I just purchased a 75 gallon SW tank 1 month ago.
I put in approx 35lbs of lR and 20lb of NLR. My substrate was preused by a fish store. ( I know I have to buy more LR but ran out of $$$.)
I have a 20 gallon sump- which has a skimmer, heater.
There is 45 crabs and 1 snail. I did have a clown in it but died. And I found out why.
My Nitrates are too high. I have done weekly water changes, kept the heater at 80. So what is the problem? I can't get the nitrate down. AM I being too impatient, or is something else going on that I don't know about.:oops:
Everything else seems to be fine, PH,Ammonia,etc.
I also have a 35 gallon SW and is doing fine.
how much/how often/what have you been feeding?
what kind of skimmer?
how often have you been doing water changes?
how long has the tank been setup?
you said you got the substate from a used tank? did you pre-rinse it? or add it dirty?
I have been feedingflakes every3rd day, if that. Other than crabs there is nothing to feed.
Lately I have been doing 3 water changes per week. Approx. 5 gals. per change.
The skimmer is bubble magus. For 100gallons or more. ?? (I don't know the size)
The substrate was rinsed off before it was added to my tank.
The tank has been set up for about 7 weeks now.
what type of substrate do you have? live sand or dry sand?
did you check on levels before putting the fish in there?
cuc don't need to be fed -- you may want to let them scrounge around the rocks for food like algae, otherwise you'll spoil them and nothing will be cleaned.
skimmer is fine -- I would do more water tests, and add probably cycle to the mix, or something to start the organic breakdown of the usual stuff.
k, so my substrate is crushed coral. I have approx 1/2 inch deep.
I have stopped feeding the tank since I posted this problem. Still Nitrates are high. I went and got a nitro asorber. Put it in for 1 day. it helped. but I am not relieing on it 100%. I still plan to do many water changes. I have run out of $ to put anything in it for a while. But I would like to eventualyy put some of my corals from my 30 gallon in to this tank.
How much longer does it take to cycle this tank?
2. make sure you have some live rock
3. wait and see if you can take whatever fish you have and ask your LFS to hold them for you until you get your tank cycled -- they will if they are truly a store that cares about your fish's well-being
4. If you have cuc, take them out as well
test every week-- stop the water changes and let the tank truly cycle. the nitrates are a sign that you do not have anything to break down the chemical.
there's a nitrification cycle and a de-nitrification cycle involved.
I like cycle and it helps speed up the process, but since you have live rock it's in no way necessary.
take this time to prep for equipment -- once you have live rock and the substrate done, time to get lighting!
If you want coral, get VHO t5's or metal halide lights. how much wattage? for coral you'll need 1-5 watts per gallon depending on what you're going to put in there.
Thanks for the help.
I thought I might have been done with the cycling part by now.
I have both t5's & metal halide lights. Which I turn on for about 3-4 hrs a night, So the crabs can see were they are going hehehe.- I was recommended by the previous owner who set up my tank for me. He sold me the tank because he went bigger 150gallon salt.
Wouldn't the crabs die if the nitrates are too high? Cause none of them have so far.
Keep in mind, the traditional cycling process that we all learned with freshwater tanks is really not relevant in a marine aquarium with live rock. If you purchased quality rock, all the necessary bacteria were already in place and the ammonia / nitrite cycle generally only takes a couple of days at most.
The nitrate levels are a completely different discussion. It can take 2 or 3 months for the proper denitrification to occur in the sand bed to begin reducing nitrates towards zero. Unfortunately your sand bed is not going to achieve this. First, the particle size is to large, and second, the depth is not sufficient. It is simply not possible to achieve denitrification in this sand bed.
You will, however, achieve some degree of denitrification in your live rock, but most tanks which rely solely on live rock for denitrification purposes have increasing nitrates, unless of course they are lightly stocked reef aquariums. Products such as nitra zorb and frequent partial water changes are very ineffective as a long term solution.
All of this being said, if this were my tank i would not be concerned yet. Tanks are prone to these types of things during the first 4 to 6 months, which is why we so often talk about allowing adequate time for the tank to mature before you begin to add much in the way of livestock. At this point I would focus more on getting your alkalinity and calcium levels in the target range and encouraging good coraline algae growth.
Honestly, you are doing fine. Just stay patient. And you might consider adding another 3 inches of aragonite sand on top of that crushed coral.
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