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Nitrate spike and spotty Foxface

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Nitrate spike and spotty Foxface

Postby Iain3 » Thu 06 Aug, 2015 3:18 pm

Hi, my tank that has been running fine for about 10 months with perfect water quality until now. The tank has started getting Nitrate spikes, no Amonia or Nitrite, and my Foxface started looking a little patchy this morning.

The tank is a 5’ 400lt, it currently houses 4 reasonable sized fish, a 3” emperor angel (I know I will have to upgrade to a bigger tank for him), a 2” sailfin tang, a 4” foxface and a 3” Wrasse (Tailspot I think), plus 3 yellow coral gobies. I am feeding them about 4 inches of Nori sheet per day plus 1 cube of frozen food per day, and 2 some small sprinkles of Spectrum pellets from the autofeeder through the day. The Tank also has some hermits, snails, and various corals including a very large elegance coral. It has been running with all this and no problems for 10 months, with the last addition being the angel about two months ago.

There are a number of possible causes for the Nitrates:
I went back to UK recently and had a friend feeding and looking after the tank for a month, all looked good when I returned, but lot’s of algae on the glass. I cleaned this off and then the impellor on my skimmer broke while cleaning it, so I ended up with a load of algae floating around, I sucked most of it up, and no skimmer for a week. Also having had no water changes for a month, I thought this may have caused the Nitrates.

My elegance has grown, and the leather tree coral below it had started to die, I initially assumed it had been stung and removed it, but cut some healthy branches off to regrow it. I thought this also may have caused the Nitrates.

I removed the coral, did a big water change and added some Nitrate remover, which bought Nitrates down from 20ppm to 5ppm, but in the last few days the tank is back up to 20ppm, and the Foxface has what looks like a couple of zits, otherwise it is healthy, fat and eating. (pic below) This suggests that possibly there is some other cause that is still present.


I started adding Nitrate remover again this morning and will do another water change tonight. Hoping sorting the Nitrates will allow the fish to get better.
All fish in the tank have been quarantined and treated with Prazipro and Cupramine, so should hopefully not be a parasite.

Anyone got any ideas on the likely cause of the Nitrates? Not overstocking I think, but possibly overfeeding while I have been away? And also any ideas regarding the foxface, anything I can do for him besides lower the Nitrates and observe?

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Re: Nitrate spike and spotty Foxface

Postby Iain3 » Fri 07 Aug, 2015 10:28 am

Added some Nitrate remover, the Nitrates are back down to 5ppm and the Foxface's zits are mostly gone, I guess the high Nitrates just irritated him.
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Re: Nitrate spike and spotty Foxface

Postby DaveK » Fri 04 Sep, 2015 9:58 am

Are you running a refugium?

I wasn't until I wanted to sort out my high nitrates and stocked it with chaeto... within 4 weeks my nitrates are a stable 0ppm
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