Hit 160ppm nitrates today. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Hit 160ppm nitrates today.

After a water change the day before. So I changed water twice in a day and the nitrates are now sitting at about 20-40 ppm which is hopefully a survivable range for my orange neos and some hardy tigers. My white clouds have made it through all this unscathed.

Any reasons?

Basically what happened was I moved filters. I took a canister off my 40 gallon and dumped out the old water, attached it to my 12 gallon and started it up again. Next thing you know, bam 160 ppm nitrates. The nitrates in my Amazon tank were about 40 ppm. It is heavily planted so I am not too concerned there. Any ideas about how it hit 160 so fast?


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 12:17 PM
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When was the last time you cleaned the media in the canister? Rinse off the biomax etc. In aquarium water.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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When the canister was on either tank, I never have. Could that have caused it?


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
When the canister was on either tank, I never have. Could that have caused it?
Yes, but it depends on how long the filters have gone without a cleaning.

Anthony


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I'll give my media a good shaking through aquarium water and knock loose anything. I threw in a ton of plants hopefully to hold back some nitrates.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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I did another 50% water change and cleaned out my media in the canister filter. Nitrates now are at 20 to 40ppm. What is going on? This is so weird. In the past 2 days I have done 5 water changes and the nitrates have not gone below 20-40.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:18 AM
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Could there be nitrates in the tap water?

Do another water change, but vacuum the substrate as much as possible. If nothing else drain the water through the substrate by digging a hole in a corner of the tank.

I also have had nitrates seem not to go away very well with a water change, even when the tap water had zero nitrates. Then I would do a water change with the goal to rinse the substrate somehow, anyhow, and the nitrates went down, as if there was some way they sort of hung up in the substrate during the water change, then get released into the new water when the tank is refilled.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ok Diana I will try that. I am from across the bay from you I think so the water quality I have is the same as SF. I don't think there should be any nitrates there but let me try to vacuum through the substrate. I am using Fluval shrimp stratum and its impossible to vacuum that substrate since its so dang light. I'll update on the nitrates at that point.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 04:31 AM
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As long as you can keep your nitrates between 20-40 your fish should be okay. I would do your best to vac your gravel though, that will definitely bring your levels down
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks manzpants for the reassurance. I have in there orange neos and 2 tiger shrimps as well and thats why I am worried mostly. I heard shrimp are not fans of nitrates. I can't gravel-vac well because its FLuval shrimp stratum which may be the lightest substrate I have ever seen. It gets sucked up.

I do have osmocote in the substrate buried like a 1/2 inch below the surface. My ammonia reads 0 but nitrates read higher. Could that be the cause? I am gonna do another complete water change again and try to suck out the substrate somehow and reduce the nitrates. I want to get it below 10 but its a battle for sure. It just keeps coming back. And its starting to cause algae problems.

Are there any nitrate removing filters that are not cons? I would love for some of that which might help


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 03:33 AM
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OK, fertilizer in the substrate is an obvious cause of rising NO3.
Push those ferts all the way to the bottom of the tank.

Plants are the best nitrogen removers, and water changes.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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If I can find them I will do that. They are definitely hard to see and locate since they are scattered as little balls. I threw in a ton more frogbit to try to suction up the nitrates as much as possible.

I will try to maybe do a water change tonight. Would the ferts release nitrates that quickly? I had them in the tank for a week or so only as of a few days ago. Maybe 2 to 3 weeks so far tops.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 12:16 PM
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out of curiosity, what kind of substrate to you have?


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Chad I am using Fluval Shrimp Stratum. I got it for free from this site and I am keep neos and regular tigers in my tank.


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