Can't lower nitrate in my tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Can't lower nitrate in my tank

The tap water in my area is real hard, I measured it and the water company said it is about right:

pH: 8.4
Kh: 300
Gh: 300
Nitrate: 40ppm

My tank is 180 gal with 6 huge amazon swords, each over 20 inches tall, 6 java fern windolev and 48 micro swords. With 2watts/gal powered by 2 x 175w metal halide of 6500k.

No matter how offen that I change water, the water of the tank stays something like:

pH: 7.8 (lower than out of tap)
gH: 300
kH: 300
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 40-80 (various)

It seens like the tank is fairly well buffered so the pH is quite stable. But the Nitrate is high, isn't it?

What can I do?


By the way, I am not using CO2, would that help?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 02:38 AM
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plants eating the NO3 is your real only choice. co2 will help in a sense that it will enhance plant growth thus making them want to eat more. extra light will also help with this (looks like you have plenty though). pack in some more plants too... more the better. 40-80ppm is not bad enough to hurt your fish though. So don't worry about that. At least you don't have to dose as much (if at all) NO3 saves some money anyway.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 02:49 AM
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I really don't think that level of nitrate is terribly bad. You could invest in a ro system. I think they sell some that are used for aquarium use.

I personally buy my water from a store but that would get expenseive with your sized tank.

Maybe your plant selection could help. Amazon swords are good space fillers but grow so slow that they don't suck much nitrate up. Water sprite grows into a nice bush and occupies the same space almost. Most things will grow faster than an amazon sword.

CO2 could definately boost up the plants growth rate making it suck more nutrients out of the water.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Jimmydrsv,

Thanks for the advise, I live in Los Altos, which is pretty close to Los Gatos. I saw on one of your posting that you have some water sprite to give away? If you do, I would love to have some.

Thanks
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 03:35 AM
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Oh cool, I love to meet people living near by me. Of course I will give you some. I just tossed a groccery bag full of the stuff into my fridge three days ago. I opened it and it looks pretty fresh.

I don't have any big ones left since I gave one to my cousin and the other one broke up into mini plants in my 20 gallon.

I have dozens of mini water sprite plants in the bag right now. The biggest one i have seen grew about 24" high in a huge show tank at a local fish store. The biggest one i had grew to the water surface and curved along it about 18 inches tall. They all grow rapidly. I origionally bought 4 and then one was enough to fill half my tank and eventually i had to get rid of it because it took up so much space so that should give you an idea of how fast it grows.

If you can't plant all of it you can leave it floating until you do plant it, great stuff.

I am wondering what my tap water is like since I live so close lol. The water here is pretty nasty smelling. It has tons of inpurities in it but i don't know the specifics. Anyways, email me at [email protected] for pick up info.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 11:20 AM
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180 Gallon ? You must have plenty of room in there... Load that tank up with some fast growing stem plants , they will chew their way through the nitrates for you.
But then again unless you are having fish stress problems I wouldnt worry about the numbers... your ferns must be loving life with all that NO3
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2005, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Amazon swords are good space fillers but grow so slow that they don't suck much nitrate up.
Hmm, when I was keeping some in my 29 gallon they started about 6 inches from the top. By the end of the month they were 6 inches OUT of the water.

As for your nitrate problem, I would switch to RODI water. That is what I use for my saltwater aquarium for topoffs and water changes.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2005, 10:24 AM
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I guess it depends on the Amazon sword but if we're talking about bleheri then you might have a sick plant.

Mine grew two to three huge new leaves every week and was taking over my 200l aquarium. So it was removed.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 08:21 AM
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High nitrate levels

Although I've never seen it mentioned in forums before, you can get biological filter media that claim to house bacteria that will remove nitrate. See biohome

I don't know if this is available in the USA, but in the UK it is available in quantities suitable for aquariums through to ponds. (It is also used in aquaculture - e.g. Scottish salmon farms.)
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2005, 01:18 AM
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I would be cautions about products that claim to be "all in one filtration". Normally if something sounds too good to be true, it is. Personally I think it would be better to find out exactly what is causing your elevated nitrates and fix that problem instead of just finding a convienent way to remove nitrate. By fixing the problem you will save yourself time and money down the road (not having to mess with another filter and what not).
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