Nitrates... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrates...

I've been a bit confused as to why my shrimp aren't breeding like there were a month ago. But I found out why and I'm not happy and actually am freaking out a bit.

I know nitrates are needed in the tank. But it is supposed to be 40ppm or below. Well I just tested it and its at or over 160ppm

I use purigen, recharge it every two weeks. And my filter is well over 6 months cycled. I just replaced the purigen again. And also did a water change yesterday.

How in the hell am I supposed to lower them?

I have floaters and moss, and I know one of them also absorbs nitrates.

This is bad.

must....have.....more....moss n shrimp!!!!!!!!!!

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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 06:58 PM
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Do a large water change.

RAOK Club and BBRR Club! My thinking has been invert-ed!
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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I just changed the water yesterday, did a half change

must....have.....more....moss n shrimp!!!!!!!!!!

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:00 PM
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Why are you recharging your purigen every two weeks?

And as SS mentioned, large water changes will get them down. And not sure why you think nitrates are 'needed in the tank' unless you're going for a planted tank more than a shrimp tank. I keep my tanks as close to 0 on nitrates as I can, my plants do fine and my shrimp appreciate it
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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I recharge it every two weeks so it never stops working, kind of an OCD habit.

There is more plants in my tank than shrimp right now. IDE like to keep it below 20ppm.

Why would it be so high If I just did a 50% water change yesterday

must....have.....more....moss n shrimp!!!!!!!!!!

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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:14 PM
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Are you using RO water? Many people's tap water already has a lot of nitrates in it.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:25 PM
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Probably need a bit more information about your setup, but a couple things come to mind.

- If you did a 50% water change yesterday, and your readings are still that high, chances are you were well over the 160 reading on the scale.

- I would probably continue with daily 20% water changes until you start to get the concentration under control.

Other thoughts:
- What filter do you have on this tank? Is it possible that the filter is undersized for the tank setup that you have?

- What types of plants do you have in this tank? Some are better than others at sucking up nitrates. Floaters come to mind, hornwort, etc.

- Any chance that your test kit is expired, or at least those used for the nitrate testing? I am guessing you probably have API kit - the newer ones show the expiration date on the bottle. I just ran into this yesterday where my GH kit was woefully expired. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't reading reliably, and then noticed how old it was. I swear it was expired when I bought it at the store because it was 2.5 years out of date.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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I'm using ro and I re mineralize it using 1/2 tsp of kent ro right. I never use tap water, its very dirty in redwood city.

must....have.....more....moss n shrimp!!!!!!!!!!

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadO View Post
Probably need a bit more information about your setup, but a couple things come to mind.

- If you did a 50% water change yesterday, and your readings are still that high, chances are you were well over the 160 reading on the scale.

- I would probably continue with daily 20% water changes until you start to get the concentration under control.

Other thoughts:
- What filter do you have on this tank? Is it possible that the filter is undersized for the tank setup that you have?

- What types of plants do you have in this tank? Some are better than others at sucking up nitrates. Floaters come to mind, hornwort, etc.

- Any chance that your test kit is expired, or at least those used for the nitrate testing? I am guessing you probably have API kit - the newer ones show the expiration date on the bottle. I just ran into this yesterday where my GH kit was woefully expired. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't reading reliably, and then noticed how old it was. I swear it was expired when I bought it at the store because it was 2.5 years out of date.
I have a fluval c3 on my tank. My tank is 5.5 gallons, and I know its harder to keep a solid steady param in a smaller tank.

I just bought my API kit last month after the other one had expired, so it's not expired. I have blyxa, moneywort, fissiden fontanus, java fern, salvinia cucullata, dhg, wisteria, colorata I think, and a couple unknowns.

I'm using azoo plant grower bed as a substrate, have manzanita in it, sponge pre filter, ph is 6.4, ammonia is 0 nitrite is 0.

must....have.....more....moss n shrimp!!!!!!!!!!

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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:38 PM
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Did you do any scaping during your wc? Did you trim your plants down a lot?

Did you disturb your substrate?

Do you use root tabs? Which kind if so?
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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No to all of the above, I won't use root tabs because it has copper, again a lil OCD paranoid about root tabs with my shrimp.

must....have.....more....moss n shrimp!!!!!!!!!!

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:47 PM
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Some things that cause nitrate spikes are powdered foods, supplements, decaying leaves. Any of these possibly a culprit?
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:48 PM
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Well, when was the last time you did a water change? Maybe your plants aren't keeping up with all the nitrates produced.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 08:13 PM
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It's harder to maintain stable parameters in a smaller tank and you've already mention that. However there is an advantage that is its easier to do water change. I find that when nitrate goes too high (over 40ppm), there's going to be some nitrate in the substrate so if you do a 50% wc your nitrate won't come down to 50%.

I've used fluval nitrate remover in my shrimp tank with very good result. One third of a bottle gets my 10g from 40+ppm to about 5ppm in a matter of hours and shrimps are just fine. You can recharge it with salt too so it is well worth the investment for emergency situation like this. If you around you should find it under $15 a bottle. I pay less that that even in Canada where everything is much more expensive.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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I have a small piece of ial in the tank. But I mean its small maybe 2x2.
I don't use powder food, and I feed them every other day. Sometimes not even that.

The lt water change was yesterday at 50%

must....have.....more....moss n shrimp!!!!!!!!!!

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