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My Tank Params are Moving

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Madjabjoe, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Madjabjoe

    Madjabjoe Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0

    Hi all,
    I have recently experienced a rise in the level of nitrates and want to know if my suspicions are correct regarding the cause. Normally, my nitrates are below .05 PPM. However, the last three weeks my nitrates have been climbing steadily to the current reading of 10 PPM. Approximately, three weeks ago I added two phosban reactors; one of the reactors is holding activated carbon while the other is holding rowaphos media. I know that activated carbon is known to be a great breading ground for bacteria used in the nitrification cycle but the rise in the nitrates seems to be a little excessive.
    Here is what I currently have/do in my 90 gal. tank to combat nitrates:
    1. Change approx 15 gal of water per week. Religiously!
    2. Employ an RO/DI water purification system
    3. 30 Gal refugium chuck full of Chaeto
    4. Large protein skimmer - removing 4"x4"x4" cup of skimmate every week
    5. Bio load a little heavy but not overloaded. As mentioned before readings were at .05 PPM and stable
    6. 200 lbs of live rock
    Will my denitrificatin eventually catch up or do I need to take additional action?
    Are my phosban reator the main contributors?
    I have not read anything or heard of problems from other aquarist experencing increases in nitrates due to phasban reators.
    One last note: the activated carbon is only three weeks old.
    Thanks for the help and comments in advance!!
  2. jtesdall

    jtesdall Expert Reefkeeper

    +1 / 0 / -0
    How old are your ro mebranes and filters? What is the TDS out of your DI? How heavily stocked?
    If you are worried about the carbon and phosphate reactor then I would remove them and continue your water changes. Test your phospahtes to see if they have gone down. Phoshate media depletes fairly quickly so it may be time after two weeks to remove it anyway and most folks don't run carbon except intermittently for a couple of days to remove contaminents. You are right crud could be collecting so remove them and see what happens.
    In my opinion if your tank is heavily stocked you will not get ahead of the nitrate problem without an actual de-nitrifier, atleast I couldn't. But now I am near 0 and holding.
  3. reeffreak3652

    reeffreak3652 Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0
    Did you say the activated Carbon is only 3 weeks old? It was my understanding that Carbon should be only be ran 3-4 days.

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