50ppm tapwater nitrates? Have I got it wrong? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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50ppm tapwater nitrates? Have I got it wrong?

My latest local water authority nitrate report. Am I right in thinking I have 50PPM Nitrates in my tapwater???

Nitrate The high productivity of the Anglian region’s arable farming gives rise to high concentrations of nitrate in rivers and some groundwaters. Nitrate concentrations in our source waters have continued to increase over recent years. Where necessary, we operate and will continue to invest in a combination of nitrate removal plants and blending schemes to reduce these high levels of nitrate to below the 50 milligramme per litre standard. At sites where the concentration of nitrate is reduced by treatment or blending, the concentration of nitrate is continuously monitored.
During the period January 2011 to March 2011, 2 samples were taken for nitrate in the Kings Lynn supply zone, all of which complied with the regulatory standard of 50 milligrammes per litre. The average value for nitrate in this supply zone during this period was 31.3 milligrammes per litre
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:42 AM
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They said they took 2 samples and got 31.3 average, so you could be zero and the other test not feeding your water was 31.3, or yours was 10 and the other sample was 21.3, or you were 30 and they were only 1.3 or you could be 16 and they are 15.3. See how the average value doesn't tell you whats feeding your particular water. Only way to know for sure is to test your water yourself and see what it tests at. If you live in an area that only has farming, say 5 months out of the year, I would imagine it would be higher during those months during runoffs and less in the winter so it may vary throughout the year as well.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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You could, or you could have 0. The allowable limit according to that 50, but with an average of 31.3, but you could be 0 and then 3 other could be high to get at the average. Only way to know for sure is to test your water yourself and see what it tests at. If you live in an area that only has farming, say 5 months out of the year, I would imagine it would be higher during those months during runoffs and less in the winter so it may vary throughout the year as well.
ive been testing it weekly since January and its always 40ppm. Most folk think I must be getting it wrong but its always 40ppm on the API master liquid test. Thats high right?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:54 AM
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That's high, but not unheard of.

I hate to ask, but do you have a reference solution to compare your reading to?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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whats a ref solution?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 04:16 AM
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Solution(s) of known concentration you can check your readings against.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
Solution(s) of known concentration you can check your readings against.
For example, go out to the store and buy some distilled or pure water. Test the nitrates of that and see if you get 0ppm to make sure your test kit is calibrated. If you really wanted to get detailed, you'd then add something like KNO3 to the distilled water to get known concentrations of nitrates and then test those to see what 10ppm, 20ppm, 30ppm nitrates etc look like on your test kit so that when you test your tank, you know exactly what it is, since you can't be sure what a reading on a test kit means until you have tested it against reference solutions.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 05:21 AM
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If your nitrates are that high and you wish to lower them I'd suggest an RO/DI system. Otherwise if your tank is decently planted they will consume them in a few days.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 05:24 AM
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Don't use your tap water on CRS. I would not drink that kind of water.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:42 PM
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It appears that your test is correct, within its limits, and apparently your water is still well within the safe level as determined by your government. The plants should be happy, some sensitive shrimp wouldn't be, at least after a major water change. If your plants are growing and you're not overfeeding, the nitrates should go down over time as the plants consume what's available.

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I would not drink that kind of water.
Why not? The limit in the US is 44.2 ppm for nitrates in drinking water (the EPA value is 10ppm nitrates as nitrogen, a screwy unit of measure.) Newborns who consume large amounts of water with nitrates in excess of that amount (via reconstituted formula, presumably) can have serious problems, but there's no evidence of harm below it.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 04:45 PM
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Oh, and you do not have 50ppm nitrates in your water. That's the regulatory limit for the UK. You apparently have a value closer to 30 or 40ppm. It's probably variable depending on the seasons and weather though, assuming they're getting your water from a river or reservoir. You could try contacting the local water authorities directly and see whether they can give you a better idea of seasonal variation, the actual values obtained via testing, and the like. They may also have other useful information for you if you ask nicely, like metal ion concentrations.

It's a bit silly that they gave the average of two values though, all you know is that both samples were below 50ppm and that they averaged to 31...
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 05:53 PM
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In the UK and many parts of Europe, this is often the case........

Check with the UKAPS group and see how they manage it, mostly they remove the KNO3 dosing.

Then plants mop up the NO3.

One less thing to dose basically.




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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone, really appreciate it. People with unplanted tanks are pulling their hair out trying to get rid of these nitrates where I live, which was the main reason I opted for plants. Its very amateurish at the minute as Ive not been doing this very long. So far the plants I have in there havent made an iota of diffs to the nitrates, but then I started small so i could learn by coming on here. And its a low-tech so I guess I cant expect much. Does this mean i should avoid fertz that contain nitrate? Im only just learning about dry fertz
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Crispino Ramos View Post
Don't use your tap water on CRS. I would not drink that kind of water.
as soon as I got the API liquid test and saw that reading of 40PPM I went straight out and bought a Britta filter for me and my 2 yr old. The difference in taste is amazing.
Ive been filling a bucket with the water that comes right out of the substrate at waterchanges and pouring it on the plants I have outdoors and those in tubs. They have exploded and the neighbours are proper jealous. Reckon I could bottle it and sell it to them, what do ya reckon
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 08:28 PM
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I've noticed over in France that the rivers there are all loaded with vegetation, unlike the rocky, more or less barren rivers I'm accustomed to here in Pennsylvania.

Is this a product of increased nutrients? Or does it have more to do with water speed (The terrain there is relatively flat.)?
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