high nitrates very high please help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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high nitrates very high please help

My nitrates in my 55 gallon tank are so high its as high as the test kit will go. How do i lower them? and my plants arnt growingand have co2 is this why
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:15 PM
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The best way to lower nitrate is water change.

High CO2 and high light usually mean less nitrate.

Is this a new tank? are you adding fertilizer? did you test your test kit? have you tested your tap water before going to the tank?
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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i tested the water this morning and it was zero. and the tank is 3 or 4 years old. and the nitrates were high before i got co2 and how much of a water change on a water chang i do them once a week
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:52 PM
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Do you have any visible mulm in your tank? How long has it been since you cleaned your filters?

PWC + lots of fast-growing stem and/or floating plants are the best way to keep nitrAtes in check long-term.

Routine tank maintenance is needed, too, though, as solid wastes can buildup in various places in the system.

Every tank is a little different, so it might take a little trial and error on your part as far as how much water and how frequently you need to do PWC.

10-20ppm IMO is where you want nitrAte levels in a planted tank with fish.





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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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i do water changes once a week and clean my filters like once a month
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 03:33 AM
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More tank stats please.

How many fish? How many plants? How much water are you changing when you do a change? Also previously mentioned, how much nitrates are in your tap water? It could be that the water coming out of the tap is high in nitrates to begin with. Maybe test the kit also with distilled water, to make sure they are good, or have a pet shop test the water for you.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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My tap water has no nitrates. and i do about 10% water change. and my plants arnt doing very good at all they havnt grown at all in about 2 months. and i have 1 angle 10 tiger barbs 1 pleco 3 clown loaches and 2 bala sharks

Could to high of nitrates cause my plant to not grow?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 03:46 AM
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Since you do a water change once a week it must be some combination of overfeeding, overcrowding, inadequate filtration and not large enough water changes. Providing info on any of these thing could help us narrow down the cause.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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should i try to do a 50% water change
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 03:59 AM
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what plants do you have? Some grow really slow no matter what.


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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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amazon swords java fern and some grass and soMe bulb they sproted but havnt grown any more
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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what are some plants that grow fast
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 09:23 AM
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What is your current nitrates? My test kit goes to 160, are you at 160ppm? if so, I would do something like an 80% water change. Could your plants possibly be covered in algae? That would stop growth. What kind of lights do you have? Also do you fertilize? Could be a lack of nutrients.

Too high nitrates shouldnt stop the plants from growing, but they are bad for fish health.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 10:29 AM
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Three things drive plant growth:
One.) Light - enough light and length of photo period - day vs. night
Two.) Nutrients - enough of all Macros - NPK and Micros - traces
Three.) CO2

Please list your specs for each of these three, then we can help you get your plants growing faster. Many of the plants you listed are slow growers. They may not pull enough of the N from the water it you have lower light levels, especially in a heavier stocked tank. It may help if you add some faster growing stem plants like Hygrophilas or Cabomba.

If your test kit is accurate and your nitrates are very high I would not do a large water change the first time. They have adapted to this. I would perform back to back 10% or 20% water changes every day for a week to gradually bring down the level. Then you may need to start doing a 50% change each week.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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i have 130 watt light. I was adding some fertalizer and it wasnt working so i stop and yesterday i bought some florish comprehensive and add some and i have co2.
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