Nitrates And Tap Water

ganjero

Not sure if we have a chemist in the forum that can help me with my hypothesis.

I have been dealing with high nitrates and making tons of water changes that do not seems to help. I tested the tap water and it has no nitrates, so I have been trying to come up with a hypothesis. We have high ammonia in our tap water (tons of cholramines being use for disinfection), and nitrates are the end result of the nitrogen cycle converting ammonia to nitrites and the nitrates. So, I have been thinking that even though I am treating the water to detoxify the ammonia, I am still introducing the large amount of ammonia in the tank (same as fish waste or uneaten foods) and also increasing the colonies in my biofiltration which will end up producing a ton of nitrates. I believe I am just creating a never ending cycle. Doe sthis make sense?

Maybe I need to start using RO/DI water or other means to export nitrates.I don't want to to start using RO/DI again, I got away from this after leaving Saltwater and it we also mean spending more money adding buffer to the water.
 

mattgirl

I was dealing with high nitrates. Even doing water changes twice a week I was struggling trying to keep my nitrates down to 40.

I finally decided to try Nitra-Zorb. Much to my surprise it actually does what it claims to do. I can now easily keep my nitrates down to no more than 20 with weekly water changes in my heavily stocked 55 gallon tank. I have now regenerated both my bags of the product and it still works as well as it did when new.
 

ganjero

I was dealing with high nitrates. Even doing water changes twice a week I was struggling trying to keep my nitrates down to 40.

I finally decided to try Nitra-Zorb. Much to my surprise it actually does what it claims to do. I can now easily keep my nitrates down to no more than 20 with weekly water changes in my heavily stocked 55 gallon tank. I have now regenerated both my bags of the product and it still works as well as it did when new.
Does your tap water have high ammonia?
 

mattgirl

Does your tap water have high ammonia?
Fortunately no it doesn't. How high is yours?

My corys are very prolific breeders so they have managed to over stock my tank. I wish I could bring myself to re-home some of them but for now I just do all I can to keep up with them. They are the reason my nitrates are going so high. Well them an 2 bristlenose plecos
 

ganjero

Fortunately no it doesn't. How high is yours?

My corys are very prolific breeders so they have managed to over stock my tank. I wish I could bring myself to re-home some of them but for now I just do all I can to keep up with them. They are the reason my nitrates are going so high. Well them an 2 bristlenose plecos
I see.The ammonia in the tap water in Florida is really high specially in the summer since they have to increase the chloramines to keep up with the heat. My questions is related to that, water changes becoming just another source of ammonia that will result in higher nitrates.
 

oldsalt777

Not sure if we have a chemist in the forum that can help me with my hypothesis.

I have been dealing with high nitrates and making tons of water changes that do not seems to help. I tested the tap water and it has no nitrates, so I have been trying to come up with a hypothesis. We have high ammonia in our tap water (tons of cholramines being use for disinfection), and nitrates are the end result of the nitrogen cycle converting ammonia to nitrites and the nitrates. So, I have been thinking that even though I am treating the water to detoxify the ammonia, I am still introducing the large amount of ammonia in the tank (same as fish waste or uneaten foods) and also increasing the colonies in my biofiltration which will end up producing a ton of nitrates. I believe I am just creating a never ending cycle. Doe sthis make sense?

Maybe I need to start using RO/DI water or other means to export nitrates.I don't want to to start using RO/DI again, I got away from this after leaving Saltwater and it we also mean spending more money adding buffer to the water.

Hello gan...

As you said, nitrates are the end result of the nitrogen cycle. So, even at a bit higher level, up to 60 ppm, the fish are essentially unaffected. I don't know how high your nitrate is, but most fish you get at the fish store are very tolerant of nitrate. I'd recommend against using distilled or reverse osmosis water. These can cause some more serious water chemistry problems, because there are no buffers in this type of water to prevent sudden pH changes. HBH and Acurel make nitrate reducing filter media. It might work for you. Otherwise, large weekly water changes will maintain a steady water chemistry and this is way more important to the fish than a particular chemistry.

Old
 

mattgirl

I see.The ammonia in the tap water in Florida is really high specially in the summer since they have to increase the chloramines to keep up with the heat. My questions is related to that, water changes becoming just another source of ammonia that will result in higher nitrates.
Hopefully there is a chemist around here that can answer your question. My main reason for posting here was to let you know that there is a product on the market that will lower the nitrates.
 

MrBryan723

Plants love ammonia. You could always set up a plant only tank and use it to do your water changes with, even a bucket would work with fast growing floating plants. A plenum is another good option but much slower at reduction. Another thought if you have a hob filter would be planting bamboo or ivy in it to help a bit as well since they both grow pretty fast.
 

oldsalt777

Hello...

If you're interested in using house plants to filter the tank water, you'll need to use plants with large root systems. The standard house plants like Pothos, Prayer plants, Nephthytis and Impatiens, Bamboo and any of the smaller plants have small root systems and the plants won't make much of a difference in the nitrate level. They'll work marginally in very small tanks. If you want to filter the water in larger tanks, then research the Aglaonema house plants. There are several varieties and all will grow large enough to filter a lot of tank water. Attached is a pic of the plant in a larger, 60 gallon tank. This plant will reduce the nitrates to a point where even algae won't grow. There's no visible algae in this 60 gallon tank. The plant doesn't have to be in the fish tank. It can be kept in a larger tank or trough with treated tap water. You simply transfer the treated trough water to the fish tank when you perform your water change.

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Archaea

HI ganjero,

Are you still trying to sort out your high ammonia in tap water problem? If so, what is the ammonia reading for your tap water? Skavatar suggested the use of Zeolite and that is an option. But it would make sense to filter your tap water through this medium before adding it to your tank(s). You don't want to be adding ammonia to your tanks - obviously. One other option is to use remineralized RO water. There are plenty of remineralizing salts on the market. I use a Tropic Marin product but Seachem is also a possibility. You may wish to take a look at:

Tropic Marin® Süßwasser Mineralien und Bakterien

Are you able to obtain RO water from your LFS?

I also seem to remember that some tap water conditioners remove ammonia from tap water. They need to do this as a result of removing chloramine. Will check this out.

Archaea
 

FishRFriendz

Forget the aquarium, if I had ammonia or nitrate in my tap water I'd buy an RO filter pronto, just to have water to drink!
 

Whitewolf

Ya if you live in florida, you should be able to find lots of water plants. Even collect some from nature. Cram enough plants in there and they should keep your water parameters 0.0.0 That's what they are at the lake!
 

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