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brackish to marine?

This is a discussion on brackish to marine? within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by Aquarius Keeper Well, I understand about ammonia and nitrite, but I still don't understand why FW aquariums can tolerate 10-40 ppm ...

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Old 11-13-2008, 06:42 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Aquarius Keeper View Post
Well, I understand about ammonia and nitrite, but I still don't understand why FW aquariums can tolerate 10-40 ppm nitrate bit saltwater tanks can't tolerate any??
Mind you I'm not trying to keep corals here...
SOME freshwater fish are very Nitrate tolerant. Some are not. Anyone who has kept Danios understands that Nitrates of 100 ppm are not going to phase this fish. On the other hand, Nitrates of 20 ppm would be cause for alarm in an aquarium with a Uaru, Discus, or other sensitive species. Some fish are more tolerant of captivity than others. That is just the way it is.

Saltwater fish are used to an environment that is much more stable than freshwater. The water chemistry in the ocean changes very little over time, maintaining constant levels that must be maintained in order to be successful in the aquarium.

Another factor is way fish interact with water. Freshwater fish absorb water thru their skin. They don't actually drink. Saltwater fish directly drink the water. This is a huge distinction that makes the 2 systems 100% different when it comes to the required water parameters.

The simple fact is that saltwater has a different makeup of salts and major ions than freshwater, causing the fish to have evolved differently. They behave differently in an aquarium, have different needs, and require different levels of care.

So, the simple answer to your question....

Evolution.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:03 PM   #12
 
Much appreciated pasfur -

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this - I've been looking into going SW for all of 48 hours now and however much research, it all just seems to grow more complicated.

I read on another site that fish-only SW tanks can usually have nitrates up to 20ppm - that seems pretty easy to stay on top of - is that true?

But here's what I don't get - where does the nitrate GO? I understand bacteria converting nitrite to nitrate in freshwater systems ... but I don't get what's eating the nitrate? I thought only plants did that...?

Thanks,

Jonathan
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:43 PM   #13
 
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I was going to give you a brief discription, but i think SKAustin did it well with this sticky. http://www.fishforum.com/sumps-refug...g-sumps-15943/ . just take a look and read it and you'll see what we in the SW business do about nitrates. Other then the refugium we use a skimmer that gets rid of the waste, much like the mechanical filters you would use for a fw tank, but it has many differences. the sticky shows them.
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:52 AM   #14
 
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I was going to give you a brief discription, but i think SKAustin did it well with this sticky. http://www.fishforum.com/sumps-refug...g-sumps-15943/ . just take a look and read it and you'll see what we in the SW business do about nitrates. Other then the refugium we use a skimmer that gets rid of the waste, much like the mechanical filters you would use for a fw tank, but it has many differences. the sticky shows them.
Thanks Kellsindell - that's a great article and definitely gives me an idea of what I'm getting into if I continue on this path towards someday creating a reef tank...

But I didn't see an answer in it to the nitrate question. I get that protein skimmers removed organic matter - i.e. get rid of it before it becomes ammonia, then nitrite, then nitrate.

But I still don't understand what happens to nitrate in established SW tanks. I mean, I assume there is some degree of nitrogen cycling going on (organics to ammonia to nitrite to nitrate) - otherwise, what's the point of the live rock? I thought the live rock was a biological filter, meaning it converts ammonia to nitrite to nitrate - a protein skimmer as I understand it wouldn't affect nitrate because nitrate is a chemical and a protein skimmer removes organics.

What piece of the puzzle am I missing?

Let me know - I just upped my salinity to 0.021!! :)

Thanks,

Jonathan
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:06 AM   #15
 
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i believe one of the things pods eat is poop although im not so sure about that

i do know that cheato algae in the sump feeds off of nitrates as well as a weekly water change that helps to eliminate them.
having a fish only tank will allow you alittle room for some nitrates but it isnt hard to keep them low/if not 0 if your doing things right.
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:57 AM   #16
 
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Yes and also the skimmer is designed to take out detritus before it begins to create nitrates. if it doesn't then you'll have a pretty red carpet... in otherword cyano bacteria and that's a whole nother topic. (that goes from high phosphates too)
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:23 PM   #17
 
Right, thats what I was saying - protein skimmers remove organics before they become nitrate ... but then I don't understand what the live rock does, since the protein skimmer is preventing the cycle from starting?
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:32 PM   #18
 
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Live rock is kinda like a bio filter. it absorbs the nitrate and detritus so it's not harmful. Many people will cook (take liverock and put into a container and put a powerhead, skimmer,and fresh salt water and mix then move to a new container and shake detritus out and put back in to container with new sw and do again for about a month some for 2 months. this will "recharge" your liverock) the live rock to keep it filtering the water better. (i have never done it in the past 5 years and almost all the same LR)
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:11 AM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by Kellsindell View Post
Live rock is kinda like a bio filter. it absorbs the nitrate and detritus so it's not harmful. Many people will cook (take liverock and put into a container and put a powerhead, skimmer,and fresh salt water and mix then move to a new container and shake detritus out and put back in to container with new sw and do again for about a month some for 2 months. this will "recharge" your liverock) the live rock to keep it filtering the water better. (i have never done it in the past 5 years and almost all the same LR)
Slight disagreement here Kell, even if just semantics. This isn't exactly a common practice. Rather than saying "many" people, i'd say a few people. I would also suggest that they made a mistake somewhere along the way and that the everyday reefkeeper should avoid disassembling their reef and instead engage in proper upkeep. Not a big issue, but not something i'd want to publicly support.

Back to Nitrate... it isn't that Live Rock absorbs Nitrate. Where does the NItrate go? It is part of the biological cycle. In marine aquariums another bacteria can be encouraged to convert Nitrate to Nitrogen Gas. The Nitrogen Gas is harmless and leaves the system naturally via oxygen exchange at the surface. These bacteria live deep inside the anerobic pores of the Live Rock.

These same bacteria are encouraged to grow with the use of Deep Sand Bed and Plenum systems. I personally support the DSB concept and find it easier to install and maintain. This is one of the hottest topics in the hobby today and there are literally thousands of google hits on this discussion. I encourage you to read anything written by Bob Goemans on this issue.
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:26 AM   #20
 
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Well i've seen a few thousand use this method and to me that's many.
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