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Old 12-29-2008, 02:12 PM   #1
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High Nitrates

I've got a 35g tank with about 12 baby mollies and a pleco.

My understanding was that NA dissipates naturally over time but for some reason mine keeps going up and a 50% PWC is the only way to reduce it. The problem is my tap water is 10ppm so even in a best case PWC, this is the lowest I can get and it's back up to 30-40ppm in a couple weeks.

I reduced the amount of food I feed and this hasn't seemed to have any effect.

I don't have any live plants so if I decide to go this route, what are the heartiest and lowest maintenance plants I can use?
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:01 PM   #2
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I love the apon bulbs that they sell in Walmart. They come in a little package. Very hearty, easy to grow in any setup.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:42 PM   #3
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Nitrates are safe to 40ppm... so keep up on your weekly PWCs and you'll be fine.

Nitrates do not dissipate-- the only way to remove them is through PWCs or live plants who use them as nutrients.

Low-maintenance plants include java moss, java fern, anubias nana, and anacharis although there are others. Make sure you have enough lighting though as that is mostly what low-maintenance plants need.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:46 PM   #4
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Nitrates are safe to 40ppm

I tend to disagree with that. I have lost fish due to nitrates of 40 ppm. I would say that the closer that you can get to 20-30 the better you are.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:29 PM   #5
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Lower is better, as nitrAte is toxic to fish at a certain level - where that level is is debateable in the community. I've heard 40, I've heard 100.

That aside, like said above there's only 2 real ways to get rid of them in a FW system - water changes or plants.

For now, I recommend 50% water changes to get them down. Your fry will be more susceptible to the higher trates than adult fish. Also, in your situation those plants will take some time to get them down.
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlissasDad View Post
...this is the lowest I can get and it's back up to 30-40ppm in a couple weeks.
You should be doing 25% changes every week, IMO.
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:21 AM   #7
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I do water changes of 50% a week. Also try feeding less and add some low light plants such as anubias, java fern and hornwort.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:52 AM   #8
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I'd say something is going on with the tank. I have 10 ppm from my tap as well. I usually get readings anywhere from 10-15, MAX. I never let mine creep above 15 just as a precaution. I would be more comfortable with my 30g with adults in it, raising to a level higher than 20 ppm. But I would never let my 10g fry/female tank reach levels higher than 20 ppm. I've noticed the fry seem a lot more active after they get a PWC.
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