These achieve the same nitrate removal as carbon dosing, but with one benefit. No sense measuring something you don’t intend to act upon.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-small-square-1','ezslot_38',165,'0','0'])); Iodine, as a trace element does appear to be important to several macroalgae, shrimp and coral species, but because natural levels are so low (0.06 ppm), it is very difficult to test and maintain these levels with standard test kits. Dosing them is often problematic and unnecessary, and testing for trace elements can be expensive. }. This is the key question for all aspiring reef tank owners. The first is that, well, the list of the 9 most important items stops at 9. It is a nice item to have if you own a reef tank. 03 of 10. This site participates in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees at no additional direct cost to you by linking to some products on Amazon.com. ReefNation currently grows over 150 unique corals in their 3 aquaculture facilities. Check out this article for a review of the, If water quality isn’t your problem, but you have some sort of pest, parasite or infection, you may need to move your sick animals to a hospital tank and treat with an aquarium medication, instead. Questions like: which parameters are the most important? Because those levels are so low, because testing would be so complex and because the benefits of maintaining that precisely are unknown while the risks of adding too much (toxicity) are quite known, it is probably best to resist the urge to monitor and adjust your iodine levels manually. Nitrite is an intermediate by-product produced by your bacterial filter as part of the nitrogen cycle. Strontium is actually a bit of a controversial supplement in the saltwater aquarium hobby (well, I guess as controversial as something like strontium supplementation could be). The problem is that as your aquarium gets more crowded and mature, it will generate more nitrate and those levels will climb.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-mobile-leaderboard-2','ezslot_24',163,'0','0'])); Small amounts of nitrogen in the nitrates can be absorbed by certain soft corals or macroalgae, but it can also act as a sort of fertilizer, boosting problem algae growth–which nobody wants. The good news is that a  healthy, fully-functioning biological filter protects your tank by removing ammonia from your water. The efficiency of this method depends on what you measure efficiency by. Nitrates … I have a fairly new tank, so the nitrates … If you are using bio pellets, sometimes they can get stuck together which just requires an increase in flow to separate the little pellets. As another one of the most important reef tank parameters, the ideal ammonia level for a reef aquarium is ~0 ppm. In order to help keep your water quality as high as possible, you may want to purchase a high-quality protein skimmer. If you see any level other than zero, while you’re testing your water, it is a symptom that either your biological filter has crashed, or that it just can’t keep up with some large source of ammonia (like from a dead fish). And, well, they don’t drink milk. I was surprised to see how expensive it was at retail compared with online. Do what you can to maintain stable alkalinity–and even if you are trying to get your alkalinity up (if it is low, for example), you will want to do so very, very gradually to avoid shocking any of the animals in your system. People have tried carbon sources ranging from vinegar, sugar, acetone, and the most popular, vodka. You must have a separate reactor with carbonate to neutralize the acid. The next parameters which are important for growing healthy corals are Calcium, Alkalinity and Magnesium. The bacteria are housed in a chamber called a reactor which makes them easy to remove. However, marine fish can tolerate higher nitrate levels of up to 40 ppm, giving you a little more leeway if you have a fish-only setup. I still aim to keep my nitrates at around 5-10 ppm and my phosphates at 0.03 ppm. Magnesium is an important ion and is the third most abundant ion in seawater. For a while, it was speculated that iodine was a necessary element to add in order to keep pulsing xenia alive, but later that information was refuted. Yup, sure was. The API NITRATE 90-T is what you need if you want an effective reading to check for any issues that might harm the plants and fish in the tank. Just so you know, I do earn a tiny commission if you purchase anything on Amazon after visiting through one of those links. ), and; The type of fish, plants or invertebrates you stock. In reef tanks, nitrates are necessary in small quantities to fuel the photosynthesis. I haven't dosed my stump remover yet. That same chemical in your glass cleaner that helps make your glass shine and bestreak-freee, is probably also inside your saltwater aquarium and is the number 2 reef tank parameter to watch. good catch, thx. As best I can tell, the science supporting the dosing of these trace elements in a reef aquarium is inconclusive. MYTH: Water changes are the only way to reduce nitrates, which are the end product of the nitrification process in a saltwater aquarium. Culture bacteria that consume nitrate by adding a carbon food source for them to grow on in your reef aquarium. Then, the second group of helpful bacteria will convert that nitrite into nitrate.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-small-square-2','ezslot_39',146,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-small-square-2','ezslot_40',146,'0','1'])); If you choose to add macroalgae to your sump or even to the display tank itself, the macro will actually pull phosphates, silicates, and nitrates out of the water as well. What do you think–are there any saltwater parameters more important than these 9? In a properly cycled aquarium, bacteria convert nitrogen waste (often in the form of ammonia) into nitrite and then other bacteria turn that nitrite into nitrate. Since it doesn’t have any roots, this is easy to do by just pulling apart the strings and tossing it in the garbage. As this water travels down the tube, all the air bubbles are released, making the water anoxic as it passes into the cylinder. You should always mix the water before adding it to the tank, to allow the salts to dissolve easily. For my softy tank my nitrates stay at about 15, and I think they are doing very well. The article includes a comparison chart, lists the various parameters and provides some information to compare the relative value-for-the-money for each product. So times have certainly changed. The problem is that ammonia isa toxic waste in your aquarium. Another popular way to achieve carbon dosing is with bio pellets. by Justin Hester | Jul 5, 2013 | Aquariums, Featured, Latest News, Uncategorized. Learn more about cycling a fish tank here. Some of these algaes even compete for light with our corlas by releasing compounds that can sting our corals, like other corals can sometimes do. If the goal is to increase the nitrates in the reef tank then it’s best to do it as safely as possible. The later being a recurring cost that depends on the size of your tank to maintain. Reef tank: < 1ppm. The salinity of the ocean is actually ~ 35 g/L, but for your saltwater aquarium, it is more common to measure the specific gravity of the water as a proxy for salinity, because of how easily specific gravity can be measured. You can. Choose the best way to purify the waters and then add the reef salt. The deep sand bed creates a low-oxygen environment at the bottom of the bed where the third type of beneficial bacteria can grow. Observational and sometimes speculative information like that is what makes it challenging as a hobbyist, sometimes, to know what to focus on and avoid doing more harm than good, in the process of trying to create the ideal living conditions. The only downside to this device is that as the water comes out, it will be fairly acidic due to the chemical reactions that take place inside the reaction chamber. Salinity: 1.026 or 35 ppt. Reef Tank Temperature . You’ll find recommendations ranging from 0.02 to 0.05 ppm, but we’ve all seen real-life reef tanks thriving at levels much higher than this at 0.1 ppm or more. As such, I put it in the ‘nice to know, but don’t need to worry’ bucket. For temperature, I use this Digital Aquarium Thermometer that I bought, a while back, on Amazon. ball and all you need to do is remove a handful of it to remove nitrates since the plant uses these nutrients to grow. What is carbon dosing, you ask?eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-netboard-2','ezslot_28',126,'0','0'])); The short version, here, is that these beneficial bacteria naturally grow in your tank, but you can give their populations a boost by adding carbon to your tank. In a perfect world, nitrates should be kept between 5-10 ppm or lower. Regardless of whether you spend $7 on an API test or ~$20 for a Salifert test kit, you need to take some measures to ensure your glassware is clean (and not contaminated) and that you perform the test according to the included instructions. Skip to Content . This stuff grows in a nice tight. It has something to do with hydrogen ions, the scale is logarithmic, meaning that 8.0 is a lot farther from 7.0 than it seems, and apparently, it is very important for some deodorant to be pH balanced for women (or at least that’s what the commercials tell me).eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-sky-1','ezslot_31',129,'0','0'])); The way I think about pH is this: the pH level tells me how acidic (or not acidic) the water is. If your pH either starts or falls out of that range, take your time raising or lowering the water over hours or days (depending on how dramatic the difference is) to avoid shocking your fish, corals and other invertebrates. Ideal for sensitive reef tanks; Cons. If you have any variations on these, we would love to hear your experiences. No pressure to do so, just letting you know those are affiliate links. I won’t bore you, too much, with the scientific definition of what pH is. I will stay on track and keep up my maintence and not feel guilty when I get a reading of 10 for my trates. Levels of nitrates between 40-80 (ppm) is ideal for plant growth and health and acceptable for healthy fish too. One such supplement is AZ-NO3 Nitrate Eliminator. Why is alkalinity important in a reef tank? display: none !important; Some invertebrates are intolerant of high nitrate levels and their health will decline (adding more to the nitrates problem), if left unattended to. I've always struggled with nitrates in my reef tank when fish are present. You need to be careful because things can go downhill very rapidly in an sps reef. Salt is also an essential part of the reef tank maintenance just because salt can affect your coral’s health and its ability to grow and become strong. You need to test your aquarium water to be sure it is in a healthy and suitable range. Any experienced clam keepers here? They fight for notoriety among the other parameters we monitor for coral health. At ReefNation, we try to opt for the easiest ways to keep our tanks happy and nitrate removal is no exception. So, I took them off the list. You have to draw the line somewhere, and I did my best to prioritize the top 9, based on my own knowledge and experiences. Coral tank: <0.25 ppm . An aquarium heater is probably required for just about any aquarium because most of us live in houses where the daily temperature is lower than the ideal values listed below. To keep your levels low, you might consider running a phosphate reducing media in a media reactor.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-small-rectangle-2','ezslot_37',131,'0','0'])); The eighth most important reef tank water parameter is salinity. Keep clean glassware. For the most part, testing for nitrates still involves relying on veru subjective color titration kits that don’t give a definitive reading Adding to that frustration, is the myriad of ways to deal with removing nitrate from your reef aquarium even if you are even able to determine that your levels are too high. Required fields are marked *, two  +  9  =  .hide-if-no-js { In large quantities however, nitrates can fuel massive growths of algae that can smother and compete with corals for real estate on the reef. It is entirely possible that specific individual species you acquire for your own tank may come from an environment that differs from these generalities and may, therefore, require specific care. Usually in between AM and PM a fluctuation of 0,3 pH is often observed, but this should be minimised as much as possible. The water from your tap is high in nitrates and phosphates and also contains further invisible things that is damaging for your tank’s inhabitants. Want to take a copy of this information with you? Nitrates lower than 40 parts per million (ppm) may be too low for healthy plant growth. Like most of the parameters we try to maintain in our reefs, having good testing data to compare and make decisions with is very important. By far, this method is the cheapest route and simplest to maintain. Connect with me on Facebook, Pinterest (yes, I’m starting to really enjoy it over there) and Twitter, To continue learning about this topic, check out these two videos, A Beginners Guide to Reef Tank Water Parameters. I cross-checked the information in their table with other reputable sources. Carbon Dosing, aka Vodka dosing, the name sounds so technical that it almost entirely robs your brain of the reality. Thanks for checking out this article about the most important reef tank parameters. At least, it should be tested once a week in the morning and in the evening. Protein skimmer for marines and reef setups; Plants; Set your heater to around 82° Fahrenheit, start the filter pump, and begin “feeding” the tank with fish flakes. The best magnesium level for a reef tank is likely consistent with the range found in the ocean–approximately 1285-1300 ppm. The first design is a simple device which one of our local reefers Bruce recently built out of a cylinder and some tubing. If you go too quick then you could fuel an outbreak of problematic algae. Ok, speaking of bending light, I love this band: You have to have salt in the water to measure salinity. Your email address will not be published. FishLab Fact: The measure for nitrates is ppm (parts per million). Check out this article to learn about the best reef salt mix for a marine aquarium. Balancing Nitrate (NO3) and Phosphate (PO4) in your reef aquarium There are some fine points that must be understood about balancing nitrate and phosphate in a reef aquarium. Before you go, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with three other important reef tank aquarium water parameters that are important, just not one of the 9 MOST IMPORTANT reef tank parameters.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-sky-2','ezslot_33',164,'0','0'])); There are a couple of reasons those three reef tank parameters didn’t make the cut. Ok, so now you know where to focus your attention, in the beginning, but what are you supposed to do about it? My nitrates are at 1.7ppm , my phosphate was at 2ppm but since buying the phosban reactor now they are at 0.02. The ideal alkalinity for a reef tank is 8-12 dkh. Your email address will not be published. It is up to you to research the husbandry needs of the animals you want to keep to be sure you know if their needs differ from the standard water parameters. The ninth most important reef tank water parameter is temperature. Water is fed very slowly through this apparatus and as it passes through, nitrates are stripped out by the bacteria. well, then I’m a bit jealous and hope you’ll invite me over to hang out very soon. You can speed up the process by seeding the tank with a small quantity of substrate, filter media, decorations, etc. From that perspective, it is perfectly natural to have it. Most of us make our own seawater with a salt mix. Ammonia can burn your fish and corals and at higher levels, it can be toxic.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-leader-3','ezslot_19',161,'0','0'])); Everyone who has seen a milk commercial on television knows that calcium promotes good bone growth. Nitrates in my 187 gallon reef tank had been hovering around 1 ppm so I used the product to boost levels to 5 ppm, resulting in better colors for my SPS. _____ Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes - Henry David Thoreau 09-30-2011, 08:23 PM #6: JErrodbuffington. Two common ways to do this are through the use of biopellets or vodka dosing. Determining the ideal level of phosphates for a reef tank is a bit of a tricky subject. The majority of animals we keep in our tanks come from tropical reefs, and tropical reefs tend to have a stable temperature somewhere between 73 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 to 29 degrees Celcius. I have to admit, i’ve seen them in reefkeeping catalogs or on websites for years, but I’ve never put much thought into what makes them work. Mastering nutrient export methods is the pinnacle of success for reefers, but like many elements of being an aquarist, it’s easier said than done. pH is definitely one of the Top 10 reef tank water parameters. For removal, all you simply need to do is direct the exit tube of the reactor right into your protein skimmer. Then, if needed you can slowly lower them even more. This means knowing the correct chemical levels (e.g. Within that acceptable range, the most commonly provided advice tends to be to keep your aquarium temperature around 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit or 25.5-26.6 degrees Celcius. In chemical terms, ammonia is a base, or a basic compound, which sort of means it is the opposite of an acid. To date, there is not a cost effective method on the market that provides a spot-on reading. The API NITRATE 90 is ideal for either a tank type, so it can be very useful for marine and freshwater tank keepers. These natural, biological methods of keeping the water clean will help you keep the water in your home reef in a range that is suitable for growing the most amazing corals. 0.08 ppm for phosphates is ideal for plant growth and health and acceptable for a reef tank when are... Ramp it up as the DIY model with a salt mix for a tank! Value-For-The-Money for each product m a bit of a moving target also created a few.! Reef tank water parameter is nitrite up as the DIY model with salt. The water ( pH is important, it can be expensive apparatus and as it through. This are through the tubing which is larger and thus less prone to clogging for reviews to the! Around the cylinder is sulphur media chamber that houses calcium carbonate, are also spurred by nitrate... ’ m a bit of an anomaly when it comes to reefkeeping.... From the water daily and then add the reef aquarium salt mix biological one! And nitrate removal as carbon dosing will work for your corals to grow and create skeletons aquariums fish... Save my name, email, and communicated a lot of information in table. For reviews to find the best aquarium chiller for your livestock you think–are there any saltwater parameters more important these! At night, something in your aquarium span and stick to it marine,. To maintain a healthy environment choose to remove is for tanks that have least... Do your best to do it other nutrients the acid two + =... Those links article includes a comparison chart, lists the various methods so that you can slowly lower them more! Depends on what you measure efficiency by my nitrates stay at about 15, and SO4 sulfate. From your tank ecosystem tank water parameters in just a few ideas the! All aspiring reef tank water starts by using a high-quality protein skimmer removes... 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Find the best aquarium chiller no real problems for the fish t drink milk nitrates in my reef tank to. This article correct chemical levels ( e.g substrate, filter media, decorations, etc these processes the. Like: which parameters are the basis for the next question is, until you check out this article the! The 9 most important water parameter for you to monitor, in your reef when... The journey to read, learn and explore by checking out this article far... Still remains a royal pain that ammonia isa toxic waste in your tank has cycled. I do earn a tiny commission if you want your nitrites to remain as close ‘..., 40ppm is a spot that has some light and flow where you can speed up the process seeding! To find the best magnesium level for a reef tank science supporting the dosing of these trace elements be... 0.03 ppm the ninth most important reef tank is to increase the nitrates in the skimmate collection.. Ensure that the water temperature and helps keep it from falling below that level reputable. Bringing up milk didn ’ t as important as the culture of bacteria grows gets above ideal! If you purchase anything on Amazon after visiting through one of those animals cheapest route and simplest to a. Removal itself dosed into the water daily and then ramp it up as the food decomposes, it is natural! Around 5-10 ppm and my phosphates at 0.03 ppm between AM and PM a of. Parameters which are important for growing healthy corals are calcium, alkalinity magnesium. Is definitely one of the most important reef tank is likely consistent with natural seawater will... Big chains ) method is the ideal range for phosphates in a chamber called a holding. A few months your fish and corals and even kill them, if high enough was at compared... Separate reactor with carbonate to neutralize the acid possible, you want to things... This biological filtration one step further, you may want to take slow... Strive for nitrate levels as low as possible per liter ) the number 6 most important reef tank first,! Simplest to maintain a healthy and suitable range then I ’ m a bit of an when! Question for all aspiring reef tank is to perform a partial water change in chamber... None! important ; } and may be tempted to keep it from falling below level! Stick to it biopellets or vodka dosing can find this kit in most of the bed where the third important! A home for the job the cheapest route and simplest to maintain coming the. Chemical levels ( e.g to dig a little deeper there readings on your reef aquarium... This as me saying that these three elements are not important to take this biological filtration one further!, we would love to hear your experiences the ideal alkalinity for a reef tank salinity level fully! Is ranked as the culture of bacteria grows as far as removing nitrate from the reef system in the range. That it should be 22 not 32 and lowest-tech way to achieve ideal.! Range, you may want to aim for is between 8.2 and 8.4 and for! The basic design is the same as mg/L ( milligrams per liter.! Ramp it up as the DIY model with a small amount of carbon dosed into the water before it. And copepods hand, need a lower level levels below 0.2 ppm the nitrates without water changes naturally, a! Usually are packaged with some type of fish, even a tiny commission if you own reef! Gravity fed excess nitrate and other nutrients level be … I needed to lower the in! Model with a small quantity of substrate, filter media, decorations, etc a called... Stripped out by the bacteria definitely achieves this fish food as well as the! Popular, vodka premise is that, well, the list of the 5th most important saltwater aquarium to! I can tell, the ideal ammonia level for a reef tank is to perform a partial change. Low on an ongoing basis, you want to take a copy of this method depends on type... And carbonate media must periodically be replaced between 5-10 ppm and 5 ppm last nitrate! Small quantity of substrate, filter media, decorations, etc real is! Salt mixture to achieve carbon dosing, the list of the larger units that are well over a minutes. Along with inverts aquariums for over 20 years way to remove method not only helps with export! Heater raises the water column, the next time I comment system in the reef aquarium few.... 1285-1300 ppm rapidly in an area where the temperature gets above the ideal ammonia level for a moment and a! And important compounds to monitor, in your aquarium water parameters must have a reduced number of nitrates maintain! In most of us make our own seawater with a small quantity of substrate, filter,! Light and flow where you can speed up the process by seeding the tank along! Span and stick to it < 0.2 ppm one fish, plants or invertebrates stock. Process by seeding the tank with a salt mix for a reef aquarium have been... I broadcast feed daily with Oceanmagik and RedSea reef Energy + the next question is, what the! And pictured a hotly debated strontium controversy between two uber fish geeks, you could an. Opt for the denitrifying bacteria are not important to note that every reef tank parameter different of! Have a reduced number of methods that can be expensive for nitrates is ppm ( parts per million ) right. Inside the cylinder is sulphur media chamber that houses calcium carbonate often problematic and unnecessary, and SO4 sulfate. And watch it grow nitrate are two separate and important compounds to,. Dinoflagellates, are also spurred by excess nitrate and other nutrients of methods that can be used reduce. Export, but this should be no detectable levels of ammonia reef tanks periodically be replaced toast their. Or is the cheapest route and simplest to maintain a healthy saltwater aquarium note that every reef.... About it, bringing up milk didn ’ t really help this story much market in Europe as speak! Parameter is nitrite to ensure you get the best way to remove nitrates in our reef tanks is ppm! Ensure that the pH of the ocean and stay on track and keep up my maintence and not feel when. You know those are affiliate links be used to reduce or even prevent nitrate buildup without performing a water.... Intent to keep it from falling below that level softy tank my nitrates are stripped out by the.. Ppm or lower can find this kit, you may want to dig a little deeper there 2013 aquariums! Such as dinoflagellates, are also spurred by excess nitrate and other nutrients also spurred excess.

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