ways to keep nitrates down - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 02:12 PM
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I keep swords with tons of plants- if they ate the valls, then the val's were already dying.

IF you want to lower nitrate, get some duckweed, and throw out a couple handfulls every time you do a waterchange.

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post #12 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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what is your reason for using purchased water?
because when i tried to use the tap water all of my fish died. i'm in an office building across from a Pfizer pharmaceutical's plant and i think they've contaminated the water in this area with god only knows what.

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post #13 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 02:16 PM
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Can you test your water supply?

Might just be a ph, gh, problem...

Tried calling the water dept?

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post #14 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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I keep swords with tons of plants- if they ate the valls, then the val's were already dying.

IF you want to lower nitrate, get some duckweed, and throw out a couple handfulls every time you do a waterchange.
they attacked the vals the day they were put in. it started with the few damaged leaves, but once those were gone they ate the new leaves too.

i don't really want more floating plants. i already have the water sprite and i'm afraid the duckweed would crowd that out too much

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post #15 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Can you test your water supply?

Might just be a ph, gh, problem...

Tried calling the water dept?
i tested everything accept hardness (don't have that kit, didn't want to buy it). the tap water had a rather high pH (8.4 i think it was) and nothing else (NH, NO2, NO3) showed at all. the fish that died were mostly zebra danios, which are supposed to be very hardy. when we moved into this office building, we were advised to bring in a water cooler rather than drinking the water here; this leads me to believe the water is contaminated. i do not know for sure if the building gets public water or is well, but since i started buying water i have had only two deaths, one within two days of buying the fish the other the fish was sick for quite a while and didn't manage to pull through. i know the pond in pfizer's property is contaminated, and that is right across the street. the water here is the only thing that makes sense for my first attempt failing completely.

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post #16 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 04:45 PM
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i tested everything accept hardness (don't have that kit, didn't want to buy it). the tap water had a rather high pH (8.4 i think it was) and nothing else (NH, NO2, NO3) showed at all. the fish that died were mostly zebra danios, which are supposed to be very hardy. when we moved into this office building, we were advised to bring in a water cooler rather than drinking the water here; this leads me to believe the water is contaminated. i do not know for sure if the building gets public water or is well, but since i started buying water i have had only two deaths, one within two days of buying the fish the other the fish was sick for quite a while and didn't manage to pull through. i know the pond in pfizer's property is contaminated, and that is right across the street. the water here is the only thing that makes sense for my first attempt failing completely.
I find that scary on a whole other level... We just drink tap water filtered with one of those Brita things.
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post #17 of 18 Old 10-13-2011, 05:55 PM
If this is a commercial building and you can't track the water source securely enough then that makes sense. Judging by the tests and your location its likely coming from some limestone aquifer(with the pH that high its gonna be hard water), but that doesn't mean its a private well. I would wonder if perhaps pH shock killed the first fish, depending on what kinda water they were acclimated from. If the buildings water is not adequate, what about using the water from your home tap?

I agree that the vals must of been dying for them to get eaten. Very few species of fish will eats healthy vals and swords are not one of them.

As far as nitrate levels yours are not really all that high. They are higher then most but I used tap water with 20ppm of nitrates for years and kept lots of fish in that without problems. Other then water changes though, how often/much do you gravel vac and clean the filter?

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post #18 of 18 Old 10-14-2011, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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I would wonder if perhaps pH shock killed the first fish, depending on what kinda water they were acclimated from
i asked the lfs where i got them, they said they have pH in that range too (of course, they were far from helpful and i no longer go there when i can avoid it)

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If the buildings water is not adequate, what about using the water from your home tap?
i have literally no place to fill anything larger than a one gallon jug at my current house. and it would take a lot of one gallons to do a water change. i do plan on moving before long, so hopefully then i will be able to use tap water.


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Other then water changes though, how often/much do you gravel vac and clean the filter?
i vacuum the gravel fairly thoroughly everywhere except the area with plants every water change, i rinse out the filter material (in old tank water) at least every other time.

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I agree that the vals must of been dying for them to get eaten. Very few species of fish will eats healthy vals and swords are not one of them.
are you sure? does anyone have different experience? not that i'm really doubting you, but the plants looked healthy and i saw the swords eating them. is there anything else with long, grass-like leaves that the swords would have eaten? i did get the plants from the lfs i don't go to anymore, so maybe they mislabled them?

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