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newbie, advice/comments appreciated :)

This is a discussion on newbie, advice/comments appreciated :) within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by yellowbrickroad @Byron I read it in the profile here that they can cope with higher nitrate levels than other fish; I ...

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newbie, advice/comments appreciated :)
Old 02-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #31
 
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@Byron I read it in the profile here that they can cope with higher nitrate levels than other fish; I know this won't mean they can cope with really high levels though.
Puzzled me for a minute, until I realized that this is in the "Care Level" section which is a set paragraph of text according to the level chosen, here it is "Easy." I should see about getting this changed, as it is misleading.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:08 PM   #32
 
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Just to update, I just tested my water and I don't think I have had a reduction in nitrates in the tank, I think I'm just getting inconsistent results from my test strips and/or struggling to interprit them accurately. Just tested tank water alongside tap water and the nitrates showed the same colour on both strips, but I find it hard to match it with the chart. My King British test strips appear to say about 20 and my Tetra strips.. well they just confuse me as the colour doesn't look like any on the chart! (They are the ones I used first when I guessed 20-40).

Lou
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:29 PM   #33
 
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If the nitrates really are at 30ppm (or higher) in the tap water,this should be dealt with. AbbeysDad has this issue and has explained his method in a couple of threads. Good advice.

Byron.
I found a thread about a DIY nitrate filter, is that the one you were refering to? It went over my head a little :/ but it sounds in principle (I think..) slightly like what I bought; it's called Aquaworld Nitrate Remover Aquaworld AQUAWORLD NITRATE REMOVERI read quite a few good reviews of it. I haven't bought the tap adapter and hose yet so haven't been able to try it. I was hoping to not need it thinking my plants will remove the nitrates, but from what you've all said I'm now understanding that plants will help reduce nitrate production from ammonia but won't massively remove nitrates if they're coming from my tap water (is that correct?). So I'll get the liquid test, see for sure what I'm dealing with and then try the device.. Slightly gutted that I have awkward tap water!

Thanks again for everyone's help I feel like I'm learning a lot :)

Lou
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:14 PM   #34
 
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Originally Posted by yellowbrickroad View Post
I found a thread about a DIY nitrate filter, is that the one you were refering to? It went over my head a little :/ but it sounds in principle (I think..) slightly like what I bought; it's called Aquaworld Nitrate Remover Aquaworld AQUAWORLD NITRATE REMOVERI read quite a few good reviews of it. I haven't bought the tap adapter and hose yet so haven't been able to try it. I was hoping to not need it thinking my plants will remove the nitrates, but from what you've all said I'm now understanding that plants will help reduce nitrate production from ammonia but won't massively remove nitrates if they're coming from my tap water (is that correct?). So I'll get the liquid test, see for sure what I'm dealing with and then try the device.. Slightly gutted that I have awkward tap water!

Thanks again for everyone's help I feel like I'm learning a lot :)

Lou
I don't know that product, and I don't like recommending something I know nothing about. I'll PM AD and if he is around he will drop in to this thread I'm sure. B.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:04 AM   #35
 
Welcome to TFK!

Yes, nitrates are a real pain and when high in the source water require a two prone approach. 1) to reduce source water nitrates; and 2) to keep tank nitrates low.

I am not familiar with the inline Aquaworld Nitrate Remover product (I don't think it's available here in the states) but think it's worth a try. It most likely contains a synthetic resin that adsorbs nitrates. This is similar to Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover and API Nitra-Zorb, although these products are intended to be used in a filter in an aquarium (or in a filter in a tank to create water for water changes). All of these products are rechargeable in salt water.

I have also used an API Tap Water filter to create deionized water that I have mixed with my filtered water.
I tried using rain water but had a bad experience (acid rain) so don't recommend it.
I am also now collecting water from my basement dehumidifier.

You could invest in an RO or RO/DI unit, but it can be involved unless you have high water pressure (otherwise you'll need a pump to create the required pressure to force water through the membrane) and you will lose about 4 gallons of water for every 1 gallon of RO water produced.

Note that RO, DI type waters contain no minerals and must be adjusted before using. I tend to mix these type waters 50/50 with tap water and use Seachem Fresh Trace and or Seachem Replensih for nutrients.

- As for nitrates in the tank, sadly my DIY de-nitrate filter was not successful in culturing the necessary anaerobic bacteria. I'm now using the Matrix/De*Nitrate product mix alone in an Aquaclear 70 filter as a dedicated bio-filter.

- Use plants, even floating plants as they will help - I'm using Anacharis. You will find that plants will process ammonia and even nitrates. A heavily planted tank would be best, but may require different lighting. Floating plants work in almost any tank with 6500k bulbs.

- Keep the tank/filter fairly clean as this reduces organic matter that decomposes producing nitrates. I always had lots of detritus come out when I gravel siphoned so I switched to sand (where everything stays on top).

- Cleanup crew. Soon after switching to sand, I added a couple of Pepper Cory's. They ensure there's never any uneaten food on the bottom. You might choose some other bottom feeders to assist. (Frankly I just love these little Corys and how they dimple the sand as they forage for food.

- I'm using Seachem Purigen (2x 100ml pkgs) in my filters. Purigen is a synthetic resin that adsorbs dissolved organic compounds (DOCs) before they decompose to produce nitrates. Purigen can be regenerated in a 50/50 mix of chlorine bleach and water followed by dechlorination before reuse.

Last, and some may argue, you may find that treatments to resolve your source water nitrates do not come cheap or without labor. Through excellent filtration, tank maintenance, lots of floating plants, I have successfully reduced the volume of the weekly water change. This requires judgement and experimentation.

I hope some of these ideas help - but go ahead and give the Aquaworld product a try and see what happens - it should work. My only reservation is knowing when the cartridge is exhausted so you can regenerate it in SW, but you will learn.

Regards and keep us posted.
AD

Last edited by AbbeysDad; 02-22-2013 at 01:02 PM..
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:06 AM   #36
 
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Thanks AD for all that information, that's really helpful and gives me lots of options to think about. I'm hoping to avoid having to go the RO route becuase of the expense and it looks complicated, plus my house has low water pressure :/ I'm hoping a combination of the Aquaworld product and the in-tank options you mentioned will be enough.

I looked up the de*nitrate and Purigen products and they look interesting. I'm a bit confused as to how I would use them given that I'm currently fishless cycling with sponge media in my filter, presumably if I switched the media I'd have to start again? Or could I get a second small filter- too much in a 20g tank? I'll get plants, and i have sand as the substrate. Also, this tank is primarily going to be a cory tank so I'll have a good sized cleanup crew :)

I wasn't expecting it to be this complicated but hopefully it will all work out fine! Thanks again :)
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:33 AM   #37
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Thanks AD for all that information, that's really helpful and gives me lots of options to think about. I'm hoping to avoid having to go the RO route becuase of the expense and it looks complicated, plus my house has low water pressure :/ I'm hoping a combination of the Aquaworld product and the in-tank options you mentioned will be enough.

I looked up the de*nitrate and Purigen products and they look interesting. I'm a bit confused as to how I would use them given that I'm currently fishless cycling with sponge media in my filter, presumably if I switched the media I'd have to start again? Or could I get a second small filter- too much in a 20g tank? I'll get plants, and i have sand as the substrate. Also, this tank is primarily going to be a cory tank so I'll have a good sized cleanup crew :)

I wasn't expecting it to be this complicated but hopefully it will all work out fine! Thanks again :)
You don't have to start over as the filter houses less than half of your bacterial colonies so switching just sets you back a day or two. As long as you are watching for the spikes you'll know when it's ready.

Least complicated method, load up the plants, load up the fish (5 or 6 at a time) and monitor levels from there. I did this with a 37 gallon and added 12 fish within a few days of tank setup then added the final 9 two weeks later. No ammonia spiking but a small nitrite spike about two weeks after the first fish went in.

Jeff.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:45 AM   #38
 
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You don't have to start over as the filter houses less than half of your bacterial colonies so switching just sets you back a day or two. As long as you are watching for the spikes you'll know when it's ready.

Least complicated method, load up the plants, load up the fish (5 or 6 at a time) and monitor levels from there. I did this with a 37 gallon and added 12 fish within a few days of tank setup then added the final 9 two weeks later. No ammonia spiking but a small nitrite spike about two weeks after the first fish went in.

Jeff.
Thanks Jeff :) I just want to have some methods to control nitrates before I start adding fish because with my tap water being high I can't rely on water changes and I don't want to get my first ever fish and hurt them because I can't control nitrates :/ I've found a little corner filter that and am thinking of filling it with half de*nitrate and half nitrate removal sponge and adding it in with the filter I have. I'll try to find a tap adapter for my Aquaworld device today as if that works my problem is solved anyway :)

Lou
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:11 AM   #39
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Thanks Jeff :) I just want to have some methods to control nitrates before I start adding fish because with my tap water being high I can't rely on water changes and I don't want to get my first ever fish and hurt them because I can't control nitrates :/ I've found a little corner filter that and am thinking of filling it with half de*nitrate and half nitrate removal sponge and adding it in with the filter I have. I'll try to find a tap adapter for my Aquaworld device today as if that works my problem is solved anyway :)

Lou
If you can remove them before adding, that would be best. The tap adaptor setup is your best option if it works.

Seeing as you are only dealing with a 20 gallon you won't want to take up any more space with equipment in the tank and you will want to keep changes small and frequent. If the tap fails (why, I can't think of any reason) I might suggest that you just setup a 5 gallon pail with that corner filter and run the water that way then use it for your changes. You can then test that water for nitrates and get an idea how long it takes to de-nitrify. The only thing to figure out then is how long the products will last before recharging/replacing.

Sounds like you are headed in the right direction at least.

Jeff.
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