Just Can't Get Nitrate Levels Down.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Beverley Barker, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Beverley BarkerNew MemberMember

    I have a 120 ltre communal tank which consists of
    4 black phantoms
    4 harlequin tetras
    4 glo lights
    3 danios
    2 yoyo loach
    1 baby Bristlenose
    My water tests come out as
    Temp 26c 78.5f
    PH 7.6
    Amonia 0.0
    Nitrite 0.0
    Nitrate I think reads about 40! Just done the test in the picture.
    I'm doing Regular water changes along with prime and stability, the tank has been up and running for about 13 weeks now I have used tetra nitrate minus but didn't seem to be helping, any advice or help how
    I can get to lower the nitrate would be great, thank you. 20190320_150710.jpg
  2. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    Test the nitrates from your tap water

  3. DuaneVWell Known MemberMember

    The only way to lower nitrates is through water changes, so youre either not doing them enough, or not changing enough. You dont need to buy "additives" to lower it, just change out 50-80% of the water and done.

    Its a math problem: If your nitrates are 100ppm and you change 15%, now theyre 85ppm. If you change out 40% theyre 60ppm. If you change out 80% theyre 20ppm.

    You need to know how many nitrates your tank produces weekly and change accordingly. Do a big water change, test the tank and see where it is. A week later test and see where it is. Then youll know, roughly, how much water you need to be changing.

    Your source water might have nitrates, yes, but in most cases we just arent doing enough or big enough water changes.

  4. Beverley BarkerNew MemberMember

    Just tested it and this is the result about 5.0 - 10ppm I think. 20190320_153323(0).jpg

  5. AngryRainbowValued MemberMember

    I agree test the tap water.

    If that isn't the issue, is it possible the water changes are too small? How much water do you change at a time?
    Bristlenose are poop machines so he's going to be dirtying your water a lot, which may call for larger water changes.
  6. nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    I had a few things to say, but well.....I got double ninja'd haha
  7. oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

    Hello Bev...

    40 ppm level nitrates isn't bad. The majority of the aquarium fish will be fine with this. Yes. It could be better. Gradually increase the amount of water you change. Work up to half every week, no excuses. This will guarantee a level water chemistry and this is all the fish need. Add some floating aquarium plants. Water lettuce, Anacharis, Water sprite and Pennywort are good, fast growing plants and plants will use nitrates. You can use house plants to reduce nitrates too. Chinese evergreen is very good. Just rinse off the potting mixture and drop the roots into the tank water and keep the leaves above. I had higher nitrates in my tanks and used this house plant. The nitrate level dropped to less than 20 ppm in a couple of weeks. It has stayed low ever since.

  8. Beverley BarkerNew MemberMember

    Tested the tap water and its high, I'm going to have to do the bigger water changes I think. I only got the BN 4 days ago, a bit worried about him as he hasnt come out from behind the filter yet
  9. AngryRainbowValued MemberMember

    Even though he's hiding can you verify that he is alive? A dead fish hiding in the corner can really throw off parameters
  10. Beverley BarkerNew MemberMember

    Thank you very much this is very helpful, I have quite a lot of plants in the aquarium but have to admit I wouldn't know which ones would help with water parameters, il be seeking out the ones you have suggested. Thank you.

    Hi, Yes he's still alive he moved pretty quick when I checked behind the filter this morning.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2019
  11. Nick72Valued MemberMember

    10ppm is fine for fish. If your tap is 10ppm you will never get lower than this (well not unless you have massive amounts of fast growing live plants and lower you fish stocking), but that's fine.

    You will need to do large water changes. I'd start with an 80% and test your tank again. Then do 80% every two days until you can get your tank down to <30ppm (the first 80% will probably do it - but you need to test to confirm).

    Going forward from there a 60% water change once a week will probably keep you <20ppm (but again you need to test to confirm). If not you may have to do two 60% water changes a week, but I doubt it.

    Think about things that could be raising your nitrate levels:

    Tap is 10ppm. Not much you can do about that unless you invest in a RO water system. I wouldn't as it creates other issues

    Stocking. Don't add more fish. Each is adding to the amount of nitrates produced.

    Feeding. Don't over feed, any wasted food rots away in the tank and eventually turns to nitrate. Over feed fish produce more poop, which creates more nitrate.

    Fertiliser. Check any fertiliser you are adding for plants. Some carry significant amounts of nitrate. Cut back on these.

    Plants. Live plants consume nitrate. Adding more live plants will help lower your nitrate levels, or at least slow the rate at which they increase in the tank (as long as you don't get slow growing plants that need lots of fertiliser). Fast growing low maintenance plants like Hornwort and Egeria Densa can really have an impact on nitrate if you stock them heavily (as long as you have good quality plant lights).
  12. DuaneVWell Known MemberMember

    5-10ppm out of the tap isnt "high" per say. Its legal range in the USA. Its a bummer you have nitrates in your tap, but not really a problem.

    You can add some live plants to your tank and that will help suck up some nitrates. You also need to up your water change schedule to the amount you change and regularity of changes.
  13. NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    This might help. 20190320_142204.jpg20190320_142156.jpg20190320_142217.jpg