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Originally Posted by James1968 View Post
As I mentioned, test strips are somewhat uncertain--your tap water nitrate might be very low as much as it could be closer to 100, so I would check your water supply board for the actual nitrate number; some have websites with postings of what's in the water (it varies from region to region depending upon the source of the water) and nitrate is normally listed.
Nitrate in an aquarium should remain below 20ppm (ppm equals mg/litre if memory serves me correctly). Most of the fish we keep can manage at higher levels, say up to 40ppm, and some higher still. But as fish in the wild are unlikely to be exposed to nitrates anywhere near this level, and some do have adverse reactions that may not be visible to us, it is best to aim for 20ppm or lower. Plants help achieve this, as do regular water changes--at least in the aquarium. If the nitrate is coming in from the water supply, then a good conditioner that detoxifies nitrate is advisable. Prime will do this, it is the only one known to me that does. This will handle nitrate in the water at water changes, and provided there is no source in the aquarium "out of control" it will not be an issue. Again, live plants will greatly benefit this.
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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