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Old 02-13-2013, 08:14 PM   #1
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NitrAtes at 60 after 98% water change?

Anyone have any ideas?

I just completed fishless- cycling and am prepping my tank for stocking. TrAtes were up over 100 and I thought a full water change (or darn close to it) would clear all nitrAtes out?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:21 PM   #2
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Are there nitrates in your tap water? Sometimes it can take more than one water change to get nitrates down if they are really high. Do another full water change and see where they are.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:38 PM   #3
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Are there nitrates in your tap water? Sometimes it can take more than one water change to get nitrates down if they are really high. Do another full water change and see where they are.
Pretty much this^^^

Check tap, also I wouldn't do such massive water changes. Do your 50% WC and if needed do back to back giving enough time to get a proper parameter reading.

Now maybe we can find out why they were so high? Is the tank cycled? Over feeding? Any issues at all?

Maybe haven't done a water change in a while?

Water changes will help the problem but if there is an under lining problem then we need to find out.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:57 PM   #4
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Tank is cycled- just finished.. I did a 98% change tonight because I have no fish yet- I'm stocking tomorrow now that fishless-cycle is completed.

NitrAtes were that high because I allowed them to get that high while cycling.

I'm checking tap water now and getting equal reading in color..... so I either have poisonous tap water (public water not well) or my nitrAte test is messed up somehow which I wouldn't be surprised at (toward end of cycle my NitrAte reading went from 160+ to 0 overnight- only way I can get a nitrAte reading is by shaking the ever loving crap out of my bottle #2 (master API))
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:19 PM   #5
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Are you sure you are doing the Nitrate test right? But that is true about shaking the crap out of the bottle. It is quite a workout just to get the test!
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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So I just tested bottled water-0 ppm, tap water hot- 30-40 ppm, tap water cold- 30/40ppm tank water- 30/40ppm ppm.

what the heck?! it was my understanding that over 10ppm is toxic to humans....

And here is the other puzzling part- a month ago when I started the fishless cycle I was testing every day from ammo trIte and trAte and had 0 trAte's until week #3 of the cycle.....

surely if my tap water was putting out that many Nitrates It would have read from the beginning and I would have been asking this question here in early jan.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:40 PM   #7
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I don't see how I could be doing it wrong....

I get 5ml of water (fill to line) I shake both bottle 1 and 2.... I add 10 drops of 1 and then 10 drops of 2...then I shake the beaker (with the cap on) and wait 5 minutes
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:47 PM   #8
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I don't think so, because then whenever a tank is cycling the water would be toxic to humans.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:56 PM   #9
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I don't think so, because then whenever a tank is cycling the water would be toxic to humans.

By toxic to humans I meant to drink..... NitrAtes higher than 10ppm will cause "blue baby syndrome"

After some more research- There has to be something wrong with either the way I'm doing it or the kit itself.... no way is it coming from the tap that way.

Thanks for trying to help everyone!!

I'll take a sample to the LFS tomorrow and see how it compares...then buy a new TrAte test kit I assume...
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:20 PM   #10
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I've heard that nitrates can vary from different taps in the same house, if it's old plumbing. I'm on a well, and mine varies with the seasons. You might call your water company and ask them what's up. It may be something they can fix.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:57 PM   #11
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I've heard that nitrates can vary from different taps in the same house, if it's old plumbing. I'm on a well, and mine varies with the seasons. You might call your water company and ask them what's up. It may be something they can fix.
I agree with contacting your water company.
I have municipal water and the nitrAtes are about 5 ppm, nitrItes 0 ppm, and ammonia 1.0 ppm.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:34 AM   #12
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First, what color does the nitrate test look? Orange? Orange with a bit of red? Or red orange?

Next, google your water authority and check your water reports. Most municipalities have them available online. Then contact them and discuss the situation. They should come out at no charge to you to perform more extensive testing.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:38 AM   #13
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I thought the nitrate test required shaking the test tube after solution 1, then adding 2, then shaking again?
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:09 AM   #14
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I thought the nitrate test required shaking the test tube after solution 1, then adding 2, then shaking again?
Correct API notorious NitrAte test should be shaken after solution #1 and then again after adding solution #2 WITH the cap on NOT your finger. This is per the company tech...
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:13 AM   #15
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Also... From experience, don't bank on your local water company for anything other then a headache. I went through this issue with my company. Being a fire chief and on the hazardous material team doesn't even help. They were rude and a waste of time. I had better luck at a local pool company who tested everything.


Good luck though.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:15 AM   #16
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If you have a Culligan or other water softening company, I think they will test your water too.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:54 AM   #17
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Doing the test the correct way (shaking after bottle 1) and shaking longer after #2 is yielding a very orangy red... so I would assume results to be about 30ppm.

I can't find any recent reports for my local online (Newport, Delaware, USA) but I found one from a few years ago that was showing 5-7.5 being normal.

What's your thoughts on Chemical NitrAte removal like API Nitrazorb vs. leaving it be and doing regular water changes vs buying a RO unit.

I'm afraid if I use the Nitrazorb It will remove ammo and trItes too and kill off the bacteria I have established through cycling.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:18 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TheR3dDwarf View Post
Doing the test the correct way (shaking after bottle 1) and shaking longer after #2 is yielding a very orangy red... so I would assume results to be about 30ppm.

I can't find any recent reports for my local online (Newport, Delaware, USA) but I found one from a few years ago that was showing 5-7.5 being normal.

What's your thoughts on Chemical NitrAte removal like API Nitrazorb vs. leaving it be and doing regular water changes vs buying a RO unit.

I'm afraid if I use the Nitrazorb It will remove ammo and trItes too and kill off the bacteria I have established through cycling.
Seachem Matrix is supposed to foster the denitrifying bacteria. It's not a chemical but a filter medium.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:57 PM   #19
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Maybe you should try some test strips for comparison. Or take a sample to lfs.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:30 PM   #20
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I'd take a sample to your LFS before buying test strips. Those are horrible IMO and IME.
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