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Other Ways To Lower Nitrates?

TetraFin

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Hi all!

I was just wondering if there are other ways to lower nitrate other than just water changes? Are there certain plants which do this, or a type of filter? Reason i'm wondering this is because i'm struggling to get my nitates down from around 40ppm. My tap water is 5ppm. I figure as i'm writing this that i'm probably overfeeding, so will try to feed less. Though my fish always appear to eat all their food, and seem to ask for more after!! I am currently doing 20 - 25% water changes daily, but after 3 days i'm not seing any differnce in the water.
 

fluttermoth

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Bigger water changes are the best remedy.
 

Mort75

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there is also a filter type thing called the aquarapure(sp?)i watch a few videos on youtube the other day. I couldnt justify the price buy you may be able too.

http://aquaripure.com/
 

daz4321

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water change up to 90% with dechlorinated and temperature matched water will make the difference, by only doing 25% water changes you only remove slightly less than 25% of the remaining nitrate each time, 40ppm,30ppm,23ppm,19ppm roughly ignoring the fact your putting 5ppm of 25% back in each time.
in the long term less food more water change, plants use nitrate as their food,floating plants are particularly good at this, nitrate removal media is another choice although gets expensive after a while, but with only 5 ppm in your tap water then water changes less food more plants is the way I would go.
 

fluttermoth

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Yes, with such low nitrate in the tap water, bigger water changes are the best, easiest and cheapest solution.

Nitrate reducing filters/resins would only be worth using if your source water was very high in nitrate.
 

slimeneo

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More water changes and more plants! :) Try getting anacharis, very hardy plants.
 

fluttermoth

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I should also point out that, for most fish, a nitrate level of 40PPM is nothing to worry about, although lower is, of course, always better.
 

Xraymark

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There is a product called Bionatratex which I have read good reviews. Relatively cheap for how long it lasts. I've just started it in my reef tank in a canister so too early for me to state if it works for me. It's fine for a freshwater as well.
 

MBOU

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I think you have an nice list of solutions there!

-Bigger water changes

-Fast growing plants like elodea, vallis, hygrophylia and cabomba etc as they use up nitrates (but more plants = more maintenance, and plant foods and lighting etc)

-Filter media - As Xraymark said, BioNitratex or Nitratex made by JBL are great in external filters! The Nitratex treats about 200L for a few weeks and you can recharge it overnight in salt water and reuse it 2-3 times as well. Its good stuff!

-Cutting down feeding. Dont know how much you are feeding now but if you have a good quality fish food, they shouldn't need much at all, the foods are designed that the fish get all the nutrients they need in the smallest ammount of food possible.

Fish do, however... graze.... thats just natural, fish will just keep eating and eating and eating, in the wild they would be burning off all the food as they were eating it, in captivity they exercise is seriously restricted and therefore their food needs to be as well. Feed less and off them some soft plants/a stone with algae on etc to graze if they so feel like it.
 

cms091

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I wish my tap water was 5ppm nitrate. It's 40-50ppm so that's the lowest I can hope for! Except by using plants. Don't worry.

cathy
 
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TetraFin

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Thank you for all your replies! There seems to be a few ways of maintaining a low level of nitrate! The best and foremost solution is large water changes, but there are obviously other solutions too, which I was unaware of before I asked this.

Plants seem to be a good way of having a small impact on them, (depending how many you have obviously, more plants will use more nitrate). I was unaware that plants used nitrate from the water to be healthy.

In a separate google search I found filters designed to change nitrate to nitrogen (which escapes the tank naturally), and various granules you can put into your existing filter. Top and foremost of these appears to be JBL bionitratex. This could be worth putting into filters to keep nitrate at a consistently low level, (especially if your tap water is high in nitrate to begin with) but does not replace the weekly 25% water change and gravel vacuuming, which your fish rely upon for a clean and healthy tank.

I am going to do a 90% water change tonight and remove the majority of my nitrate, but I'm also tempted to use JBL bionitratex in my filter which will virtually eliminate nitrate from my tank, even between weekly water changes. This, I assume, will mean I will have trouble growing plants, even if I used plant feed? So may have to invest in decent quality artificial plants. What are people's thoughts on this idea?
 

daz4321

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removal of all nitrate will be nigh on impossible but a very low level can be detrimental to plants which is why a complete fert that has micro and macro nutrients is used (micro nutrients are your trace elements(most general ferts are these))(macro nutrients are nitrogen(nitrate)phosphates and potassium(commonly referred to as NPK)) anything under 40ppm is considered perfectly safe for fish 20ppm for very sensitive fish and inverts is fine and plants will be ok at this level. how much plants use is dependent on light and other nutrient availability if you are low in one it will effect the plants ability to utilize the others and this is when algae will rear its head
 

Primous

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Personally I don't recommend products to toy with water parameters. I think they're a waste of time and money though with that said, I had the same problem but mostly because my tap water was high in nitrates. I'm not sure of your stocking but for you nitrate count to jump from 5ppm - 40ppm I'd say it's primarily an overfeeding problem.

My advice would be to firstly, do a 95% WC and then measure the nitrates. Secondly Feed only what the fish can consume within one minute, If there is anything left on the substrate syphon/net it out and adjust your feed accordingly the next day. Thirdly and most importantly Switch off the filter and pumps, wet the food with tank water so that it sinks rather than float on the surface and feed in the same spot so that all the food is condensed into one area. Also only feed your fish once a day...

Feeding while the filters are running and having the food blow into parts of the tank neither fish/shimps cant reach or that you can see and being left to decompose in the tank or inside the filter is probably the most common cause of self induced high nitrates. It's a simple solution but effective.

Your nitrates should only go up 5-10ppm with a week anything more is too much in my opinion.
 
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