High Nitrates

  1. DHIWZ

    DHIWZ Valued Member Member

    Urgently paging all the brilliant minds of this forum!

    My tank's nitrate levels are really high--somewhere in the range of 20-40 ppm, even after doing many water changes. I found out today it's because my tap has an equally high nitrate concentration--somewhere between 20-40 ppm. Before the nitrates in my tank were ~5-10 from all the algae growing, but with the addition of my algae cleaning crew nitrates have shot back up again. I'm now concerned for the safety of the critters in my tank (although they don't seem to mind. They just quietly sit there eating and are even visibly growing).

    Any ideas on how to lower nitrate concentration without doing water changes? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. KinsKicks

    KinsKicks Fishlore VIP Member


    You could have lots of plants...or use a pothos plant (lol...I've got tons). I get 20ish nitrate outta my tap too...I counteracted it with being heavily planted and using pothos plants in my filters/sumps.
  3. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    You can get nitrate absorbing media that you put in the filter. Or you can try growing houseplants in your tank or filter. Pothos is one that looks good trailing out of the tank with its mass of Roots in the tank and it lives nitrates!

    20-40 isn't terribly high though so don't panic :)
  4. scarface

    scarface Fishlore VIP Member

    Ever since I used Seachem Matrix in conjunction with their bottled bacteria (contains both aerobic and aneroebic), I always get 0ppm nitrates. Granted, my nitrates were already quite low. The use of those two products together showed results within a week.
  5. MikeRad89

    MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    40ppm nitrates is the cutoff as far as I'm concerned. If you keep it there there isn't a fish that won't breed for you.

    If you want to get them down look into products like nitrazorb. I don't have issues with nitrates myself but I have friends with 60ppm in their tap and it works incredibly well.
  6. T

    ThaiCaliber Valued Member Member

    Plants are your answer. They will suck up those nitrates like no ones business.
  7. sfsamm

    sfsamm Well Known Member Member

    20-40 nitrAtes is fine. To keep them there though do some plants stem plants like Anacharis or hornwort grow very fast and are nitrAte sponges. Pothos is a common houseplant whose placed in aquariums to help NitrAte control. Matrix, is supposed to be excellent. I'm considering it for a grow out tank that occasionally gets over stocked myself :)
  8. BettaPonic

    BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    One technique used at my former school was willows. The branches were put on the water and rooted. One of and was green and a few weeks later it was clean.
  9. DuaneV

    DuaneV Well Known Member Member

    REALLY high would be 100 or more, in my opinion. 20-40 isn't high enough to do any damage (depending on the type of fish you keep). You need some plants to help soak it up.
  10. OP

    DHIWZ Valued Member Member

    Gotcha I was more concerned about my shrimp/snails which are a little more sensitive to nitrates. My tank is pretty densely planted but for some reason it isn't helping much with keeping my nitrates down.

    Will be looking at getting some Pothos and Amazon Frogbit today.
  11. BettaPonic

    BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    My Assassin Snails were breeding in 40 plus nitrates. Plants do help. Semi aquatic plants remove nutrients better than aquatic.
  12. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Agree with what @BettaPonic said. Aquatic plants preferentially take up ammonia while surface plants go for nitrates.
  13. OP

    DHIWZ Valued Member Member

    Ohh okay. I bought some cuttings of Pothos and planted them in my HOB already and I'll be getting ~20 Amazon Frogbit plants later today. Hopefully those two are able to do the trick. Thanks!
  14. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Don't get worried if your nitrates don't drop right away, the Pothos will need to grow water-adapted roots before they can really take it up!
  15. BettaPonic

    BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    I also recommend removing the tips of Pothos every once in a while. The tips can grow into new plants.