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Old 01-12-2019, 01:04 PM   #1
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Is nitrate a problem with no fish?

Cycling a brackish (15 ppt salt) tank. I have not put any fish in yet. Nitrate is at 40. Can this harm the nitrifying bacteria? Should I change water? Or ignore?
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:23 PM   #2
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I'd say you aren't using a very good water source if it's coming in with 40 ppm of nitrate personally.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:57 PM   #3
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Cycling a brackish (15 ppt salt) tank. I have not put any fish in yet. Nitrate is at 40. Can this harm the nitrifying bacteria? Should I change water? Or ignore?
Hello Fort...

I'd say ignore the reading if you have nothing in the tank. I doubt this level of nitrate would even bother most naturally hardy fish. I keep my aquarium fish in water with a trace of standard aquarium salt and they do fine.

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Old 01-12-2019, 05:41 PM   #4
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I would test the source water for nitrates (would not hurt to check ammonia, nitrite, pH while you are at it just to get a baseline). 40 ppm is high for source water. Letís say the tank levels gets to 80-160. Doing a 50% water change will lower it to 60-100 at best.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:22 PM   #5
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What test kit are you using to check your water?
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:41 PM   #6
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Thank you for taking the time to respond. I understand that part. At this point all I care about the tank supporting is some plants I will be putting in.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:46 PM   #7
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Ammonia .25 ppm
Nitrite 2 ppm
Nitrate 40
pH 8.2

I know I started with dirty water; it's an experiment. The tank is cycling so the ammonia was expected. I just didn't know whether that level of nitrate by itself would be a problem if it stayed there after ammonia and nitrite disappear. Sounds like it might be. I notice now that drinking water max is 10 ppm (not that I'm drinking this foul looking stuff).
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:50 PM   #8
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API Saltwater Master Test Kit. I have no reason to doubt the results, which seemed to be moving in the right direction (ammonia and nitrate going down; nitrate going up) at this early stage in the cycle. Though I have not confirmed with any other test. I do have another nitrate test kit around somewhere that I bought to check our canal water. Actually it would be interesting to compare the two tests. I'll try it tomorrow.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:19 PM   #9
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If you are just cycling the tank the nitrates you have wont do anything to the cycle.
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