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Safe Zone for Nitrates in a Reef Tank

This is a discussion on Safe Zone for Nitrates in a Reef Tank within the Coral and Reef Creatures forums, part of the Advanced Saltwater Discussion category; --> if your going to run it ( which i dont suggest for anyone reading this thread ) but since the tanks setup i suggest ...

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Safe Zone for Nitrates in a Reef Tank
Old 08-01-2009, 10:20 AM   #11
 
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if your going to run it ( which i dont suggest for anyone reading this thread ) but since the tanks setup i suggest doing it backwards, pushing water up through the grate to keep debris in suspensionin the water rather then trap it in the substrate.
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:20 AM   #12
 
I'm familiar with the reverse flow UG filter method. Some salt folks must still use it because Hagen still makes reverse flow power heads. Are you suggesting that I try this now?

I think I would rather wait to see if my Gus1911 UG Reef Filtration System (pat pending) fails me. So far this tank has the best water quality of any tank I've ever had. And my softie corals are exploding!

I see where I can shift some stuff around and make room for several more pieces of live rock. I know more live rock will help. If I need to sacrifice some corals for more live rock, I would do it.
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:54 PM   #13
 
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im not saying you need to do anything as ultimately anything you do with your tank will be your choice, but IF it was my tank/choice thats what i would do. the undergravel filter, how its working now is pulling food/poop down, eventually there will be build up which eventually breaks down into nitrates and phosphates which algaes feed off of. you may be seeing the worst of it, at only 10ppm nitrates. believe it or not, softies also like alittle bit of nitrates in their water so this is prob. why they are loving it.

and just for the record, my reef has constant 0 ppm nitrates even after heavy feeding. i have alittle over 100 gallons total system water and run an over rated skimmer.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:20 PM   #14
 
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In my opinion, the only reason this is working for you is that your aquarium has a ton of live rock. The rock is effectively serving as denitrification to keep nitrates at some controllable levels, despite the constant pumping of nitrates into your system by the u/g.

This is fabulous.

By the way, I am from Louisville. You know, as in the Louisville Cardinals basketball team coached by Rick Pitino. We don't think it is very funny confusing us with those hicks that live down in Lexington.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:10 PM   #15
 
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By the way, I am from Louisville. You know, as in the Louisville Cardinals basketball team coached by Rick Pitino. We don't think it is very funny confusing us with those hicks that live down in Lexington.
Sorry. I'm a graduate of Maryland, and a big fan of Gary Williams and college basketball. To mix up Louisville and the Lexington hicks is unforgivable!!

Back to the live rock. You said I have a ton of live rock. I thought the right amt was 1.5 lbs per gal of water. I should have much more than the 15 lbs I have. Did I miss on that one too??

onefish2fish - Reversing the flow of my UG will be my plan B. As long as everything remains as is, I'm just going to watch and wait.
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Old 08-01-2009, 06:48 PM   #16
 
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Forget the old pounds per gallon of live rock rule. Look at your tank. It is packed with rock. If you only have 15 pounds of rock, then the rock you have is extremely porous and low density. It is the quantity of rock that is important, not the mass of the rock that results in its weight.

Back to the u/g subject. I think the worse thing you could do is reverse flow. Right now you have very little accumulation of detritus under the u/g plate, because the power heads are moving water at a rapid pace. If you reverse the flow, you will have waste trapping itself against the bottom of the u/g plate, unable to move upwards threw the gravel bed. Detritus will accumulate and phosphates will become a problem.
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:35 AM   #17
 
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the reverse flow keeps everything in the water.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:49 AM   #18
 
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the reverse flow keeps everything in the water.
Would you please elaborate on what you mean by "keeps everything in the water." And what the advantage is for doing this.

Before and during this "reef tank adventure" of mine I've read literally thousands of words on the subject,for both large and small reefs. As with any venture or hobby, reefs especially, one encounters all sorts of setups, some loaded with contraptions that work and others with the same gadgetry that claim it's all worthless. Same with additives. I'm sure there are as many ideas and methods for keeping a reef as there are reef enthusiasts.

I've read countless posts on these forums and other articles where folks have reefs with plenty of live rock, protein skimmers, RO/DI units, UV sterilizers, sumps, refugiums and perhaps even a CD player thrown in for good measure, and they're puzzled because their nitrates are 40 - 60 ppm, and their tank is being overun with cyanob and hair algae. The book says "no way" but they are proof that it can be so. I have personally seen, close up, tanks that have nothing but live rock and a protein skimmer - nothing else, that are the best I've ever seen.

I suppose each of us needs to confront and solve our own demons, sorting out the best advice from the folks who know best, our personal experience, personal past history and the uniqueness of one's own tank.

As long as I can maintain my water at the quality it is now, undetectable phosphates, 10 or less ppm of nitrates, the sensible approach would be to not touch anything. At least until I see disaster looming.

I appreciate the advice I've gotten from both of you and I'll consider everything. But for now, nothing changes. Many thanks. I'm cool.8)
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:52 PM   #19
 
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you could also try adding some higher algaes such as caulerpa as these have been proven to effectively use up nitrate and phosphate as nutrient. same goes for soft corals
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:22 PM   #20
 
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gus,

my tank has a constant 0 ppm nitrates. the keeping detritus in suspension is simple, corals feed on it. the method your using is pulling it down, trapping it over time. im not saying you can or cant run a tank this way or that way and people have had sucess with some wild systems and methods but im rather suggesting another way of doing it which IMO is better, but ultimately it will be your tank and your choices.
at the very least post some pictures up
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