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Old 05-24-2006, 11:21 AM   #1
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Nitrate Levels High

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My Nitrate levels in my tank are very high right now while Amonia and Nitrites are both 0.0. Is there anything needed to keep Nitrates down other then water changes (and vacuming gravel)?
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Old 05-24-2006, 11:44 AM   #2
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In the absence of live plant the nitrates will continue to climb (with em too,but the plants consume some or all depending on overall bioload and plant population)...what you are describing is the need for the normal partial water change.
Your numbers look good otherwise.Just Change some water and gravel vac as you need too.

How high is high and what do you use to test?
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:22 PM   #3
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Yes first do a water change. Try and keep nitrates below 20 ppm. Most test kits for nitrate are very specific in the way you do the test. It is possible to get inaccurate readings if the directions aren't followed exactly. So I second the question, how high is high?
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Old 05-27-2006, 11:42 AM   #4
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Some well water supplies can have nitrate in them, so check your tap water for nitrates? If you tested your tank when you were cycling, and the nitrate was zero, then you know your tap nitrates are zero. Use a quality liquid reagent test kit. Test strips are notorious for inaccuracy. A "high" reading can be relative. For me, high is anything 10 or over, but I water change a lot. For others, over 40 might be when they feel the need to change water. What fish you keep can also effect how high you might let it go, some fish (Discus) can be very sensitive.
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:24 AM   #5
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if you wanted to help get down the nitrates you could tie some java moss to any decoration and it will help eat up some of the extra nitrates, as long as you have a light at all it should grow they arnt very demanding.
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Old 05-28-2006, 03:46 PM   #6
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Hi all

Thanks for the suggestions. To answer your questions, "high" was almost 60. I test using an AP test kit that I have been using since the beginning of my setup so I'm pretty confident the test was accurate. I usually do PWCs every Sunday but had missed one week and had not tested for several so I'm suspecting things will level out with the 50% change I just did.

I have been wanting to start adding live plants and it sounds like this might be the time to start doing so
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:52 AM   #7
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The way to keep nitrates down is lots of small pwc. The more stocked you are the more often you should do them. I do 50% changes every 1-2 wks in my tanks. Also make sure you aren't over feeding your fish as that will quickly bring up your nitrates. Adding some plants is a great idea. Java fern tends to do well in any tank regardless of lighting so that's one of my favorites.
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:05 AM   #8
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Another thing you can do is feed a bit less. It is easy to overfeed and get higher nitrates as a result. I was overfeeding and cut back and nitrates are good. In my planted tank I have a hard time getting above 5 ppm now. Plants are excellent for getting nitrates down as talloulou said.
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