High Nitrate - Dont know where it came from - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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High Nitrate - Dont know where it came from

Just tested nitrates in my new tank (ok ok its a bowl actually) and i was surprised to get a very high reading..about 50 mg/l maybe even more.

I have no idea how it became so high..my tap water tests between 0 & 10 mg/l

I dosed my stock solution yesterday but that should only add 5ppm of NO3

i used this calculator:
http://www.theaquatools.com/fertilization-calculator

And put in the following numbers:

volume: 25 L
KNO3: 10.20 grams

I made a solution so i selected: Dissolved in a solution

Solution volume: 500ml solution
Amount addes from the solution: 10ml doses.

This gives me 5 ppm of NO3

Any idea what happened here, what could make the nitrates rise so high all of a sudden?

link to journal of the bowl for more info:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...33#post8265633


Edit: Before somebody asks, yes the date on the test is still ok and yes i've tested twice
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 06:53 PM
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You're measuring about ten times the nitrate that you expected based on the calculation. That makes me wonder if the math is a bit off? By a factor of ten.

Could you post how much KNO3 you put in the 500 ml stock solution?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy Mae View Post
You're measuring about ten times the nitrate that you expected based on the calculation. That makes me wonder if the math is a bit off? By a factor of ten.

Could you post how much KNO3 you put in the 500 ml stock solution?
Yes i noticed that to.

I added 10.20 grams to the solution. (The .20 is not unnecessary at all but its in there anyway so i wrote it down to be precise.)
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 07:09 PM
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Have you calibrated your nitrate kit with a known solution? If not, the readings are probably off. Those kits are ALWAYS off. I gave up bothering to test at this point.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Have you calibrated your nitrate kit with a known solution? If not, the readings are probably off. Those kits are ALWAYS off. I gave up bothering to test at this point.
No I didn't but I've used this kind of NO3 test before and it always matched with what I had dosed in my tank. (Or close enough)

One thing I forgot to mention. I did add a little pinch of fish food for the bacteria. But this can't possible be adding so much N in my experience.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 07:51 PM
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Your math is good.

The calculator link does not work.

Oh, my. I have not done these types of calculations in almost 3 decades, but to show your math is good:

KNO3 molecular weight (MW) is 101.1
K's MW is 39
Therefore NO3 MW is 61

The 10.2 gms of KNO3 translates to 6.15 gms of NO3 (10.2 multiplied by 61, then result divided by 101.1).

Hard to type math equations but here goes.

6.15 gm NO3/500 ml = 12.3 gm/L = 12.3 ppt NO3 in the stock solution
Which is also 12300 ppm NO3 in stock soln
Which is also 12300 mg/L NO3

[12300 mg/L x 0.010L (the 10 ml you added)] divided by [25 L (your tank volume)] ==> 4.9 mg/L
So, basically that's 5 ppm.

You can rule out the math, that's just about all I can help you with.
Did the KNO3 fully dissolve? I would expect it to.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy Mae View Post
The calculator link does not work.

Oh, my. I have not done these types of calculations in almost 3 decades, but to show your math is good:

KNO3 molecular weight (MW) is 101.1
K's MW is 39
Therefore NO3 MW is 61

The 10.2 gms of KNO3 translates to 6.15 gms of NO3 (10.2 multiplied by 61, then result divided by 101.1).

Hard to type math equations but here goes.

6.15 gm NO3/500 ml = 12.3 gm/L = 12.3 ppt NO3 in the stock solution
Which is also 12300 ppm NO3 in stock soln
Which is also 12300 mg/L NO3

[12300 mg/L x 0.010L (the 10 ml you added)] divided by [25 L (your tank volume)] ==> 4.9 mg/L
So, basically that's 5 ppm.

You can rule out the math, that's just about all I can help you with.
Did the KNO3 fully dissolve? I would expect it to.
Wow I cant possibly make calculations like that without a fert calculator.

Yes the KNO3 did fully dissolve, I used lukewarm water so it was almost instant.

I'm going to make a new solution today, dose 10ml from that into a bucket with tap water and test again.

Thank you for the help with the math!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 12:05 PM
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You said it's a new tank...could you have had an ammonia spike that has been converted to nitrates?


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Grumpy1415 View Post
You said it's a new tank...could you have had an ammonia spike that has been converted to nitrates?
I did not even know that was possible. I'm using ADA Aquasoil which leaches ammonia in the beginning so you may be on to something.

I'll do some research when I get home.

Would that go something like ammonia-->nitrite-->nitrate
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 01:30 PM
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Yes that's how it works but sometimes it can be simultaneous. I'm doing a fishless cycle on a 29g right now (which means dosing ammonia directly until the tank tests 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite) and a few hours after dosing ammonia I'm getting a big spike of both nitrite AND nitrate; but no ammonia. Which means I'm nearing the end. When I no longer get the nitrites, the tank will be ready for fish.

Instead of adding fish food, you might considering going to a hardware store, perhaps even the grocery store, and buying a bottle of ammonia. Usually sold in the cleaning section. You want straight ammonia without other perfumes, etc. I buy "Janitorial Strength Ammonia" from Ace Hardware. It's just ammonia and water.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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I did not even know that was possible.

Would that go something like ammonia-->nitrite-->nitrate
Wait..hold on..of course i did know that its just that i've never use ammonia to cycle a tank so i forgot it was ammonia that got converted to nitrite-->nitrate.
I just used to wait for 4 weeks before adding fauna.

Its beginner stuff aaaah maybe i should attend Aquarium school lesson 1.01
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 04:13 PM
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You knew it...it was just tucked away too deeply! Give it a few weeks and nitrate levels will drop.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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You knew it...it was just tucked away too deeply! Give it a few weeks and nitrate levels will drop.
yes thats a good way to say it.

Its allready going down, the plants are doing their thing.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 10:13 PM
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yes thats a good way to say it.

Its allready going down, the plants are doing their thing.
Blame a glitch in the harddrive!! They do that stuff all the time>
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