Trouble lowering nitrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble lowering nitrate

I've been struggling to get a viable Cherry shrimp population in my 10 gal planted shrimp tank for over a year now with very little luck. Last August I went so far as to get a new tank, plants, substrate heater, cleaned the filter. One of the members here was kind enough to donate a bunch of Cherries in an effort to keep me from quitting. I can never keep the population going. All the posters on the shrimp forum tell me my water's fine, but I need to get my nitrates down. My tap water is usually 10 ppm. I had some Phos-X so I tried using some in the filter as the package says it removes nitrates. Still no change. I got some RO water from a LFS. It tested @ 0 ppm nitrates. The tank was at 10 ppm before I did I did a 30% RO water change last night & let the tank settle. This morning I checked the nitrates... still 10 ppm. Did I do something wrong when I used the RO? I didn't think to check it 's GH or KH, I just matched the Ph & add the water slowly. I only had a 2* temp drop. Any suggestions on other filter media that may help? Nitra-Zorb? Purigen?

Tommy

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 06:41 PM
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Hello Tommy,

I have a 20gal shrimp only tank, low tech as yours(ie. NON-carbon, low light). Do your plants grow? I doubt the nitrates are the problem and would suspect the test kit instead. I actually add KNO3/PO4 to my shrimp tank and very rarely do a WC. I also had a member start me out with my first 12 shrimp. Now there are more than I can count in the 20gal and have seeded a second 10gal tank. I have read and do believe that the tank should be well established before adding shrimp. Don't know if this helps or not. I would look elsewhere for the problem. Let us know if we can be any more help.

Chris
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Hello Tommy,

I have a 20gal shrimp only tank, low tech as yours(ie. NON-carbon, low light). Do your plants grow? I doubt the nitrates are the problem and would suspect the test kit instead. I actually add KNO3/PO4 to my shrimp tank and very rarely do a WC. I also had a member start me out with my first 12 shrimp. Now there are more than I can count in the 20gal and have seeded a second 10gal tank. I have read and do believe that the tank should be well established before adding shrimp. Don't know if this helps or not. I would look elsewhere for the problem. Let us know if we can be any more help.
I've looked into everything else I can think of. It's gotta be the high nitrates. Almost every successful shrimp keeper I speak to says to get the nitrates down to 5 ppm or lower.

Tommy

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10 gal low tech planted Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus) & Emerald Dwarf Rasbora (Microrasbora erythromicron)
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 08:29 PM
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So you started your tank with tapwater...

Would it be possible to do a 100%-90% WC with RO water?

-Andrew
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 11:03 PM
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Tommy,

Didn't you already try RO WC? If you did and your test kit showed the same reading, how can that be right? There would have to be something in your tank producing N for the kit to be right. Some test kits are notoriously wrong. Look at it scientifically, Try the RO water, then if that doesn't fix it then you can rule that out. Are there any sources for copper? Meds or old plumbing??

You say the tank has cycled, but that doesn't mean it is well established. Might give it a few months, add some cheap fish which you can remove later. Then try the shrimp again.


I don't buy into the notion that shrimp can't be kept with Nitrates. Otherwise all mine would be dead, let alone thriving! I have read that plenty of people who use EI (Estimative Index) and also keep shrimp.

Keep trying and rule out one thing at a time. You will find the answer.

Chris
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 11:05 PM
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Well, I don't have a shrimp only tank but I have a planted discus tank with cherry shrimps. They breed like crazy. I find them in all the filters that I run. I have about 20ppm nitrates. Not a problem from my experience.

Have you checked for high nitrites and ammonia?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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0 nitrites, 0 ammonia, 0 copper. No meds, new tank last August. RO H20 tested 0 ppm for nitrates before going in, the next morning the tank is still approx. 10ppm. It may have been higher before adding the RO. You know how close the colors are on the nitrate kit scales.

Tommy

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Red Turquiose Discus, Japonica shrimp, assorted Blue Eyed Rainbows, Tetras, Hatchets, Danios, Rasboras
10 gal low tech planted Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus) & Emerald Dwarf Rasbora (Microrasbora erythromicron)
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by LS6 Tommy View Post
0 nitrites, 0 ammonia, 0 copper. No meds, new tank last August. RO H20 tested 0 ppm for nitrates before going in, the next morning the tank is still approx. 10ppm. It may have been higher before adding the RO. You know how close the colors are on the nitrate kit scales.

Tommy
Tommy,
Only thing that can get ride of nitrates are plants/WCs how often do you preform WCs? Nitrates are the end of the N cycle. do you use ferts? what about Excel? I see in your Sig block you have another tank... does this other tank read this level of Nitrates as well? Also if your tap has Nitrates than doing H2o changes with it is not helping things... I would opt to perform a bigger more freq. WC with the R/O (retreated of course). What type of test kit are you using? They very wildly

Troy


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 08:59 PM
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There's a difference between organic nitrAtes (from waste) versus inorganic (from ferts). Purigen could help remove organic nitrAtes, but I also agree you should try using all reconstitued RO/DI water. (Seachem makes a good product for reconstituting RO/DI water, so that's one option.) And also make sure that you have lots of healthy plants. Water wisteria, hornwort, Najas grass, floating plants, and water sprite are all good ones for absorbing organics.

I applaud your perseverance!





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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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There's a difference between organic nitrAtes (from waste) versus inorganic (from ferts). Purigen could help remove organic nitrAtes, but I also agree you should try using all reconstitued RO/DI water. (Seachem makes a good product for reconstituting RO/DI water, so that's one option.) And also make sure that you have lots of healthy plants. Water wisteria, hornwort, Najas grass, floating plants, and water sprite are all good ones for absorbing organics.

I applaud your perseverance!
I have no problems with the idea of continuing to use RO water, which Seachem product do you recommend for reconstituting it? I've been using Electro-Right, the stuff that comes with the AP tap water filter. For some reason all the "weed" plants don't do so well in that tank. Hornwort, Water sprite, Wisteria all do poorly. Maybe the low tech lighting (standard 10 gal fuorescent hood)?

Tommy

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58 gal planted Oceanic
Red Turquiose Discus, Japonica shrimp, assorted Blue Eyed Rainbows, Tetras, Hatchets, Danios, Rasboras
10 gal low tech planted Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus) & Emerald Dwarf Rasbora (Microrasbora erythromicron)
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by susantroy1 View Post
Tommy,
Only thing that can get ride of nitrates are plants/WCs how often do you preform WCs? Nitrates are the end of the N cycle. do you use ferts? what about Excel? I see in your Sig block you have another tank... does this other tank read this level of Nitrates as well? Also if your tap has Nitrates than doing H2o changes with it is not helping things... I would opt to perform a bigger more freq. WC with the R/O (retreated of course). What type of test kit are you using? They very wildly

Troy
WC's are done no less than every other week, 30%. No ferts, did excel for a a while recently, but not until long after the problems had already started. The 58 has some nitrates, but it never seemed to be a problem even when I had Cherries, Browns & Greens in there. They only seemed to have their population limited by predation. The Brown that's in my shrimp thank right now was in there & has been in the shrimp tank from over a year ago(don't know why it seems to be immune to whatever the problem is). My Amanos do VERY well (I know they're somewhat hardier). I haven't bothered to test parameters in that tank in a LONG time as it's never been a problem. I use the AP liguid reagent test kits.


Tommy

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58 gal planted Oceanic
Red Turquiose Discus, Japonica shrimp, assorted Blue Eyed Rainbows, Tetras, Hatchets, Danios, Rasboras
10 gal low tech planted Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus) & Emerald Dwarf Rasbora (Microrasbora erythromicron)
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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I have a couple of Crypts in the tank. I read something about Crypts releasing Oxalic Acid which can be bad for inverts. Does anybody have any thoughts on this?

Tommy

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Eheim Pimp #204.
58 gal planted Oceanic
Red Turquiose Discus, Japonica shrimp, assorted Blue Eyed Rainbows, Tetras, Hatchets, Danios, Rasboras
10 gal low tech planted Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus) & Emerald Dwarf Rasbora (Microrasbora erythromicron)

Last edited by LS6 Tommy; 06-24-2008 at 02:45 PM.
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