High nitrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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I just started up my first shrimp tank last week. It cycled with some snails and bottled bacteria for about 5 months. I tested my water and my nitrates are around 30. I know I need to lower it but I dont know if repetitive water changes would swing the parameters too much. It is not planted though I do have duckweed and water lettuce. I've had about 10 shrimp go missing. What is a safe amount of nitrates for shrimp? Any advice? (Neocaridina)
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:59 AM
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10-20 max, although it is possible for them to handle higher parameters.

Do you know your source water parameters? How do those compare to tank parameters? (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, GH and KH)
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post
10-20 max, although it is possible for them to handle higher parameters.

Do you know your source water parameters? How do those compare to tank parameters? (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, GH and KH)
Tap water. I'm not sure, I haven't measured the the parameters straight out of the tap. Ammonia is 0 or super close to it cause I use dechlorinator. 0 nitrite, 30ish nitrate maybe a bit lower now cause I did but a gallon water change (10 gallon tank). And I know it's bad but I dont have gh or kh tests yet.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 10:45 AM
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5 months? Did you feed the tank an ammonia source on a regular basis?

Did you test your water parameters on a regular basis throughout those 5 months?

What kind of test kit are you using?

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Originally Posted by freshwater.rain View Post
I just started up my first shrimp tank last week. It cycled with some snails and bottled bacteria for about 5 months. I tested my water and my nitrates are around 30. I know I need to lower it but I dont know if repetitive water changes would swing the parameters too much. It is not planted though I do have duckweed and water lettuce. I've had about 10 shrimp go missing. What is a safe amount of nitrates for shrimp? Any advice? (Neocaridina)


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
5 months? Did you feed the tank an ammonia source on a regular basis?

Did you test your water parameters on a regular basis throughout those 5 months?

What kind of test kit are you using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by freshwater.rain View Post
I just started up my first shrimp tank last week. It cycled with some snails and bottled bacteria for about 5 months. I tested my water and my nitrates are around 30. I know I need to lower it but I dont know if repetitive water changes would swing the parameters too much. It is not planted though I do have duckweed and water lettuce. I've had about 10 shrimp go missing. What is a safe amount of nitrates for shrimp? Any advice? (Neocaridina)
I was going to put them in sooner but I had to wait until summer break. I put food in almost everyday and also had some bladder snails. I tested it occasionally and it cycled fairly quickly because I used cycled media. The API master test kit.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 09:26 PM
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I wouldn’t expect a 5mo old tank with duckweed and lettuce to have much if any nitrate if snails were only source of bioload.

What was this bacteria product and how often did you use it?
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn’t expect a 5mo old tank with duckweed and lettuce to have much if any nitrate if snails were only source of bioload.

What was this bacteria product and how often did you use it?
It was just a little goldfish easystart bottle. I only used a little because I already had bacteria on the filter media. I only used it like once or twice just to help out the filter a little. I just got the API test strips because my master kit isn't with me right now. GH was 120 PPM, KH was around 60 PPM, PH was around 7.2, Nitrite was 0, and nitrate was 0. I don't know how trustworthy the API strips are because the reviews are so mixed but it was better than nothing.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 03:37 AM
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Iím confused. Orig post you said nitrates were 30ppm now your saying 0ppm ???
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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I’m confused. Orig post you said nitrates were 30ppm now your saying 0ppm ???
Yeah I'm confused too. I measured nitrates about a week ago with the liquid tests and got 30. I've done 3 water changes since then to lower it. I bought API test strips today because my master test was at my other house. And the strips said it was 0 but I don't know if i should believe that.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 06:22 AM
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Yeah I'm confused too. I measured nitrates about a week ago with the liquid tests and got 30. I've done 3 water changes since then to lower it. I bought API test strips today because my master test was at my other house. And the strips said it was 0 but I don't know if i should believe that.
Well only one sure way to know, compare it to liquid test. I know strips donít have greatest resolution but it would be sad if it was 20-30ppm off. I use JBL 6in1 for quicky tests and have never found them far off, actually quite reliable.

But as I alluded to earlier just a few floating plants can suck down some phos and nitrates because of their free access to co2 and light at surface.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:24 PM
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Your tank isn't cycled.

Since you only have test strips, you can't really rely upon any readings you're seeing.

In order to 'cycle' a tank, you have to do more than add a bacterial source. You have to feed it an appropriate ammonia source on a daily/regular basis until the nitrogen cycle can support the tank inhabitants you plant to house. Would be a good idea to make sure you fully understand how to prepare your tank. Do some searching here on the forum and you'll have it down in no time.

How many shrimp do you have in the tank now? It's possible you'll need to re-home them if you don't have something that can properly house them until your tank is ready.


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Your tank isn't cycled.

Since you only have test strips, you can't really rely upon any readings you're seeing.

In order to 'cycle' a tank, you have to do more than add a bacterial source. You have to feed it an appropriate ammonia source on a daily/regular basis until the nitrogen cycle can support the tank inhabitants you plant to house. Would be a good idea to make sure you fully understand how to prepare your tank. Do some searching here on the forum and you'll have it down in no time.

How many shrimp do you have in the tank now? It's possible you'll need to re-home them if you don't have something that can properly house them until your tank is ready.
I did have bacteria to start with because I took down my tank after years and set it up again in a different spot with the filter staying in water for a short period of time. I added food almost everyday and there was tons of snail poop. I tested a few weeks ago with the master kit and I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and about 20 nitrate. It wasnt until a few weeks later that it went to 30 then I brought it down a bit with water changes. Trust me I know what I'm doing. I've been in the hobby for almost 6 years and have cycled and run numerous tanks. My dads been in the hobby for 40 years and has taught me everything I know. I'm not worried about it being cycled, just ways to get nitrates down without harming the shrimp and if the api strips are trustworthy because I've heard mixed reviews and I don't know if that was a false 0.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 05:28 PM
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I did have bacteria to start with because I took down my tank after years and set it up again in a different spot with the filter staying in water for a short period of time. I added food almost everyday and there was tons of snail poop. I tested a few weeks ago with the master kit and I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and about 20 nitrate. It wasnt until a few weeks later that it went to 30 then I brought it down a bit with water changes. Trust me I know what I'm doing. I've been in the hobby for almost 6 years and have cycled and run numerous tanks. My dads been in the hobby for 40 years and has taught me everything I know. I'm not worried about it being cycled, just ways to get nitrates down without harming the shrimp and if the api strips are trustworthy because I've heard mixed reviews and I don't know if that was a false 0.

I am not sure if you intended it this way, but you are coming off fairly defensive. Everyone in the thread so far has been correct. No matter how many years your dad has been in the hobby, mistakes happen. You posted seeking advice and people have been trying to give you solid advice.



If you are certain that your tank is actually cycled and you are trying to get nitrates down, your years of experience should inform you that water changes and heavier plant load are the primary ways to lower nitrates. In a shrimp tank, I would go with daily small water changes to start, and add more plants to keep yourself from having this problem in the future. In my planted shrimp tank (a 10g with 150+ shrimp, nitrates are always at 0 and I have to dose nitrates to allow plant growth.You stated these are neocaridina. I would be surprised if the nitrates are the cause of the ~10 shrimp going missing. Have you noticed failed molts? Have you noticed dead shrimp?

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 06:37 PM
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You started your tank with bacteria, yes, but adding a bit of food every day isn't likely going to get your tank cycled. You definitely won't know if it's cycled unless you've actively measured ammonia on a regular basis and monitored it throughout the nitrogen cycle with a quality liquid test kit. Unless there's something else going on that you're unaware of or haven't shared, everything - like wild parameter swings - points to your tank not being cycled to the point of being able to handle your bioload. Example: Your tank can process a bit of food every day but your livestock produces more than the food you're feeding.

It's cool that your dad has been in the hobby for for 40 years. Good for him. I'm glad to see he's passed the hobby along to you. I've been in it nearly as long and learn something new every day. If you were fully confident in what you were doing, you wouldn't be asking people on the forum for help and wouldn't be responding so defensively. No one here is talking down to you or telling you you're wrong - we're offering input to help you out. There is no shame in asking for help. That's why we're all here.

That said...

If you're unsure about whether test strips give you accurate readings on a consistent basis, feel free to use the search function on the forum or fire up your googler.

Neocaridina davidi are hardy in terms of freshwater aquatic shrimp. 30PPM nitrates probably aren't the reason you had a die-off.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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I am not sure if you intended it this way, but you are coming off fairly defensive. Everyone in the thread so far has been correct. No matter how many years your dad has been in the hobby, mistakes happen. You posted seeking advice and people have been trying to give you solid advice.



If you are certain that your tank is actually cycled and you are trying to get nitrates down, your years of experience should inform you that water changes and heavier plant load are the primary ways to lower nitrates. In a shrimp tank, I would go with daily small water changes to start, and add more plants to keep yourself from having this problem in the future. In my planted shrimp tank (a 10g with 150+ shrimp, nitrates are always at 0 and I have to dose nitrates to allow plant growth.You stated these are neocaridina. I would be surprised if the nitrates are the cause of the ~10 shrimp going missing. Have you noticed failed molts? Have you noticed dead shrimp?[/QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
You started your tank with bacteria, yes, but adding a bit of food every day isn't likely going to get your tank cycled. You definitely won't know if it's cycled unless you've actively measured ammonia on a regular basis and monitored it throughout the nitrogen cycle with a quality liquid test kit. Unless there's something else going on that you're unaware of or haven't shared, everything - like wild parameter swings - points to your tank not being cycled to the point of being able to handle your bioload. Example: Your tank can process a bit of food every day but your livestock produces more than the food you're feeding.

It's cool that your dad has been in the hobby for for 40 years. Good for him. I'm glad to see he's passed the hobby along to you. I've been in it nearly as long and learn something new every day. If you were fully confident in what you were doing, you wouldn't be asking people on the forum for help and wouldn't be responding so defensively. No one here is talking down to you or telling you you're wrong - we're offering input to help you out. There is no shame in asking for help. That's why we're all here.

That said...

If you're unsure about whether test strips give you accurate readings on a consistent basis, feel free to use the search function on the forum or fire up your googler.

Neocaridina davidi are hardy in terms of freshwater aquatic shrimp. 30PPM nitrates probably aren't the reason you had a die-off.
I apologize, I didn't mean to sound so defensive. I'm just really stressed about the situation. I am certain that it is cycled as I have watched the parameters. I noticed 2 bodies before and now another 2 today. I really have no idea what is causing them to die off. I use tap but I declorinate it, levels seem good now, but they are still dying. It just really sucks seeing 100+ dollars worth of shrimp die and not knowing why 😬

I can't get the quote to pop back up for the first one and it won't let me delete my post and fix it.
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