Surface skimming same as a protein skimmer? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 28 Old 02-03-2011, 08:27 AM
The significance of nitrates in the aquarium is arguably less understood by fish keepers than the effect of ammonia and nitrites. Although nitrates are not directly lethal in the way ammonia or nitrites are, over time high levels of nitrate have a negative effect on fish, plants and the aquarium environment in general.

Effect on Fish
Fish will feel the impact of nitrates by the time the levels reach 100 ppm, particularly if levels remain there. The resulting stress leaves the fish more susceptible to disease and inhibits their ability to reproduce.

High nitrate levels are especially harmful to fry and young fish, and will affect their growth. Furthermore, conditions that cause elevated nitrates often cause decreased oxygen levels, which further stress the fish.

Nitrates and Algae
Elevated nitrates are a significant contributor to undesirable algae growth. Nitrate levels as low as 10 ppm will promote algae growth. Algae blooms in newly setup tanks are usually due to elevated nitrate levels.

Although plants utilize nitrates, if nitrates rise faster than the plants can use them, the plants can become overgrown with algae, ultimately leading to their demise.

Where Do Nitrates Come From?
Nitrates are a by-product of nitrite conjugation during the latter stages of the nitrogen cycle, and will be present to some degree in all aquariums. Detritus, decaying plant material, dirty filters, over-feeding, and over-stocking the tank, all contribute to increased production of nitrates.

Water used to fill the aquarium often has nitrates in it. In the United States, drinking water may have nitrates as high as 40 ppm. Before adding water to your tank test, it for nitrates so you know if the levels are unusually high in your water source. If nitrates are above 10 ppm, you should consider other water sources that are free of nitrates.

Desired Level
In nature nitrates remain very low, generally well below 5 ppm. In freshwater aquariums nitrates should be kept below 50 pm at all times, preferably below 25 ppm. If you are breeding fish, or are battling algae growth, keep nitrates below 10 ppm.

How to Reduce Nitrates



Unlike ammonia and nitrites, the bacteria that remove nitrates do not like oxygen rich environments. Therefore, conventional filters do not harbor the bacteria that remove nitrates. Although special filters exist that will remove nitrates, such devices are usually expensive compared to other filtration units. However, there are some steps you can take to keep nitrates low.
  • Keep the tank clean – Waste ultimately produces nitrates. Cleaner tanks produce fewer nitrates in the first place.
  • Don’t overfeed the fish – Overfeeding is a significant contributor to excess nitrates and other undesirable wastes, such as phosphates.
  • Water changes – Performing regular water changes with water that has little or no nitrates will lower the overall nitrate level in the tank. RO/DI water is an excellent choice for keeping nitrate levels low.
  • Keep live plantsLive plants utilize nitrates, and will help keep nitrates in check.
  • Use nitrogen removing filter media – Instead of an expensive denitrator or special filter, use special media in the filter you have. Although they will not lower nitrates dramatically, if used together with other methods the net result will be beneficial.

100 Gal SPS Rimless, 2X250 Watt + 4T5's Giesemann infinity, Bubble King Mini 200 skimmer, Ca reactor, DIY Kalk Reactor. See my Reef aquarium in HD video http://www.fishtanks.net/fishtank.php?fishtank=2207.

Last edited by reefsahoy; 02-03-2011 at 08:29 AM.
reefsahoy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #12 of 28 Old 02-03-2011, 09:51 AM
Member
 
SKAustin's Avatar
 
If I may add to the above, a DSB (deep sand bed) is another effective way of nitrate maintenance in reef aquariums. A sand bed of greater that 3" will create an anaerobic zone where de-nitrifying bacteria can develop and begin to convert nitrate into nitrogen gas. This nitrogen gas will then escape the aquarium (in bubbles) at the water surface.

and back to the topic at hand....

As stated previously, your best bet would be to convert to a more appropriate system via the addition of an external overflow box, a sump system, and relocation of your skimmer (and heater) to the sump.

If you have not yet read it, there is an article covering the use of a sump here: Understanding sumps

Take pride in what you do, for it is a reflection of who you are.


The Haunting Grounds - SKAustin's Reef Diary - Part 2 (the 75g upgrade)
SKAustin is offline  
post #13 of 28 Old 02-03-2011, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Thanks that was a good read. I'm not going for a Reef style to be honest figured just start with the basic salt water fish and live rock. I read around about a sump and it just didnt seem like the kind of thing I wanted to start with. The only thing I have in my tank are two power heads, protein skimmer, and the hoses for the pump which most is hidden or out of the way.

I have to have an external chiller because Singapore is damn hot all year round, no need for a heater.

If I enjoy this and it goes well then I focus on a reef ready tank next time get everything planned out and working!
vashachiroku is offline  
post #14 of 28 Old 02-03-2011, 09:49 PM
did you test your topoff water for nitrate before adding it to your tank? just curious if thats where the nitrates are coming from.

100 Gal SPS Rimless, 2X250 Watt + 4T5's Giesemann infinity, Bubble King Mini 200 skimmer, Ca reactor, DIY Kalk Reactor. See my Reef aquarium in HD video http://www.fishtanks.net/fishtank.php?fishtank=2207.
reefsahoy is offline  
post #15 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
New Member
 
I added water from my sink since I don't have one of those RO/DI setup at my house (YET). I checked the levels before and just assumed they would go down once I put the live rock in for a few weeks.

Here are images of the test I just did from the sink water I used, just took with my iPhone 4 camera, couldnt embed the images from MobilMe for some reason.

pH = 9.3

Ammonia = 12.5 mg/l
MobileMe Gallery

Nitrite 0.3 mg/l
MobileMe Gallery

Nitrate 12.5 mg/l
MobileMe Gallery

Here is how my tank looks right now (minus 1 Blue Hermit Crab, their was a fight, one lost, split in two and robbed of its shell)
MobileMe Gallery
vashachiroku is offline  
post #16 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 05:42 AM
i would highly recommend a RO/DI. If you don't i think you will have algae issues in a few months for sure. as you can see water quality issues in a new tank already. thats the best investment anyone can buy for their tank to avoid headache after headache.

100 Gal SPS Rimless, 2X250 Watt + 4T5's Giesemann infinity, Bubble King Mini 200 skimmer, Ca reactor, DIY Kalk Reactor. See my Reef aquarium in HD video http://www.fishtanks.net/fishtank.php?fishtank=2207.
reefsahoy is offline  
post #17 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Guess I'll try to source one out in Singapore. Are they complicated to hook up? I dont own my condo so that might be part of the problem. I read up on them and wasnt 100% sure if I should invest the money and time into setting it up.
vashachiroku is offline  
post #18 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 06:29 AM
if you are alittle handy it's easy. go here for one units simple instructions http://www.marineandreef.com/v/vspfi...ROtwostage.pdf or simply go here and select the owners manual hyperlink
Coralife Pure-Flo RO Systems Reverse Osmosis Aquarium Water 24 GPD 50 GPD II

this iste can be helpful as it has some of the users manual loaded for some of their products.
it may take a short time to download.

100 Gal SPS Rimless, 2X250 Watt + 4T5's Giesemann infinity, Bubble King Mini 200 skimmer, Ca reactor, DIY Kalk Reactor. See my Reef aquarium in HD video http://www.fishtanks.net/fishtank.php?fishtank=2207.

Last edited by reefsahoy; 02-04-2011 at 06:32 AM.
reefsahoy is offline  
post #19 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Whats the difference in a 24/50/100?
24/50/100 GPD TFC membrane


Since I want to get rid of Nitrates, looks like I need one with a DI
The Deionization (DI) cartridge found in RO/DI units removes some other chemical compounds often found in the water--primarily nitrates, phosphates and silicates.

Not sure what this is though?
GAC (granular activated carbon) cartridge


I've already started to source one out, most likely if I get this I'll start doing some water changes this week while I dont have any fish.
vashachiroku is offline  
post #20 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 07:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by vashachiroku View Post
Whats the difference in a 24/50/100?
24/50/100 GPD TFC membrane


Since I want to get rid of Nitrates, looks like I need one with a DI
The Deionization (DI) cartridge found in RO/DI units removes some other chemical compounds often found in the water--primarily nitrates, phosphates and silicates.

Not sure what this is though?
GAC (granular activated carbon) cartridge


I've already started to source one out, most likely if I get this I'll start doing some water changes this week while I dont have any fish.
1. thats the amount of good water in, gpd= gallons per day ,made in a day. you must match the cartridge with the system for it to work properly. ie you cant put a 100 gpd in a 25 gpd system otherwise it wont work properly.

2. yes highly recommend it. the di part brings the water to zero tds (total dissolveed solvent)

3. that takes out chlorine out of the water before it gets to the membrane. real IMPORTANT. if chlorine gets to the membrane the cartridge is damaged. change those cartridge every year to prolong the life of the membrane (most expensive part of filter)

100 Gal SPS Rimless, 2X250 Watt + 4T5's Giesemann infinity, Bubble King Mini 200 skimmer, Ca reactor, DIY Kalk Reactor. See my Reef aquarium in HD video http://www.fishtanks.net/fishtank.php?fishtank=2207.
reefsahoy is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fish All Skimming Surface? mgee16 Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 10 11-10-2010 07:10 AM
importance of surface skimming salt water tanks reefsahoy Saltwater General Articles 0 11-10-2010 07:01 AM
surface skimmer? SinCrisis Freshwater Aquarium Equipment 7 01-21-2009 07:43 AM
Surface Skimming and other issues lutch Beginner Saltwater Aquariums 3 07-26-2008 11:56 PM
DIY Surface Skimmer for HOB GW DIY Aquarium 4 06-04-2008 10:01 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome