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Old 02-28-2015, 01:54 PM   #1
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What to do about Nitrates?

It's PWC day here at my house and I noticed something odd.

I've three tanks, two 10gal, one with guppies, one with endlers, and a 47gal bow-front, mixed community (threadfin rainbows, zebra danios, harlequin raspboars, peppered cories, golden panda mollies, and a pleco.).

Both 10gal tanks are moderately planted, the 47 gal is not.

For all three tanks: Temps ~78, Ammonia 0, Nitrite, 0, PH 7.8, Nitrate ~40-80 (hard to tell on the API scale, they're very close and all three tanks turned out the same results). I treat with Seachem Prime.

I thought it was really odd that the Nitrate was so equally high in all three tanks, given regular water changes and the fact that two of the three are planted, so i checked my tap water. Sure enough, it's putting out somewhere between 10 & 20 on the Nitrate scale.

All of my fish are healthy and I've had no deaths in the last four months or so. So I'm not TOO alarmed to find the Nitrates so high, but I'm not sure it's terribly healthy for them to remain in conditions like that.

So, a little help please: what media or treatments can I do to help bring the nitrates down to a more reasonable level? Is there a media I can add to my filters that would help? Is there something chemical I could add on water change days?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-28-2015, 04:55 PM   #2
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That level would be fine, if you have plants they would soon absorb it as they use nitrate as food........
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Old 02-28-2015, 05:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TwoFish View Post
It's PWC day here at my house and I noticed something odd.

I've three tanks, two 10gal, one with guppies, one with endlers, and a 47gal bow-front, mixed community (threadfin rainbows, zebra danios, harlequin raspboars, peppered cories, golden panda mollies, and a pleco.).

Both 10gal tanks are moderately planted, the 47 gal is not.

For all three tanks: Temps ~78, Ammonia 0, Nitrite, 0, PH 7.8, Nitrate ~40-80 (hard to tell on the API scale, they're very close and all three tanks turned out the same results). I treat with Seachem Prime.

I thought it was really odd that the Nitrate was so equally high in all three tanks, given regular water changes and the fact that two of the three are planted, so i checked my tap water. Sure enough, it's putting out somewhere between 10 & 20 on the Nitrate scale.

All of my fish are healthy and I've had no deaths in the last four months or so. So I'm not TOO alarmed to find the Nitrates so high, but I'm not sure it's terribly healthy for them to remain in conditions like that.

So, a little help please: what media or treatments can I do to help bring the nitrates down to a more reasonable level? Is there a media I can add to my filters that would help? Is there something chemical I could add on water change days?

Thanks for the help!

You can buy water from the lfs that has been purified via reverse osmosis and de-ionisation therefore it contains no minerals. If you use half tap water and half RODI water you can reduce the nitrates going in.

If your tank produces less nitrates than what you are putting in, 50% water changes or more would see the nitrates creep back down and remain stable.


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Old 02-28-2015, 06:10 PM   #4
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Assuming you're putting 15ppm water back into the tank large water changes should easily be able to keep your nitrates down still.

How much do you change out weekly?
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:17 PM   #5
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Assuming you're putting 15ppm water back into the tank large water changes should easily be able to keep your nitrates down still.

How much do you change out weekly?
25 - 40%, depending. I admit that this time it'd been two weeks between water changes, so that might be why the nitrates were so high, but even so, it seems excessively high.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:19 PM   #6
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You can buy water from the lfs that has been purified via reverse osmosis and de-ionisation therefore it contains no minerals. If you use half tap water and half RODI water you can reduce the nitrates going in.

If your tank produces less nitrates than what you are putting in, 50% water changes or more would see the nitrates creep back down and remain stable.


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I'd be concerned about using RODI water, won't it affect my PH?

Or is that not something I really need to be concerned about?
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:33 PM   #7
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I would up it to 75% weekly

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Old 03-01-2015, 04:19 AM   #8
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I'd be concerned about using RODI water, won't it affect my PH?

Or is that not something I really need to be concerned about?

It depends how strongly buffered your tap water is but most likely it would drop. Do a test first. Put 100% tap in a bucket and test ph after 24 hours. Then remove 50% and add RODI.


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Old 03-01-2015, 09:20 AM   #9
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Your Tanks

Hello Two...

Nitrates are at the end of the nitrogen cycle, so they're much less toxic to fish then ammonia and nitrite. Your 10 gallon tanks should be getting large water changes a couple of times a week. I'd work up to that amount. The larger tank needs at least a 50 percent water change weekly. More would be better. Acurel has a good nitrate removing filter medium. I'd get some and get it into the filter.

Floating plants will help filter the tank water. I prefer Hornwort and Anacharis.

Just a couple of suggestions, you're the head water keeper.

B
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