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Old 04-05-2013, 09:37 PM   #16
Skunky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
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?
Thanks for all you help. I have the long thread algae, staghorn, and the type that is a green, fuzzy carpet.

For plants, I have
one small wisteria
naja grass
ludwigia repens
rotal rotundifolia
two swords (1 amazon and not sure of other one)
three anubias
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.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:44 PM   #17
Skunky
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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
Thanks for your concern. The tap is 45 ppm, according to our water superintendent. He told me to call the county health dept. and they would explain to me why it is okay. I never did. As far at the EPA limit goes, it seems the only thing that must be done is to increase frequency of testing. No changes have to be made, I was told. I will read your links.

Ammonia/ammonium--not good.

Yeah, the RO is looking like the better remedy.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:57 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:09 AM   #19
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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.
I'm kind of surprised that nobody else in my small town is bothered by this. From what I understood, the "enforceable" rule means that they must do something....that thing has been to test the water more frequently. Nothing more. I recall the superintendent telling me that they are looking for better wells. Maybe that's all they have to do is prove they are attempting to improve?

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.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:27 AM   #20
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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!
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:48 AM   #21
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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!
Thanks, King! Yes, I'm absolutely sure I didn't mishear what he said. We had a fairly long conversation. He agreed that the level was high. I had actually taken a sample to my lfs to double check, and while I was gone to the lfs this super left a message on my phone telling me that my API readings were correct and 45 ppm.

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!
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:41 PM   #22
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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...
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #23
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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.
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