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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a water change the day before. So I changed water twice in a day and the nitrates are now sitting at about 20-40 ppm which is hopefully a survivable range for my orange neos and some hardy tigers. My white clouds have made it through all this unscathed.

Any reasons?

Basically what happened was I moved filters. I took a canister off my 40 gallon and dumped out the old water, attached it to my 12 gallon and started it up again. Next thing you know, bam 160 ppm nitrates. The nitrates in my Amazon tank were about 40 ppm. It is heavily planted so I am not too concerned there. Any ideas about how it hit 160 so fast?
 

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Could there be nitrates in the tap water?

Do another water change, but vacuum the substrate as much as possible. If nothing else drain the water through the substrate by digging a hole in a corner of the tank.

I also have had nitrates seem not to go away very well with a water change, even when the tap water had zero nitrates. Then I would do a water change with the goal to rinse the substrate somehow, anyhow, and the nitrates went down, as if there was some way they sort of hung up in the substrate during the water change, then get released into the new water when the tank is refilled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok Diana I will try that. I am from across the bay from you I think so the water quality I have is the same as SF. I don't think there should be any nitrates there but let me try to vacuum through the substrate. I am using Fluval shrimp stratum and its impossible to vacuum that substrate since its so dang light. I'll update on the nitrates at that point.
 

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As long as you can keep your nitrates between 20-40 your fish should be okay. I would do your best to vac your gravel though, that will definitely bring your levels down
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks manzpants for the reassurance. I have in there orange neos and 2 tiger shrimps as well and thats why I am worried mostly. I heard shrimp are not fans of nitrates. I can't gravel-vac well because its FLuval shrimp stratum which may be the lightest substrate I have ever seen. It gets sucked up.

I do have osmocote in the substrate buried like a 1/2 inch below the surface. My ammonia reads 0 but nitrates read higher. Could that be the cause? I am gonna do another complete water change again and try to suck out the substrate somehow and reduce the nitrates. I want to get it below 10 but its a battle for sure. It just keeps coming back. And its starting to cause algae problems.

Are there any nitrate removing filters that are not cons? I would love for some of that which might help :)
 

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OK, fertilizer in the substrate is an obvious cause of rising NO3.
Push those ferts all the way to the bottom of the tank.

Plants are the best nitrogen removers, and water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I can find them I will do that. They are definitely hard to see and locate since they are scattered as little balls. I threw in a ton more frogbit to try to suction up the nitrates as much as possible.

I will try to maybe do a water change tonight. Would the ferts release nitrates that quickly? I had them in the tank for a week or so only as of a few days ago. Maybe 2 to 3 weeks so far tops.
 
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