Nitrites high from the tap - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2017, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrites high from the tap

I always do baseline tap water tests prior to starting an aquarium. Did some today and got some odd nitrite readings. From the kitchen faucet, I got a reading of 2ppm. But from the faucet in the laundry room, the reading was 0ppm. I did multiple tests from each source and readings were consistent.

My question is: how can the readings be different? We are on municipal water, not a well. Could it be bacteria in the kitchen faucet? Seems strange to me to get two different readings.

Fortunately, the source that shows 0ppm is where Iíll be drawing water from for the aquarium.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 12:11 AM
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Some wild guessing in order?
I might first look if there is some way that the test could have been contaminated. Nitrite is used to cure meat so perhaps there might be some from that? How good or old and bad would you guess the plumbing? I might do some looking at having an unknown leak in the plumbing, based on the idea that a leak might be sucking ground water into the pipe to the kitchen? Any faucet strainer on the kitchen that could be taken off and bleach soaked to clear it of any cause? Does running for some time change the reading from the kitchen?
I admit to wild guessing!
But I would also want to find why my drinking water has nitrite, even at low levels. Ten PPM is the highest allowed by regs but I might want to clear the question.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 12:19 AM
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I believe calcified deposits that form in faucets can cause either nitrite spikes or false nitrite readings as calcium and nitrogen can actually create a form of nitrite compound. Kitchen sink often gets used more so I'm sure there's more build up there as opposed to any other faucet in the house. This is from foggy memory and I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that's the cause.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 12:52 AM
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Where do you live? I recently posted the same exact thing, only difference is that I get a 2 ppm reading on all water sources! So I switched to ro/di this all came about after losing 22 fish after a water change. I've purchased 3 different tests and all read the same, and my aged aquarium water and ro water are all at 0 I still don't know what caused all the fish to die but after that I didn't want to take any chances, I'm sure it wasn't from the nitrite readings but it sure was an eye opener.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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So, I decided to re-do my tests this morning. I tested the kitchen sink, utility sink in the laundry room (my source for aquarium water), and the outside spigot for the garden hose. Used both API liquid and test strips. This time, all tests for all water sources showed nitrites at 2ppm.

Not really sure what to do. The tap water is otherwise good, and I have no desire to use RO water if I donít have to. I guess I could get a big drum and treat the water for nitrites, and then add to the aquarium. *sigh*

I think Iíll contact the City first and see if they can do a test and find out why I have nitrites in my tap water in the first place.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 06:04 PM
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DBridges,

I am 45 minutes south of you and my tap has high ammonia and nitrates, lost many fish when I 1st moved here. I now run RO for my tanks. I store it in a 30g barrel then remineralize using GH booster and Baking soda. Make sure you have a good GH/KH test kit.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Well, some interesting developments. Spoke with the City of New Smyrna's Water Chemist, and he acknowledged that the city does have an issue with occasionally high nitrites in the water. He cited construction and many residences that are not occupied year round (this is the Cliff's Notes version). He suggested running our faucets for 20 or 30 minutes to help get fresher water into our system.

Long story short, I was skeptical, but it actually worked! My nitrites went down for 2ppm to .25ppm, or perhaps lower. The chemist also did a water test and will be sending me detailed results next week.

I may just set up a barrel in my garage to treat water for the aquarium, but we'll see. Either way, I've at least found some options for tackling the situation.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 09:17 PM
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sort of interesting about the city water...
they letting deer die in the reservoir or something?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benstatic View Post
sort of interesting about the city water...
they letting deer die in the reservoir or something?
We have a lot of people from up north that live down here part time. That, plus lots of construction, creates some areas of lower/reduced water flow, i.e. stagnation. This allows the chloramines that treat the water to break down and cause a rise in nitrites. This is my layman's explanation; the chemist's sounded more detailed and understandable than what I'm saying.

Either way, his solution helped, and he said the city will be using free chlorine in the system soon to help with the issue.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-28-2017, 12:42 AM
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Running your faucet for 20-30 minutes!! Sounds wasteful, but I know neighbors who run their sprinklers as long or more. I try to capture most of my RO reject water for the garden.

Maybe after running the faucet for that long, store some of it for later use so you don't have to run it that long every time.

I guess it depends on the size tank/s your dealing with. Smaller tank/s then RO might not be right for you(overkill). And for EI it is recommended to use tap water but my readings are so high I have no choice but use RO.



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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-28-2017, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Iíve decided to just treat my water separately. Not RO, but Iím going to try some things to remove the nitrites, etc. from the water. Got a 44 gallon can and a furniture dolly as a ad hoc reservoir as a supply for water changes. Weíll see how it goes.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-29-2017, 01:39 PM
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As to the somewhat high nitrites in the tap water, I think I'd just use Prime when I did partial water changes. Only downside is that resultant nitrates will be a bit higher than if the source water was ammonia/nitrite/nitrate free.

For RO or RO/DI, I think I'd use Seachem Equilibrium and Acid/Alkaline Buffers for a planted tank.

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