Water naturally high in NitrAtes, what to do? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Question Water naturally high in NitrAtes, what to do?

What does everyone, who has naturally high nitrates, do about it?
Is there a chemical to get rid of it, a filter, anything? Or do you just ignore it and do regular W/C exchanging "old" nitrates for "new" ones?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 11:15 PM
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Then you're in luck! You don't have to add nitrogen to fertilize the plants.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 11:42 PM
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How high are you talking? Are you sure the test is accurate? Above 20 ppm and you shouldn't drink the water. However, nitrate tests are notoriously inaccurate. One of my tests claims my munincipal supply is 20ppm, and my other test kit claims 3.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 12:03 AM
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those results could be analogous if one test gives results "as Nitrogen" and the other "as Nitrate" (along with a bit of error).
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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API brand new kit, got it last week. 5.0 to 20. The discus tank and standing water seemed to be at 40 today. Everyday it's slightly different result for the well water. It's the same in the tanks. The one tank, angelfish, I dose with plant zone and a dry mix. The other has 2 discus in it and I'm not dosing it yet, used to before I got them. But now I'm doing so many water changes that it's just wasteful to dose it. Even my fry koi and standing water has high nitrates. My 4 new discus in qt seem upset and the nitrate is all I can think of that could be freaking them out, though, one of them is annoying the rest, but not too much.
Really doesn't help that the color chart is so darn close to the same shades, I really can't tell. Is there some other tester I can use to give me a more accurate result?

I have some parrot feather and salvinia floaters, but they don't seem to be sucking much up. Have rotala or hygro I planted in the bog that's huge, took one rooted stem and put it in the tank, half in, half out. Will do that with the rest of the plant before the first frost kills it off.

Any other plant that soaks up nitrates well?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pebesiteuthis View Post
those results could be analogous if one test gives results "as Nitrogen" and the other "as Nitrate" (along with a bit of error).
Sorry, both are Nitrate tests reading concentrations of Nitrate ion.

One kit is the API nitrate test, which reads 20ppm on my municipal tap water. It reads ppm of nitrite (NO3-). I've tried many times, shaking both gently and as hard as I can for the time periods prescribed in the instructions and have consistently gotten 20ppm for my tap water. It does correctly read distilled water at 0. The reagents have expiration dates of 05/2019 and 06/2019.

The other test kit is the Salifert nitrate test kit. According to its documentation, it also reads as ppm of nitrate (NO3-), and is the one claiming 3ppm. It expires 09/2016.

Sorry, but the API test *I* own, is clearly inaccurate. The idea that the municipal supply for Baltimore (which provides a large part of central Maryland) is 20ppm (twice the EPA action level) and has been undetected is absolutely absurd. The municipal testing suggests Nitrate levels in the 2-3ppm range, which is on-par with the Salifert.

This is why you should calibrate your test kits. I admittedly have not calibrated mine, but only one of these test kits is reporting numbers that are at all believable. I do not trust or use the API test anymore.

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Originally Posted by secuono View Post
API brand new kit, got it last week. 5.0 to 20. The discus tank and standing water seemed to be at 40 today. Everyday it's slightly different result for the well water.

Any other plant that soaks up nitrates well?
1) do yourself a favor if you can and make a set of test solutions and check your test kit.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=83545

2) pretty much anything fast growing is a good nitrate consumer. I've seen some recommendations around here of using floated hornwort for this purpose.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 07:35 PM
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High Nitrates

Quote:
Originally Posted by secuono View Post
What does everyone, who has naturally high nitrates, do about it?
Is there a chemical to get rid of it, a filter, anything? Or do you just ignore it and do regular W/C exchanging "old" nitrates for "new" ones?
Hello sec...

There are a couple of things you can do. Add nitrate reducing filter media to the filter. Acurel has a good product. You could add a floating plant that will use the nitrates for food. Hornwort and Brazilian water weed are very good for this purpose.

Large, frequent water changes will maintain a steady nitrate level. A steady water chemistry is better than a particular water chemistry.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Must be the test is just wrong. Have tons of plants and floaters. Even the pond tests high, and it's completely overwhelmed with plants growing.

Thanks all
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 09:58 PM
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I have the same issue - API says my tap is around 20 ppm, but water company says 2-3 ppm. My tank repeatedly shows 40-80ppm by that kit, even though I have high light, CO2, moderate fish load and haven't dosed KNO3 in nearly a month. I have decided to start dosing some nitrate anyway - it won't hurt anything, it may help plants, and it will ensure no bottoming-out of nitrates.
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