Question Nitrate Problem

CichlidLife1993

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Hey everyone, im having a problem with nitrate. My levels are always around 40-80ppm. I tried water changes and then i found that my Tap water on its own has a 20ppm level. Anyone have any ideas on what to use (i.e. any kind of additive or filter type?) To keep my levels lower. Ammo is 0, Nitrite is 0. I can't afford a reverse osmosis system. Im going to start buying purified water but i dont want that to be a permanent fix as it will get costly.
I have a 75 gallon african cichlid tank with 15 cichlids and 1 syno cat, so i was told if i try to use Live plants they will mostlikly be up rooted and die anyway which is just going to spike my Ammo. Pulling my hair put on this one. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Jerome O'Neil

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Take your budget for purified water and just get an RO unit. You can get a 5 stage for $120. Get a 20 gallon plastic tub and keep a heater and air stone it it. Get some RO Right to get your hardness to something your fish will like, and you will be much happier in the long run. It also gives you complete control over your water chemistry.

Your only other options would be to try to run an anaerobic bacteria colony that converts nitrate to nitrogen, but that usually means spend on specialized filters, or heavy planting, which as you note, your fish are going to enjoy for about a day.
 

Mr. Kgnao

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Maybe something like pothos, sweet potato, peace lily, etc... that can be grown with only its roots submerged, preferably somewhere the fish can't reach. I put mine on the other side of my matten filter.
 

flyinGourami

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CichlidLife1993 said:
Hey everyone, im having a problem with nitrate. My levels are always around 40-80ppm. I tried water changes and then i found that my Tap water on its own has a 20ppm level. Anyone have any ideas on what to use (i.e. any kind of additive or filter type?) To keep my levels lower. Ammo is 0, Nitrite is 0. I can't afford a reverse osmosis system. Im going to start buying purified water but i dont want that to be a permanent fix as it will get costly.
I have a 75 gallon african cichlid tank with 15 cichlids and 1 syno cat, so i was told if i try to use Live plants they will mostlikly be up rooted and die anyway which is just going to spike my Ammo. Pulling my hair put on this one. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
About the live plants, you can add pothos to your filter(if you have a hob). You can also use seachem matrix(or some other similar media). Pothos is a live plant, and can help you reduce nitrates. The only "issue" is that you will need lots of it for it to be effective. You can grow it in your filter if you have a hang on the back filter. The seachem matrix media is very porous. The idea of using media is that anaerobic bacteria will grow in the core of the media, this bacteria eats up nitrates. You can put some in your filter and the bacteria will colonize, keep in mind that it'll take some time though, around 6 weeks(adding seachem stability may help as it does have anaerobic bacteria spores in the bottle).
 
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CichlidLife1993

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bgntoc said:
About the live plants, you can add pothos to your filter(if you have a hob). You can also use seachem matrix(or some other similar media). Pothos is a live plant, and can help you reduce nitrates. The only "issue" is that you will need lots of it for it to be effective. You can grow it in your filter if you have a hang on the back filter. The seachem matrix media is very porous. The idea of using media is that anaerobic bacteria will grow in the core of the media, this bacteria eats up nitrates. You can put some in your filter and the bacteria will colonize, keep in mind that it'll take some time though, around 6 weeks(adding seachem stability may help as it does have anaerobic bacteria spores in the bottle).
I was thinking about maybe trying some Hornwort since its a floating plant and i was told cichlids arnt fond of the taste. But it grows in 6.0-7.5 PH and my tank is always 7.8-8.0. Do you think the extra ph would just kill the hornwort?

Jerome O'Neil said:
Take your budget for purified water and just get an RO unit. You can get a 5 stage for $120. Get a 20 gallon plastic tub and keep a heater and air stone it it. Get some RO Right to get your hardness to something your fish will like, and you will be much happier in the long run. It also gives you complete control over your water chemistry.

Your only other options would be to try to run an anaerobic bacteria colony that converts nitrate to nitrogen, but that usually means spend on specialized filters, or heavy planting, which as you note, your fish are going to enjoy for about a day.
Do you have a preference on any specific RO Unit? As much as id like a cheap solution, my fish are more important then my wallet. Do you use RO? If so what brand/stage? I dont really know much about rO other then what i read in your post.
 

flyinGourami

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CichlidLife1993 said:
I was thinking about maybe trying some Hornwort since its a floating plant and i was told cichlids arnt fond of the taste. But it grows in 6.0-7.5 PH and my tank is always 7.8-8.0. Do you think the extra ph would just kill the hornwort?
Hmmm..... considering hornwort is a very hardy plant I do think it'll be able to adapt to a ph of 8. However, I would still wait for other responses just in case, as i've never dealt with high ph and hornwort.
 

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While deciding whether or not to go the RO water route you may want to consider getting some Nitra-Zorb. It has helped me curb my nitrate levels. I was doubtful about any product that claims to lower nitrates but was pleasantly surprised when it actually helped to lower mine. Should you decide to get it be sure to also buy aquarium salt. It is used to recharge the nitra-zorb.
 

Jerome O'Neil

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I have a little five stage under my bathroom sink. I added a water pump to up the pressure as it makes the membrane more efficient and then remineralize with Kent Marine RO Right and Seachem flourish trace elements, and a wee bit of Prime, just in case.

Geekpure 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System with Quick Change Twist Filters-NSF Certified Membrane Removes Up to 99% Impurities- Chrome Faucet-75GPD - - Amazon.com

Shop around.
 

Mr. Kgnao

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My pH is usually right around 8.2 and I throw loads of hornwort into the compost every week, it's pretty adaptable.
 
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CichlidLife1993

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Mr. Kgnao said:
My pH is usually right around 8.2 and I throw loads of hornwort into the compost every week, it's pretty adaptable.
Well i think that might be the way im gonna go thank you :)
 

AvalancheDave

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CichlidLife1993 said:
Do you have a preference on any specific RO Unit? As much as id like a cheap solution, my fish are more important then my wallet. Do you use RO? If so what brand/stage? I dont really know much about rO other then what i read in your post.
RO isn't very good at removing chlorine and chloramine in particular. In fact, it's the carbon that does most of the removal but it's usually inadequate.

Nitrate isn't toxic until it reaches hundreds or thousands of ppm.

Chloramine is very toxic so you'd be spending a lot of time and money to trade non-toxic nitrate for highly toxic chloramine.
 

Jerome O'Neil

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AvalancheDave said:
RO isn't very good at removing chlorine and chloramine in particular. In fact, it's the carbon that does most of the removal but it's usually inadequate.

Nitrate isn't toxic until it reaches hundreds or thousands of ppm.

Chloramine is very toxic so you'd be spending a lot of time and money to trade non-toxic nitrate for highly toxic chloramine.
The "stages" in an RO unit usually involve a high grade carbon filter. Carbon is great at removing chlorine, but less so chloramines.
 

AsleepInYorkshire

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You may feel there's some mileage in this stuff. I use it and I have nitrates at 1ppm. It may be worth emailing Richard (Pond Guru on You Tube) in the UK and ask him if this media will reduce nitrates in tap water introduced as part of a water change.



- A US aquarists view



Hope that helps

Lovely Gourami by the way

AiYn'U
 

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