Anyone Using Nitra-zorb, Purigen, Etc. In Their Tank To Reduce Water Changes?

Homeslice

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Are anyone using these kind of what I would call "nitrate chemical filtration" to reduce nitrates in your tank and minimize water changes long term? How cost effective are using these things long term? Are there any other options for nitrate chemical filtration out there that you recommend or at least you are aware of that one might try?

The reason I ask is because a forum member mentioned nitra-zorb for pre-filtering high nitrate tap water before adding it to the tank. My nitrates in my 29 gallon were roughly 40 ppm (maybe even higher). I did a very small water change (MAYBE 2 or 3 gallons max), and at the same time stuck a bag of nitra-zorb in my trickle filter. About 24 hours later I did a nitrate check and there appear to be zero or almost zero nitrates so far as I can tell by the water test. I figure with such a small water change the nitra-zorb has to done the vast majority of the work and works petty good.

Thanks!
 

Goodbye

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I use Purigen as it keeps my water extra clear and sparkling. I don't use nitra-zorb as my plants help to keep my nitrates under control.
Our aging aquarium water contains many other harmful compounds besides nitrate.
What about them? Additionally, the organic processes occurring within the aquarium use up minerals and other nutrients.
Water changes are the safest way to remove contaminants and replace micro nutrients.

Chemical or the various resins on the market should not be substitutes for regular water changes.
 

Wraithen

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Prolonging water changes is a more advanced technique. Bill is right. You have to monitor tds. Most here just go off of nitrates because that is the first thing they are trying to lower. Tds is the way to go when you don't have a routine and don't go by nitrates.
 
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Homeslice

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Thanks Bill and Wraithen! Yea, as Wraithen indicated I'm not trying to avoid water changes entirely, I figured I could not avoid water changes for the precise thing you mentioned Bill - even if I remove 100% of the nitrates with Nitra-zorb water changes will eventually be necessary as other things build up. Just curious as to what is out there that I might try and use to minimize them (in this thread, chemical tools). It seems to me the #1 thing people go on to determine when water changes are needed are nitrates - they seem to be the fastest thing that builds up and requires water changes. I figure if I can eliminate nitrates one way or another, and the NEXT FASTEST thing to build up and be a problem for the fish builds up 50% as fast as nitrates, well I just cut my needed water changes in half. Just throwing random numbers out there.

Wraithen, your post was the first I've read about TDS (just googled, and its total dissolved solids). I've got to read up on those, but off hand do you have any suggestion on tools/tests to monitor them?

Thanks so much!
 

FiscCyning

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To monitor TDS in your water you can buy a digital TDS meter online (Amazon has them). They start in the $10-$15 range for cheap ones up to expensive ones for scientists.
 

DoubleDutch

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Only thing is that it's not only nitrates that should be reduced by waterchanges.

They are still needed to keep a tank healthy.
 

Wraithen

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Homeslice said:
Thanks Bill and Wraithen! Yea, as Wraithen indicated I'm not trying to avoid water changes entirely, I figured I could not avoid water changes for the precise thing you mentioned Bill - even if I remove 100% of the nitrates with Nitra-zorb water changes will eventually be necessary as other things build up. Just curious as to what is out there that I might try and use to minimize them (in this thread, chemical tools). It seems to me the #1 thing people go on to determine when water changes are needed are nitrates - they seem to be the fastest thing that builds up and requires water changes. I figure if I can eliminate nitrates one way or another, and the NEXT FASTEST thing to build up and be a problem for the fish builds up 50% as fast as nitrates, well I just cut my needed water changes in half. Just throwing random numbers out there.

Wraithen, your post was the first I've read about TDS (just googled, and its total dissolved solids). I've got to read up on those, but off hand do you have any suggestion on tools/tests to monitor them?

Thanks so much!
You can use generic test strips for tds, or a tds meter. They aren't very expensive. Its more a relative thing than looking for an exact number
 
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Homeslice

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Thanks gents! I just ordered a $9.99 TDS meter off amazon, they all looked pretty similar so I got the cheapest one I saw haha. Question - when I run it, at what level reading would you generally say, OK, water change time?

Thanks!
 

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Remember that TDS works on conduction so the reading will vary with the temp of your water.....some low cost TDS meters work OK for giving a rough guide of TDS levels....some are just counterfeit and give wildly inaccurate readings. Best to calibrate them before use. The Fluval G3 Canister filter has a built in TDS meter which is self calibrating.
Anything you add to the water (like ferts) will alter the TDS reading.
 

Wraithen

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Homeslice said:
Thanks gents! I just ordered a $9.99 TDS meter off amazon, they all looked pretty similar so I got the cheapest one I saw haha. Question - when I run it, at what level reading would you generally say, OK, water change time?

Thanks!
As I said before, its not a number you are looking for, it is a shift in tds that signals you need to change the water. Keep in mind that adding ferts will cause an upward shift, as will a lowering water level due to evaporation. You will get a feel for about where you always seem to be and then one day you'll notice a different number ballpark, and that will mean its water change day.
 

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