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Saltwater Aquarium/nitrates and corals


Hi Marcus,
David answered my question but I am still left hanging about something and he is maxed out.
I wrote about my saltwater eclipse tank that I am in the process of retrofitting. I have corals and fish. I added a powerhead and led lights. The problem is I have no sump or protein skimmer and my nitrates have climbed to 50 after adding a sand sifting goby. I did two water changes, one 7 gal and then immediately an 8 gallon. the nitrates are about 25. I am in emergency mode as I do not want to lose my daisy corals and torch coral (I know my zoos and shrooms are hardier but do not like it either). My immediate question is...What do I retrofit first, a protein skimmer or a sump?? I will do another water change tomorrow. thanks!!

in order to fully answer your question Becky ill need some more info. How many total gallons is your eclipse system? and what types of fish and how many are in the tank? if your nitrates went up right after you introduced the goby that could be a sign you went over your balanced stock level and now the fish in your tank are producing more waste than the tank can deal with. no matter what type of filtration you have and how many water changes you do, if your tank is overstocked you will always have serious water quality issues. as for installing a protein skimmer vs. a sump, its really whatever you find most conveniant first, i have had tanks without protein skimmers, and i have had tanks without sumps. protein skimmers will do a good job of removing unwanted proteins however so that may be a smart move to make first. but a sump is also a good idea when you can install one.

hope that helps Becky.


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i have about 15 years of experience in the reefing hobby but have been keeping aquariums for about 20, i am up to date on all the latest equipment such as led lighting, dosers, the new tanks available such as the red sea max and i can help you with many creatures that most other people have never even kept before such as sehorses, cephs, and sharks and rays.


15 years in the reefing hobby and it has come to my attention this site needs some more informed experts.


masters degree in marine biology

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