Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Would a Refugium help lower Nitrate Levels (

twocents 10-26-2012 10:17 AM

Would a Refugium help lower Nitrate Levels
Title says it all.
Looking at HOB refugiums. If they would help to lower nitrates I may add them to my tanks, the ones that are air driven.

1077 10-26-2012 10:28 AM

Water changes are fastest way to lower NitrAtes followed by not over feeding or over stocking with few exception's.

twocents 10-26-2012 11:46 AM

Thanks. I try and do a 1/4 water change each week.
Right now, the only tanks that are overstocked are the 20 & 29 gallon.
Their water parameters were pretty good the last time I checked, about 3 days ago.
No ammonia, nitrites, 10 ppm nitrates, but the water is 10 from the tap.

I am just looking into whether or not a refugium would take the numbers down a bit more.

Geomancer 10-26-2012 12:33 PM

Any plants in the water, regardless of how they are in the water, will consume resources one of which is Nitrogen.

Something as a HOB though sounds small, and thus probably not a huge benefit.

10 ppm Nitrates isn't necessarily that bad and you will not get lower than that by normal means if your tap water is also 10 ppm. Using live plants in your tank can help a lot with that, just remember every week you're adding more Nitrates via the tap.

It isn't uncommon for fully planted tanks to have <5 ppm Nitrate. Enough to make the liquid test give a reading (with 5 ppm being the lowest), but likely less. In your case, with Nitrates in the tap, smaller changes like you're doing of 1/4 should be fine. Water changes are still needed, as Nitrates are not the only waste in a tank that can not be removed through normal bacterial processes.

twocents 10-26-2012 12:56 PM

I do have a lot of plants.
So far, the fish are doing well, occasionally lose one to old age.
The ph tends towards alkaline, 7.8 - 8.0.
thanks. saves me money.

AbbeysDad 10-26-2012 02:57 PM

HOB refugiums are generally too small to do very much at all.

You need plants, even floating plants to help with nitrates.
With a source water supply of 10ppm, it might be difficult to keep your tank nitrates <=20ppm, especially if you miss a water change.
In addition to good tank maintenance and minimum feeding...

You might consider Seachem Purigen. Purigen is a synthetic resin that adsorbs dissolved organics before they can decompose and produce nitrates. Purigen, when loaded turns from white to very brown. It is regenerated using a 50/50 chlorine/water mix and can be reused many times.

You might also consider Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover (FNR) or API's Nitra-Zorb. These are both synthetic resins that adsorb nitrates and are regenerated in salt water for reuse.

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