Nitrates to HIGH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Nitrates to HIGH

I have a 55 gallon Fish tank with different kind of fish (48 of them) I do my water changes every week, 15 gallons every time.
Ammonia has always been 0.25 PPM
Nitrites 0 PPM

My waters is from a well and I tested it and it's always 40 PPM
so my tank at the end of the week is always very high 80 PPM or more sometimes....

How can I lower it? Any suggestions?

There are probably 15-18 different kinds of plants and drift wood in it.
I have been feeding my fish once a day just a bit.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 11:12 PM
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Is it planted? I would get alot of water column feeding plants.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 12:39 AM
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How big are your fish? You might have do many....thats a bit of a load.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 02:36 AM
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Another filter with good bio media might help and more frequent water changes. But yeah... that's a lot of fish in a 55g.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 03:16 AM
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Without more information, we cannot really assist you.

You mentioned that you have 48 fish, but not what kind of fish. 48 Neon Tetras in a 55 gallon would be fine, and would not explain your high nitrates.

Other possibilities include decaying plant/food/dead fish, overfeeding, etc


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 04:32 AM
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The first thing to do is to verify that your nitrate test kit is working correctly. Look at and see if you can calibrate you test kit. If you don't have the high nitrates you think you have, the problem is solved.

Incidentally, you shouldn't have 40 ppm of nitrates in potable water.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 06:51 AM
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Yea I'm not sure I'd be using that well if nitrates are truly that high..
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 07:15 AM
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EPA's maximum level for tap water is 10ppm

and 15 gallons is about 27%, might want to increase to 50%.

---my nitrates rise when my filters are dirty. clean the tank of debris and clean the filters.

Originally Posted by Tzac View Post
Another filter with good bio media might help and more frequent water changes. But yeah... that's a lot of fish in a 55g.

more filtration may trap more 'stuff.' that stuff will break down into ammonia-nitrIte and then nitrAte.... you could reduce nitrAtes by trapping it and then cleaning the filter often, every week maybe.

but more filtration won't make the nitrAte disappear.
and going this route you'd really want mechanical filtration more than bio

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-20-2013 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 05:53 PM
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We all see colors differently so that may be part of the problem. I was really concerned with the terribly high nitrate readings when using a liquid test. When I got around to doing the calibration test, I found that I could not read the colors. When I tested the same test samples with test strips, I got much closer to the correct reading. Many argue that one is much more accurate but until we do some testing with known samples, that may or may not be true for each of us. It gets back to the whole idea of testing the test method. Until you know the test method and equipment works for you, it is not really a test that you can trust.
The first clue might be that nitrate tests 80 and above but fish are okay.
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