then another 20% tomorrow. But I really need to find out what is causing this- I made some changes to my routine maintenance when I replaced tank and I will list below- maybe someone can point out the error of my ways.

Started buying RO water from vending machine instead of using my RO/DI (hoping to lower my DI costs) found out it had 40ppm nitrates

Started stirring sand and blowing off rocks and running a canister filter to remove the floating stuff (for a couple of hours only until water was clear)- between water changes.

I have 0 amonia, 0 nitrites, ph 8.2, water temp at 78.5 Nitrate at 80ppm will go down to 40ppm after water change then back up.
Fish are 2 damsels 2 1/2- 3 inches, 1 bicolor and a Maroone clown both 3 inches. Snails, shrimp, hermit crab.
Corals are:
Mushrooms, leather coral mushroom, candy cane, xenia, and green star polyp. All look great but the leather coral- it is a new addition and has not openned up since I bought it in Thanksgiving.

I know that the only way to remove nitrates are to continue doing water changes but am looking to see if anyone can help me find out WHY I am getting them.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I would like to add that I have a sump and a octopus reef skimmer-
a 750 Koralia for water movement.
 

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I'd say replacing the LS in your tank with new wasn't such a good idea. You had many beneficial bacteria in the old LS that you have lost. Your tank is basically going through a mini cycle due to the new sand. Continue regular water changes and eventually it will go back down. Also ditch the canister filter those are notorious for being Nitrate traps. The will only do you harm in a reef environment. Also the issue with buying water from a machine is that you don't know how often they change their filters. At least with your own RO/DI unit you can get constant results as long as you do your maintenance with changing filters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kinda thought my sand had something to do with it- I used to have 2 inches in there and LFS and some others talked me into placing live rock on the glass and spreading 1 inch of sand around them. Also, my maroone and damsel keep fanning a couple of areas until they get down to the bottom glass- this can't be good!!! Maybe I should add more sand??
 

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It's natural for them to do that. I wouldn't worry about that. I will take time for your sand bed to start doing what it's supposed to be doing. It's a waiting game at this point. Continue with your regular water changes and eventually your LS will repopulate itself with the necessary critters and bacteria. Also I would have stuck with the 2" sand bed. Also by adding more sand it will prolong the nitrate cycle cause your adding a new element to your tank just keep that in mind. With that being said I'd add more sand.
 

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Both you can run your finger around the edge of the glass to clean the front of your tank, But stirring it up completely will kill some of the organisms living in there. However you can get Nassarus snails and sand sifting starfish or yellow headed gobies that will mix the sand for you.
 
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