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Old 01-30-2018, 09:54 AM   #1
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Driftwood leaching?

Ok so I have been going over everything I can. I dose pps-pro without the KNO3. I keep a my plant load very high, fish load low, feeding schedule small and every other day and pwc of 50% twice a week. Yes I have nitrates in my tap right around 10ppm. Today's pwc looked like 80ppm.
The only thing I can come up with is it's the driftwood. Anybody have any thoughts.

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Old 01-30-2018, 10:07 AM   #2
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Your Tank Water

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Originally Posted by flitabout View Post
Ok so I have been going over everything I can. I dose pps-pro without the KNO3. I keep a my plant load very high, fish load low, feeding schedule small and every other day and pwc of 50% twice a week. Yes I have nitrates in my tap right around 10ppm. Today's pwc looked like 80ppm.
The only thing I can come up with is it's the driftwood. Anybody have any thoughts.
Hello flit...

Nitrates in some water sources is normal. 10 ppm is within the standards set by the EPA. Unless the driftwood is rotting in the water, it wouldn't be the source of nitrogen in the water. Nitrates are at the end of the nitrogen cycle, so at low levels, your fish aren't bothered by it. If the level was up around 100 ppm and stayed there for several days, you might have a problem.

You can invest in some nitrate reducing filter media. Companies like HBH and Acurel have it and the cost is pretty minimal. You can continue your water change routine, this will maintain a steady water chemistry and that's what the fish need. Trying to make a specific water chemistry is risky, so don't do it. Just keep up on your water changes.

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Old 01-30-2018, 10:15 AM   #3
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I will give that a try. It's just irritating that I can't get and keep the nitrates down to a safer level. Also how would I tell if the driftwood was decomposing in there?
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:21 AM   #4
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How old is the tank?
When I neglected one of my heavy heavy planted tanks nitrates were well over 100ppm after a 30% weekly water change, 0 nitrates in tap, 0 fish in tank, 0 feeding, all filters cleaned out, only plants. It took daily water changes to bring it down to 20-40ppm, and then twice weekly 40-50% to keep it below 40, with 0 fish in the tank, and light PPS pro dosing. I'm thinking my case is a controversial case of "old tank syndrome".

To this date I have to do 2 x 50% weekly water changes to keep nitrates in the 5-20 range with 10 CPD's in a 90 gallon, so basically 0 fish load. I also have driftwood in the tank, it's beginning to go a little bit soft, but I doubt it's the nitrate source. You may be in the old tank syndrome boat with me. I believe my tank just has so much decaying plant matter deep in the substrate causing NO3 spikes.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:24 AM   #5
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I will give that a try. It's just irritating that I can't get and keep the nitrates down to a safer level. Also how would I tell if the driftwood was decomposing in there?
Hello again...

You would definitely know by the smell. Decomposing wood in water would have a bit of a foul odor. I wouldn't worry about nitrates, even around 40 ppm, most hardy fish tolerate it just fine as long as the water chemistry is steady.

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Old 01-30-2018, 10:24 AM   #6
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This particular tank has been up and running since May-ish? But all the filters and everything in the tank has been in constant use since 2013-15.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:33 AM   #7
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If you're up for it, clean out the media in some old tank water, and perform water changes to get yourself into the 10-20ppm NO3 range while waiting for your filters to stabilize out. Then test daily and see how fast the NO3 builds up, if 2 x 50% weekly changes isn't cutting it, there has to be a large source of decaying organics, or more than 10ppm in your tap.

I should also ask, not accusing you here, but did you shake the crap outta the nitrate test solutions? (API that is) because they are notorious for giving false readings if they aren't shaken up really well.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:43 AM   #8
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Try to poke your wood with fingernail to see if it is getting softer. If it's rotting then I could see it contributing, but not really sure how much. Then again I have a piece of wood root (forest find, not an aquarium product) in my tank that was there for over 4 years. it is getting softer in few places, almost spongy in some, comparing pictures from back then to now I noticed how much thinner it became. Yet my nitrates are 5-10 ppm, I feed more then I usually did . So in my case I can't tell if the wood is contributing (still plan to taking it out soon).
Interested to find what others think.

In your situation I think I would attempt to build dedicated de-nitrator filter. Think 2-3 inch pvc pipe closed from sides, loaded with seachem de-nitrate media, through which water slowly moves. As far as I understand it the key is "very slowly"(and it takes looong time for the third type of bacteria to establish). Was thinking to use the membrane aqualifter type wet/dry pump, it kinda just drips through. I bought a bucket of media but never went ahead with the build so can't report the actual results.

PS,
To be honest I'm actually quite surprised pleasantly about my nitrate situation (hence never went ahead with denitrator). Can't tell for sure but it might be that deep sand - I have ecocomplete capped with sand about 3 inches total depth-l. Perhaps thats what doing the final nitrogen conversion in my case. I never change more then 4 buckets in my 125 and I'm quite lazy with it too so it could go for months.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:43 AM   #9
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Ok so I have been going over everything I can. I dose pps-pro without the KNO3. I keep a my plant load very high, fish load low, feeding schedule small and every other day and pwc of 50% twice a week. Yes I have nitrates in my tap right around 10ppm. Today's pwc looked like 80ppm.
The only thing I can come up with is it's the driftwood. Anybody have any thoughts.
Hi Flit....little off topic...what do u use for ferts to keep your plants good and healthy??
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:18 AM   #10
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I dose PPS-Pro minus the KNO3 PPS-Pro | Aquarium Fertilizer | Green Leaf Aquariums

My 1 piece of lake found driftwood is getting a bit soft. Might be time for a new piece. Just gotta figure out how to get the Anubia off of it. It's been attached for the last 4 years
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:20 AM   #11
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Hi Flit....little off topic...what do u use for ferts to keep your plants good and healthy??
Also plant growth is off the charts atm.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agrasyuk View Post
Try to poke your wood with fingernail to see if it is getting softer. If it's rotting then I could see it contributing, but not really sure how much. Then again I have a piece of wood root (forest find, not an aquarium product) in my tank that was there for over 4 years. it is getting softer in few places, almost spongy in some, comparing pictures from back then to now I noticed how much thinner it became. Yet my nitrates are 5-10 ppm, I feed more then I usually did . So in my case I can't tell if the wood is contributing (still plan to taking it out soon).
Interested to find what others think.

In your situation I think I would attempt to build dedicated de-nitrator filter. Think 2-3 inch pvc pipe closed from sides, loaded with seachem de-nitrate media, through which water slowly moves. As far as I understand it the key is "very slowly"(and it takes looong time for the third type of bacteria to establish). Was thinking to use the membrane aqualifter type wet/dry pump, it kinda just drips through. I bought a bucket of media but never went ahead with the build so can't report the actual results.

PS,
To be honest I'm actually quite surprised pleasantly about my nitrate situation (hence never went ahead with denitrator). Can't tell for sure but it might be that deep sand - I have ecocomplete capped with sand about 3 inches total depth-l. Perhaps thats what doing the final nitrogen conversion in my case. I never change more then 4 buckets in my 125 and I'm quite lazy with it too so it could go for months.

Denitrification occurs in the substrate as it matures are remains undisturbed. In most long time submerged substrates there will be areas of fluctuating REDOX potential. These processes occur every day in natural sediments. It not just denitrification that occurs. Many other favourable processes are facilitated by anaerobic zones in sediments.

If you change little water and have an aged substrate and lots of plants you can quite easily run nitrates under 1ppm.

Ammonia and nitrates are being produced 24/7 so as long as your bioload is not too high and light is not too intense plants can survive and grow indefinitely.

It’s kind of how I envisaged my first tank which failed due to some bad mistakes and misunderstanding.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:44 AM   #13
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Yeah I run highlight like quad T5HOs kind of high light.
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