Nitrate export without a sump or refugium

CCena

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Dec 24, 2018
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I have a 55 gallon display tank with about 50 pounds of live rock, ~2-3inch aragonite sand bed, a fluval 406 stuffed with bio media, and a psk 100 skimmer. It is currently lightly stocked with come hermits, some snails, brittle stars, 5 small coral frags (sps and lps) and a mated pair of juvenile clowns with a mandarin dragonet. No ammonia or nitrites to speak of, but even with weekly 10% water changes, my nitrates sneak above 10ppm. I do not have a sump or a refugium, so am wondering if a hang-off-the-back media reactor with a reduced flow rate and packed full of denitrifiers will do the trick, or if there is another way? Any thoughts or suggestions?

And just so the obvious is not stated, no I am not able to set up a sump or refugium.
 
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tlindsey

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I have a 55 gallon display tank with about 50 pounds of live rock, ~2-3inch aragonite sand bed, a fluval 406 stuffed with bio media, and a psk 100 skimmer. It is currently lightly stocked with come hermits, some snails, brittle stars, 5 small coral frags (sps and lps) and a mated pair of juvenile clowns with a mandarin dragonet. No ammonia or nitrites to speak of, but even with weekly 10% water changes, my nitrates sneak above 10ppm. I do not have a sump or a refugium, so am wondering if a hang-off-the-back media reactor with a reduced flow rate and packed full of denitrifiers will do the trick, or if there is another way? Any thoughts or suggestions?

And just so the obvious is not stated, no I am not able to set up a sump or refugium.


I personally would just increase the wc% to 15 or 20%.
 
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jaws7777

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I agree with tlindsey

You'd need gph to get pretty low. You could throw some purigen in an HOB . That would probably be just as effective and less touch and go
 

PYRU

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That canister might be your problem. You have to keep it immaculate for saltwater. What kind of flow are you doing on that tank? and I'm assuming you have your powerheads pointed correctly.

Also how is your rodi setup? What's your tds?

I'd just up my water changes as my first move.
 

CCena

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 24, 2018
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
That canister might be your problem. You have to keep it immaculate for saltwater. What kind of flow are you doing on that tank? and I'm assuming you have your powerheads pointed correctly.

Also how is your rodi setup? What's your tds?

I'd just up my water changes as my first move.
Thanks for the feedback! How do you mean immaculate? Like take it apart every week and clean it out? With the 406, psk 100 and power heads going I have 2142 gph. In regards to the heads pointed correctly, how do you define that?
 
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Lepisosteus

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Thanks for the feedback! How do you mean immaculate? Like take it apart every week and clean it out? With the 406, psk 100 and power heads going I have 2142 gph. In regards to the heads pointed correctly, how do you define that?
You want to clean that canister every time you do a water change
 
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Pfisherman

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Im gonna bump this back up and make it my first post in at least 5-7 years. Why dont you just add either a hob refugium, a santa monica ATS or a chaeto reactor?
 

CCena

Feeder Fish
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Dec 24, 2018
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Im gonna bump this back up and make it my first post in at least 5-7 years. Why dont you just add either a hob refugium, a santa monica ATS or a chaeto reactor?
Was considering a HOB refugium, did not know the santa monica ATS existed, and was also considering a chaeto reactor, but wanted to try the bacteria approach because I assumed it to be more flexible from a biological perspective than macro algae. I am running a nitrate reactor now: a phospban reactor by two little fishies with a 15gph flow rate packed full of a Denirtify (seachem) equivalent product. We will see how it goes but I might end up going one of the routes you listed. I also have two mangrove trees sprouted and growing, but they are really small right now.
 
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