high nitrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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high nitrates

I just did a water test and my nitrates were really high, is this a concern or is my tank going to be fine
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 06:42 PM
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How old is the tank? When was it cycled and how? How high are the nitrates? Is the tank planted? Should keep them under 20. Usually a large water change or two will bring them down.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 06:47 PM
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Hi supergreeneyes,

Welcome to TPT!

How high is 'really high'; do you have a ppm reading?

Do you know the source of the high nitrates, is it organic (fish waste) or chemical (fertilizer)?

In either case I try not to have high levels of nitrates in my tanks. If they do go above my target level of 20ppm +/- 10ppm I first discontinue dosing any fertilizer that contains nitrates. Then I do water changes; one a day for the next two days to reduce the nitrate level. After I reach my target range I try to determine the cause. Does it creep up on it's own without fertilizer? If so is my tank overcrowded or am I feeding excessively? Also, proper filter maintenance is important, I try to clean my filters every 4-6 weeks.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the response it is indeed a planted aquarium, injected c02 and an all in one fert by nilocg. but now that you mentioned it it could be the ferts i am putting in. I'm dosing for high light and heavy plants, and it is not fully planted yet. My pleco ripped everything to shreds, it is a few years old, and when i tested it it was at 40 ppm. hope this helps I'm doing a big water change tomorrow.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 04:42 AM
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Hi supergreeneyes,

I agree, it is likely that the amount of plants is not sufficient for the amount of ferts being dosed. I would do a 50% water change, and not dose for several days, then take a nitrate reading and see if you are about your target level. 40ppm of nitrates is high, but not terribly dangerous for most fish species unless allowed to persist. Of course high nitrates could lead to excessive algae....I would watch for signs of an algae outbreak and be prepared to cut back the photoperiod if algae starts going rampant.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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I am still having problems with my tank it is green to yellow water I'm doing a water change weekly and nothing has happened my nitrates are still in the high range HELP
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supergreeneyes View Post
I am still having problems with my tank it is green to yellow water I'm doing a water change weekly and nothing has happened my nitrates are still in the high range HELP
I'm experiencing the same thing. I have medium-high light, and not quite heavily planted yet. I also am dosing with the all in one fert by @nilocg. I haven't stopped dosing to see if that helps, so i am only dosing once this week to see what happens. I'll keep you up to date with what happens on mine as well. My nitrates are reading around 40ppm as well.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 09:16 PM
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While nitrate is not the best thing, I find it doesn't bother my African cichlids nearly as much as I would expect. But then there is also another thing that might come into question. Several of us have had discussions of how the API liquid tests may give you really high levels that are false. I might suggest doing some checking of the test readings before working too hard to get nitrate down. I find when my nitrate goes above 20PPM and it often does, I need to use half test tube of tank water and half tube of distilled to give me a usable color. Then I double the reading to get the real answer.
You may have high nitrate or you may have a false reading?
My African cichlids were living and breeding in nitrate readings of 120PPM before I got a better understanding of what was wrong. Once into getting usable readings, I did stop dosing nitrate.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 09:25 PM
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My nitrates are always at about 40ppm I dont really worry about them at 40ppm.I have discus in that tank,it is planted but I feed beefheart so I just caulk it up to organics in the water.I do a 50% water change every week but it doesn't make much difference if any.My discus were grown out be me with the biggest at a little over 7" and the smallest a little over 6",they seem happy and healthy so I just dont worry about 40ppm.I had an angelfish that lived in the same water conditions for about 15 years I'm assuming he died of old age if it was the high nitrates ill take that kind of luck any day
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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cool thats a little relief to here i am gonna see if only feeding them once a week and stop the ferts for a week or two and see if that helps
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