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Old 02-11-2005, 03:16 PM   #1
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Nitrate level - is this safe?

Having just completed a fishless cycle, I really want to get some fish but I've read varying opinions on reasonable nitrate levels, some say don't stock unless nitrate is <10ppm whereas others say up to 50ppm is still OK. My current reading is 25ppm and despite doing a 70% water change (after the ammonia and nitrite levels went to zero) followed by a 20% change 2 days later, the level remains unchanged and has in fact done so for the last week or so (it peaked at about 50 mid-way through the cycle)

So, can I start stocking?
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:33 PM   #2
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25 isn't "dangerous" but it's higher on the scale of "okay." I'd say you've fine to start stocking, just keep an eye on it. Of course low nitrate readings are the most desireable, but 25 isn't that bad.
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Any ideas on the best way to reduce nitrate levels? Should I just do some small changes, say every other day? The tank is very lightly planted, perhaps adding a few more would do the trick. I also have a nitrate removing filter that i can add to my filtration unit, are these any good or have i wasted my money?
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:11 PM   #4
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Try adding some hornwort. They are a floating plant that sucks down nitrogenous wastes so that should help. I think they will grow like crazy with the nitrates that high but just prune them back every once in a while.
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Old 02-13-2005, 11:24 AM   #5
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You may find that you have nitrate in your tap water, and I don't think there is a thing wrong with 25ppm.
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:28 AM   #6
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I think Tank Girl is right. Take some of your tap water, let it sit over night, then test. My tap water has 40 PPM. It actually goes down some between water changes due to live plants in the tank. My fish seem to do ok at 40.
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:10 PM   #7
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Its my understanding that NO3 levels don't become a major concern until atleast 50-80ppm, though most agree that 40ppm or less is ideal for FW and it can be lower depending on the type of fish/invertebrate.
Excessive NO3 can supply extra nitrogen which can contribute to algae blooms.
My 75gal consistently runs 40-60ppm NO3 (I don't worry about it, messy fish ), while my Bettas 10gal tanks run 10ppm NO3.

I would also make sure your not using a testkit that measures NO3-N (nitrate/nitrogen), as it will give readings 4.4x's less

If you ran the cycle and NH3 and NO2 have zero'd and NO3 has spiked, then your cycled... I would start adding fish
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