To high nitrates?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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To high nitrates??

So.I have 3 tanks a 10,75,125 plus 30 in sump so the nitrates in the tanks are pretty high for the 75 and 125 but they are planted and the plants in the 75 are really thriving the ones in the 125 not as much but are the nitrates too to high? The ammonia and nitrite are 0 and also I only do top offs and no wc as they just hurt my plants and I get algea due to the co2 spikes here are pics for the tests and the tanks also my tap water has about 15-20 ppm nitrates Click image for larger version

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 05:38 AM
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Nitrates are climbing due to no WC. At 15-20ppm it's not harmful unless you're keeping really sensitive shrimp. It will continue to climb unless you start doing WCs or add more plants.

No need to do big WCs, just 20% every 1-3 weeks. CO2 spike is inevitable but the WC is necessary so you'll have to tolerate it.

Try to do WCs well outside the photoperiod so that your tank balances out a little before the plants use the CO2 for photosynthesis. This helps prevent algae.

Unless you have a Walstad style of course, changes things a little.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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Sry knew was forgetting something the 125 and the 10 both have dirted sub with gravel cap but the 125 is about 1 year old and I think the dirt is at its end

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by osmel1992 View Post
Sry knew was forgetting something the 125 and the 10 both have dirted sub with gravel cap but the 125 is about 1 year old and I think the dirt is at its end

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What is your nitrate reading for all tanks? Forget about the tap water for a minute.

Your dirt is only 1yr old. It should have a lot of nutrients left. Don't bother changing it.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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I lost my chart but the two red ones are for the 125 and the 75 the one that looks like 0 is for the 10

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 06:16 AM
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The photo of the nitrate tests don't mean anything unless you take a pic with the chart next to it for reference. You also need to specify which test is for which tank.

If it's an API test the result looks high 50ppm+

Last edited by Straight shooter; 11-28-2015 at 11:04 AM. Reason: Info
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Yes it's an API test the left test is for the 125 then the 75 and then the 10 from left to right and I don't have the chart I lost it but it does look high

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 07:56 PM
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The two red tubes look like they could be 40-160 ppm. Without the chart to compare to, it's difficult to gauge due to differences in picture quality.

Regardless, that's quite high. Like @Straight shooter said, that's due to lack of water changes, and there's not enough plants to use it up.

I'd suggest doing at least a 50% WC and re-testing. Hopefully this will get you down to the orange range.

Next time, please label the tube before taking a picture, makes it easier for us to help you. As in, less confusing when trying to figure it out from the run-on text.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 03:52 AM
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To get nitrates down you can simply add some fast growing stems, high water column feeders like hygro polysperma etc.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 07:14 PM
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If you don't use the nitrate test kit exactly per the instructions you can get bad readings. So, first, make sure you are following the instructions to the letter. If you dose Excel, or a cheap substitute like "Metricide 14 day" at 2 ml every day per 10 gallons of water, you won't get algae from water changes. So, do that, and start weekly 50% water changes.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 02:57 AM
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What strikes the eye is the difference in the plant mass in the 3 tanks. If the top tank is 10G, the next 75G and the bottom 125G - the plant mass is dramatically reduced as the sizes increase. No wonder that under your no WC regime the nitrogen build up is dramatically increased. I would expect the other nutrient levels to be comparatively high in your larger tanks too.

The way to go for you would be FIRST increase of plant mass, next water change regularly, and try and increase your growth rate by going the Excel/metricide way.

Leave your tanks in the way they are at present would only invite algae to take over and utilise the buildup of nutrients you have in the tanks. You have been just lucky this far.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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I know I have less and less plants but before my all my parameter where at 0 and I couldn't get enough nitrates and now all of the sudden I have to much I don't know why if I haven't changed anything

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osmel1992 View Post
I know I have less and less plants but before my all my parameter where at 0 and I couldn't get enough nitrates and now all of the sudden I have to much I don't know why if I haven't changed anything

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Oh you have !!!

Your bigger tanks have more fishes and you naturally use more fish-food in them. That means indirectly more macro and micro fertilisers. They accumulate. You go on adding more day after day - that's the change you effect.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osmel1992 View Post
I know I have less and less plants but before my all my parameter where at 0 and I couldn't get enough nitrates and now all of the sudden I have to much I don't know why if I haven't changed anything

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Yep nitrate test kits are notoriously bad. They're more inaccurate in the lower ranges, better at >30ppm so the OPs result might be somewhat reliable. Unless it's past use by. Or poor technique.

Your nitrates climbed due to no water changes. I agree that 50% WCs for a few weeks will help to get that down in no time. Once you are happy with the nitrate level, ease back on the WCs to about 20% every 1-3 weeks to stay on top of things.

Thing is, low tech tanks hate big WCs so prepare for a little algae. In your case it's necessary but otherwise not a great idea.
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