Oh my goodness how do i get rid of nitrates! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh my goodness how do i get rid of nitrates!

Hey guys.
I have a 10 gallon tank that used to be a fry tank (until today).
The tank is covered with java moss so it would be great for Red Cherry Shrimp Tank.
However, shrimp do not like nitrates. So, I have been doing everything to lower the nitrates. I have been doing 2 50 percent water changes a week, rooted a Pothos Plant in the filter, and I siphoned out all of the built up detritus from the underneath the moss carpet. After all that, my nitrates are STILL AT 30-40 PPM! Almost no different from when I first had nitrate problems! could it be because I took the reading only 10 or so minutes after I siphoned up all the kicked up debris under the moss carpet? The tank was still clear when I measured the nitrates though. How can I remove nitrates in my tank FAST?
Shrimp are coming soon!!! HELP!
BTW I am using the API Master Freshwater Test Kit!
THANKS!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 06:54 PM
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When was the last time you cleaned the filter? It's probably a good time to clean out floss, sponge, etc from gunk. If those aren't cleaned for a while, what you get is a nitrate factory.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 06:57 PM
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Have you calibrated your test kit? If not, take a few breaths.

The API test is positively notorious for reading much higher than actual levels. Mine reliably and repeatably reads 6 times the actual level present..


If you have access to distilled or RODI water and KNO3, you can make a calibration solution. If you are a chemist, you can do the math and figure out how to make arbitrary concentrations..

If not:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=83545

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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I have not actually cleaned the filter in a while........ Thanks! Hope that will maybe help!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 07:14 PM
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If nitrates still high then water changes.

Also plants love nitrates and will take up some for you.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Update! Cleaned the filter, but there really was not much debris in there.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 07:20 PM
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Are you using RO or tap/well water? Do you know if there are any nitrates in your water source? I agree that you should check if your test is calibrated properly. I also generally wait a few hours after a water change before I test.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c9bug View Post
Do you know if there are any nitrates in your water source?
This would be my guess. If you got a reading of 30 ppm (or any number for that matter) and did a 50% water change that should effectively give you 50% less nitrate. I think real world applications dont work out perfectly as it theoretically should. But you should definitely see a decrease.

Also, there often seems to be operator error involved when using the API nitrate test. Apparently bottle number 2 really needs to be shaken up a LOT....a whole lot! Bang it on the table once or twice, shake till your arm is sore, repeat, and do it all again!

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Will RRF or other floating plants get rid of Nitrates?

Will plants such as Red Root Floater, water lettuce, etc. lower my nitrates?
Thanks!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 11:56 PM
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Yes, they are heavy feeders that grow rapidly but if you do not dose ferts, including nitrates, they will deplete the available food for other plants and themselves allowing algae to take over.

I threw my test kit away since it was so inaccurate. I made a test solution from kno3 to calibrate it and if you waited 1 minute too long the 25 ppm looked identical to the 100 ppm. Both turned scarlet when one should have been orange.

Now I just dose according to the EI chart and change 1/2 water weekly and don't worry about it. Plants look great and fish are healthy.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 10:38 AM
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OP: Please keep related questions in a single thread. There's no need to start multiples. Your threads have been combined.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquanauts View Post
Will plants such as Red Root Floater, water lettuce, etc. lower my nitrates?
Thanks!
Plants need nitrogen to make chlorophyll and proteins.. So as long as they are growing, they will consume nitrate...

That said, if they run short of other nutrients, like phosphorous, they'll stop growing, and stop consuming nitrate..

That said, I still question the accuracy of your test. It seems very unlikely that a shrimp tank would get to 40ppm of nitrate unless you were overfeeding and leaving food on the tank bottom to rot.

Have you at least tested the water you are using for changes? Does that also come back at 30-40ppm? If it does, either your water supply is really bad (unlikely) or your test is reading really high (*VERY LIKELY*)

I suggest reading post 6 by Tom Barr in this thread, particularly his last paragraph:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=115083

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 12:45 PM
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Is there currently livestock in this tank?
If not, then you can do a much larger water change, partially fill and drain again.
Move the substrate from a corner of the tank and stick the siphon all the way to the bottom, holding the substrate back so it does not get into the siphon. Do this twice.

Ditto the above comments to calibrate the test kit, and test the source water.

Water lettuce and other plants in contact with the air can remove a lot of nitrogen, but work best when there is plenty of light.
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