Why Are My Nitrates Dropping? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-12-2012, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Why Are My Nitrates Dropping?

My 10 gallon tank's nitrates were at 10 for a while, and went to 5 and today 2.5 during a short period of days. (I am going to get tested Ammonia and Nitrites today). Maybe I am re-cycling. I have very few plants, so I don't think they're eating up that much Nitrates. Of course, I shouldn't complain, but we'll see about the tests. I don't see any nitrogen bubbles coming up from the substrate, so I don't think it's anaerobics.

I have already discussed this, but can anyone tell me how I can get more Nitrates, like the Nitrate curve in the graph of the cycle that I look at?

Any comments are very welcome.

Steve
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-12-2012, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo the Clownfish View Post
My 10 gallon tank's nitrates were at 10 for a while, and went to 5 and today 2.5 during a short period of days. (I am going to get tested Ammonia and Nitrites today). Maybe I am re-cycling. I have very few plants, so I don't think they're eating up that much Nitrates. Of course, I shouldn't complain, but we'll see about the tests. I don't see any nitrogen bubbles coming up from the substrate, so I don't think it's anaerobics.

I have already discussed this, but can anyone tell me how I can get more Nitrates, like the Nitrate curve in the graph of the cycle that I look at?

Any comments are very welcome.

Steve
Why do you want nitrates? They are stressful on fish, to varying degrees, but keeping nitrates as low as possible is our aim. And with live plants, regular water changes, and not overstocking, this should result.

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 #3 of 10 Old 05-12-2012, 11:19 AM
plants consume nitrates, but it depends how fast they are growing. Also nitrate tests are VERY inaccurate. I personally don't know why people use them so much. The changes you mentioned are small, I would personally but them down to the inaccuracies of the kit. You can probably add nitrates just by doing a water change if they are present in your tap. If your tank is planted your not going to see that nitrate curve and I personally don't know why you want to. I add nitrate every week to all my tanks to feed the plants because they would exhaust it quickly, but I also run tanks with very high/fast growth rates.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #4 of 10 Old 05-12-2012, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, guys. I will assume that the few plants I have are eating nitrate, or that the test is inaccurate. What helps me the most is that I won't get the same nitrate curve as with a fishless cycle.

Thank you both for your help!
Steve
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-12-2012, 02:39 PM
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For seeing if a cycle is done, all you need to worry about is the spike in Ammonia, then Nitrite. Once both of those spike, and then both return to 0 ppm you're done. Nitrates could be 5 ppm, or they could be 60 ppm. Dosen't mater in terms of the cycle, as long as you see the spike in the other two and then they return to zero.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-12-2012, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Strange Brew - Tests

I went to Petco and got my water tested. The nitrate test was 80ppm (compare 2.5)

The results:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 5.0ppm
Nitrate: 80ppm

The guy who did the testing said to pull the BioMax ceramic media, that it has been "sucking up the bacteria." So I did it. I've got 2 sponges anyway.

So anyway, where am I with these readings, and which nitrate test is right. I bought the nitrate test there a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks for any info,
Steve
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-12-2012, 06:47 PM
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Liquid or strip?

If liquid, you must shake the #2 bottle very hard for 2 full minutes right before use. Especially if it hasn't been shaken for awhile. The chemical in it seperates and turns to a solid when it sits still. You need to shake it to get it to disolve again, and banging it against a counter can also help to break those crystals loose.

If strips, those are often unreliable.

Ceramic bio media? Is that just pourous ceramic rings? If so ... you should of left those in the tank because that's where your beneficial bacteria is hanging out and if it dries out ... they die ... you start over =/
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-12-2012, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Geomancer,

Both his and my nitrate tests are liquid. Very enlightening about the cristals. I have been shaking it for 30 seconds per instructions.

I did notice some tannish marks on the ceramic pieces, and I probably did the wrong thing, but now I'm afraid to put the bag back in. I know none of it makes any sense, but he believes it. Anyway, I still have the two sponges in the filter and the gravel and some plants, so I'm not that worried about losing my bacteria.

Thanks,
Steve
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-13-2012, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Oops - Forgot To Wait For Nitrate Result

Guess I didn't read the directions well enough. It says to wait 5 minutes before reading. So today I'll wait the 5 minutes and see what the real nitrate result is. And knock bottle #2 on the countertop for a good while :). I'll post my result.

Steve
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-13-2012, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Nitrates were 5.0 in the test. When I go back to Petco next weekend I'll ask the guy to use my nitrate test kit and watch what he does.

Steve
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