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Andromeda01 12-08-2012 02:23 AM

How to lower high nitrates w/o stressing shrimp?
Hi, I have a Aqueon evolve 2 gallon tank with 3 red cherry shrimp and for some reason my nitrates are high, 40, despite weekly w/c's. It seems I just can't put a dent in this number.

4 days ago it was 40. I did a 25% w/c. I tested it today and again it was 40. (maybe a hair less)

No nitrates are in our tap.'There are no missing shrimp, no rotting plants.

The tank has two pieces of mopani drift wood, along with...
1 marimo ball
2 small java fern
1 small anubias
and two golf ball sized clumps of flame moss(just added two days ago)

If this was your tank how would you go about lowering nitrates without stressing the shrimp? I've read that any w/c's more than 25% in a shrimp tank are not recomended.

Thanks for any insight.

rodcuda 12-08-2012 02:41 AM

Keep doing 25% water changes, that should be no problem for cherry shrimp. They can also tolerate the 40 ppm nitrates for a while. Maybe take a sample of water to the pet store and have them test it to make sure your kit is accurate.

Newman 12-08-2012 02:52 AM

add floating plants, and if you dont dose anything add some chemi pure to your filter.

sbarbee54 12-08-2012 04:50 AM

Some floaters will make a huge difference get a small thing of nitratezorb

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R.sok 12-08-2012 05:58 AM

Some people hate this plant, but I love it & the shrimp seem to enjoy it. Duckweed! they grow small & imo look nice with small tiny roots hanging down

R.sok 12-08-2012 05:59 AM

Any fast growing plant will suck up nitrates in no time, my amazonian frogbit also grows extremely fast

dprais1 12-08-2012 06:10 AM

you can do a big water change. I do 50% 1x or 2x a week and I can do closer to 75 0r 100% with out a problem. BUT you need to age your water for at least 8 hours, i age for 24 hours, get the temp correct, and of course dechlorinate. if you don't have any buffering going on in your tank the pH shouldn't be a problem.

-try cleaning your filter in old tank water, or new water that has been dechlorinated, maybe it is just dirty and full of decomposing junk

sh0ya 12-08-2012 07:04 AM

If youre looking for a fast plant to suck up those nitrates try "asian ambulia"-Limnophila sessiliflora. I started off with 6 stems in a high tech tank and BAM, 20-30 24+inch stems. It's considered a weed!

Another thing to think about is you may be over feeding them. When i just started my fish tanks i would test my water and the nitrates would be ridiculously high. But i realized after a while that i over fed the fish. You could also try using a feeding dish.

inthepacific 12-08-2012 07:23 AM

dont get duckweed just get some frogbit or water lettuce. at first i really wanted duckweed but then i got some and it was just a pain. frogbit is basically the same but just giant form and has cool roots that the shrimp like to cling to. also water lettuce has a crazy root structure that some people say is really good for the shrimp fry because they'll just chill in there

hedge_fund 12-08-2012 11:34 AM

If you do get duckweed then get Giant Duckweed at the very least. Stay away from regular duckweed as it's the biggest pain to deal with.

EKLiu 12-08-2012 01:03 PM

40 ppm nitrates is ok for RCS. Even CRS can handle that much nitrate without any problems.

Betta Maniac 12-08-2012 02:55 PM


Originally Posted by hedge_fund (Post 2103244)
If you do get duckweed then get Giant Duckweed at the very least. Stay away from regular duckweed as it's the biggest pain to deal with.

Seconded! I had some arrive as a volunteer with some plants I ordered and it's taken over that tank. Nothing I do seems to be able to eradicate it. I hate working with that tank down, as that crap gets all over everything, including me!

R.sok 12-08-2012 05:30 PM

Getting rid of duckweed is easy, well for me atleast. I use a fine net & a cup. I put the cup in the water sideways then duckweed gets sucked in & then I pour it into the net. The net acts like a strainer & the original water goes back in the tank

Andromeda01 12-08-2012 10:41 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Well now I am not as paranoid after hearing that they can tolerate nitrates at 40ppm.

How many days should I space w/c's out in an attempt to knock down nitrates? If it's too often won't that cause molting issues that could possibly kill them? I've only kept shrimp for 4 months so far. So I am still learning.

I like the look of floating plants so I'll have to look into them. Not familiar with duckweed, I'm about to check that out now.

Besides the high nitrates the hardness in my tank is low. It only takes one drop for the color to change when I do GH/KH tests. I would like to add crushed coral to the tank and to the 1 gallon plastic pitcher that I use to age the water. How much crushed coral should I start with for this? I was thinking maybe adding 1 tablespoon per week till it gets to where I want it.

randyl 12-08-2012 11:53 PM

Cherries are definitely more tolerant to high GH than nitrate, as long as it's not changing too quickly. So play with the amount of crushed coral is ok.

WC can get the nitrate down for sure, but you need to find out why your nitrate is high and fix the source. I've done 20% everyday for 4 or 5 times within a week trying to get nitrate down for my CRS/OEBT tank and there was no issue. I'm sure cherry can take it.

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