water company put nitrates in my water!!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 24 Old 02-16-2009, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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water company put nitrates in my water!!!

Did my water changes on saturday. Tested the water in my tanks on sunday. My nitrates where over 40ppm, and my nitrates are usually around 20ppm. I did water changes in all 6 tanks again on sunday to lower my nitrates, tested again, no change. Tested my tap water, 40ppm in my tap! I tried to call the water company today but they where closed. The nitrates in the tap started sometime after monday last week. Last monday was the day I added fish to my brackish tank, did a big 85% water change to lower my nitrates to 20ppm after the fishless cycle. I ordered some NitrateLock and Algone for the smaller tanks. Went to the store today for Prime, dosed all the tanks with that, till I get my NitrateLock. If you have any opinion on the products I ordered let me know, or maybe you know a product that works better. This will teach me not to become to relaxed with my water testing!

So far all the fish still seem healthy. I do not see any signs of stress from the high nitrates.
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post #2 of 24 Old 02-16-2009, 07:57 PM
I hope you are able to get the problem straightened out and that your fish will be ok.
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post #3 of 24 Old 02-16-2009, 09:15 PM
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Just to play it safe... make sure you are also testing Nitrite. Most Nitrate test kits will give you a false reading if there are Nitrites present.
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-17-2009, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Called water company today. They are taking some test, said they would get back with me latter. Tested tap water again today, zerro ammonia, zerro nitrites, 40ppm nitrates. The prime I added to the tanks did not lower my nitrates.
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post #5 of 24 Old 02-19-2009, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Took some tap water to the store today to make sure my test kit is still accurate. They got a 30ppm test reading for nitrates. The water company says they are still not done with their testing, they will get with me tomorrow.
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post #6 of 24 Old 02-19-2009, 09:07 PM
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I have gotten similar readings from my tap water before, it was many years ago. At the time I didnt know that the max allowed by the EPA in drinking water is 10 ppm. Shortly after that the water co issued a warning that infants and pregnant women shouldnt drink the water. I think they said something like the nitrate level was "approaching" safe limits. Maybe their tests are different than ours or the nitrate level is increasing in the pipes. Or maybe they were lying.

By the way, they don't put nitrate in the water, they just dont remove it. It comes from the water source. Many of our lakes, rivers and groundwater sources have high nitrate levels from time to time. Some is natural, like from rotting leaves in the fall, and some is from man made pollutants, like fertilizer runoff.

Unless you have especially sensitive fish, I wouldnt panic over 40 ppm in your tanks. Most sources consider 40 safe, and nitrate is more of a long term problem. Even very high levels (like 200+) of it doesnt kill immediately like ammonia or nitrites. It gradually stresses the fish, making them more succeptable to diseases.

I'm interested to hear what the water co tells you, if anything.
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post #7 of 24 Old 02-20-2009, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Yea, thanks! I am really hoping they get back with me today.
The reading in the tanks is closer to 80 ppm, but I do not see any changes in their behavior. That makes me think you are right about being able to handle high nitrates.
I got my Pura Nitratelock. I put that in three of my tanks last night. I have not took a test yet to see if it has made an improvement. I still have 4 other smaller tanks that are not receiving treatment for the high nitrates. Hoping the water company can fix the problem quickly, then I can flush them out with a big water change.
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post #8 of 24 Old 02-20-2009, 08:12 AM
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Wow! That is a little scary to think that nitrate in the water (at the level you are talking about) is acceptible! I would be furious! Not just over the fish but think of all the people drinking tap water, that could end up being a bad situation if the water company doesn't get it under control. I would also like to know what the water company says as well!
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post #9 of 24 Old 02-20-2009, 11:59 AM
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I wonder if the nitrates in our drinking water explains some of the people around here. I had always attributed it to inbreeding.
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post #10 of 24 Old 02-20-2009, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Less oxygen going to the brain cells! lol!
I admit to drinking some!
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