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Old 04-24-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
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Nitrate Removal Help

OK, I am having a problem with Nitrates in a heavily planted 55 gallon tank. The fish are doing well. The plants are green. The water is clear. The PH is 7.4, Ammonia is 0 ppm , Nitrites are 0 ppm, but I cannot get my Nitrates below 80 ppm. I have performed a 50% water change 3 days in a row. Is there an easier way to lower Nitrates?

I have 18 tiger barbs and 4 three inch clown loaches. The tank has been established for 4 years.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:21 PM   #2
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What is the length x width x height of your 55gal.

Is there any nitrate in your source water?
Mine spikes to 40 mg/l after rain.

I stopped using it completely and switched over to a nitrate filter from the RO unit. (A good understanding of water chemistry and applied science for aquarium use is necessary to use this filter, you must be able to confidently control and measure GH/Kh)

You could build a de nitrate coil.

(Feed less, stock less, bigger more frequent water changes providing source water is free from nitrate)

Clowns eat loads, the bigger they get the more they eat, the more they eat the more waste that is produced. (I know, my shoal is 11 strong and up to 8 years old with the oldest fish possibly being ten years old)
I tried to keep these fish in a five foot long by 18inch square tank (temporarily), they were not happy ever. Really you want a much bigger tank for your clowns with suitably sized big filter(s), even then you will need to change lots of water each week.
Some places suggest 6x2x2 for clowns. I'd say go as big as you can, 8-12" or 20-30cms is to be expected.

My guess, you have too many fish or they are being over fed.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:30 PM   #3
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The tank is 48X13X21. The tiger barbs are like piranhas when they eat. I feed then twice a day...if I do not then they will eat each other. They eat all of the food. I am doing another partial now as I write this. As far as the loaches, if they get too big I may have to trade them in. Right now they are my snail control. The tap water has 0 ppm nitrate but is alkaline and pretty hard. I was looking into an Aquaripure nitrate filter. Not sure if it'll work.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:49 PM   #4
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One problem that I am having J is siphoning poo from around all of the plants which is prolly the source of my nitrates . I was hoping the plants would eat that stuff.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:16 PM   #5
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Botia striata or even botia almorhae (used to be lohachata)
Both good snailers. Almorhae least effective.

Both smaller, striata are very small and really territorial (lower levels only), B. almorhae are more shy than both B. striata and C. Macracanthus.

Almorhae should do well in your tank, anything smaller is a no go. 120litres is not enough (32 us gals)

Other botiid loach available but I can't tell you anything about them.

The clowns will get too big. It takes years though. If you're lucky you will get a good price privately, unlikely a shop will give you anything for them.

Barbs are nippy little blighters! Tetra are the same, not quite so cannibalistic though!

One thing to consider, I thought tiger barbs come from cooler waters, I know clowns prefer warmer temps. (Maybe get another tank?)

(Plants use a little nitrate, not much, poo is fertiliser of sorts but try to get that stuff out where you can, enough will remain, normally I have to break the tank down every few years and get into the crevices to give it a really good clean, that's even with syphoning and a pair of big filters on the go)

http://www.loaches.com/species-index...a-macracanthus
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. Right now I am uprooting plants to get to the poo. I do not know any other way. I assumed the plants would feed off of that stuff. Oh well, rescape!
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info. Right now I am uprooting plants to get to the poo. I do not know any other way. I assumed the plants would feed off of that stuff. Oh well, rescape!
It's a royal pain in the wot sit! Yes that stuff collects normally under rock work. I've found that you need to do this every 1-2 years. It's not so bad when you've finished. The tank will look great, you may even prefer the new layout (sometimes after plants grow a bit, they look better somewhere else) and you know your fish are fine. Win win, crack a beer, result.

(I assume you have a gravel vac/syphon filter)
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:33 PM   #8
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Nitrate Removal Help

I like your style. I have a Tetra Hydro-clean.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:45 PM   #9
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I like your style. I have a Tetra Hydro-clean.



(I had to look up hydro clean (sounds fancy), looks like it will work, get the bucket way down low and it should suck harder, keep your eye on the bucket! I've done it too, I'm sure it's not just me! Poo indeed!)

Maybe the plants can stay rooted and just the wood/rocks come out?

Mine is the marina easy clean type, it has a silly flap you need to remove to make it work better but otherwise they do the job. I've used other ones but this one is the best so far (I have three of them now, long, medium, short, to suit tank depths)

If it's BAD, overhaul it, then it's done! Hopefully that's the fix.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:55 PM   #10
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I have had this Tetra Hydro-Clean going on 25 years. It's simple, but does a very good job. As far as the plants go, they are way too thick. Rhizomes are everywhere. Looks like a lawn. I have to take scissors and cut it from time to time. So my partials have just beenon the top of the grass. Now I am getting WAY down to the poo and the water ain't pretty! I think I pull the grass out (I don't even know what type, it freeloaded from another plant purchase) and plant some Amazon Swords and some crypts. my favorite plants.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
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OK, I am having a problem with Nitrates in a heavily planted 55 gallon tank. The fish are doing well. The plants are green. The water is clear. The PH is 7.4, Ammonia is 0 ppm , Nitrites are 0 ppm, but I cannot get my Nitrates below 80 ppm. I have performed a 50% water change 3 days in a row. Is there an easier way to lower Nitrates?

I have 18 tiger barbs and 4 three inch clown loaches. The tank has been established for 4 years.
With your ferts, are you dosing Nitrates for your plants??
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:26 PM   #12
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I put 5 seachem tablets in. 2 weeks ago . But I always put that in for my swords.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:29 PM   #13
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I put 5 seachem tablets in. 2 weeks ago . But I always put that in for my swords.
Ok, so they don't contain Nitrates. Do you add any other fertilizers to the tank??
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:33 PM   #14
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SeaChem Flourish. API Amazon Extract. CO2. That's about it.
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