Nitrates come from the well @ between 5.0 & 10.0 ppm…. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 11 Old 05-15-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrates come from the well @ between 5.0 & 10.0 ppm….

….are there any helps to lower this naturally? More live plants….anything?
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-15-2012, 04:30 PM
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Plants will help. There are other methods to use up NItrates as well. 10ppm isn't a hige concern for the most part but it does not give you much leeway until you get to the "caution" zone. You will have to keep up on the water changes.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-15-2012, 05:25 PM
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Agree. At this level, lots of plants. Test the aquarium water for nitrate prior to the next water change, unless you did for the last one. Depending upon the number, we can suggest options.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-15-2012, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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The nitrate registered @ 20.ppm prior to water change.

The tank is planted but I'll get more. The surface is pretty well covered with floating plants, but there could be more ground plants. In this tank I have a large parrot, one african brown knife, one senegal bichir about 4 inches long and four giant corys.

Thank you
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-15-2012, 07:16 PM
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How big is that tank?
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-15-2012, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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75g
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-15-2012, 08:08 PM
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The fish load is adding to the nitrates, so that part can be controlled. More plants, and fast growing ones. Floating plants like Water Sprite are ideal as they use ammonia fast, obtain their CO2 from the air, are close to the light...and they will give more shade which is important for those fish. Swords in the substrate, if they will manage with the lower light, depends, but they use a lot of nutrients too.

Weekly partial water changes of 50% of the tank. I would want to see the nitrates prior to the water changes down at 10ppm or even less. This is achievable.

At this point I might suggest Prime as your water conditioner (it detoxifies nitrates for 24-36 hours which would eliminate the influx at the water change and the plants could deal with it after that) but I'm not sure this is necessary. I'd like to see the numbers after a few weeks of the increased water changes (I'm assuming they are less volume now, may be wrong on that) and more plants.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-16-2012, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, I'm not sure what I have floating, it covers the whole surface and it divides like crazy.
the nitrates get to .40ppm after only two days. so I'm doing water changes every other day until I can get this stablized. I'm getting more plants today. The 55g stays at .10ppm but is planted heavily. I'm going to be purchasing swords. I never had problems before I treated with (aww gee, can't remember the name of it) a toxic sort of fungus treatment, I lost the plants and at that time the tank was heavily planted. Had to start over with plants although some came from the other tank, I also purchased some, it just wasn't enough to replace what I lost.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-16-2012, 08:09 AM
Consider yourself lucky with well water of 5-10ppm nitrates as the nitrates in my well water is 80+ppm! I went to a nearby town and their municipal water was 20ppm.

Now many hobbyists seem unconcerned with high nitrates. I have seen some claim that nitrates are not an issue unless they're 200ppm+. I have to disagree. Although not as toxic as ammonia and nitrites, nitrates are toxic to fish long term. I lost many fish, especially young fish before I realized and understood my water problem. High nitrates stunt fish growth, lower immune systems and dramatically shorten the life spans of most fish. Any measurable nitrates are lethal to corals and many SW fish and although some FW fish may be more hardy than others and survive, high nitrates in aquariums is not healthy. We must also consider that in nature, nitrates are so low in FW they can barely be measured. All the more reason to get/keep them as low as possible in the aquarium.

As mentioned, with ample plants, careful feeding, good tank/filter maintenance and regular weekly water changes of 50% you should be able to keep nitrates under control. You might also consider a small gravel or sand substrate of about 3" or so which might encourage anaerobic bacteria that will convert nitrates into nitrogen.
I am experimenting with a DIY bio-denitrate filter (documented in the DIY section of this forum). It uses Seachem Matrix and De*Nitrate which simulates live rock used in SW). So far, however, although ammonia and nitrites are handled, I have yet to claim success processing nitrates with anaerobic bacteria. I'm still hopeful it will kick in.

In my case, I've used products like Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover (FNR) and API's Nitra-Zorb in the tank filter to lower tank nitrates. These are synthetic scavenger resins that adsorb nitrate and are rechargeable in salt water, making them resuseable. I am also periodically using activated carbon and Seachem Purigen (a synthetic resin that adsorbs dissolved organic compounds) along with some anacharis floating plants, careful feeding and good tank/filter maintenance to keep nitrates low.
For water changes, I bought an API Tap Water filter to create deionized (DI) water. DI water is too pure for aquarium fish so additives adjust for minerals and pH (I'm currently using Seachem Replenish and Seachem Neutral/Alkalinity Regulators). Since my yield of the filtered DI water is only about 50g per ($25) filter cartridge, I setup a spare 10g tank in my garage and use FNR to filter my well water. I use a 50/50 mix of the DI and FNR filtered water to produce a 10g weekly water change for my 60g tank and add a weekly dose of Seachem Fresh Trace (to ensure ample trace elements).
I've been doing this for about 3 months and so far the fish are healthy, active and no more fish loss.

As mentioned, with ample plants, careful feeding, good maintenance and religious weekly water changes, you should be fine... but monitor nitrates to keep them as low as possible.

regards,
AD

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post #10 of 11 Old 05-16-2012, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you AD, I am diligent about doing weekly changes of 50%. Now I will be diligent to change out water every day if need be until I can get this under control. Thank you all for you input. I will make a list of all of these product and see what is available at my lfs. I'm sure sorry for you and those high nitrates coming straight out of the ground like that. (I wonder what that's all about?)

I will be picking up plants today along with a product to help with the nitrates.

Thanks again
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