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Old 11-06-2009, 05:30 AM   #1
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Question Nitrate Problem

Hey guys, my tank has been up and running for about a month now and i finished my first cycle. My PH is at 8.2, my nitrite is at 0 mg/L my ammonia is at 0 mg/L, but my nitrate is at 20 mg/L. I tested my tap water and the nitrate in that is at 20 mg/L.. So would i need to use distilled water with my 50% water change instead of my tap cause i just did a 50% change with tap water and nothing really went down. Any help would be appreciated.. maybe theres a chemical or something to help bring it down?
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:09 AM   #2
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RO/DI water. If you keep using that tap water, You'll have all sorts of problems, Your LFS will should sell RO/DI water, Or if you have the money, Buy a RO/DI unit.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:57 AM   #3
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I'd suggest checking your test kit, having your lfs confirm your test or just retesting yourself again. If your tap really have 20ppm of nitrate and you just finished cycling (and haven't done a water change) then it's highly unlikely that your nitrates are 20. Your cycle would have been creating nitrates in massive amounts. Adding those to the existing 20 that is in the tap water doesn't equal 20.

I live in the Philly area too. My municipality reports nitrates out at approx 1.5ppm, my tests confirm them to be very low as well. Though those levels can change over the course of a year.

If it really is 20ppm then you need to contact the EPA. I believe the highest level allowed before drinking water is considered contaminated (called MCL I think) is 10ppm.

For the record, I use RO/DI in my SW and went back to tap in the FW
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:53 AM   #4
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thanks for your help! Yeh well i didnt add water conditioner to the tap water i tested so that may have been it but i will re test as well to be safe.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:55 AM   #5
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That shouldn't have any bearing. Make sure you shake the be-jesus outta those nitrate bottles and let them set the full 5 minutes.
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