Help with High Nitrates - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Help with High Nitrates

I am new at a high tech tank and I hope someone can give me some ideas.

It is a 55 gallon with Exotoxic new LED light, on for about 13 hours daily.
CO2 running an hour before lights come on and off 1 hour before sundown. It is set at about 3 bps.
Tank has tons of plants.
2 angels, 4 neons, 4 molly, 6 nerites, 3 small plecos
Put a Purigen bag in filter.

I am dosing 1 cap of Flourish complete twice weekly along with iron.

I can not seem to get the nitrates down under 80ppm.
Ph runs between 7.0 and 7.5

Does anyone have and suggestions?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 06:39 AM
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80ppm is fine for most fish, especially yours.

Where is the NO3 coming from?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 07:11 AM
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50% water change every week will keep your nitrates low and your fish happy. No need to vacuum substrate. Just change the water. Also, follow the directions to the second on your test kits. Rinse tube with tank water first. Then add tank water to be tested. Always use cap when shaking. Shake those tubes until your arm hurts. Also 80 is okay for fish short term, but not long term. Your plants will grow better too.

The fastest way to success is patience.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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80ppm Nitrates is the lowest I have been able to get it....but it gets alot higher than that. I do a 50% water change weekly and that still does not bring it down any lower than that. Had the water tested and they had suggested using Prime with water changes...still no lower than 80ppm.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lind View Post
80ppm Nitrates is the lowest I have been able to get it....but it gets alot higher than that. I do a 50% water change weekly and that still does not bring it down any lower than that. Had the water tested and they had suggested using Prime with water changes...still no lower than 80ppm.
You using the strip tests or a liquid? How long has the tank been set up?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 12:21 PM
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No fish death's? healthy plant's? no worries about nitrates.
In unplanted fish tank,,the nitrates might be more reason to worry when one understands how they get there(ie) ammonia to nitrites to nitrAtes = hard on fishes.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 12:36 PM
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Stop using flourish comprehensive and buy dry ferts. Flourish contain nitrogen so u r raising ur nitrate levels every time u add it. With dry ferts u can stop dosing nitrates. Your fish are probably supplying all the nitrates ur plants need. This coupled with 50% weekly water changes should help.

If in doubt, add more plants!

My not-enough-plants-but-not-enough-space-to-put-anymore-so-will-start-going-up-box-of-water.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 12:43 PM
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Nitrate Level

Hello lind...

An 80 ppm nitrate level is pretty high. 50 would really be the highest for most aquarium fish. This form of nitrogen is at the end of the cycle, so at most your fish are getting just a bit of a headache.

Floating plants are the best nitrate users. Hornwort, Anacharis and Pennywort are all good. There is nitrate removing filter medium available. Acurel has a good product.

You might consider easing up a bit on your ferts and how much you're feeding your fish.

Larger, more freqent water changes will also remove excess nitrates. If you're not removing and replacing at least half the water in the tank every week or two, then you might consider this too.

Just a few suggestions.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 12:58 PM
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Nitrogen we add as fertilizer does not go through biological oxidation which starts as ..Ammonia (hard on fish), nitrites (hard on fish) ,to finally nitrates (much less harmful).
Is the process by which the nitrates arrive that makes the difference.
Nitrogen we add in form of dry fertz ,liquid fertz,does no harm for it does not need to go through the oxidation process.
Put away test kit and watch plants/fishes,reduce feedings.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 01:29 PM
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You should test your tap water (if thats what you use for water changes) for nitrates if you have not already. Your tap maybe high and just adding the nitrates right back.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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I have had no fish deaths....however, plants are not doing that good...they seem to be struggling and not really growing. I have tested the tap water and it is clean. It tests right at levels that should be in tank minus the nitrates of course. I can change ferts. I was thinking of getting the ones I saw on here that come pre-mixed and you add ro water to. It is the DYI EI dosing. Do you think that may help? BTW angles keep laying eggs...so I guess they don't have that much of a headache...lol
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 01:59 AM
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EI includes nitrogen fertilizer.
If you did not use the nitrogen component, then EI would work.
Get the single ingredient packages, not any combined product.

Flourish Comprehensive contains a very low dose of nitrogen. Sure, that is one way that N is entering the tank, but I think the major source is fish food.
With the plants not doing so well, I think that the fish food is contributing too much N.
If this is true, then there is also reasonable levels of P and most traces entering the tank from fish food.

I would dose potassium and iron only, and carbon. These are the elements missing in fish food. See if the plants perk up. Continue with the Comprehensive, if you want, but at the lowest dose.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 02:13 AM
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Just how large are those Plecos?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Plecos are just little maybe 2"
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