Question on aeration & lowering nitrates

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Wilma, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. WilmaNew MemberMember


    I have a 36 gallon bowfront tank w/ lemon tetras, 1 angelfish(year old), platys, BN pleco and I added 4 rummy nosed tetras this weekend. Tank has been up for 6 months. All are doing well but I am struggling to keep my Nitrates down (in this tank & my 20 gallon). My Nitrate level isn't too terribly bad & I have a hard time reading these color tests, but I think it is in the 50-60 range. I would like it to be in the 10-20 range, preferably 10.

    I have 2 HOB filters a Fluval c series 40 & a penn plax 20. I have added a purigen pouch to the Fluval & I have also crammed in some smaller Matrix media in the penn plax filter since the month after I started it up.

    I am on well water & have tested it for Nitrates but it comes out clear, 0 ppm. Also have hard water with extra calcium but have not tested the hardness in a while but I know both hardness levels are high...maybe in the 8 + range(?). PH is roughly 7.5 - 8.

    I have read that extra aeration will help bring the nitrates down as well as the water changes. It seems like if I do 3 water changes in a week it still doesn't bring the level down too much, maybe by 10 if I am lucky. My question is will the extra aeration help? I have started to run my Hydor volcano & the fish now seem more active (been 2 days).

    Do I now have enough aeration to help my nitrates? I was thinking of using some Tetra EasyBalance Plus or AmQuel plus to help out too but I'm not sure if this will help or not & I'm a little nervous about using the EasyBalance as I am afraid it will kill my angelfish based on some reviews I've read.

    Should I add a bubble wand? I'm not sure if my rummies will like it tho. I also do not run the volcano at night cuz the tank is right next to my bed & is a little noisy.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    You've been misinformed. Aeration does not affect nitrates.

    It's an easy fix. If your tank nitrates are 50 and your supply zero, an 80% change will bring tank nitrates down to 10. Then just change as much water as you need to each week to bring them down to 10 again.

  3. Et tuValued MemberMember

    I agree, the api test for nitrate has the worst color chart the 10 & 20 ppm are the same shade of orange. High nitrates can be a sign of the tank being overstocked and or overfed.
  4. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    There are few things that will keep nitrates down.

    1) Water changes: how often and how much are you changing out?

    2) plants - both aquatic and land like pothos with the roots in the water will consume ammonia and nitrates keeping the nitrates down. It takes a lot of plants but it works well!

    3) Anaerobic bacteria systems that are closed and will consume nitrates. They're expensive though.

    For now, do like above, enough of a water change like 2 50% changes two days in a row should get you down to about 15. Two 75% changes two days in a row will get you down below 10 and then after that enough weekly to keep them below 20.
  5. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    All good advice so far.

    I will just add that you need to make sure that the tank doesn't have too much rotting detritus building up.

    I like to vacuum my tank sand or gravel quite thoroughly when I do water changes to remove excess debris. This lowers the amount of crud that is available to rot and produce ammonia, nitrite, and ultimately nitrate.

    Most uneaten food, fish poop, etc., will fall to the bottom and work its way down into the gravel, or it might be sucked into filters. Cleaning the gravel periodically really helps.

    You should clean the pre-filters in your filters, too, but not too thoroughly, and only by rinsing with old tank water or known dechlorinated water so you don't lose the beneficial bacteria there.

    Your raw well water is great, from the sounds of it as long as you haven't added any bleach or chlorine.

    I will also say that aeration is good. The beneficial bacteria need oxygen to do their jobs. I don't think you can over-aerate. If, for some reason, your filters are not creating enough surface movement and disturbance, you might want to adjust things or add an air feature just to stir things up.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  6. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    50 isn't urgent, so you don't actually need to do huge changes. Any change with zero water will reduce nitrates, so you can bring them down gradually just with bigger routine changes...

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice