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Old 04-15-2007, 12:02 AM   #1
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Affect of High Nitrates?

Hey Everyone,

Just added live plants to my tank yesterday. Tested my water completely for the first time since the tank was set up 2 yrs ago.

PH: 7.2-7.6
Nitrites: 0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrates: 20-40

What affect will the Nitrates have? I haven't PWC'd since wednesday due to melafix dosing for a tetra with fin rot. I will do a 50% PWC this coming wednesday. Are the fish/plants in danger? What will bring down the Nitrates other than a PWC? Should I do a small PWC before Wednesday to bring the Nitrates down before something goes nasty?
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:14 AM   #2
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I think you're fine. Depending on what plants you put in and how many, they actually might consume the nitrates. As long as you stay below 40 the fish are fine as well.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:17 AM   #3
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I have a few bundles of anacharis, a couple bundles of hornwort, 2 small bundles of some sort of val, and an amazon sword
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:19 AM   #4
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20-40 is a pretty broad range. Can you tell from the color what the reading is closest to?

Nitrates are something plants actually use, so it's better if you do have some in a planted tank. That reading should not do any damage to either your plants or fish. If it climbs higher, though, do a PWC before Wednesday.

I am moderately planted and my nitrates stay between 10-20 ppm.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:23 AM   #5
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I'd say closer to 40, but not quite.
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Old 04-15-2007, 01:51 PM   #6
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I don't think you have anything to worry about with nitrates of 40. You have to get really above 80-100 for it to start affecting the fish.
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Old 04-15-2007, 04:13 PM   #7
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Actually I wouldn't consider 20-40ppm of Nitrate to be high at all. Perfectly fine for both plants and fish. Generally we recommend keeping Nitrates under 20ppm when just keeping fish, but in the 20-40ppm range once plants are added to help ensure that the Nitrates don't accidently bottom out. Many actually are unable to keep Nitrates under 20ppm as a direct result of having Nitrates in their tap water, and end up aiming for 20-40ppm of Nitrates as their goal even without plants.
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