Nitrate to High

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by cbowlincatfish, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. cbowlincatfish

    cbowlincatfish Valued Member Member

    I have a chemical free tank for the most part. I have used prime and ich remover. My test Kit came in today and I tested everything, Amonia and Nitrite are perfect but the Nitrate was 180, how can I bring this down.
     
  2. Butterbean

    Butterbean Valued Member Member

    You need to do a large water change ad-least 50% and I would do probably 75% How long have you had your tank up? If your tank is cycled then the nitrates are the end result of the natural process and the way you keep them under control is with water changes and keeping your tank clean (vacuuming, not over stocking or over feeding) Hope this was some help. 180 Nitrate is very bad for your fish will cause sickness and even death if left for very long.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    cbowlincatfish

    cbowlincatfish Valued Member Member

    I've had my tank going on 6 years , I use to just feed 2 times a week but was under the impression that I was under feeding , especially because I put an ADF in it a few months
    ago, I just did a water change 2 weeks ago, and to do that much of a water change at one time will put them in shock and kill them, I learned that lesson the first year I had my tank
     




  4. baggy007

    baggy007 Well Known Member Member

    hi there probably the best way to lower nitrates is w/c do a couple of 50% back to back changes but match the temp and there shouldnt be a problem unless your water is really poor then going from very poor to clean can shock them but as a rule w/c are very good for your fish, at least 30% every week with conditioner
     
  5. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Yes, doing a large water change right now might very well kill your fish. You are experiancing what is sometimes callled Old Tank Syndrome. OTS is caused by not doing enough water changes, and the nitrates keep climbing over time. The fish adapt to the high nitrate levels. Suddenly the tank owner will realize his nitrates are skyhigh and do a large water change, and the shock of the change can kill the fish.

    So you want to do several smaller water changes over the course of a few weeks. If it were me, I would be aiming to drop the nitrate level by no more than 10-15ppm per water change. And maybe do a 10-15ppm nitrate dropping water change every 5 or so.

    Once you have gotten your nitrates down, I would recommend doing a large enough weekly water change to keep nitrates under 20ppm if possible.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    cbowlincatfish

    cbowlincatfish Valued Member Member

    I strickly use room tempature spring water and have for the last 4 years, my nitrates raised when I started feeding more often which I have know problem with, the purpose for the sprong water is to have a chemical free tank. I guess it will be more water changes. Thanks everyone
     
  7. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Why would using tap water force you to use chemicals? I use nothing but tap water and the only "chemical" I use is water conditioner.

    Also, when doing a water change, it would be best to match the water temperature to the tank water temperature. I've never had an outbreak of Ich, but it seems that many people on this forum who have had an Ich outbreak had it happen after the water cooled down,either due to a water change with water that was cold enough to drop the tank temperature, or thru heater malfunction/power failure.

    BTW, Ich can be treated without any chemicals. You can slowly turn your heat in the tank up to 86 degrees and leave it there for two weeks.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    cbowlincatfish

    cbowlincatfish Valued Member Member

    The only time I had ich was right after I purchased a couple of new fish from my pet store. What conditioner do you use
     
  9. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    I use NovAqua+ along with Amquel+ (they are designed to be used together) since my tap water contains nitrates. (Amquel+ removes nitrates for the water). But if I didn't have nitrates in my tap water I would use Prime since it is cheaper and works great.
     
  10. Zevyn

    Zevyn Valued Member Member

    I quit testing my tanks altogether after about 6 months of solid readings. I tried adding a school of Neon Tetras to one of my tanks recently and they died off over a 24 hour period, so I tested. Nitrates were 80PPM.

    Turns out they're nitrate sensitive fish and my existing stock was adapted to it.

    I did 4x water changes @50% in a row on that 55G, and it was reading 5PPM thereafter.

    My 37G tall had 3x @50% and was 20PPM.

    10G 2x @50% and was 20-30PPM.

    All of them were around 60-80PPM beforehand.

    I have some duckweed on the way to help export them. I've done 50% weekly changes on all of my tanks and I've battled nitrates along the way. All tanks are moderately to heavily planted. I cut feeding back to once per day from 3x a day and it did not alter the readings. I'm not over stocked (in fact the 55G was under-stocked). The only thing I can think of is the detritus build up between the layers of my slate rock decorations. Anyone that's lifted a piece off and seen the nasties hit the water column can relate.

    I would try back to back changes upwards of 4 in a row, but not too much of the water at one time. 50% each has worked for me. Fast-growing plants will help, but I've found that my low-tech setups do not promote this type of growth and mostly just keep the plants alive. Plants exporting nitrates is a misnomer; you have to have them growing fast to see a visible difference. Duckweed, frogbit and other floating plants with access to C02 from the air can be used in low-tech setups for nitrate export. You just have to be vigilant about not allowing them to block your available light to your substrate plants.
     
  11. Mrs.Price

    Mrs.Price Valued Member Member

    jdhef is correct, very good advice.

    Feeding your fish more than twice a week shouldn't be an issue, I feed mine twice a day, I believe your issue is lack of tank maintenance, which should be remedied, even after your Nitrate readings go down. Fish in the wild have a constant source of freshwater, captive fish should have the same, water becomes stale over time, and minerals evaporate. Currently, how often do you perform water changes?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    cbowlincatfish

    cbowlincatfish Valued Member Member

    I change my water every 2-3 weeks and I am adding a gallon or 2 every week because my tank condensates very badly. I put some prime in yesterday and will test water today. Would love to put live plants back in my tank but haven't found anything that my Silver Dollars and Angel won't devour.
     




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