Reducing nitrates - A new world - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Reducing nitrates - A new world

Hi guys,
So I'm coming from a long term marine keeper so for nitrate reduction we have numerous tools at hand (bio pellets, vodka, extra bio filtration)
Is having an oversized canister filter going to have an effect at reducing nitrates?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 01:36 PM
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Nope.The main way to reduce nitrates is water changes.however for plants,you do want to run some nitrates in freshwater tanks,and you generally always will.they don't become toxic to freshwater life until they are in very high concentrations.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 01:47 PM
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I shoot for 10-20ppm Nitrates anything higher than 20ppm I do a water change accordingly and anything lower than 5 I add Kn03. Depending on your tank setup, lighting, co2?, substrate, plants, fish etc. you may have to add nitrates.

Just to touch on canister question. The nitrifying bacteria grow on the bio media in your filter (also your substrate rocks etc.). Providing you have enough media and flow to convert all of the ammonia and nitrites to nitrates anything past that will not make a difference other than creating flow and more space for bacteria to grow should your bio load increase. There are 2 ways (maybe more) nitrates will be removed from your tank water.
1. Water changes
2. Nutrient uptake by your plants.
If you have fast growing plants with high light and densely planted and small bioload chances are you will actually have to add nitrates.

Dan
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 01:53 PM
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Hi guys,
So I'm coming from a long term marine keeper so for nitrate reduction we have numerous tools at hand (bio pellets, vodka, extra bio filtration)
Is having an oversized canister filter going to have an effect at reducing nitrates?

Well....since you are on a planted tank forum I am going to assume you have or will have live plants.

With plants you want some nitrates. I believe somewhere between 10-30 is fine.
If they build up more than that....you are adding them faster than the plants are consuming them. They get added to the system either directly via you adding ferts or indirectly in the form of fish food and the resulting fish waste.
Either find a way to add less nitrate to the system.....or add more fast growing plants.

Since you have kept reef tanks you probably know that some water even comes out of the tap with nitrates....
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys. The whole plant idea isn't a possibility as I hope to have a simple crystal shrimp set up with a few moss balls. That'll probably mean I'll go remineralized RO.

Tanks not set up yet as I'm just getting my bearings and reading before I buy filters.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 02:29 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. The whole plant idea isn't a possibility as I hope to have a simple crystal shrimp set up with a few moss balls. That'll probably mean I'll go remineralized RO.

Tanks not set up yet as I'm just getting my bearings and reading before I buy filters.
There are quite a few plants that shrimp would enjoy and are very low maintenance and will help a little with nitrates. I'm not a shrimp guy but a few are Java moss, water wisteria, vals and java fern. I would head over to the shrimp and inverts section and see what going on there.

Dan
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 02:30 PM
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If you want a no hassle nitrate sponge get some pistia plants or other floating. Well you have to remove them when they get too large or many, but the shrimps like to graze on the biofilm forming on the roots. They use atmospheric CO2 so they are not limited from this point of view.

In fresh water we are lucky that we have so many plants. In theory you can get reducing conditions in freshwater as well, mostly in the substrate but also in some types of filter media. But an anaerobic substrate is not good for shrimp and it would be a complication.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 03:28 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. The whole plant idea isn't a possibility as I hope to have a simple crystal shrimp set up with a few moss balls. That'll probably mean I'll go remineralized RO.

Tanks not set up yet as I'm just getting my bearings and reading before I buy filters.
I have a handful of orange ones but I dont really keep shrimp.

I will say that most every hardcore shrimp keeper Ive seen has lots of moss in their tanks.....there are several kinds of moss.
There are also things like duckweed....aka the herpes of aquariums lol....it grows and multiplies on the surface so quickly you have to scoop it and throw it away regularly.
Some shrimp keepers like subwassertang (sp?)
Maybe Riccia or watersprite

Any fast growing easy plant....let it consume nitrate and when it multiplies just throw it away. I chuck it in my compost or the wife houseplants lol

Go on Utube and look up L.R. Bretz and Flip Aquatics....they live stream all the time and answer questions
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking about duckweed as I've read all the reports of it reducing nitrates.

Once again, thanks everyone, you've given me some good reading and research material for the next week weeks.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 06:04 PM
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I was thinking about duckweed as I've read all the reports of it reducing nitrates.

Once again, thanks everyone, you've given me some good reading and research material for the next week weeks.
I personally don't like Duckweed because it quickly becomes a nuisance.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by andyking View Post
Hi guys,
So I'm coming from a long term marine keeper so for nitrate reduction we have numerous tools at hand (bio pellets, vodka, extra bio filtration)
Is having an oversized canister filter going to have an effect at reducing nitrates?
Vodka?! How's that work? Do shots 'till you just don't care about nitrate anymore?


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 07:11 PM
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^^^^ Agreed. Red Root Floaters or something like them work well.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 09:00 PM
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Red root floater is a way better option.
Much easier to control their numbers.
I scoop several handfulls in the trash every month.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Vodka?! How's that work? Do shots 'till you just don't care about nitrate anymore?
The de-nitrifying bacteria need a carbon source to process the nitrate, this carbon source boots the population of said bacteria, vodka just happens to cause to ill effects to fish or super sensitive corals.
Vinegar and sugar water can also be used, but who wants a shot of vinegar!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for the input guys. The whole plant idea isn't a possibility as I hope to have a simple crystal shrimp set up with a few moss balls. That'll probably mean I'll go remineralized RO.

Tanks not set up yet as I'm just getting my bearings and reading before I buy filters.
I have over a hundred CRS in this 20 gallon long, and this picture was right after I had done a trim of all my background plants. Please disregard all the weird projects I have going on in there...

I keep CO2 at 15 ppm, nitrates below 20 ppm, and TDS below 180 max (my water change indicator).

Crystals + plants can easily be done (and really should be done), but I would start with low demand plants like Java Fern, crypts, floaters, etc. to start.

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