High nitrates

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by kahgwreiuahf, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. kahgwreiuahfNew MemberMember

    I've got a relatively new (2 months old) 10 gallon tank, it's cycled and I've added fish (some rescued/adopted guppies) with no change to ammonia (0) and nitrite (0), but all along my nitrates have been high (40-80ppm). I've since discovered that this is because the tap water reading is also between 40 and 80ppm. I've got about 5 small live plants which all look healthy, and there's no sign of algae yet.

    Having read a bit on this forum I'm wondering whether I'm not banging the API test bottle about enough, and I'll try this next time I test, but assuming that the readings are correct (they're very consistent), is there any way of bringing down the nitrate levels? At the moment I'm only using a basic dechlorinator (Interpet tapsafe), and I took the carbon packs out of my filter (Elite Stingray 10) before doing a fishless cycle - so it's all quite "natural" nitrogen cycle wise.

    I know time will tell, but the fish all look "happy" - they were getting pretty pale and lethargic in their old tank, but have since perked up and their fin/tail colouring is coming back really well. Will the high nitrate levels harm the fish in the long term? I'm a bit worried that with high nitrates in the tap water there isn't much I can do about it... I've read all sorts of conflicting advice.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    Nitrates at high levels are toxic to fish, but at low levels they are fine. I would suggest water changes but if your tap water is so high in nitrates that probably wouldn't affect it. I really have no clue ??? Sorry I couldn't be of more help, I'm sure someone will come along and figure it out for you!

  3. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Not shaking the bottle enough causes falsely low readings, not high ones. :) A few options:

    1. Add more plants, especially those that are known to take up nitrates well. Java fern and najas grass are a few that come to mind.
    2. There is a product called "Nitro-zorb" or something like that; try adding small amounts at a time until you get the nitrates down to 20ppm or lower.
    3. When refilling the tank, do some tap water and some RO/DI water. Of course this requires an RO/DI system, which isn't cheap, but it's still technically an option ;)

  4. kahgwreiuahfNew MemberMember

    OK, thanks for the advice! I'll definitely look at getting some more plants, and investigate some products to remove the nitrate. Am I right in thinking that I don't want something that will also remove ammonia and nitrite as this would starve my bacteria?
  5. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    You are correct! There's a product called "Ammo-lock" or something like that, but just as you said, then the ammonia-eating bacteria wouldn't have any ammonia to eat, and would die off, and then you'd have to re-cycle your tank. I've never used the "nitro-zorb" stuff, but I would make sure that it only gets nitrates and not nitrites, otherwise you'll have the same problem. That stinks about having such high nitrates in your tap though :(

    Also I like your name, it looks like your cat walked across the keyboard ;D
  6. kevin215Valued MemberMember

    Hey I also have high nitrates from my tap water, depending on the season there between 20-40 from the tap. I just started using a product by seachem called purigen that seams to be working pretty good. Got the nitrates down to around 5ppm after about 10 days.
  7. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    I have also used purigen with great results.
  8. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

  9. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    The OP has 40-80ppm nitrates in the tap water, though :p
  10. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    AH!! Missed that part :)
  11. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I've heard others have great success with purigen.

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