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-   -   API Tap Filter and Nitrates (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium-equipment/api-tap-filter-nitrates-56171/)

twocents 11-25-2010 08:35 PM

API Tap Filter and Nitrates
 
Has anyone here any experience with this filter. It appears to do what it claims to do: remove stuff from water, including nitrates.
I have 4 tanks, but I am trying to deal with my 56 gallon at the moment. All tanks parameters should be very close. They aree all community tanks, except for the oscar who lives alone.
The tank is cycled, has a lot of plants. Ph runs about 7.4, ammonia is 0, nitirites are zero. Nitrates: they are high straight from the tap. Runs about 20 - 40 according to the API master test kit. (liquid). According to the instructions from API, minerals need to be added back as well as a ph buffer which I have been doing. I swear the nitrates are getting worse. That was one reason I got the tap filter was to try and knock the damn nitrates down without chemical alteration.
So, In essense, two q's.. anyone else with an API tap filter and api tap filters and nitrates.
Thanks..

Mikaila31 11-28-2010 06:08 PM

Don't bother with the filter. Very importantly STOP adding the pH buffer. How have your fish and plants been so far?

twocents 11-29-2010 08:52 AM

Fish and plants are doing just dandy. Curious, what are the reasons behind your statements. I have high nitrates coming from the tap, so the readings are always between 20 & 30.
Don't bother with the filter: it does get rid of the nitrates. There is a rationale behind the ph buffer use, I think something about false ph readings, but I can discontinue that if it is detrimental.
I know the tank has done ok with just aged water from the tap. I think some of the plants could look better. Some are healthy looking, others are a tad off-colour imo. The electro-right is to replace the minerals the filter does remove along with the nitrates. This is for the fish' benefit.
Of course, I can just discontinue the filter, period.
Have you had personal experience with it?

Mikaila31 11-29-2010 09:31 AM

Messing with the pH tends to cause more problems then it fixes. The reasoning behind my statement is just that I run a tank with similar levels. 20ppm nitrate out of the tap probably 30-40 in the tank. Your range sounds fine given the inaccuracies of nitrate tests and the hard to read API color card. I breed most my fish in this water angelfish rainbows tetras ect.. IMO put your nitrate test bottles in a cabinet and take them out once a year if you feel like testing.

twocents 11-29-2010 12:44 PM

sounds good to me. straight tap water is easier anyway.
however, it did spur me to making a water tank. thing is, aging the water. I have a 20 gallon rubbermaid brute garbage can. have a heater and a small fountain pump. a plastic tube runs up to a hook and back down again. i have the pump on a switched plug so all I need to do is pump the water into a bucket and away I go.
Thanks. Sounds like I can dispense with the filter. I did it mostly with the plants in mind. I have read that they don't like excess nitrate: they expend energyturning it into ammonia. Anyway, thanks again for the help.

Mikaila31 11-30-2010 11:47 PM

Aging the water is unnecessary IMO, but you can certainly do it if you feel like it. Dechlorinators work pretty instantly. Plants do need nitrate. While it is true they prefer ammonia, they do still get energy from consuming nitrate its just not as big a trade off. The reason for this is because nitrate is much more stable and less reactive then ammonia so harder for the plant to break it down. All my tanks are planted, some run high tech and minimum nitrate levels for the method of fertilizing I use is recommended at 20ppm. A few species are effected by higher nitrates, but most plants love them. In this method of fertilizing if you don't have 20ppm in the tank its actually required to add additional nitrates to the tank. Though of course in a low tech planted tank lower nitrate levels are fine, since the plants generally don't consume as much.

twocents 12-01-2010 09:29 AM

I just don't want to bother with dechlorinators, although apparently aging does nothing to get rid of the chlorinum or whatever the chlorine alternative is called. The API filter will remove that as well. I keep the water in a garbage can with a heater, the 'fresh' water in a smaller container (w/o heater) to the side. Works for me. The nitrates in the tank run from 20 - 40 ppm. And while the colour cards might be difficult, they are accurate enough for a general idea of what is going on in the tank.
I would still like to hear from anyone who uses (used) this filter.
Thanks. The fish and plants are doing ok, w or w/o the filter so that is what matters.


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