ways to keep nitrates down - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-12-2011, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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ways to keep nitrates down

my tank has been up and running more or less since May (the filter has been at least, everything else got thuroughly rinsed in late july/early august). it is 29 gal, moderately/lightly planted (a few java ferns, two wisteria, and clump of water sprite), has a common pleco, 2 swordtails, and 9 tiger barbs. weekly water changes, about 25%. for a while now, my nitrates have been rather high, probably around 20, though closer to forty last friday before my water change. i also had ammonia and nitrite readings for the first time in a long time (months?) last week (nitrites the week before), but those are back to 0.

is there something i can/should do other than water changes that would help keep my nitrates low? the plants don't seem to be doing much, i don't over feed too often (it happens occasionally) and only feed 5 days a week anyway. and i don't think i'm overstocked enough to make this much of a difference.

unfortunately, i have to buy water for my tank, so i would rather not have to do more/larger water changes long term. i know i have to do more for now, but i'm looking for other suggestions at this point.

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post #2 of 18 Old 10-12-2011, 03:48 PM
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More and more plants, if your looking for nitrate (ammonia) absorbing capability go with duckweed, anarchrist and hornswort. These seem to be my fastest gowing plants (which equals more nutrients absorbed). But sadly water should still be changed close to weekly, if you want to quit buying water and don't want to RO/DI your water, then look into building a solar water still.
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-12-2011, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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i'm ok with weekly water changes, i just don't want to have to do 25% or more more than once a week.

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post #4 of 18 Old 10-12-2011, 04:48 PM
A lot of it is probably from that pleco. And TBH 25% once a week is pretty close to minimal water changes for any tank IMO. You can either increase plants, though really need plant growth not just plants. Or you can decrease your stock.

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post #5 of 18 Old 10-12-2011, 06:04 PM
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i totaly agree whith what has been said by other posters, all those things will help, but remember, the solution to pollution is dillution, no way around it.
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-12-2011, 06:32 PM
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I too agree with previous advice. Nitrates have come up in several threads recently, so I may be repeating but doesn't hurt regardless. You have tested the source water (bottled, you said) for nitrates? And you are using a liquid test kit; and if the API, you are shaking Regent #2 for 2 minutes (not just 30 seconds as in the instructions)? Just to eliminate other possibles.

A 50% water change weekly is advisable, with nitrates occurring from the stocking as seems the case. And more fast growing plants.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
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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 #7 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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You have tested the source water (bottled, you said) for nitrates? And you are using a liquid test kit; and if the API, you are shaking Regent #2 for 2 minutes (not just 30 seconds as in the instructions)? Just to eliminate other possibles.
i have tested the water and i make sure to shake the reagent for 2 minutes.

what plants should i try to find? i don't really want more floating plant, since i already have water sprite. and easy to grow/low light is probably best, since i still have the bulb that came with the hood.

**I freely admit that most of the information I share I have learned from other people on this forum and am simply repeating. I thank you for sharing your knowledge and ask that if I say anything incorrect someone will kindly correct me**
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KendraMc View Post
i have tested the water and i make sure to shake the reagent for 2 minutes.

what plants should i try to find? i don't really want more floating plant, since i already have water sprite. and easy to grow/low light is probably best, since i still have the bulb that came with the hood.
Water Sprite is excellent for what we're talking about, as it is very fast growing which means is assimilates nutrients including ammonium (the nitrate source) very fast. It can quickly cover the top, so keep it thinned so some light gets through.

Beneath it, crypts grow well, Anubias, Java Fern. These are all slow-growing by contrast. For a faster growing plant, pygmy chain sword will manage with moderate light, I have good luck with this in all my tanks and they have heavy floating vegetation. Chain sword is also fairly fast growing, and will carpet the substrate.

Byron.

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 #9 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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what are the odds of these plants being eaten? i had some jungle val before, but my swordtails ate it and i'd rather not waste money on plants that will not last with my fish.

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post #10 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 02:08 PM
what is your reason for using purchased water?
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