Nitrate Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Onlyashes, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. OnlyashesValued MemberMember

    Hey everyone so I tested my tanks after my weekly water change and my nitrates seem to been about 40ppm on the API master test who knows what they were before is this a safe level what is considered safe with nitrates my ammonia and nitrites are 0 so that's good also I have 2 planted tanks and 1 with no plants but all 3 tanks are 40ppm arnt plants supposed to lower it?
  2. Rainbows and FishesValued MemberMember

    The dangerous level of Nitrate is a debated subject, but I’d generally say that you should be very safe at that level especially with hardy fish species, if the level climbs to 80 I’d begin to worry but as I said previously some people have other opinions on the matter. As far as the plant question is concerned you are correct, plants do generally lower Nitrates and they look great too!
  3. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    I keep my nitrates under 10 wherever possible. I think I have OCD about it lol. If you're worried about nitrate levels get some nitrate busting plants like hornwort or wisteria! Duck weed sucks it up too, but trust me it's very messy. I only have it in my growout, I look like a swamp monster when I've been cleaning it.
  4. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Plants do help control nitrates, but it's best to do your testing before a water change. Heck, do both for a while so you can see how they're rising through the week. 40ppm isn't terrible, but yes, it's a little high post water change. How dangerous it is may depend on the species in the tank. A hardy goldfish would happily live it's whole life with those nitrates, but of course, more sensitive species like Discus would not.

    The other thing is, it can be hard to distinguish between 20-40ppm and 60-80ppm on an API test, and this makes their tests unreliable to me. I find Salifert's nitrate test to be easier, quicker, and more accurate.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  5. CraniumRexWell Known MemberMember

    Some plants are better than others at sucking up nitrates, like hornwort (messy but effective!) and duckweed (sometimes called the herpes of plants). Slow growers do affect nitrate levels but you have to have a lot of plants to do that.

    That said, I am notoriously bad at reading between 20-40 ppm -- they look identical to me. I've never had a tank go past 40. Keeping under 20 is ideal.
  6. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    Omg my growout has herpes? @CraniumRex :D :D :D that's catching too!
  7. tropezValued MemberMember

    Plants help keep my nitrates pretty low, but I think I'm pretty heavily stocked plant and fish wise (34 fish) in my 29 gal. I rarely go past 5 ppm but I also do two water changes per week (either 14%-28% each change). The scale of acceptable nitrate levels seem to vary depending on who you ask. how often do you change the water and how much do you change?

  8. GoldiemomWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with Stella1979. It depends on what fish you have. My tropical stay at about 20 but my Goldie’s stay around 40 each week before tank cleaning. I even do a mid-week w/c to keep them at or below 40. So what is good for my Goldie’s would be unacceptable for my tropical (tetras, platy’s and guppies).
  9. endlercollectorFishlore VIPMember

    That's a bit high for having just done a water change. Have you tried taking a reading on your tap water? I thought I was going nuts a while back with insane Nitrate readings, then after a 90% water change, it was even worse. I finally checked my tap water and found that was the culprit. I've used Amquel Plus ever since.

    And yes, I use lots of hornwort and duckweed. They're marvelous at sucking up all the extra nitrates. I've found that it's best to aim for 0 even though I only have very tough fish as they can become more open to illnesses if they're kept in water that has even low nitrate readings.
  10. OnlyashesValued MemberMember

    Hm I will get some hornwort for sure I want to plant more I just can't decide what to get and I have angelfish in the tank would they be sensitive like discus? Also when prime says it detoxifis nitrates how does it do that?
  11. SFGiantsGuyWell Known MemberMember

    Highly debatable. As a Discus owner could tell you, that he keeps ZERO nitrates as best he can, at all times lol Plants absorb and expend nitrogen, just like they do with CO2 and O2. Yes, it also depends on which plants and which type of fish, amount of fish, amount of plants etc. I try to keep mine between 10-20, as a lot of people do as well. Prime is essentially like giving your fish a "forcefield", because it bonds specific chemicals (ammonia) together therefore rendering their harmful characteristics harmless. Although be advised, the forementioned effects may only last a short duration of 24-48 hours, tops.

    Put it this way, and in perspective, Hornwort, duckweed and a few other super hardy plants are used in a lot of water treatment facilities, for their water "cleansing" abilities and properties; they soak up, minerals, trace metals, nitrates, ammonia, etc. like sponges.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2018
  12. Hunter1Well Known MemberMember

    My water change schedule is based on how long it takes for my nitrates to reach 40ppm. So 40ppm AFTER a water change would worry me. And tell me to do another water change the next day.

    But like endlercollecter suggested, test your tap water.
  13. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    You may also get different readings a couple of hours After your water change. It is also my understanding that planted tanks have a need for some nitrates, so that your goal would not be 0. Good luck!
  14. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Lovely aquarium you have there. What are the floating plants in the middle? Love the roots.
  15. tropezValued MemberMember

    Thank you! That is Frogbit in the middle.
  16. OnlyashesValued MemberMember

    Right I showed my wife your aquarium said this is what I want to do
  17. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    I have to get some of that :)
  18. tropezValued MemberMember

    I got mine off eBay. 20pcs for like $14 I think. It started to take off once I started using Thrive fertilizer, Enhance liquid co2, and slowed my water flow down so the top of the tank is calm not choppy.
  19. Frozen OneValued MemberMember

    Make sure you wait a while after doing a water change to test your water! Sorry if this has already been stated above^^
  20. A. RozhinValued MemberMember

    I love my frog bit too! Best eBay purchase I ever made. I don’t want to nitpick, and I use Thrive also, but Enhance, and Excel and all those “bottled boosters”, those contain a chemical that contains carbon, but they are not “liquid CO2.” And are not a substitute for such.

    There is actually not a liquid CO2. CO2 is a gas. Proper lighting and fertilizing can get you great results, and using the carbon stuff can be harmful to some plants, and some fish.

    But, on the other hand, you’re obviously doing something right because your tank is stunning. I just want to throw that out there about the liquid CO2 . The most important ingredient for growing great plants is good old fashioned TLC :) Which you obviously have given your plants.

    AND how do you have your Frogbit corralled up there??
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018