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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may seem like a rediculously novice question. I know most of the shrimp we keep are sensitive to nitrates, but what should my target level be? I lost a Cherry, a Bee/Diamond and a Rainbow/Minami in the last 3 days. I figured I should check the tank even though my last 40% H2O change was last Sun. First I just used the API test strips. I got 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrite and around 20 Nitrate. Ph was kinda high, maybe 7.5. I then decided to use my API liquid 2 step test for Nitrate. The color scale is hard to read above 20 ppm, but I'm pretty sure it was a least 30 ppm! I tested my tap H2O with the same kit, 10 ppm. I did a 50% change and it's down around 15-20 ppm. I know the test strips aren't real accurate, but is it possible the liquid test goes bad fast? I can't see the huge difference between the tests . Both test kits areless than 1 year old.

I'm really confused as there's not much bio load in the tank. There's maybe (10) 3/4" + shrimp and a bunch of 3-4 mm babies.

I' really am getting tired of having the shrimp tank run good for a month and them losing shrimp. I'm really good at staying on a tight maintenance schedule, so I just don't get the Nitrate thing.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My tap H2O is 10PPm, so it looks like I'm going to be using treated distilled H20 from now on.

Tommy
 

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I contacted API concerning expiration dates of their liquid test kits. The nitrate kit is good for 5 years.

I do my best to keep nitrates no higher than 10ppm (preferably less than that). Yes, the liquid kit is hard to read above 20ppm, but I consider 20ppm to be a critical point which must be immediately addressed with water changes.
 

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I reported some time ago that I was only able to get dose response LD 50 due to NO3 via KNO3 at 160ppm for 3 day exposure.

I think the range is well into 80's ppms for NO3 or so before concern is needed.

What they are far more sensitive to are: O2 ppm and NH4.

In some tanks, there is a lot of NH4 that is converted to NO3.
If the tank produces 1ppm per day of NH4, that can be a lot more than say 4.5 ppm of NO3 in terms of toxicity.

Most studies on fish and shrimp show that the levels of toxicity bewtween NH4 and NO3 are about 250 to 13,000X more senesitive.

Maybe you should stop feeding them? :)

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Tom
wouldn't there be a NH4 and NO2 reading also?
he said that they both Ammonia and Nitrates are at "0"
No, the NH4 is rapidly converted and your test kit might not be able to resolve at low, but still toxic levels.
I would suggest it is more likely that low levels of NH4 and O2 as well cause far more toxicity than NO3.

You can measure NO3, but low levels of NO2/NH4 can still do damage, especially at developing stages.

I've not seen any issues with KNO3 dosing personally with CRS's, Cherry, or Amano shrimp at fairly wide ranges.

Also, while NH4 might not be tested at a good resultion, when you test also can make a difference.

Most folks, maybe 99.9% of them measure NH4/NO2 after the the fact/death, long after the spike may have occurred and the NH4/NO2 maybe already be NO3 or sequestered plant tissue.

A simple test, one that I have done, is to test your idea that NH4 kills, and NO3 does not.

We may add both to some Amano shrimp and see.
When do you suspect you'd see death of Amano shrimp with NO3?

Go ahead, please tell me, do not believe what I've told you, test it your self and use a calibrated NO3 test method also, something few aquarist do, maybe 99% don't calibrate and then those that do, are not doing it right many times

Next add low levels of NH4 and note responses.
The NH4 is far more ephemeral, much like CO2 and O2.
All of which are clearly more toxic and deadly than NO3.............


Do not use correlation and non confirmation as a method to see, ghost, amano and cherries shrimps are fairly cheap and make good toxicity subjects.

So if you want to show cause, add the critter to the solutions and then make a mortality dose response curve. It was until I got out side the range of my NO3 test kit did the shrimp start to die which has at 120ppm, the 160ppm was estimated based on dosing the weight of KNO3 to volume of water, it may have been higher than 160ppm, but it could not have been lower.

No fish deaths or stress was noted in the acute 3 day exposure.
I have not done the NH4 test yet.

Like I have all the time to test or something, more aquarist need to test so they can answer their own questions. Then perhaps fewer would come to such conclusions.

Folks readily give ranges they think might be good or bad, but they do not follw up with a test to see or not what they claim is true.

That's bad for the hobby.
Folks think that means it's true, and if you amplify this mob rules mentality, pretty soon everyone believe it to be true.

You must be more careful than that.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, 2 more cherries were dead yesterday when I got home. I realize they may have been affected from before the H2O change. Interestingly, I haven't seen any mortality (that I know of) in the juvies and babies...

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Down to just the babies, the juvies, two Minami, one Diamond/Bee and maybe 2 adult cherries (if I can find them). Nitrates are still only about 10ppm... All else is OK. Maybe they're just dying of old age? I can't believe this because the ones I have in the 58 that I've been trying to net out are doing fine in there. If I catch them and acclimate them to the 10 gal, they're dead in a week or two.


?

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got some "nitrate sponges" for the tank. I picked up some Hornwort and Anacharis to add to the other plants in the tank. Hopefully I'll see some improvement.

Tommy
 

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Down to just the babies, the juvies, two Minami, one Diamond/Bee and maybe 2 adult cherries (if I can find them). Nitrates are still only about 10ppm... All else is OK. Maybe they're just dying of old age? I can't believe this because the ones I have in the 58 that I've been trying to net out are doing fine in there. If I catch them and acclimate them to the 10 gal, they're dead in a week or two.


?

Tommy
Well, assuming that the NO3 is correct, a large assumption, but most if not many folks have higher levels than this and keep cherries for years........

So it's not that..............


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, assuming that the NO3 is correct, a large assumption, but most if not many folks have higher levels than this and keep cherries for years........

So it's not that..............


Regards,
Tom Barr

I made a typo in my post. It should have read 20 ppm...

Tommy
 

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I normally have about 20-30ppm most weeks from KNO3.........

They bred like flies..........

So you can rule that level out...........
It took 160ppm + to kill amano's with KNO3...........

Now if most of the NO3 is derived from fish waste, plant decay etc and starts off as NH4...............then it's NH4, not NO3 that's your issue.

Big difference between those two sources.
Very big.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I normally have about 20-30ppm most weeks from KNO3.........

They bred like flies..........

So you can rule that level out...........
It took 160ppm + to kill amano's with KNO3...........

Now if most of the NO3 is derived from fish waste, plant decay etc and starts off as NH4...............then it's NH4, not NO3 that's your issue.

Big difference between those two sources.
Very big.

Regards,
Tom Barr

NH4 and No2 have been 0 each time I have checked it.

??

Tommy
 

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Well then look elsewhere if assume your test kits to be correct and the time interval as well.

Most folks measure a week or a few days after the NH4 spike.
Not whole it's occurring.

That's why folks doing simple test by adding NH4 or NO3 or NO2 know and can confirm things, rather than just guess and hope they did not miss anything:icon_excl

Another very big difference.

It might have nothing to do with any Nitrogen at all, there might be something else you over looked, but you go down, one by one and rule as many things as you can carefully rather than broad guesses about NO3 from KNO3 dosing.

Again, a very big difference in the method to approach a problem.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tom, I'm not currently dosing anything, not have I from day 1. This is the second time around for me with the 10 gal shrimp tank. The first time it was a bare tank, with an Emperor 280 (I know, WAY overkill). Same thing, mysterious shrimp deaths about 3 weeks in. I did have upwards of 40 ppm then. Maybe I have the dreaded "uncylced tank syndrome"?

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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Have you ruled out heavy metal (no pun intended :p) poisoning? Iron, in particular. This could be high if you're dosing CSM+B or something like that. Shrimp are also sensitive to this, I have been told.
I'm keeping RCS and never dose anything, except the occasional Fluorish Excel. The tank is covered with java ferns, mosses and najas grass. Everyone seems happy and I have at least one prego female.
Check your micros.
 
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