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Please help! Nitrites and Nitrates! Mini Cycle?

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Please help! Nitrites and Nitrates! Mini Cycle?

Two days ago I added a trio of erectus seahorse to my 40 gallon. However it seems as if I spiked a mini cycle because my nitrite went up to 0.25-0.5. My nitrate seems like 20-40 more towards 40. However, my ammonia remains at zero. I added prime to protect my seahorses, and I also have a diamond goby and fire shrimp in there. They seem to be running around with no problem. They are very active during feeding, and eat a lot.  Also my tank is cycled, it went 2 months cycling and did great with the diamond goby and fire shrimp. This just happened when I added my seahorse. My questions are:

1) How long until this mini cycle is over? I did a 30% water change yesterday but it seems as if that didn’t help.

2) Are these water parameters going to hurt my seahorse, even though I added prime?

3) Should I do a larger water change strictly cleaning leftover food and poop on the sand?

4) Do water changes stress out the seahorse? 

5) Do I keep feeding my seahorse three times a day or would this make my water parameters worse?

Please help I really do not want anything to happen to my seahorse!’

Pete Giwojna
Dear Mejia:

Dear Mejia:

As you know, right now both your nitrite and your nitrate readings are too high and present potential problems for your seahorses. There are a number of reasons why the nitrites and nitrates may be running on the high side, but the gist of the problem is likely that the biological filtration in the aquarium has not yet had sufficient time to adjust to the heavier bioload following the addition of the three seahorses.

The seahorses are messy feeders, and you could be contributing to the problem by either over feeding the seahorses and/or feeding them improperly, and that the excess nitrites (and ultimately the high nitrates, as well) are the result of wastage and spoilage following heavy feedings.

If the hobbyist is broadcast feeding or scatter feeding the frozen Mysis to the seahorses, simply changing the way he or she feeds the ponies may be all that's necessary to correct this problem. I would suggest that you either target feed the seahorses or train them to use a feeding station instead, as discussed below:

Feeding Seahorses

When keeping seahorses in an appropriately elaborate environment, it is imperative that you feed them properly! Domesticated seahorses thrive on enriched frozen Mysis as their staple, everyday diet. But the worst thing you can do when feeding the seahorses in a intricate reef or live rock environment is to scatter a handful of frozen Mysis throughout the tank to be dispersed by the currents and hope that the hungry horses can track it all down. Inevitably some of the frozen food will be swept away and lodge in isolated nooks and crannies where the seahorses cannot get it (Giwojna, 2005). There it will begin to decompose and degrade the water quality, which is why ammonia and/or nitrite spikes are common after a heavy feeding. Or it may be wafted out into the open again later on and eaten after it has begun to spoil. Either outcome can have dire consequences (Giwojna, 2005).

The best way to avoid such problems is to target feed your seahorses or set up a feeding station for them. See my online article in Conscientious Aquarist for a detailed discussion explaining exactly how to set up a feeding station and train your seahorses to use it. Just copy the following URL, paste it in your web browser, and press the "Enter" key, and that will take you directly to the feeding station article, Mejia:


in addition, Mejia, I will attach a document to this email that is devoted to the subject of "Target Feeding Seahorses" so that you can download the document, save it on your computer, and then read through the material and examine the illustrations at your convenience. Please download it and then carefully read through this document.

Personally, I prefer to target feed my seahorses instead. The individual personalities of seahorses naturally extend to their feeding habits. Some are aggressive feeders that will boldly snatch food from your fingers, while some are shy and secretive, feeding only when they think they're not being observed. Some like to slurp up Mysis while it's swirling through the water column, and some will only take Mysis off the bottom of the tank. Some are voracious pigs that greedily scarf up everything in sight, and some are slow, deliberate feeders that painstakingly examine every morsel of Mysis before they accept or reject it. Some eat like horses and some eat like birds. So how does the seahorse keeper make sure all his charges are getting enough to eat at mealtime? How does the hobbyist keep the aggressive eaters from gobbling up all the mouth-watering Mysis before the slower feeders get their fair share? And how can you keep active fishes and inverts with seahorses without the faster fishes gobbling up all the goodies before the slowpoke seahorses can grab a mouthful (Giwojna, unpublished)?

Target feeding is the answer. Target feeding just means offering a single piece of Mysis to one particular seahorse, and then watching to see whether or not the 'horse you targeted actually eats the shrimp. Feeding each of your seahorses in turn that way makes it easy to keep track of exactly how much each of your specimens is eating (Giwojna, unpublished).

There are many different ways to target feed seahorses. Most methods involve using a long utensil of some sort to wave the Mysis temptingly in front of the chosen seahorse; once you're sure this has attracted his interest, the Mysis is released so it drifts down enticingly right before the seahorse's snout. Most of the time, the seahorse will snatch it up as it drifts by or snap it up as soon as it hits the bottom (Giwojna, unpublished).

A great number of utensils work well for target feeding. I've seen hobbyists use everything from chopsticks to extra long tweezers and hemostats or forceps to homemade pipettes fashioned from a length of rigid plastic tubing. As for myself, I prefer handfeeding when I target feed a particular seahorse (Giwojna, unpublished).

But no doubt the all-time favorite implement for target feeding seahorses is the old-fashioned turkey baster. The old-fashioned ones with the glass barrels work best because the seahorses can see the Mysis inside the baster all the way as it moves down the barrel and out the tip. By exerting just the right amount of pressure on the bulb, great precision is possible when target feeding with a turkey baster. By squeezing and releasing the bulb ever so slightly, a skillful target feeder can keep a piece of Mysis dancing at the very tip of the baster indefinitely, and hold the tempting morsel right in front of the seahorse's mouth as long as necessary. Or if the seahorse rejects the Mysis the first time it drifts by, a baster makes it easy to deftly suck up the shrimp from the bottom so it can be offered to the target again. In the same way, the baster makes it a simple matter to clean any remaining leftovers after a feeding session (Giwojna, unpublished). (You'll quickly discover the feeding tube is also indispensable for tapping away pesky fish and invertebrates that threaten to steal the tempting tidbit before an indecisive seahorse can snatch it up.)

In short, target feeding allows the hobbyist to assure that each of his seahorses gets enough to eat without overfeeding or underfeeding the tank. And it makes it possible to keep seahorses in a community tank with more active fishes that would ordinarily out-compete them for food, since the aquarist can personally deliver each mouthful to the seahorses while keeping more aggressive specimens at bay (Giwojna, unpublished).

The key to keeping active specimens like firefish and occelaris clownfish or cleaner shrimp successfully with seahorses is to feed the other fish and inverts with standard, off-the-shelf aquarium foods first, and once they've had their fill, then target feed the seahorses (Giwojna, unpublished).

In short, Mejia, I recommend that you take the following steps to correct your nitrite problem and get the water quality in the seahorse tank back to normal again:

(1) Perform a major water change, siphoning the bottom of the aquarium around the base of the live rock and the aquarium decor to remove detritus and any uneaten frozen Mysis when removing the aquarium water to be replaced.

(2) Avoid overfeeding.

(3) Change the way the seahorses are fed. Train them to eat the frozen Mysis from a feeding station or, better yet, target feed the seahorses the frozen Mysis and remove leftovers promptly after each feeding.

(4) Add more live rock. Additional live rock will enhance the biological filtration ability of the aquarium and help to reduce both the nitrites and nitrates as a result of its ability to provide both nitrification and denitrification.

(5) Install a good protein skimmer and make sure it is operating properly 24 hours a day. A protein skimmer can greatly improve the water quality by removing excess dissolved organics before they enter the nitrogen cycle, which will again help to reduce both the nitrites and nitrates.

(6) Add some Nassarius vibex snails to bolster the cleanup crew in the aquarium. Nassarius vibex snails will sift through the live sand in the aquarium and cleanup meatier leftovers such as frozen Mysis that are ignored by the large herbivorous snails (most likely Turbos) that are currently in the aquarium.

(7) Avoid using ammonia sequestering products or other products and chemicals that are intended to reduce nitrogenous wastes and allow the aquarium to finish cycling so that the population of beneficial Nitrobacter nitrifiers can build up more rapidly. (This includes the "Prime" that you mentioned, Mejia.)

(8) Obtain some methylene blue (preferably the Kordon brand) and keep it on hand in case the seahorses need to be treated for nitrite poisoning.

Nitrite is highly toxic and if the nitrate levels in your seahorse tank are very high, that will eventually have an adverse affect on the seahorses and invertebrates in the aquarium. Exposure to moderate levels of ammonia and nitrite can change the normal hemoglobin in the seahorse's blood stream to a form (i.e., methhemoglobin) that is no longer able to transport oxygen. If this becomes severe enough, it will leave the affected seahorse starved for oxygen, which makes it very weak and fatigued. As a result, the affected seahorses may detach themselves from their hitching posts periodically and rest on the bottom, unable to exert themselves in their weakened condition. As you can imagine, being deprived of oxygen really wipes them out in terms of loss of energy and stamina. And it also results in respiratory distress, and rapid, labored breathing as they try to oxygenate themselves and compensate for the lack of normal hemoglobin. In severe cases of nitrite poisoning, the aquarium fish will die as a result of supplication.

One of the properties of methylene blue is that it can reverse this process and convert the methhemoglobin in the red blood cells back into normal hemoglobin, which can then pick up and transport oxygen again as usual. That's why it is so helpful in relieving shipping stress and treating ammonia exposure and nitrite poisoning. For this reason, you may want to pick up some methylene blue at your local fish store and keep it on hand in case it is ever needed (the Kordon brand of methylene blue is best, in my opinion).

The usual criteria for determining whether or not methylene blue is needed to help seahorses recover from exposure to high levels of nitrite is their respiration. If the seahorse has labored breathing -- huffing or rapid respiration -- then methylene blue is called for. Likewise, if the seahorse is experiencing convulsions or it's behavior otherwise indicates it is suffering from more than temporary disorientation and loss of equilibrium, such as lying prostrate on the bottom, unable to right itself again at all after two or three hours have passed, it may benefit from methylene blue to assist its recovery.

When that's the case, hobbyists may want to consider a quick dip in methylene blue. Commonly known as "meth blue" or simply "blue," this is a wonderful medication for reversing the toxic effects of ammonia and nitrite poisoning. Methylene blue transports oxygen and aids breathing. It facilitates oxygen transport, helping fish breathe more easily by converting methemoglobin to hemoglobin -- the normal oxygen carrying component of fish blood, thus allowing more oxygen to be carried through the bloodstream. This makes it very useful for treating gill infections, low oxygen levels, or anytime your seahorses are breathing rapidly and experiencing respiratory distress. It is the drug of choice for treating hypoxic emergencies of any kind with your fish. However, methylene blue will destroy nitrifying bacteria so it should be used in a hospital tank or as a brief bath or dip only (if used in an established aquarium, it will impair the biological filtration and the tank may need to be cycled all over again).

Here is some more information that may be helpful if you ever need to treat with methylene blue, for any reason:

If you can obtain the Kordon brand of Methylene Blue (available at most well-stocked local fish stores), there are instructions for administering it as a very brief, concentrated dip are as follows:

For use as a dip for treatment of fungus or external parasitic protozoans and cyanide poisoning:
(a) Prepare a nonmetallic container of sufficient size to contain the fish to be treated by adding water similar to the original aquarium.
(b) Add 5 teaspoons (24.65 ml) per 3 gallons of water. This produces a concentration of 50 ppm. It is not recommended that the concentration be increased beyond 50 ppm.
(c) Place fishes to be treated in this solution for no longer than 10 seconds.
(d) Return fish to original aquarium.

When you administer such a dip, hold the seahorse in your hand throughout the procedure and time it closely so that the dip does not exceed 10 seconds.

And here are Kordon's instructions for administering the methylene blue in a hospital tank if longer-term treatment seems appropriate to reverse more severe cases of nitrite poisoning:

As an aid in reversal of nitrite (NO2-) or cyanide (CN-) poisoning of marine and freshwater aquarium fishes:
(a) Remove carbon filter and continue to operate with mechanical filter media throughout the treatment period.
(b) Add 1 teaspoon of 2.303% Methylene Blue per 10 gallons of water. This produces a concentration of 3 ppm. Continue the treatment for 3 to 5 days.
(c) Make a water change as noted and replace the filter carbon at the conclusion of the treatment.

See the following link for more information on treating with Kordon's Methylene Blue:

Click here: KPD-28 Methylene Blue

If you obtained a brand of methylene blue other than Kordon, just follow the instructions the medication comes with.

Here is some additional information regarding the basic water quality parameters you should be monitoring for any marine aquarium and the optimal readings you should strive to maintain for seahorses, in particular, Mejia:

Water Chemistry, Water Quality, & Aquarium Maintenance

Once they have been acclimated to the aquarium and have made themselves at home in their new surroundings, caring for seahorses is largely a matter of providing them with optimal water quality, a nutritious diet, and a suitable stress-free environment. The aquarium temperature should be stable (no more than a gradual 2°F change in temperature daily) and held in the range of 72-77°F. A temperature of 72° -75°F should be ideal for most tropical species. The salinity or specific gravity of the water should be held stable anywhere in the 1.022-1.026 range. Keep the pH of the aquarium water between 8.0-8.4 (add a good marine buffer if it falls below that range). The ammonia and nitrite levels should be zero at all times and the nitrate levels should be held below 20 ppm.

In summation, when you set up your seahorse tank strive to maintain stable water conditions within the following aquarium parameters at all times, which are ideal for Ocean Rider Mustangs and Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus):

Temperature = optimum 72°F-75°F (22°C-24°C).
Specific Gravity = range 1.022 - 1.026; optimum 1.0245
pH = range 8.0 - 8.4; optimum ~8.2
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = range 0-20 ppm; optimum 0-10 ppm

Regular partial water changes and a sensible aquarium maintenance schedule will help to maintain good water quality, and it is important to test the water quality parameters in your seahorse tank regularly in order to detect water quality issues and correct them before they become a problem for the seahorses. For this reason, it is advisable to test the pH, specific gravity, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels routinely, at least once a week (and immediately at the first sign of trouble). The following information will help you interpret the results from your test kits and alert you to likely causes when the readings are not where they should be.

Basic Water Quality Parameters

Ammonia (NH3/NH4+):
Natural Seawater Value = 0.010 mg/L
Acceptable Range = 0.000 to 0.050 mg/L
Optimum Level = 0 at all times

Ammonia is highly toxic to both fish and invertebrates in even small amounts (> 0.05 mg/L or ppm). Causes of ammonia toxicity include: immature biofilter (new tank syndrome), impairment of the biological filtration due to antibiotics and other medications, overfeeding, overstocking and dead specimens that go undetected (Webber, 2004). Ammonia levels can also rise after the addition of new animals, after a water change, or following a heavy feeding. Any ammonia level above 0.05 mg/L is a cause for concern, and the source must be found and corrected immediately. Be sure to maintain a good schedule of water changes.

Nitrite (N02):
Natural Seawater Value = 0.010 mg/L
Acceptable Range = 0.000 to 0.100 mg/L
Optimum Level = 0 at all times

Nitrite is slightly less poisonous to fishes than ammonia, but deadly to many invertebrates at very small concentrations. Residual levels of nitrite are common in marine aquariums. Levels of 0.05 or less are of little concern in a fish-only aquarium. If the levels are higher than this, the source should be found and corrected immediately. Even trace amounts of nitrite can wreak havoc among the live corals and delicate invertebrates in a reef tank. High levels of nitrite result from the same causes as unacceptable levels of ammonia.

Nitrate (N03):
Natural Seawater Value = 0.050 mg/L
Acceptable Range = 0.000 to 20 mg/L
Optimum Level = below 10 mg/L in fish-only tanks; 0 mg/L in reef tanks.

Nitrate is the end product of the process of nitrification, formed during the Nitrogen Cycle by the oxidation of nitrite by aerobic bacteria. Nitrate is relatively nontoxic to fishes, but elevated levels (> 20 mg/L) are stressful to seahorses over the long term and promote the growth of nuisance algae. Reef invertebrates can be much more sensitive to nitrate, and concentrations as low as 0.06 mg/L can cause problems for symbiotic stony corals. Any level above 5.0 mg/L in reef aquariums is a reason for concern and should be corrected immediately. The nitrate level is a good indicator of water quality and rising levels of nitrates are an indication of deteriorating water quality. For best results, consider using live rock and/or a live sand bed (preferably situated in your sump) in conjunction with a good protein skimmer to help filter your seahorse setup. The skimmer will remove excess organic compounds before they enter the nitrogen cycle, and live rock and a deep sand bed will provide significant denitrification ability, all of which will help keep your nitrates down. Don't overstock, don't overfed, remove leftovers promptly (a good cleanup crew is useful here), grow and harvest macroalgae, practice good aquarium maintenance and maintain a sensible schedule for water changes.

Acceptable Range = 8.0 - 8.4 (typically fluctuates between 7.9 at night and 8.4 during the day)
Optimum Level = ~8.2 and stable.

The pH is a measurement of the alkalinity or acidity of aquarium water. A pH of 7 is considered to be "neutral," neither acid or alkaline, while pH levels above 7 are considered to be alkaline or "basic," and pH levels below 7 are considered to be acidic. Marine aquaria need to maintain alkaline conditions at all times, and low pH (< 7.6) is especially detrimental to seahorses because it is conducive to Gas Bubble Disease. Normal daily fluctuations in pH are to be expected in the aquarium, and are generally gradual enough not to be stressful (Webber, 2004). Maintaining a sump or refugium with a reverse photoperiod to the main tank can eliminate these natural pH cycles. The pH in an aquarium drops naturally over time, primarily due to the decay of organic matter, such as detritus and animal wastes. Regular partial water changes counteract this tendency and are the key to maintaining stable pH. Buffers can also help but the hobbyist should beware that excessive use of pH buffers may increase KH values to dangerously high levels.

The use of RO/DI water or another softened source to mix up saltwater for a marine aquarium is highly recommended but often results in saltwater with relatively low pH. Water purified by such methods is very soft and must usually be buffered in order to establish the proper pH and maintain the total alkalinity and carbonate hardness of the aquarium water at the proper level.

To raise your pH to the proper range (8.0-8.4) if this proves to be a problem, just obtain one of the commercially made products designed to adjust the pH upwards in saltwater aquariums and use it according to the instructions. Such a product should be available from any good LFS that handles marine fishes and invertebrates; they typically include sodium bicarbonate as their primary active ingredient and are often marketed under names such as "pH Up" or something similar. If you wish, ordinary baking soda (bicarbonate) from your kitchen will work just as well for elevating the pH.

In the unlikely event that the pH of the aquarium water is too high, it can be dropped using one of the pH-lowering products from your local fish store. However, many of these products use phosphate-based chemicals to lower the pH, and this is undesirable since the phosphates can fuel the growth of nuisance algae. A better way to lower the pH is by adding RO/DI water until it comes down to the proper level.

Specific Gravity:
Natural Seawater Value = varies
Acceptable Range = 1.020 -1.026
Optimum Level = 1.0245 for most seahorses.

The specific gravity measures the density of your aquarium water relative to the density of distilled water, and aquarists use it to estimate the salinity of their aquarium water (Trevor-Jones, Dec. 2002). In effect, it’s one way to measure the saltiness of your tank, since the more salt that is dissolved in the water, the denser it becomes. This can also be done by measuring the total amount of dissolved solids in the water, which is expressed as the salinity in parts per thousand (ppt). Hobbyists must remember that constant evaporation of freshwater from the aquarium causes the salts to become more concentrated, which increases the specific gravity or salinity accordingly. Therefore, it is necessary to top off the tank with freshwater regularly in order to make up for evaporation and maintain the desired specific gravity. Seahorses tolerate a wide range of salinity very well and hyposalinity (specific gravity at 1.012-1.015) is often used to help rid them of ectoparasites.

Most home hobbyists measure the salinity or specific gravity of their aquarium using a hydrometer. There are several types of hydrometers, including some that float in the water (you read the indicated specific gravity from a scale at the meniscus or waterline on the neck of the floating hydrometer after it has reached equilibrium and is no longer bobbing up or down).

But nowadays, most home aquarist prefer the convenience of a swing-arm hydrometer, which is easier to read. Instant Ocean (Aquarium Systems) makes one such inexpensive hydrometer.

The Instant Ocean hydrometer has a simple swing arm to measure the specific gravity of the aquarium and allow you to see how salty it is. You just fill the hydrometer with aquarium water, tap it to make sure there are not any air bubbles clinging to the swing arm, and the pointer will then indicate the current specific gravity in the aquarium. A reading of anywhere between 1.020-1.026 is acceptable, with 1.0245 being optimal.

A refractometer is a more expensive option for measuring salinity or specific gravity, but it is often worth the extra cost to achieve greater accuracy. When properly calibrated, a refractometer is vastly more accurate and precise than a swing-arm hydrometer.

Dissolved Oxygen (02):
Natural Seawater Value = varies
Optimum Level = 6 - 7 ppm

High levels of dissolved oxygen are vital to the well being of both fish and invertebrates. The key to maintaining high O2 levels in the aquarium is good circulation combined with surface agitation (Webber, 2004). Wet/dry trickle filters, bio wheels, and protein skimmers facilitate efficient gas exchange and oxygenation. It is important for the hobbyist to monitor the dissolved oxygen levels in the aquarium because a drop in O2 levels is often an early indicator of impending trouble -- a precursor of problems ahead. A drop in O2 levels will tip off the alert aquarist and allow corrective measures to be taken, nipping the problem in the bud before it adversely affects his seahorses. Low levels of dissolved oxygen cause lethargy and respiratory distress, and can contribute to a loss of appetite or trigger a hunger strike, in addition to affecting hormone levels and having an adverse impact on a gestating seahorse.

All marine aquarists, including seahorse keepers, should be sure to check the pH, specific gravity or salinity, and the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels of their aquarium water regularly. In addition, checking the dissolved oxygen levels is very helpful for seahorse keepers, for reasons mentioned above. Testing these basic water quality tests is generally sufficient for fish-only tanks.

Okay, Mejia, now that we've discussed some of the basic water quality parameters you should be monitoring, and the optimum readings for them, let's discuss the nitrate readings in a little more detail, since nitrates in excess of 20 ppm can also be harmful to seahorses, and the closer you can get the nitrates to zero, the better all of the seahorses and invertebrates will fare in the long run.

For one thing, high levels of nitrate or phosphate will contribute to the growth of unsightly, undesirable algae such as hair algae and red slime algae (Cyanobacteria), Mejia, and seahorses will begin to experience distress when the nitrates rise above 20 ppm (10 ppm or less is desirable for nitrates, and a reading of zero is ideal).

The high nitrate levels in your seahorse tank can easily be resolved using Instant Ocean Natural Nitrate Reducer. That's a good product that's completely safe to use with seahorses and invertebrates, and it simply needs to be added to the aquarium once or twice a week in the appropriate amount, depending on how high the nitrate levels may be. It can work wonders and will often reduce nitrates to zero and keep them there after 3 to 4 weeks of use.

It can be purchased online at the following website (just copy the following URL, paste it in your web browser, and press the "Enter" key, and it will take you to the right product):


Here is some more information on the Natural Nitrate Reducer that explains how it works and how to use it properly:

Instant Ocean Natural Nitrate Reducer

* Liquid water conditioner reduces aquarium nitrate level
* Use regularly for long-term reduction of aquarium nitrate

* Simple way to maintain low-nitrate conditions in aquariums

Eliminate the need for complicated nitrate reactors or expensive resins. Instant Ocean Natural Nitrate Reducer is the easy solution for long-term reduction and control of aquarium nitrate levels. Patented formula promotes the natural denitrification process of converting nitrate into nitrogen gas. Use regularly to safely improve water quality and create healthy, low-nitrate aquarium conditions. 8.45 oz treats 250 gallons and 16.9 oz treats 500 gallons. Safe for use in both fresh and saltwater tanks.

Directions for Use

Shake well before use. Use 10ml for every 10 gallons. For easy dosing, use the top of the screw cap. Fill to the inner ring for 5ml and to the top of the cap for 10ml.

Note: Dose rate can be doubled per week for additional nitrate control. Depending on the starting concentration of nitrate in the aquarium, it can take a few weeks to reach desired levels. Once achieved, levels will remain low.

Principle Ingredients: Patented Suspended Biodegradable Polymers.

General Information

Nitrate is the end product of the natural nitrogen cycle and may also be found in tap water. It is recommended to keep low nitrate levels for healthy aquarium conditions.

Instant Ocean's patented formula promotes the natural denitrification process of converting nitrate into nitrogen gas. This advanced bio-chemistry is found in nature and helps maintain healthy aquarium conditions.

· Simple to use. No complicated reactors or replacing resins.
· Reduces unwanted nutrients.
· Naturally increases buffering capacity.

Okay, that's the story on the Instant Ocean Natural Nitrate Reducer, Mejia. Depending on how high your nitrates are, you simply add one capful per 10 gallons of water once a week or, if the nitrates are very high, twice a week (i.e., every three or four days).

If you change the way you are feeding your seahorses by target feeding them – or better yet, training them to eat from a feeding station – that should be very helpful in helping you to get the nitrites and nitrates back down to where you want them. Just follow the suggestions I have outlined above and you should notice a rapid improvement in your aquarium conditions.

Best wishes with all your fishes, Mejia!

Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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