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Thread: 13 days in, ammonia at 0, nitrite at 0, nitrates at 80ppm, well water....

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    13 days in, ammonia at 0, nitrite at 0, nitrates at 80ppm, well water....

    is naturally high in nitrates, whats the best way to lower the nitrates?

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    Master Reefer SaltyDawg's Avatar
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    What kind of test kit are you using (strips,drops,brand...etc)? And as you've already noticed, well water isn't the best way to go. Those nitrates are going to grow algae and other slimy headaches that will make you want to quit the hobby. Can you buy distilled or RO water at your local grocery store? Imagine what other chemicals in that water you are putting in there that are potentially poisonous to a tank. Ideally, you want a RO or better yet a RO/DI filtration system at your home to ensure that your using the best. There are also macro algae that can help reduce nitrates but I think eliminating the source of the trates is easier/better than putting a band-aid over the problem.

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    api master kit, drops. I assume a ro/di filtration system would be cheaper in the long run?

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    In the long run buying your own system is cheaper and you have 100% control over your water quality.

    Have you ever had any ammonia? If not I'd drop a raw shrimp or piece of raw fish in the tank and let it kickstart the ammonia. Put the shrimp/fish in a piece of nylon stocking so it is easy to pull out when the ammonia starts to climb.
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    no i havent had any ammonia since i tested the water in the tank, it was always at zero, on day 4 i added the special blend and nite out 2 , i probably added 2 or 3 times the dosage on those so far. Could it be the cycle hasnt started or ended yet, and that the 80ppm nitrate of the well water could be taken out with the addative? (forget the name)

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    trying the shrimp idea now, how long about til i see a difference?

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    no shrimp, will canned crab meat work? i noticed a crab in the liverock (hitchhiker) as well.

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    You should see ammonia in a day or 2 at the most. You have to have the nitrifing bacteria there to break down waste and I don't think you'd get it just from the nitrates in your well water. If you don't see any ammonia within 2 days then I'd presume that the tank has cycled. With 80 ppm nitrates you will be OK with fish but it will be a problem for inverts and most corals.
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    could of it of cycled that fast? only 13 days in. i did start with live sand and cultured live rock, i am not running a filter (sump yet) just the heater and aerator, trying to explain the whole system as it is to get a clear picture.

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    i just checked the nitrate again, looks like about 20 or 30, somewhat light orange.

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    It is possible to have cycled in 13 days but I am suspicious since you did not have any ammonia.
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    i checked the water from the faucet, (well water) it shows about 40 or so ppm

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    i forgot to mention i also have a soda ash feeder in the house to raise the ph as the well water is so acidic it was actually eating the copper pipes years ago. could the soda ash be the cause of the high nitrate level and is it harmful to the fish/reef?

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    I don't know for sure but since soda ash chemically is sodium nitrate I would think it would raise nitrates. I'm not sure but I also think that would reduce the life of a RO system. I think I'd call http://www.buckeyefieldsupply.com/ and talk to them about it.
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    Hey carmie, i called buckeye, they were real helpful, said a 75gpd ro/di system and a booster pump installed after the well water system's pressure tank should be around $300. Most like;y going that route and the soda ash wont harm the ro/di system, the system will just filter it out.
    I put a lot of crab meat in the nylon last night and left it overnight (about 10 hrs) i took it back out this morning and about 8 hours after that when i got home i took the readings again, they are .50 ammonia, .25 nitrite and around 30 or 60ppm on the nitrates depending how ya read it, through the glass with the white backround behind it or holding the test tube against the white card, not sure which your supposed to do

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    is there a way i can lower the nitrates by 20 or 40ppm, like making a 50% water change and replacing it with RO water / salt mixture?

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    At this point in time I'd let the cycle finish before I tried to lower the nitrates. Water changes will help since the well water was the source. You might also want to consider using something like Purigen to help remove the nitrate. Seachem. Purigen
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