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Old 05-02-2013, 01:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pejerrey View Post
I'm curious to know what does this mean.
Your filter catches everything and it builds up over time eventually decaying. A good cleaning or check may find the cause of the high peram
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:58 AM   #17
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If you are dosing nitrate or any other form of nitrogen, stop.
Keep up the frequent (Daily) water changes until the NO3 is under 20 ppm.
Then monitor the tank.

a) Nitrates rise: Then you do not have to dose any nitrogen fertilizer. You are feeding the fish, and this is all the nitrogen the plants need. Do enough water changes to keep the NO3 under 20 ppm (I keep mine between 5-10 most of the time, and do water changes at 20 ppm)

b) Nitrate stay the same: Then you do not have to dose any nitrogen fertilizer unless you do a water change, then I might dose a very low level.

c) Nitrate starts dropping. Then you will need to dose, but probably not very much.

Debris in the filter can lead to rising NO3 levels, also debris anywhere in the system. Do a light vacuum job, just enough to remove the easy to remove debris. Do not dig into the substrate unless you have areas with no plants.
Keep the filter media clean by rinsing it in water removed from the tank for a water change. Rinse and reuse!
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:54 AM   #18
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Please tell us u removed any dead fish already. And are u over-feeding live food? Sounds crowded for such a new tank.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:15 PM   #19
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Default Someone please help- Nitrate levels crazy high, dead fish..

Thanks for all of the tips, everyone.
Yes, I definitely removed the threadfin right away. Nitrates are down to about 40 now. I think it had to do with dosing ferts. The tank is still relatively new so who knows. Everyone seems happy and I'm keeping a close eye on numbers.
I did read that high levels of Nitrates are associated with algae. I'm seeing my first signs of algae building up on the glass.
It's all a good lesson, and I appreciate the tips. Thanks!
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:42 PM   #20
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Dude, 160ppm no3 from ferts is not harmful. Maybe something else.
NO3 is NO3, regardless of the source. It is harmful at that concentration.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:49 PM   #21
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Default Someone please help- Nitrate levels crazy high, dead fish..

EI is a dosing regimen as well as a water change schedule. The idea is that with correct dosing levels AND water changes of 50% once a week, the nutrients in you water column will stay above a minimum level for the plants, and below a maximum level for the fish. Since you are changing 50% weekly, there is a maximum concentration that will not be exceeded.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:30 AM   #22
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Default Someone please help- Nitrate levels crazy high, dead fish..

Nitrates don't cause algae blooms.

A bit if algae in the glass is normal.

Anyhow, if you see algae all over...

Since you had enough nutrients and maybe more than enough light....(this does cause algae blooms) then the only things left are lack of co2 and plant mass. But... this two, specially need for co2, can be reduced by reducing light.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:32 AM   #23
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Default Someone please help- Nitrate levels crazy high, dead fish..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ETK View Post
EI is a dosing regimen as well as a water change schedule. The idea is that with correct dosing levels AND water changes of 50% once a week, the nutrients in you water column will stay above a minimum level for the plants, and below a maximum level for the fish. Since you are changing 50% weekly, there is a maximum concentration that will not be exceeded.
This is key to understand about EI!


The levels are reset after every WC.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by gSTiTcH View Post
NO3 is NO3, regardless of the source. It is harmful at that concentration.
Harmful to what specifically?

For how long?

How was the test measured?
Did they use a known standard to make sure their cheapo 10$ test kit was accurate and reading correctly? Or did they add 3 teaspoons of KNO3 to the 25 Gallon tank?

NO3 is not NO3 regardless of source, if the NO3 is from primarily NH4/fish waste, rotting plants, dead fish, NH4 fertilizers........this is far more toxic and lethal to livestock than NO3, about 1000X more so.

NH4 at 1-4 ppm is pretty lethal, then you have NO2 after that, again, lethal at relatively low levels to most livestock.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:15 PM   #25
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Thanks for all of the tips, everyone.
Yes, I definitely removed the threadfin right away. Nitrates are down to about 40 now. I think it had to do with dosing ferts. The tank is still relatively new so who knows. Everyone seems happy and I'm keeping a close eye on numbers.
I did read that high levels of Nitrates are associated with algae. I'm seeing my first signs of algae building up on the glass.
It's all a good lesson, and I appreciate the tips. Thanks!
For new tanks, I tend to do 50-80% every 3 days or so.
Dose after water change only.

After about 2 months or little less, I back off to once a week etc, or if I make a mess, move things around or if there's any issue, I do a water change, clean things etc.

Algae?

Check light/CO2.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:43 PM   #26
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Greetings Tom. I recognize that you've been in this far longer than I have. Likely longer than I've been alive. That said, I approach this with academic respect for your work and experiences.

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Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Harmful to what specifically?

For how long?
To livestock, fish in this case.

Length of time is not really a specification that can be defined, as NO3 simply stresses livestock to the point that the immune system becomes compromised. High nitrate equates to stressed fish, which results in illness and death. This is one of the most basic building blocks of fish keeping. I suppose a more relevant question would be how quickly did nitrate spike to the 160ppm mark? Considering cases of Old Tank Syndrome, or days gone by when water was not changed because of the thought that old water is better, I'm certain that acclimation to elevated nitrates is a possibility.

Quote:
How was the test measured?
Did they use a known standard to make sure their cheapo 10$ test kit was accurate and reading correctly? Or did they add 3 teaspoons of KNO3 to the 25 Gallon tank?
I do not know. I did not ask. I assume the best of people seeking help. However, the cited fish deaths and a high nitrate reading seems to indicate that even if the NO3 is not 160 as cited, it's elevated enough to cause stress and should be addressed.

Quote:
NO3 is not NO3 regardless of source, if the NO3 is from primarily NH4/fish waste, rotting plants, dead fish, NH4 fertilizers........this is far more toxic and lethal to livestock than NO3, about 1000X more so.

NH4 at 1-4 ppm is pretty lethal, then you have NO2 after that, again, lethal at relatively low levels to most livestock.
I think I'm confused. NO3 is a compound commonly referred to as Nitrate. Nitrate is not Ammonium which is NH4. As I understand it, once ammonium becomes NO3, a chemical reaction has occurred, making it no longer NH4. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but NO3 cannot also be NH4, even if NH4 was the original source. (This is not considering the impact of possible harmful bacteria build up and other compounds in the waste products that would not be present in chemically pure nitrogen addition through fertilizers, including NH4.)

I agree that NH4 (as well as NO2) is much more lethal (with much swifter results) than NO3. This does not make NO3 in a high concentration benign. If we were only talking 40ppm, I would be inclined to say that the concentration of NO3 is on the high end of a safe range.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:38 PM   #27
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Default Someone please help- Nitrate levels crazy high, dead fish..

Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
For new tanks, I tend to do 50-80% every 3 days or so.
Dose after water change only.

After about 2 months or little less, I back off to once a week etc, or if I make a mess, move things around or if there's any issue, I do a water change, clean things etc.

Algae?

Check light/CO2.
Thank you very much. My tank consists of a lot of crypts. I'm still getting a lot of melting so I suspect the decay is building up rapidly. I'll continue tri-weekly H20 changes to be on the safe side. The algae buildup is spotty and seems to stay on the glass.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:14 PM   #28
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Default Someone please help- Nitrate levels crazy high, dead fish..

What Tom means is that high reading no3 from decay is harmful because of the decay that took place to form it, unlike ferts (like kno3).

Regardless, as far as I know 160ppm of no3 is unnecessarily high but not toxic enough to be the culprit of the situation you described if its coming from ferts. Now, if something the process of the decay to get to 160ppm is rather lethal.

And again, see algae? Adjust light vs co2. It's always easier to diminish the amount of light.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:13 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by gSTiTcH View Post
Greetings Tom.
I think I'm confused. NO3 is a compound commonly referred to as Nitrate. Nitrate is not Ammonium which is NH4. As I understand it, once ammonium becomes NO3, a chemical reaction has occurred, making it no longer NH4. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but NO3 cannot also be NH4, even if NH4 was the original source. (This is not considering the impact of possible harmful bacteria build up and other compounds in the waste products that would not be present in chemically pure nitrogen addition through fertilizers, including NH4.)

I agree that NH4 (as well as NO2) is much more lethal (with much swifter results) than NO3. This does not make NO3 in a high concentration benign. If we were only talking 40ppm, I would be inclined to say that the concentration of NO3 is on the high end of a safe range.
The starting point is critical here.

NO3 from KNO3 is VERY different than it is from NH4 as the source.
We can dose NH4 as NH4Cl or as say fish waste or as rotting plants etc.
We can dose NO3 as KNO3.

This has caused many myths concerning NO3 in planted tanks, since we are typically the only sub hobby group that doses KNO3. NO3 as the end product of organic N(fish waste mostly) with NH4 and NO2 as intermediates and toxic, but NO3 itself is relatively benign.


You'll note the most sensitive, like coldwater trout fry etc are sensitive if you do any research, but warm water tropical fish are at several hundred ppm's. Florida and Asian fish farmers know this.

So in the practical aquaculture side as well as the scant research available on warm tropical species, as well as a simple test to see myself and the mistakes of others.........this is not the case.

Dose and see if you can kill your livestock with KNO3 if you feel I am incorrect, then try using NH4Cl or (NH4)2 SO4.

Note, even if you do kill the livestock, this does not imply there may have been other factors involved, but if you add say 100 ppm and nothing is harmed, what does that imply? That 100 ppm is NOT lethal or harmful.

We can and many planted folks already have, over a decade + time frames, shown this to be the case.

Much easier to prove what something is NOT, than what is. Once done, you move on and do not cling to the myths. You look for other more interesting possible causes to falsify.

If you can show that fish are stressed by 40 ppm or more as KNO3, why don't many many other planted hobbyists also not report this? Why do many report 100ppm + is multiple cases using KNO3 errors in their dosing with no ill effects?


Magic?


There are 101 ways to kill/stress fish that have nothing to do with plants fertilizers etc, how can you rule out those possible causes with an aquarium or two? You cannot, but you can rule what things are NOT causing the fish issues.

So, my question to you, have you personally tested this to see if you can harm or hurt fish using KNO3? If so, what ppm's and what livestock was used?

I've done this with many species and Discus, and shrimp, shrimp are even better because they are easy to breed and we often have plenty of culls to work with, they can live in small tanks etc, so many replicates can be done.

Now try this with NH4Cl over a range say 0.1 to 5.0 ppm.

A full 100-1000x less concentrational difference, I'd say the KNO3 source NO3 is pretty harmless by comparison.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:06 AM   #30
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There are 101 ways to kill/stress fish that have nothing to do with plants fertilizers etc, how can you rule out those possible causes with an aquarium or two? You cannot, but you can rule what things are NOT causing the fish issues.

So, my question to you, have you personally tested this to see if you can harm or hurt fish using KNO3? If so, what ppm's and what livestock was used?
I haven't tested per se. At least not in a controlled manner. My experiences with high nitrate are definitely not documented or controlled well enough to be considered viable scientific research.

That said, I have had fish deaths that appear to be attributed to elevated NO3. When I first got into fish keeping, it was because of suffering fish due to a very poorly maintained tank. Yes, that NO3 was definitely from fish wastes, as the tank wasn't planted at the time. (NO3 is what lead me to the planted tank hobby).

The next round of fish deaths I had were when I first started dosing dry ferts and misread the measuring spoon... API liquid test kit (definitely not top shelf, but good for approximation) showed over 100ppm. As my stems took hold and Nitrate dosing was reduced, fish appeared less stressed and I lost no more stock...

I had one other accidental OD of KNO3 prior to starting to track my actual dosing. That finished off 3 guppies and two Mollies.

It is very possible that the illnesses and deaths were coincidental. However, with regular testing, I can safely say that I have only had problems with livestock when NO3 was elevated. Additionally, every time I have had elevated NO3, I have had problems with stock.

What I am struggling to grasp, however, is what makes NO3 different when dosed in KNO3 as opposed to naturally occurring wastes. I understand that NH4 and NO2 are significantly more toxic in much lower concentrations. I also understand that it would be very easily to decimate a tank with NH4Cl. However, doesn't the NH4 through the nitrification process end up as NO3? Is that end product not the same?

Again, I'm not trying to 'one up' you, or anything like that. I'm genuinely trying to make sense of all of this, especially as it relates to my relatively limited experiences.

Quote:
If you can show that fish are stressed by 40 ppm or more as KNO3, why don't many many other planted hobbyists also not report this? Why do many report 100ppm + is multiple cases using KNO3 errors in their dosing with no ill effects?
For what it's worth, we have to consider the length of exposure to those conditions. I believe you're right about NO3 by itself being benign. I don't think there is really a nitrate "poisoning" so much as there is a weakening of the livestock.

In my cases, the expose was around 5 days after I started dosing. In this thread, the OP seems to indicate an extended period. In most cases, people do very quick "emergency" water changes to dilute the NO3 as soon as a problem is detected. If the fish had a longer exposure, would the situation change? What other factors come in to play here? That is the unknown factor that you touched on.

Thanks for your time, Tom.
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