High Nitrates and my RCS

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proudtobeafarmgirl

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Been having trouble with nitrates in my shrimp tank, used those test strips that you dip in the water and they gave me a poor reading, bought a master API kit yesterday and it said the nitrates were well between 40 and 80 ( the colors on their chart look the same to me). Shrimp seem to be doing fine, eating, fighting and playing, I do several water changes a week but my tap water has some nitrate in it, I let it sit several days before using it and treat it for chlorine/chloramine. I used to use RO water but was told shrimp need hard water so I gradually changed them back to this tap water, if I use a combination of the two would that help lower the nitrates? This tank has been up and running for over 7 years - was a guppy tank but they all moved out recently so it is just a shrimp only tank - with one cory catfish. I have a aqua clear filter, and java moss, combomba, duck weed and hornwort plants in there. Would an additional air pump help any? Should I go back to RO water?
 

Aquarist

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Hello Farmgirl

Be sure to shake and mix the nitrate bottle really well. Beat it in the palm of your hand, on the counter. Shake, shake, shake Sometimes crystals can form in this bottle and if it isn't mixed well it could give you a false reading.

Ken
 

Shine

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Or like mine you could have realllllly high nitrate in your tapwater ;p

Do you have a reading from the tap?
 

Kunsthure

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It's really odd that your nitrates are so high with all those plants in there. I'd double check the expiration day and really shake the snot out of that nitrate #2 bottle and see if anything changes.

What is the nitrate reading from the tap?

What water conditioner are you using?

-Lisa
 

Bungy

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You seem to be doing quite a lot of water changes - stability is the best way forward if possible so once a week around 10-25% will be ample. If your Nitrate level increases more than you are reading from your tap then this could be down to over feeding - remember Nitrate is the end product of the Nitrogen cycle - the more waste that is produced then the more Nitrate at the end of the day will be present - a heavily planted tank will help but at the end of the day a good gravel clean and reduce feeding should bring down your Nitrate level. Dont use RO water unless absolutely necessary as it does not contain the necessary minerals needed for the shrimp exoskeleton to develop.

Hope this helps
Bungy
 
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