Very High Nitrates.

Brizburk

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My nitrates have been very high lately, 80 and up. I keep doing water changes however the nitrates keep going up. No ammonia and no nitrites. PH 6.6, temp 79. 36 gallon tall, heavily planted, stopped using liquid ferts when the nitrates rose. Sand substrate with 8 SterbaI cory, 10 chillI rasboras and a ton of shrimp. I've had a few shrimp deaths over the past several weeks since nitrates have been high.


Ideas? I'm in the middle of a water change now, but what can be causing such a spike?
 
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Brizburk

Brizburk

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Crimson_687 said:
It could be your tap water. It’s not uncommon for tap water to have high nitrates
Oh I forgot to add that, there's 0 nitrates in my tap... So it's my tank... Time to rinse my media maybe?
 

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Brizburk said:
Oh I forgot to add that, there's 0 nitrates in my tap... So it's my tank... Time to rinse my media maybe?
Definitely. Overtime your media acquires detritus and excess that when released back into the tank have been known to cause nitrate spikes. When rinsing filter media be sure to use tank water. Using tap water will kill your beneficial bacteria, causing an ammonia spike
 
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Brizburk

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I do weekly water changes, about 25% but I don't rinse the media regularly. I'll do it tomorrow, I'm exhausted today
 

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Have you done any larger water changes lately? 25% won't make much of a dent on 80ppm and by the following week they'll exceed it again.
 

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GlennO said:
Have you done any larger water changes lately? 25% won't make much of a dent on 80ppm and by the following week they'll exceed it again.
This is true. 25% weekly should be backed up by a 50% every few changes. If you are worried about your shrimp, let the water sit in a bucket with a heater, if needed, and add the conditioner to it. After awhile, the water’s temperature will be level with your tank
 

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increase the % to remove more nitrates. the nitrogen cycle constantly produces nitrates. if you only remove 25% weekly, by the time a week has gone by your nitrates are very high again.

I don't have shrimp, but if shrimp are sensitive to larger water changes, then you will just have to do 2 or 3 25% water changes every week.

some math:
80ppm nitrates, 50% water change = 40ppm. in 3 days time it goes up to 60ppm, do another 50% water change = 30ppm, etc. overall nitrate levels will steadily lower.

80ppm nitrates, 25% water change = 60ppm. in 3 days time goes up to 80ppm, do another 25% water change = 60ppm, etc. overall nitrate levels stay about the same.
 
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Brizburk

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GlennO said:
Have you done any larger water changes lately? 25% won't make much of a dent on 80ppm and by the following week they'll exceed it again.
Yes, since I've had high nitrates I've been doing larger and more frequent changes. My regular schedule is 25%.
 
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Brizburk

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DoubleDutch said:
What ferts did you use ?
I use easy green from aquarium CoOp. I went in to get iron as I've had a deficiency, one person there said to add more easy green, more than double what the bottle says. I did that then the nitrates began to raise. Since I first saw high nitrates I've not been using the easy green.

I'll do another test and water change based on how high the nitrates are as well as rinse the media.
 
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Brizburk

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This all brings to mind another question, I now have sponge filters in two of my tanks. They are a far simpler form of filtration. One tank is a qt and the other houses my endangered fishes. How often do I need to rinse those sponges? I'm concerned about causing trouble with that tank and stressing my fish
 

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rinse with old tank water or dechlorinated water. all you're doing is gently rinsing out the poop that has been collected on the sponge.
 

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