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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, ok so As some of you know i had a BGA out break, and i clean the BGA out of the tank the best i could. and also readjusted my Spray bar for better flow. I also ended up having a Nitrite Spike. It was pretty high. It is .25 ppm now. No where near the 2. ppm. I think the Nitrite Spike was due to me cleaning the BGA. It was bad in my tank.

So here is my Situation. My tank is 0 on Ammonia, .25 on Nitrite due to the recent spike. and 20.ppm Nitrate.

Now i tested my tap And My Nitrate is 30-40 ppm, 0 Nitrite, .10 on Ammonia. Hardly readable on the chart.

After Cleaning the plants and all from the BGA, it is growing back. But I am in the midst of working on it and trying to rid it. I have a thread already on that Situation.

My question here is How to Lower the Nitrate in my tap before a water change. I do use prime. but that is only a 24-48 hour Detox. I Do have plants in my tank and I'm always buying more. It will be a heavy planted tank. (eventually).

Any solution to the Nitrate in the tap? In the tank it is fine. it's lower in the tank than the tap. But talking to Byron, he seem to think the reason i have the BGA is due to my High Nitrate in my tap.

If anyone has high Nitrate in tap how do you lower it?
 

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I have the same problem and was given really good advice about it in my thread a couple of days ago; it's on page 3 now 'newbie advice/comments appreciated'. The advice there is better that what I can say, but basically from what I was told there are things you can do in the tank (plants, nitrate removing filter medias) and methods of removing the nitrates before you put the water in the tank. I'm about to try a product called Aquaworld Nitrate remover Aquaworld AQUAWORLD NITRATE REMOVER I'll review it when I've tried it, hopefully tomorrow. If it works as well as the reviews say it'll be great as it's very cheap.

Lou
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh and you will love Peppered cory's I have them and I love them. I thought at frist i wouldn't but Man I feel in love with them. i got one He like a runt. Small fins and tail. But loves to play. they are def a good choice...
 

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Oh and you will love Peppered cory's I have them and I love them. I thought at frist i wouldn't but Man I feel in love with them. i got one He like a runt. Small fins and tail. But loves to play. they are def a good choice...
Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to get peppered cory's as my water is a bit too hard, but I'm going to get bronze cory's instead, albino variety I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well you will love them. my water is Medium hard. and they do just fine. i also have black Kuhli loaches and they are a blast as well. But you will love the Cory's
 

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You don't need to worry about nitrate. 20PPM in the tank and 30-40ppm in the tap is nothing to be concerned of and is no harm to fish. In high tech planted tanks we actually increase nitrate usually to at least 20ppm just for the plants. My fish have always been healthy and breeding at those levels and higher.

Best fool proof way to decrease nitrate when tap water is an issue is with live plants, I would not recommend anything else. They must be fast growing plants tho. Java fern, anubias and other similar plants will not have any noticeable effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah i have live plants. and it keeps it lower then my tap. But i have a Blue green algae problem and the High nitrates is what it actually feeds off of. so that is my problem. The higher the Nitrate the chances of BGA. I research it and a lot of fact point to the high Nitrates to contribute to the Blue green algae. that's why i wanted to lower my Nitrate in my tap.
 

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The notion or advice that high nitrates is okay is just plain wrong - I've seen too many fry die from high nitrates before my own realization of very high (60+ppm) nitrates in my well water.
High nitrates are not tolerated by some species and have long term negative health affects on most fish.
The nitrates in fresh water in nature (with the exception of man made pollution in agricultural areas) is nearly not measurable. This is especially true in the almost pure rain water of the Amazon river.

In my response in this thread, I touch on many ways to remove nitrates from the source water as well as keeping tank nitrates low:

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium/newbie-advice-comments-appreciated-127539/page4/

Alternatively, you could find another source for water for minimal water changes. Perhaps a relative or friend not far away has better water. You might purchase bottled water (here about $.88/gal). My tap water filter delivers deionized (DI) water, at about $.50/gal, but the cartridge life varies with the source water quality).

Let me know if I can help further. Keep us posted!
 

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I've never had issues with raising fry due to nitrates and also never a blue green algae / cyanobacteria issue. I don't keep any livebearers due to the issue their population is too hard to control. I've had rainbowfish, tetras, angelfish, blue rams, and sparkling gouramis all spawn in water with over 20ppm of nitrate. I usually don't attempt to raise fry since they are in community tanks, but I have with the rainbows and sometimes an occasional tetra fry survives on its own.

Far as algae goes. No single thing causes algae and that includes nitrate. I have had more algae issues in tanks with low nitrate then with high nitrate. I currently need to order some more potassium nitrate fertilizer because one of my tanks has been having a stubborn algae problem that I'm fairly certain is due to low nitrogen levels. In the end algae is caused by an imbalance. You could view that as one nutrient (in this case nitrate) as being two low or high. Or you can view it as other nutrients also being two low or high. I can tell you absolutely that 30-40ppm nitrate in the tap is not the exact cause of an algae problem. Reducing it may fix the issue but correlation doesn't prove causation. Increasing other nutrients to boost plant growth could also fix the issue. In the end it is all about balance between light and nutrients in the water. The one trick thing about blue green algae is it is actually a type of photosynthetic bacteria which makes it much more stubborn to remove. I run most all my tanks at 20ppm of nitrate since that is suggested for higher demand planted tanks and I've yet to experience any blue green algae problems. I've only ever really had algae issues do to one or another nutrients being low and more often then not its nitrate.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well that makes since. but I know i read somewhere about BGA in new tanks. "The new tank Syndrome" and i think that might also play a factor in it. i know my tap water is high but my tank water nitrates never get above 20ppm even after a water change it stays 20ppm or lower. So I'm guessing if i get some filter media to help fight the Nitrate Along with stocking my plants a little at a time. Eventually it will balance. At least that is a theory. Not proven by me. Others Might care to speculate on that.

And if i can get the balance right The the BGA should go away on it's on own. or at least subside to where it isn't noticeable enough to do damage. again A theory
 

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I do not recommend dismissing nitrates so readily [and I mean as nitrates, not as related to cyano]. Nitrate is toxic to fish; while it may take a fairly high level of nitrate to kill a fish--compared to the toxic effect of ammonia and nitrite which is at very low levels--there is evidence now that subjecting the fish to elevated nitrates does impact their physiology much more than we used to assume. Different species may have different levels of tolerance to nitrate poisoning and nitrate shock. Nitrate causes stress for fish, and this opens the door to health problems and disease.

The nitrate in any aquarium should never be above 20 ppm, and preferably not be above 10 ppm. If nitrates in the source water (tap or well) are above 10 ppm, action should be taken or another water source found.

Obviously wild caught fish will be more readily affected by nitrates; the nitrates in any tropical freshwater habitat are zero or so low as to be barely measurable. Some argue that tank-raised fish are miraculously adapted to nitrates. If this were true, then tank-raised fish would be equally unaffected by ammonia or nitrite. Nitrate is just a different form of the same thing.

Dr. Neale Monks, in a recent issue of PFK, mentioned that we are now recognizing that all species of cichlid may be having problems when exposed to a continual nitrate level as low as 20 ppm. He suggests 10ppm should be the highest we allow in any aquarium. Dr. Jeffrey Howe writes the same. Marc Elieson gives stress caused by elevated nitrate levels, salt (common salt), and improper diet as causes for Malawi Bloat, in that order.

Byron.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah i have been learning about Nitrates and Have been talking to a few people and am in the process of taking steps to lower them. before water changes. and also use in my filter. I am learning so much and thanks to The friendly advise from everyone one on this site I am starting to understand a lot more. And i have to thank everyone who has helped me.

I am going to start doing things different on my water changes. to prevent such high Nitrate's and try to keep things Under control. My fish mean alot to me. and my screw ups Only hurt them. and i don't like doing that.
 

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I do not recommend dismissing nitrates so readily [and I mean as nitrates, not as related to cyano]. Nitrate is toxic to fish; while it may take a fairly high level of nitrate to kill a fish--compared to the toxic effect of ammonia and nitrite which is at very low levels--there is evidence now that subjecting the fish to elevated nitrates does impact their physiology much more than we used to assume. Different species may have different levels of tolerance to nitrate poisoning and nitrate shock. Nitrate causes stress for fish, and this opens the door to health problems and disease.

The nitrate in any aquarium should never be above 20 ppm, and preferably not be above 10 ppm. If nitrates in the source water (tap or well) are above 10 ppm, action should be taken or another water source found.

Obviously wild caught fish will be more readily affected by nitrates; the nitrates in any tropical freshwater habitat are zero or so low as to be barely measurable. Some argue that tank-raised fish are miraculously adapted to nitrates. If this were true, then tank-raised fish would be equally unaffected by ammonia or nitrite. Nitrate is just a different form of the same thing.

Dr. Neale Monks, in a recent issue of PFK, mentioned that we are now recognizing that all species of cichlid may be having problems when exposed to a continual nitrate level as low as 20 ppm. He suggests 10ppm should be the highest we allow in any aquarium. Dr. Jeffrey Howe writes the same. Marc Elieson gives stress caused by elevated nitrate levels, salt (common salt), and improper diet as causes for Malawi Bloat, in that order.

Byron.
Yet on the other side of the coin Tom Barr says for planted tanks 5-30ppm nitrate is proper range, this is what the many many EI users including myself aim for. Nitrate above 40ppm may cause health issues in some sensitive fish.
 

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Yet on the other side of the coin Tom Barr says for planted tanks 5-30ppm nitrate is proper range, this is what the many many EI users including myself aim for. Nitrate above 40ppm may cause health issues in some sensitive fish.
Tom Barr keeps plants first, and few fish; some of his tanks have no fish. I have read his comments about nitrates in his tanks at 160 ppm [yes, that is 160] for several weeks. But Tom is not a ichthyologist, he is a botanist. And his priority is plants before fish. In a personal discussion, he suggested to me that I should not be doing water changes at all, as it was harmful to the plants (the fluctuating CO2 issue in natural planted tanks). I pointed out the benefits to the fish, and he responded that the plants would be "better" and the fish might manage. That is not my approach to an aquarium.

The effects of nitrates above 10ppm are not readily seen, but according to the ichthyologists and biologists they do occur. Different fish species have varying levels of tolerance to this. Controlled scientific studies are few for this topic, since it has long been considered relatively unimportant.

Fish do not adapt to things as some assume--or more accurately, want to believe. Evolution is the only way a fish can adapt to changes in its environment, and this takes thousands of years. When it comes to nitrates, it seems logical to assume the fish will never adapt; these forms of nitrogen at significant levels kill life, and after all this time since life first appeared, if it was going to adapt to ammonia, nitrite or nitrate, I think it would have done so by now.

Byron.
 

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Tom Barr keeps plants first, and few fish; some of his tanks have no fish. I have read his comments about nitrates in his tanks at 160 ppm [yes, that is 160] for several weeks. But Tom is not a ichthyologist, he is a botanist. And his priority is plants before fish. In a personal discussion, he suggested to me that I should not be doing water changes at all, as it was harmful to the plants (the fluctuating CO2 issue in natural planted tanks). I pointed out the benefits to the fish, and he responded that the plants would be "better" and the fish might manage. That is not my approach to an aquarium.

The effects of nitrates above 10ppm are not readily seen, but according to the ichthyologists and biologists they do occur. Different fish species have varying levels of tolerance to this. Controlled scientific studies are few for this topic, since it has long been considered relatively unimportant.

Fish do not adapt to things as some assume--or more accurately, want to believe. Evolution is the only way a fish can adapt to changes in its environment, and this takes thousands of years. When it comes to nitrates, it seems logical to assume the fish will never adapt; these forms of nitrogen at significant levels kill life, and after all this time since life first appeared, if it was going to adapt to ammonia, nitrite or nitrate, I think it would have done so by now.

Byron.
While I do agree with some of this. It is odd about the no water change suggestion. The EI method that he recommends requires 50% weekly waterchanges.
 

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While I do agree with some of this. It is odd about the no water change suggestion. The EI method that he recommends requires 50% weekly waterchanges.
Yes, but he sees that as a different thing. I really did have an extensive private discussion with him (via email) on this. With high-tech methods, he believes in overdosing nutrients and then doing a 50% water change to get rid of the "excess," but not because of the fish but the plants. Her recognizes that excessive nutrients can cause problems for plants, hence the massive water changes. CO2 is not affected here, since CO2 diffusion is adding CO2 consistently so the level in the tank is supposedly stable and thus not harmful to plants.

But in the low-tech or natural method, he maintains that fluctuating CO2 caused by water changes will somehow setback plant growth and likely cause algae. In my 20+ years of doing partial water changes I have not seen any problems, my plants are growing well to me, even flowering in some cases. I sent him photos of my tanks as evidence, and he came back that I had floating plants so they likely balanced out the CO2 issue.

I have never been a fan of EI dosing because this is adding excess nutrients into a closed system, and aside from possible plant issues I again consider first my fish. I have soft water fish, mostly wild caught, and TDS is a concern, and the more nutrients going in, the more TDS. I can't say scientifically the precise extent to which fish are affected by all this, but I do believe the ichthyologists who write that they are. I'd rather follow their advice as I feel is it more sound.

Byron.
 

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I'll just add that it seems to me that to an extent, adding extra 'nutrients' although perhaps a plus for plant growth, somewhat reduces the water purification efficiency/value of the plants. I think we want the plants to assimilate the food, plant and fish waste in the aquarium first and foremost, with only enough additives if/as required to supplement that which may be missing. In some cases, this may be little or no additives at all (think organic [water] garden).

I've had the high nitrate discussion in several forums and it's surprising how many well meaning fish keepers believe that high nitrates, even as high as 200+ppm is not a problem. I think this is like the lore that you need 4-10x the tank size in filter GPH.
These prevailing myths are just wrong. :-(
 

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Yes and this is also taken into account in EI. When I had well water with 25ppm nitrate I did not dose nitrates much at all. Dosing all the other nutrients only increases nitrate uptake from what I have seen.

As far as TDS goes byron I think you are over estimating the change. Of the two tanks I dose regularly their TDS is 180 and 220. Where as my tap is 140ppm. Why the one tank has so much higher TDS then the other I am unsure exactly, it has lower stocking then the other tank. The tank with the higher TDS has zero nitrate atm since I need to buy some more fertilizers, its also go some nice algae :lol:. The tank with only 180 TDS has nitrates levels of about 30ppm. In comparison my mature soil tank has a TDS of 150, and my fairly new still establishing soil tank has a TDS of about 500ppm, but I don't think thats normal since it hasn't done anything normal yet lol.
 

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Yes and this is also taken into account in EI. When I had well water with 25ppm nitrate I did not dose nitrates much at all. Dosing all the other nutrients only increases nitrate uptake from what I have seen.

As far as TDS goes byron I think you are over estimating the change. Of the two tanks I dose regularly their TDS is 180 and 220. Where as my tap is 140ppm. Why the one tank has so much higher TDS then the other I am unsure exactly, it has lower stocking then the other tank. The tank with the higher TDS has zero nitrate atm since I need to buy some more fertilizers, its also go some nice algae :lol:. The tank with only 180 TDS has nitrates levels of about 30ppm. In comparison my mature soil tank has a TDS of 150, and my fairly new still establishing soil tank has a TDS of about 500ppm, but I don't think thats normal since it hasn't done anything normal yet lol.
I probably should get a TDS meter, someone locally told me that Home Depot have these for around $10-$12. I suppose it would be worth it, since I would then have numbers instead of guesses.

Most of my fish are wild caught. Just last week I obtained $140 worth of fish from Peru and NE Brazil, namely Paracheirodon axelrodi, Carnegiella marthae, Nannostomus eques, N. unifasciatus, Corydoras habrosus and Corydoras treitlii. These fish came out of streams with basically zero TDS. I know I am adding TDS with fish food, fertilizers, water conditioner.

I intend to look into TDS further. I don't have much doubt about the high nitrates though.
 
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