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High Nitrates Please Help.....

Discussion in 'Advance Water Quality' started by howematt, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. howematt

    howematt Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    WI
    Hello Everyone...

    I recently lost my 7 year old Comet Brutis to high Nitrate poisoning.. He was 17" long and a great fish. My situation/timeline

    2008-2014 I kept a 75gallon tank with 2 or 3 large comets. No problems. I used a magnum 350 filter with Bio wheel and a Fluval FX5 with porous lava rock in the basket. I always fed the fish 3-5 times daily they were pigs. I changed about 50% water monthly and the media in the filters about every month and a half. Never any partial water changes. Never lost any fish. Lived in the country with a well (different location than below)

    Spring 2014
    I upgrade to a 210 gallon dual overflow tank. Using 2 fluval FX5 filters. I threw out (dumb move I know) my old porous lava rocks and started with all new Seachem Matrix rocks. I then started using the Seachem Purigen 100ml pouches (2) one in each filter. I use gravel about the size of a pea (river rock) and I believe I had it too deep as I developed little white worms (Planaria). I began to remove rocks. I use all plastic plants, an old steel beer can, golf ball, and a driftwood stump I found and cleaned up.
    About the 3rd month Brutis starts sitting around a lot, not moving or eating. His normally clear fins are showing red. By the time I figure out that he is being poisoned I tried like hell for about a week with daily 25% water changes, introducing aeration, and stopped feeding to no avail. He dies, but I have 2 other comets 15â€￾-16â€￾ long that were not affected (visually)
    I get my water tested at the Pet Shop. My nitrates are as high as can be measured on their color sheet, around 160. A few weeks later I get my own water testing kit. Today I test my water and it is super high again.
    I live in the country and have well. It’s a farming community and after testing tap water I cannot tell the difference, as they both have high nitrates. What can I do to lower these nitrates on such a large tank? Please help……..
     

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  2. fantail1

    fantail1 Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    Are you saying the nitrates are coming in naturally? If not the answer is to change more water more frequently. 50% per week would be a good starting point.
     
  3. chocky

    chocky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Location:
    WA, Australia
    He said his tap is also very very high nitrates.
     
  4. GreenTea

    GreenTea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Location:
    Washington
    I'm sorry for your loss.

    I have have very high tap nitrates as well. Mine are at least 80ppm at all times. I am able to keep the nitrates at 10-20 in the tank by adding tons of large floating plants like water lettuce and using prime or amquel plus water conditioner. I have to provide lots of light to these plants, but they make all the difference and supply my fish with food as well.

    I also add tons of biological filtration material, I use sponges and ceramic media only. They last forever and work well for me.

    I hope this is helpful to you and you are able to get nitrates under control. You can also consider using some chemical components to your filter to remove nitrates - I have never used these so I can't recommend anything however.
     
  5. GreenTea

    GreenTea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Location:
    Washington
    I'm sorry for your loss.

    I have have very high tap nitrates as well. Mine are at least 80ppm at all times. I am able to keep the nitrates at 10-20 in the tank by adding tons of large floating plants like water lettuce and using prime or amquel plus water conditioner. I have to provide lots of light to these plants, but they make all the difference and supply my fish with food as well.

    I also add tons of biological filtration material, I use sponges and ceramic media only. They last forever and work well for me.

    I hope this is helpful to you and you are able to get nitrates under control. You can also consider using some chemical components to your filter to remove nitrates - I have never used these so I can't recommend anything however.
     
  6. James Ludlow

    James Ludlow New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Location:
    England
    Can you use ro and remineralising powder to bring it up to hardness?

    Over here i can cut the tap water with ro, but we have a legal limit of 50ppm nitrate from tap. I also have extremely hard water, so a 50/50 mix still leaves me with a good amount of hardness.

    With levels of no3 like that though, I suspect that you would make the water far too soft in bringing the nitrate levels down.

    James
     
  7. howematt

    howematt Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    WI
    Thank you for the input. Still working on getting everything under control.

    - Stopped by the pet store. Was told that high Nitrate alone is not a cause for concern. It becomes a problem when Nitrates AND nitrites are high together. This was new to me.....
     
  8. Mykuhl

    Mykuhl Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Location:
    Etobicoke , Ontario, Canada
    Was not the Purigen helping to reduce the nitrate? I have read that it is excellent for reducing nitrate. Although it does need to be recharged regularly for it to remain effective. As already mentioned keeping a lot of fast growing plants is a good way to keep nitrate down to like levels...sometimes even at zero.
     
  9. danarea

    danarea goldiefanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Location:
    Washington state
    That is incorrect. High nitrates ARE a cause for concern. That is why we test for them. Please continue your efforts to get them within a more tolerable range...40 or below.
     
  10. ranchumatt

    ranchumatt Hobbyist Breeder

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Eastern Idaho
    I second that opinion. ANY amount of nitrite is a big concern. And as for nitrate, the lower the better.......below 40ppm if possible (with water changes being by far the preferred method of reducing nitrate).
     
  11. KrisKustom

    KrisKustom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Location:
    Redmond, Wa
    Is rain water collection a possibility? That would seem like the easiest solution. At least you could mix in 50% rain water.
     
  12. LyinHead

    LyinHead Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    Portsmouth,Ohio
    If you could age enough water for your water changes even non aquatic plants will make quick work of nitrates. Like green tea was saying, I use plants to keep nitrates at 0 in my tanks. Pothos, spider plants, and other vascular plants that dont get woody and remain green and viny are good. I clean all the soil from the roots, let them dangle in the water of my tanks. It's completely cycled, within good stocking limits and feeding routine. I do water changes for mineral induction and hormone removal, no better water than fresh water. Hope you get your issue resolved, sorry for your loss.
     
  13. goldfinger

    goldfinger Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Location:
    Surrey
    You could invest in Ro machine and put back some minerals into the water or mix both to balance it out and reduce the Nitrate?
     

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