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Old 01-13-2006, 11:36 AM   #1
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160+ ppm Nitrate?

I've been a bad boy. I've been keeping fish for almost twenty years and haven't tested the water more than a handful of times and even THAT was only simple pH and ammonia testing when I first started way back when.

Anyway, I've been trying to keep plants for little while now and I started to make some changes based on what I've been learning from here and the books I bought. I'm setting up a new tank for my medium light tank, but I would sill like to keep my low-light 55 planted. I tested the water the other night with an AP master kit and I came up with the following:
pH = 6.6
Nitrate = 160+ppm (the chart stops at 160 and the vial seemed darker than that last block)
Nitrite = 0ppm
Ammonia = 0ppm

I went out the next day and bought a sachet of Nitro-sorb and put in the Fluval last night. The instructions said it will absorb about 10-12 ppm every 24 hours until saturated. Of course, I can recharge it, if necessary.

My question is, can I drop the nitrate TOO fast and shock the fish?

Just tipping into planted aquaria after twenty years of fish-keeping.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:20 PM   #2
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I always suspect abnormally high/low readings.

Did you double check that nitrate reading by re-doing the test, or comparing it with another kit? Test kits do go bad over time, and there is always the possibility that you might have added too much of one reagent.

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Old 01-13-2006, 12:27 PM   #3
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I don't believe you can drop nitrates too quickly. That's sort of like saying that if they cleaned the smog from Denver's air too quickly that people would die of clean air shock :P
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:48 PM   #4
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Only time i've seen dropped nitrates cause a problem is when a fish tank didn't see a water change in a year or more, and then a HUGE water change was done.

I doubt it was just the nitrates that caused the fish to die in those situations, because you're also talking about a radical change in Kh, Gh, pH too.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:53 PM   #5
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Yeah, I did the test twice. Even sampled from deeper in the tank by inverting the vial (open end down) until it was mid-tank. Shook the test solutions as directed, too... I carefully watched and counted the drops. They were consistent. THe test kit is brand new...though who knows how long it sat in warehouse X before finding a home...

I do a 20% water change every couple weeks, when I vacuum the Pleco poop. I'll do a 70% this weekend. Though, I guess I need to test the city tap water and see how it compares. I understand that some municipal water supplies are quite high in Nitrates.

So, I don't need to be concerned about dropping levels too fast. That's good. Wasn't sure if it was like altering pH and/or temperature or not...

How does a high Nitrate level affect the plants? My fish seem happy and healthy.
Just tipping into planted aquaria after twenty years of fish-keeping.
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