Zero nitrates, good?

blushrimp1
Member
Thanks to NitraZorb, the high nitrates in my planted 10 gallon shrimp tank are now reading zero. Is this a good thing?
 
Livebearer08
Member
No, you want nitrites and ammonia at 0 but nitrates should be in between 5-40 ppm; and most preferably at 20 ppm to avoid the tank recycling. Your live plants also use nitrates as food.
 
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blushrimp1
Member
Okay, thank you very much. I've shut off that filter, and I'll monitor the nitrates every day. I hope I didnt mess up mess up the cycle!
 
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jdhef
Moderator
Member
Having no nitrates will not harm your fish in any way. Also, plants actually absorb ammonia much more readily than nitrates. In fact, for plants the order of preference is ammonia, nitrites than lastly nitrates.

One thing I heard, though i don't know if true is that having no nitrates can lead to a blue-green algae (aka cyanobacteria) outbreak.
 
Fae
Member
jdhef said:
One thing I heard, though i don't know if true is that having no nitrates can lead to a blue-green algae (aka cyanobacteria) outbreak.
I also don't know if that is true, and I also don't know if what I have is cyanobacteria- however I do know that my planted tank with 0 nitrates was getting blue-green spots on some of the leaves closer to the light, and now that conditions have changed, they don't seem to be reappearing. So that may or may not support the stated hypothesis
 
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blushrimp1
Member
Well I sure do not want to encourage blue-green algae. Since my tap water is so high in nitrates I just now removed 3 cups of tank water and replaced it with tap water. Tomorrow I'll do another nitrate test and see where it's at.
 
mattgirl
Member
Livebearer08 said:
No, you want nitrites and ammonia at 0 but nitrates should be in between 5-40 ppm; and most preferably at 20 ppm to avoid the tank recycling. Your live plants also use nitrates as food.
Maybe I shouldn't correct you in an open forum but you are only partly correct. We do want to see 0 ammonia and nitrites in a fully cycled tank and yes, plants will use nitrates but having 0 nitrates will not have a detrimental affect on the cycle. Nitrates are the end results left by the ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria and are normally kept down with water changes.
blushrimp1 said:
Well I sure do not want to encourage blue-green algae. Since my tap water is so high in nitrates I just now removed 3 cups of tank water and replaced it with tap water. Tomorrow I'll do another nitrate test and see where it's at.
You may want to remove the nitra-zorb before it pulls all of the nitrates out of the tank. Another thing you might be able to do is remove the nitrates from your source water before using it for water changes. You would have to set up a container big enough to hold enough water to do your water change and run a filter with only the nitra-zorb in that container. By doing it this way all the nitrates your tank produces would not be pulled out between water changes.
 
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blushrimp1
Member
Thank you everybody. I took out the nitrazorb filter yesterday and put 3 cups of tap water into the tank to put a bit of nitrate back because it was at zero. Today the nitrates measure 5.0 .
I'm doing what you said, mattgirl: I have set up a bucket of tap water, and the nirtazorb filter is in it, running. I'm going to he testing bucket and tank frequently to keep both at the right levels.
This is so great everybody! You've helped me so much. Thank you all!
 

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