|04-07-2013 05:02 PM|
In drinking (tap or bottled) water high nitrates are a concern for infants and many animals. They have certain bacteria in their digestive tract that convert NO3 to NO2, so causing methemoglobinemia. AKA Brown Blood Disease.
I do not know how they decided that 10 ppm NO3 was safe in the water, but the goal was to protect infants.
Adults may be fine drinking that water. I would do more research, though, and probably do something about the water. RO, bottled, or something.
If there are nitrites in the aquarium water, fish can get this, too. In the aquarium, NO2 from the water crosses the gills and enters the blood. This makes the blood not carry oxygen very well.
|04-06-2013 07:41 PM|
What's the fun in fishkeeping if it's not confusing?
But yes, the high nitrates is most definitely a concern. It might not be a problem in the future if the algal blooms are fertilizer-related, but I would still be worried about drinking tap...
|04-06-2013 05:48 AM|
It is very likely my ferts are not right. I have not dosed as I should. I just use Flourish Comp sometimes and API root tabs.
The high tap nitrate is still a concern, though, as Diana said. I'd like to fully understand that. It has caused a problem. I can't see how I can eliminate the algae problem as long as I have high nitrates.
Oh, I haven't used excel or salt, so that is not why the hornwort or anacharis did not thrive. I'm trying not to use any extra potions in my tank unless I think it's necessary.
This is getting too confusing for me. I hope you guys are not confused!
|04-06-2013 05:27 AM|
Are you sure you didn't mishear your superintendent? 45 ppm just sounds a bit outrageous...
I agree with Noahma, you should look for an imbalance of fertilization before you worry about nitrates in the water.
You may also want to wait on the anacharis and hornwort for a bit. They can often sensitive to chemicals such as the glutaraldehyde in Flourish Excel, among other things - and I know that anacharis doesn't do well with salt. I wouldn't be surprised if it was just the peroxide, but it could be from any number of other reasons, such as temperature or fluctuations in water parameters.. Who knows?
Keeping them out of the situation might save you a bit of trouble while you find out what the problem is. Just a suggestion.
Hope you get it sorted out!
|04-06-2013 05:09 AM|
Okay, I will call the county health dept. I went to the EPA site a few months ago, forwarded my concern in their question section, but got no reply.
I mean, I think it's a problem....fish keepers think it's a problem....but my town super didn't. When I asked him what 45 ppm of nitrates would do to a 5 lb. cat, he said he "didn't know."
Either the EPA's regs are over-the-top or their governance is way lax. I just don't know.
For future resource, I will post my findings.
|04-06-2013 04:57 AM|
45 ppm is not OK.
EPA sets a maximum allowable level of 10 ppm. This is an enforceable level, so do not accept the idea that 45 ppm is OK. The water company is not allowed to have that level in their finished product.
|04-05-2013 10:44 PM|
Yeah, the RO is looking like the better remedy.
|04-05-2013 10:37 PM|
For plants, I have
one small wisteria
two swords (1 amazon and not sure of other one)
3 small sagittaria in one bunch
3 bunches of cabomba (fanwort kind)
3 bunches of corkscrew vals
1 large moss ball
3 crypts that got overcome by algae and are now small
Echinodorus Ozelot Red
1 4-inch grass-like plant unidentified
a bit of duckweed
couple of sprigs of hornwort
The light is 17 inches from substrate.
|04-05-2013 05:57 PM|
Since your tap water is high in nitrates and causing algae I would also consider ammonia or ammonium contamination. Even at very low levels NH4 will cause algae blooms. The test kits used by most hobbyist are notoriously inaccurate. So not seeing any NH4 does not mean it's not there.
With nitrate levels that high I would be more concerned about the health risks of drinking it specifically infants. The EPA limit for nitrate is 10 mg/L which is essentially the same as ppm. As I said before test kits are notorious for being inaccurate so you may want to consider sending a sample to your local extension office. If you're on a municipal system you should be able to get an annual quality test. The suggestion of an RO unit is IMO the best advise I've seen. Below are a few links to articles, including EPA, about nitrates in drinking water.
Nitrate in Drinking Water
Nitrate and Nitrite in Drinking Water
Basic Information about Nitrate in Drinking Water
|04-05-2013 05:57 AM|
it usually overwhelms at first, but once the stuff sinks in it becomes easy peasy.
People with plenty of Nitrates in the water also dose K2S04 as either a usual macro or in a water buffer with each weekly water change.
Which plants do you have?
|04-05-2013 04:56 AM|
Gosh, this is getting to be almost! too much.
|04-05-2013 04:34 AM|
I've changed the photo period from 8 hrs to 6.
I will read the fert. sub-forum. I think i already did, but I've read so much, it's getting hard for me to distinguish...
For floating plants, I've had hornwort, duckweed and that one that begins with an "a" oh, Anacharis, which is very common. Both hornwort and anacharis just died. I don't know why.
|04-05-2013 04:23 AM|
There are other ways to reduce the NO3 from the tap water before using it in the main tank.
Set up a 'prep' tank that is all sorts of plants, but especially emersed plants.
Make sure they get enough potassium, phosphates and traces, but, of course, do not dose NO3 in any form.
Fill this tank from the tap (don't forget the dechlor!)
Test the NO3 daily. When it is as low as you want to use in the main tank, drain this tank to supply the refill water. If this tank is not very large, then let the NO3 get even lower, then mix this water with tap water.
In the filter of the main tank or the prep tank, use one of those filter inserts that reduced the NO3. They might end up being a bit expensive if you have to keep swapping them out.
Many of us use KNO3 as a source of BOTH K (potassium) AND NO3.
Since you will not be dosing KNO3, then make sure your aquarium is getting plenty of K from some other source. Potassium is a fertilizer that aquatic plants seem to use a lot of. There are several suppliers of fertilizers that package K separately. Seachem Flourish Potassium is one.
|04-05-2013 03:53 AM|
How high is it over the substrate? I have little experience with the marine land fixtures. Is there anywhere direct sunlight is hitting the tank? Any idea of what kind of algae It is? some require different approaches to rid yourself of it.
There are several routes you can take.
1. Raise the lights up, or lower the photo period.
2. increase the co2 to ~30ppm (use a drop checker and watching the fish to get the co2 in the ball park) and move to an easier (and cheaper) full fertilizer method like Estimative Index (in the fert. sub-forum) it sounds harder than it is.
3. use a floating plant to block some light to lower the light in the tank.
A great place to start is in the lighting section (since light is the engine that drives the tank) and in the fertilizer section (fertz fuel the tank) I know it can be frustrating, I have had my fair share of algae ball tanks lol.
|04-05-2013 03:44 AM|
I think you're right that's an imbalance. I'm just not sure where to go from here.
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