High NitrAte

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High NitrAte

Postby Necrosis » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:44 pm

I have just carried out a partial water change due to an unusually high nitrAte level ( Normal level arond 30-40, peaked at around 60-80). The only major change in the tank was a re-arrangement of plants and some selective pruning... would this have caused the spike? The tank has been cycled and Ammonia and nitrIte levels are constant at 0 I am in a soft water area and the pH in the tank is 6.6. I had noticed that my 2 pearl gourami's were at the surface a lot but none of the other fish..(2*black phantom, 2* dwarf gourami, 5* Zebra danio and 5* Harlequins) My oxygen levels have remained constant at approx 7mg/l at temp of 26 degrees. I have never experianced such a spike in nitrate before and was wondering as to possible causes.
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Postby krekra » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:51 pm

Hi there. Nitrates are the result of ammonia breakdown with is a result of protien break down so anything that has or releases protien debris would lead to a nitrate spike.

Nitrates are removed by water changes and by plant use. So first if you pruned then there would be less nitrate and ammonia comsuption by the plants. Also if you moved plants around you may have disturbed some detrious that was hiding in the substrate that lead to an increase in the nitrates???

Both a possability. Or any chance anyone else in the house has been doing some extra feeding??
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Postby sunny23uk » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:57 pm

Hi :)

there could be a few reasons for a nitrate spike, but the important thing is that you spotted the rise.

It's possible that there might have been higher nitrates in your source water for some reason - not much you can do about that though really, especially as it could have been a one-off.

Decaying plant matter/wood in your tank could be a possibility, if there were some rotting leaves in there before you started to prune, then they could be contirbuting to it.

Also any missed food decaying in the tank could be another reason. It's sometimes worth missing feeding at least one day a week if you don't already. Any chance someone else has fed the fish without you knowing?

Anyway, that's a few possibilities for you to consider, but you've essentially done the best possible thing in doing a partial water change. :)
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Postby Necrosis » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:57 pm

I did disturb debris in the substrate but after re-arranging things I vacuumed the substrate and removed a lot of what was disturbed. it may be there was some fine particulate that the vacuum missed that could have lead to the spike. I will continue to carry out partial water changes till the levels drop to an acceptable amount. Would this sppike be responsible for the gourami gulping? you dont tend to hear too much about the effects of nitrAte on fish...
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Postby Apistogramma » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:00 pm

The conditions that cause elevated nitrates often cause decreased oxygen levels, which stress the fish.
:(
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Postby Apistogramma » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:01 pm

I now realise I'm going to have to be VERY careful if I fiddle around with my plants in the near future! *Gets the test kit out in a panic*
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Postby sunny23uk » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:03 pm

It's possible that with the slightly warmer temps we've been having that they decided to get some additional oxygen from the surface, not that your test results indicate that there was any reduction on oxygen levels though. I know we added an airstone the other week as the fish seemed to need a bit more than normal.

They weren't making a bubble nest were they?
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Postby Necrosis » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:10 pm

hiya again...I had heard about the possible link between nitrAte and decreased o2 this is why I checked all the levels, it just seemed strange that all the other fish were happy, I have not had pearls before these 2 and didnt know if it was something they tended to do anyway. I dread to think what my nitrate levels were yesterday..I did a routine partial change and only normally check the levels the day after so that the water has time to settle. I know that the nitrate level in my tap water today was between zero and 5... was not letting any possibilty go unchecked... :lol:
Needs to re-stock test kit chemicals and the 2 tubes I broke in the process... :lol:
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Postby Necrosis » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:14 pm

Hi sunny... you must live in the south of UK.....they havent invented warm weather in the north... :lol:
Is funny you should mention the nest...thought I spotted something earlier but it would appear my aged eyes were playing tricks....babies would be nice though....pulls out Barry White cd....... :lol: :lol:
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Postby krekra » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:19 pm

My Pearls go to the top of my tank and poke around at the surface a lot. I think...but I may be wrong...that as they are labyrinth fish they can do a little air breathing from the surface of the water.

I would worry more if your other fish were doing the same thing
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Postby Necrosis » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:30 pm

Many thanks guys.... can rest a little easier now.....
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Postby sunny23uk » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:37 pm

Hi Nec, I am up north, just the other side of the Pennines though! :P
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Postby Necrosis » Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:10 pm

:lol:
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Postby Necrosis » Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:36 pm

levels back to about 30 now....
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Postby krekra » Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:38 pm

Sounds better!! Glad to hear it. Are your gourami acting more normal??
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