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Old 07-31-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
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My tap water has higher nitrate level?

Been fishless cycling my 30g planted (4 bunches, in total around 20 stems of green/red cabomba and Creeping Jenny) tank for about a week now, got a TetraTest NO3 kit today and got a reading of around 12 - 15 ppm. Then I got curious and tested my tap water and it came out as around 25 ppm. What does that mean?

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Old 07-31-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the tetra test kit (liquid or strips?) so I can not comment on it's accuracy... but most members here use the API test master kit and find it to be very reliable / accurate.

However, assuming the results are accurate ... it sounds like the plants are utilizing the nitrates from the tap ... in a week I'd doubt you established the bacteria that converts nitrites to nitrates.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:07 PM   #3
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The kit comes with three bottles of liquid and a vial of powder.

My aquarium is an old tank with old filters that I haven't used in roughly two years. I forgot to empty out my canister when I converted it to a trophy case, and when I did up my aquarium again, the old water was still in the canister (nasty, I know and of course I tipped it out. Surprisingly it didn't smell at all). The bacteria are definitely all dead, but I wonder if it would speed up the process. (I don't know, does the presence of dead bacteria make growing new ones faster?)
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:11 PM   #4
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I think jcolon has it nailed and is exactly right on both counts.

On a different note...I'd confirm the level from the tap, and if 25ppm is accurate...there may be a potential health issue for your drinking water. The EPA considers 10ppm the MCL (maximum contaniment level) which they consider safe for consumption. It may be worth looking into a drinking water purification system like a reverse osmosis unit for your family.

http://water.epa.gov/drink/contamina...on/nitrate.cfm
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreGoldFish
The kit comes with three bottles of liquid and a vial of powder.

My aquarium is an old tank with old filters that I haven't used in roughly two years. I forgot to empty out my canister when I converted it to a trophy case, and when I did up my aquarium again, the old water was still in the canister (nasty, I know and of course I tipped it out. Surprisingly it didn't smell at all). The bacteria are definitely all dead, but I wonder if it would speed up the process. (I don't know, does the presence of dead bacteria make growing new ones faster?)
Any bacteria that has been left without an ammonia source to feed upon, or if it has dried out is unfortunately unviable as seeding material.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreGoldFish View Post
The kit comes with three bottles of liquid and a vial of powder.

My aquarium is an old tank with old filters that I haven't used in roughly two years. I forgot to empty out my canister when I converted it to a trophy case, and when I did up my aquarium again, the old water was still in the canister (nasty, I know and of course I tipped it out. Surprisingly it didn't smell at all). The bacteria are definitely all dead, but I wonder if it would speed up the process. (I don't know, does the presence of dead bacteria make growing new ones faster?)
I looked up the kit online and am surprised how complicated it is ... when compared to the API test master. I'm assuming it gives more accurate numbers so it does appear that the plants are using some nitrates from the tap.

As for the bacteria ... the answer to your ???? is Probably not ... You'd have to establish new bacteria which is why keeping media / substrate wet is so important.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:15 PM   #7
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Alright, thanks guys. I'll test my tap water again.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:16 PM   #8
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If it does read above 10...it might be worth contacting your local health department for information. I'm going to guess you live near farmland?
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eco23 View Post
If it does read above 10...it might be worth contacting your local health department for information. I'm going to guess you live near farmland?
Eco23 nailed this one .... I just looked up the info ... see the link below but yes it is worth retesting the nitrate numbers from your tap. Perhaps nitrates from fertilizers in the area?

Drinking Water Contaminants | Drinking Water Contaminants | US EPA
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:33 PM   #10
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It appears that the ebay seller of whom I purchased my test kit from was selling kits that are a year past their expiry date. I'm not sure whether to feel angry or relieved.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreGoldFish View Post
It appears that the ebay seller of whom I purchased my test kit from was selling kits that are a year past their expiry date. I'm not sure whether to feel angry or relieved.
Oh wow ... that sucks ... I'd feel both if it were me. Since we'll assume an year expired kit is unreliable ... I'd say get the API test master kit. It's nitrate test is just 2 bottles ... no powder.
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