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Escaped but alive??

monty

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simple;103693 said:
In the ceph care article http://www.tonmo.com/cephcare/keepingcephs/keepingcephs.php it says that nitrates are tolerated without any effects from 50-100 ppm..so i was curious what the side effect of a high nitrate level was, since it hasnt been mentioned much.

Sorry, I mis-read and thought you said nitrites at 80ppm... my bad :oops:

I'm still curious what keeps nitrates from building up forever, though, if anyone happens to know a quick answer...
 
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monty;103702 said:
Sorry, I mis-read and thought you said nitrites at 80ppm... my bad :oops:

I'm still curious what keeps nitrates from building up forever, though, if anyone happens to know a quick answer...

Regular water changes! Clams and macroalgae... would be my thoughts.

I don't think it can ever be stopped completely so long as there's life in the tank.
 

Thales

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monty;103702 said:
Sorry, I mis-read and thought you said nitrites at 80ppm... my bad :oops:

I'm still curious what keeps nitrates from building up forever, though, if anyone happens to know a quick answer...

Biological filtration can 'process' nitrates into nitrogen gas, but the biological load has to be such that the biological filtration can keep up with the nitrate levels. In this case, bacteria convert the nitrate to nitrogen gas, and it floats to Cthulhu. Algae's will also use it as building blocks. Nitrate build up is/can be a very real problem, which is why many people utilize several different methods to deal with it - water changes being very useful.
One of the potential problems with wet dry filters and filter socks is that they can give detritus a place to stay in the system and rot, becoming what some call 'nitrate factories', which is why most reefers don't use either of them.

Like most things...depends. :biggrin2:
If you are using biological filtration, bacteria convert the nitrate to nitrogen gas, and it escapes into the athmosphere. Algae's use it.
Nitrate build up in a tank can be a very real problem, which is why people often use several methods to deal with it. Export via water changes is quite effective.
 

simple

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i read that a chemical called Prime helps keep it under control, but i never trusted chemicals too much, has anyone used this or other chemicals to keep nitrates down? I personally think the best way is just water changes and macro algae..
 

Thales

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simple;103713 said:
i read that a chemical called Prime helps keep it under control, but i never trusted chemicals too much, has anyone used this or other chemicals to keep nitrates down? I personally think the best way is just water changes and macro algae..

Almost all of those chemical don't really do what they say they will do. Pretty much every experienced aquarist avoids them. The biggest problem with the additives is that people use them in place of good husbandry practices - its like spraying Lysol on the kitty littler box, but not actually changing the litter.
 
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Thales pretty much hit it right on about the nitrogen cycle, so I'll try not to go into too many details about that.

Nitrates are generally considered "safe" under 30 parts per million. Shooting for 0 is always the best goal of course, but that depends on your boiload, filteration, age of tank, and some other things. The best export for NO3 is water changes. After the Ammonia turns to Nitrite and the Nitrite turns to Nitrate, the Nitrate has nothing to turn into but Nitrogen gas. How much is turned in to Nitrogen gas depends on the amount of both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria you have in your tank, generally found in the sand bed. At least 90% of all tanks are not likely to have enough bacteria to sustain the Nitrate levels under 10ppm, what I would not want my water above. That's where water changes come in. As you (hopefully) know, water changes are a wonderful way to get rid of dissolved organic matter (PO4 and NO3) as well as other unwanted whosawhats that are in your tank. A standard water change of 20-30% should suffice for any excess you have of any compound you don't want. I don't typically recommend water changes ^40%. Once you get there you can run into larger problems than you already have. If the water is not where you would like after the change, wait at least 24 hours for the water to mix in and get to be not-so-foreign. I will usually tell people to wait 48-72 hours to make sure parameters stay stable (the ones you want to, this is).

Never, ever let your Nitrates reach 50. This generally means you already went through a large Ammonia spike, as well as Nitrite. Some gunuses of Macroalgae are excellent at removing PO4 and NO3 from the water, which they use to grow, the most widespread being Caulerpa, with several species. A close second is Chaetomorpha. When constructing a refugium for this purpose you want it to be as big as feasible. A 5 gallon refugium will do next to nothing for a 50 gallon tank, for example. In my opinion, refugiums are fairly pointless unless they are at least 1/3 the size of your display.

Hope I helped someone :smile:
 

Chia

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Oct 25, 2007
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Hey all - thanks to those who tried to help out my little self-mutilating friend. I checked the water levels, they were all on target. We get our water straight from a filtered ocean tap, so I did a 1/3 change, but he is just getting worse. He is no longer moving, even when food is right by him...though he did try to reach out for my hand when I put it in there. Big bummer, he'll be dead my morning. I think I'll go cry now.
 

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