how do I get rid of high nitrite and nitrate?

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how do I get rid of high nitrite and nitrate?... Expand / Collapse
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Posted 2/10/2008 8:05:15 AM
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Hi everyone. My 29 gallon tank is high in nitrite and nitrate how do I get this down. I have used a number of chemicals and I have used conditioning salt and my tank isn't over crowded. I also have like 4 plants in there. any advice would be helpful thank you
Post #139746
Posted 2/10/2008 9:02:01 AM


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What chemicals did you put in?
How many and what fish do you ahve in there?
What are your exact readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?

Sounds like you're in the middle of cycling, so hopefully, your ammonia is 0. Stop dumping in chemicals, other than a dechlorinator. All you need to do is water changes, and probably a lot of them. Do an immediate 25% water change, while you're answering the questions above. If the nitrite is not down to .25ppm or less, wait two hours and do another 25% water change. Repeat this until the it's down to .25ppm.


55 gallon
Baby - lionhead/ryukin cross
Westie - lionhead/ryukin cross
Speedy Rodriguez - oranda
Currently searching for a good new tankmate!

planted 29 gallon
3 red eye tetras
4 cherry barbs
2 cardinal tetras
4 albino cories
2 Bolivian rams
Post #139752
Posted 2/10/2008 12:33:44 PM


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Yep, primarily change water and hold the chems and salt.

while the nitrites are high a pinch of salt is all you need, if you have more then that in the tank then quit adding it for a while, water changes will remove the salt over time.

Amquell plus will neutralise nitrite and works well but do the water changes first before you use it....

High nitrate almost requires a water change, if the changes dont bring it back down then test your water source for it. Plants can reduce nitrate as they use it for fertiliser.

Ps we prefer numbers for test results....

"We are Starfleet officers, Weird is a part of the job" - Captain Janeway, USS Voyager


Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.

Post #139768
Posted 2/20/2008 8:13:16 AM


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I am agreeing with the others- don't dump in any more chemicals. This only stresses the fish, plants, and bacteria even more. Having fast growing plants like wisteria will help take up some nitrates- but having a nitrite reading does show that something is wrong.

I used to have a hard time keeping the nitrates below 15ppm when I first started into this hobby, but after I added fast growing plants like wisteria and lotus, along with keeping up with water changes, I now have to dose nitrate to keep my plants from suffering. Water changes are the best thing to dilute toxins.

I am assuming that you don't have any corydoras catfish in the tank because you are dosing salt. Cories can't handle much salt in their water.

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Post #141019
Posted 2/20/2008 11:56:29 AM


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DazzleDiscus (2/20/2008)
I used to have a hard time keeping the nitrates below 15ppm when I first started into this hobby

15 ppm for a nitrate reading isn't really all that high. i wouldn't want a newbie to panick if they had a reading of 20 or something, based on that statement. granted my nitrates rarely go above 10, but i don't think it becomes toxic until it approaches 50ppm.

 

and yes, stop the chemicals, do water changes, and post readings.

                                                       

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Post #141051
Posted 2/20/2008 12:52:57 PM


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Technically nitrates don't become toxic until around 200-1500 ppm, depending on the species of fish. While chronic, high levels of nitrate, say 80ppm or higher, ALL the time, is definitely a stress your fish could do without, it takes extremely high nitrate levels to actually cause negative reactions in fish on a large scale.
I'm still of the opinion that nitrate levels should be as low as reasonably possible, since they are almost neglible in a natural environment. Just some perspective is all.


55 gallon
Baby - lionhead/ryukin cross
Westie - lionhead/ryukin cross
Speedy Rodriguez - oranda
Currently searching for a good new tankmate!

planted 29 gallon
3 red eye tetras
4 cherry barbs
2 cardinal tetras
4 albino cories
2 Bolivian rams
Post #141055
Posted 2/20/2008 5:35:33 PM


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johnny chimpo (2/20/2008)
15 ppm for a nitrate reading isn't really all that high. i wouldn't want a newbie to panick if they had a reading of 20 or something, based on that statement. granted my nitrates rarely go above 10, but i don't think it becomes toxic until it approaches 50ppm.

Seriously? I never did extensive research on the matter, but my past LFS people were like freaking out when I told them my nitrates had been between 15-20ppm, and still weren't too impressed that I got them down to 15ppm. 'Course now I am dosing the nitrates to hover around 5ppm. I have a bamboo shrimp in the tank I am dosing so I don't want the nitrates to climb high enough that might harmfully affect the shrimp.

----------------------------------------------------

"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (2nd Peter 3:5-6)

Post #141098
Posted 2/20/2008 9:48:14 PM


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Actually, the history of acceptable nitrogen compound content is interesting. For example, on 1950's text of saltwater aquariums reported nitrate levels as high as 400ppm being acceptable for short durations. By contrast, most aquarists on this site would freak out if a freshwater aquarium, let alone a saltwater aquarium, had nitrate levels that high.

In putting the above in perspective, the average lifespan of what is considered the "properly" kept fish has increased tenfold since the 1950's in many instances and at least threefold in all significant cases. Thus, while high nitrogen compound readings are not unsurvivable, the fact that keeping them low could increase your fish's lives by a factor of three (minimally) is enough to make anyone pay attention to them. That is, moderating nitrogen copound content will keep your fish alive much longer and thus save you time and money in the long run.

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Post #141133
Posted 2/21/2008 7:17:47 AM


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dazzlediscus - wow, they were freaking out on 15-20ppm nitrate reading??? do you think maybe they reacted that way to sell you some chemical product or something? 15ppm isn't bad. i'm sure most on here would agree with that....you even saw above that some say significantly higher levels can be tolerated (with a reduction on lifespan).

with a little more water changed at a time or changing the water a little more frequently i'm sure you could get it down to the 10ppm range naturally. mine stays around 10 (occasionally down to 5) with weekly 25% water changes. i don't know how they expect you to get much better than that (without plants).

the proposed solution doesn't sound very responsible of the LFS. again, i'm guessing they're happy to continually sell you a product. what are you dosing with anyway? i'd be curious if dosing with chemicals may be more harmful in the long run than the sustained 15ppm nitrate reading. of course there's really no way to determine that. does the chemical alter any other water parameters?

do some digging around, i've found multiple credible sources that recommend keeping it below 40-50ppm. it's up to you, but i would abandon the chemical dosing and save money. just increase the amount of water you take out a bit during water changes if you want it to drop below 15.

                                                       

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Post #141149
Posted 2/29/2008 10:46:43 AM


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heh heh! yeah they were. Their fish were always healthy and the tanks had very little nitrates. I never saw their salt water fish with any health problems. No, they weren't trying to sell me anything to get it down; they just recommended water changes.

At the time I was keeping discus, with little amount of live plants (a few java ferns) I was conserned that they were not growing and so sought answers.

I had always heard to keep nitrates down below twenty and from what I knew back then, I was riding the edge of the line. Until recently did i actually learn that people dose nitrate for their plants. At that time I was not dosing anything because my attention was not on plants. Only the past year have I really looked into keeping plants. ...and I'm gald I did!

----------------------------------------------------

"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (2nd Peter 3:5-6)

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