NitrAte Problem - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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NitrAte Problem

Hello guys, Im in need of some help. I have a 45G setup. It is quite heavily planted. It contains 4 Otos, 6 blue rams, 1 Siamese Algae eater and around 45 Cherry Shrimp. After adding the last 3 Rams, my nitrate has spiked from 5ppm to around 10-15 ppm. Im thinking that Im over feeding them. So to bring them down I know the best way is to do water changes and not to add chemicals. I already do a weekly 30% water change. So my question is, to bring the nitrate back down to 5-10ppm, should I be doing water changes everyday? and when I do, do water changes, what % should I be aiming for?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:24 AM
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NitrAte Problem

What are you using for filtration. To be honest 10ppm is actually good for plants. Your plants should naturally bring it down.

I do a 50% weekly water change because I dose ferts. Would not hurt to do a 50% for your next one. To be honest I would not really be worried too much about 15ppm of nitrates. Like I said your plants should take care of it for you.

Also throw a thing of Seachem Purigen in your filter as that will help also.

Remember your plants are your best filter in the tank. Take care of them and they will take care of you and your nitrates.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:26 AM
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a 33% water change will take 15 ppm nitrate down to 5 ppm.

1/3 * 15ppm = 5 ppm

I don't know that I would be super concerned about 15 ppm nitrate. I douse nitrates in my tank UP to 20 ppm
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
What are you using for filtration. To be honest 10ppm is actually good for plants. Your plants should naturally bring it down.

I do a 50% weekly water change because I dose ferts. Would not hurt to do a 50% for your next one. To be honest I would not really be worried too much about 15ppm of nitrates. Like I said your plants should take care of it for you.

Also throw a thing of Seachem Purigen in your filter as that will help also.

Remember your plants are your best filter in the tank. Take care of them and they will take care of you and your nitrates.


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Oh really? Thats good to hear. I always hear/read that German Blue Rams are sensitive to Nitrate and it should be 10 or lower so I was starting to freak out. What Nitrate level is considered high? 20?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:34 AM
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Are you running low tech or high? To be honest if you are doing co2 even 20ppm is not bad because your plants are using up the nitrates. If you are in the 10-20ppm range you are fine. In fact some of your plants will most likely do better at 15 than 10. I know you have a concern for your fish but they are fine at this level I can assure you. I am at the 10-15ppm range and have sensitive clown loaches and Amano shrimp.


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Originally Posted by Mark Brown View Post
a 33% water change will take 15 ppm nitrate down to 5 ppm.

1/3 * 15ppm = 5 ppm

I don't know that I would be super concerned about 15 ppm nitrate. I douse nitrates in my tank UP to 20 ppm


I also do the same thing because my plants seem to eat it right up. Like I said I would not be concerned at all at 15ppm.


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Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-28-2017 at 03:10 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Brown View Post
a 33% water change will take 15 ppm nitrate down to 5 ppm.

1/3 * 15ppm = 5 ppm

I don't know that I would be super concerned about 15 ppm nitrate. I douse nitrates in my tank UP to 20 ppm
33% will bring it down to 10ppm it will reduce the nitrates by a 1/3rd. But as many have stated 15ppm is nothing to be concerned over

Dan
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:40 AM
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Planted tanks really do change the paradigm when it comes to nitrate. I was concerned when mine wouldn't come above 5ppm.

One thing to keep an eye on is if it continues to rise. Then there might be cause for concern.

you are correct because my brain is little

Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-28-2017 at 03:10 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
Are you running low tech or high? To be honest if you are doing co2 even 20ppm is not bad because your plants are using up the nitrates. If you are in the 10-20ppm range you are fine. In fact some of your plants will most likely do better at 15 than 10. I know you have a concern for your fish but they are fine at this level I can assure you. I am at the 10-15ppm range and have sensitive clown loaches and Amano shrimp.


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Im running a low tech no co2. So Still no need to worry? Id just rather be safe than sorry which is why Id like to keep it at 5ppm. But if youre all saying that 15-20 is fine then I will just test it each week to make sure it doesnt go higher. I just thought that a sudden increase of 10ppm in 2 weeks was a shock.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:56 AM
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in two weeks??
Heavens no. I do commend your concern but rest assured in this one instance it is misplaced
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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in two weeks??
Heavens no. I do commend your concern but rest assured in this one instance it is misplaced
Before my 30% water change today I tested it and it was around 10-15ppm. After I completed the water change I ran another test and it was the same. Sorta freaked me out. My tap water only has a Nitrate level of 5ppm. Didnt know why it was doing that =(
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 05:03 AM
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Try a slightly larger water change in a few days and see if it won't drop down a bit from that. There is a small chance that your plants will eat up that nitrate as they grow due more due to it being available to them. I know before my plants really took off I was in the 20-40 range, heavens knows I can't tell those bloody colors apart. Now I literally can't keep nitrate in my tank. Plants really are a wonderful addition to aquariums, they do all the heavy lifting.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 03:02 PM
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33% will bring it down to 10ppm it will reduce the nitrates by a 1/3rd. But as many have stated 15ppm is nothing to be concerned over

Dan
Uhm, wrong again. The math would be correct if the source water was nitrate free, however, if I read it correctly, the OP indicated that his source water has 5ppm nitrates! So considering a 5ppm source nitrate level, a 33% water change of 20ppm tank water might come down to 15ppm (or very little color change in the API test).
All said and done, I'd like nitrates to stay 20ppm or less, even in the planted tank that has fish.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:06 PM
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Uhm, wrong again. The math would be correct if the source water was nitrate free, however, if I read it correctly, the OP indicated that his source water has 5ppm nitrates! So considering a 5ppm source nitrate level, a 33% water change of 20ppm tank water might come down to 15ppm (or very little color change in the API test).
All said and done, I'd like nitrates to stay 20ppm or less, even in the planted tank that has fish.
Yup I missed that good catch

Dan
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 02:31 AM
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OK, let's get through this even though it's gotten rediculous

1/3 water change on 15 ppm nitrate will reduce the total nitrate to 10 ppm assuming nitrate free source water. OP has stated source contains 5ppm nitrate, introducing this into the system it can be accounted that 1/3 water being replaced is "contaminated" for lack of a better word. 1/3 of 5ppm is 1.667 which is the representation of the increase in tank water.

That 1/3 water change at 15 ppm nitrate would then reduce the total to 11.6667

tank nitrate -(tank nitrate * %WC)+ (source nitrate * %WC) = New nitrate.

I need better things to do with my time
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 06:00 PM
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OK, let's get through this even though it's gotten rediculous

1/3 water change on 15 ppm nitrate will reduce the total nitrate to 10 ppm assuming nitrate free source water. OP has stated source contains 5ppm nitrate, introducing this into the system it can be accounted that 1/3 water being replaced is "contaminated" for lack of a better word. 1/3 of 5ppm is 1.667 which is the representation of the increase in tank water.

That 1/3 water change at 15 ppm nitrate would then reduce the total to 11.6667

tank nitrate -(tank nitrate * %WC)+ (source nitrate * %WC) = New nitrate.

I need better things to do with my time
+1 Lol I did notice this after my post but didn't want to rehash it.

Dan
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