Nitrate

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Nitrate

Postby AlanTh » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:11 pm

Now I have something to share - and would like opinions.

My tap water is coming through at 40 on Nitrate (per my own test). Severn Trent Water, as per their website, say 23.

As my tank is now just over a month old, I have noticed that the Nitrate is now testing at somewhere between 60 and higher. To be honest I find it hard to do the colour comparison with the API test kit. I do have live plants.

Anyway - I went to P@H to get some stuff to put into the tank to lower the Nitrate - they didn't have anything that would do this. I then went to a very reputable specialist lfs.

The owner there (and I do respect his opinion) he is very knowledgable - said - get an airstone and airpump - the Nitrate will "gas off" quite quickly.

He could have sold me some chemicals, but was adamant that Nitrate will "gas off" quite quickly.

Anyone heard of this before - it's certainly new to me.
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Postby AlanTh » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:01 pm

Just an update:-

I've just tested for Nitrate, and it now is somewhere between 40 - 60 (not over 60 as yesterday). So there does seem to be a reduction, and this is in just 24 hours. (no water changes).

I really am struggling with this. I have spent a few hours on Google studying "Nitrate reduction" and similar searches, all sorts of sites, not just fish keeping ones. Nowhere can I find that Nitrate will "gas off" by adding an airstone. All of the usual methods I can find - water changes, plants etc ......


I haven't even added an airstone - I have just opened the venturi (sp?) on the powerhead pumps.

This is so odd. But the guy that gave me the advise is a very experienced marine fish keeper.
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Postby ricky 2 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:13 pm

must admit i had a google about to and found nowt Alan but will be following your thread to see how it goes :wink: its a intresting idear
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Postby AlanTh » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:25 pm

Thanks for the reply Ricky.

I am just bemused by all of this.

I can see that with the internet (which I didn't have all of those years ago), information is now more available. We just had books. Now it can take years before a new method reaches a published book. In fact I think I might be correct in saying that "Fishless Cycling" is only just reaching the published book stage.

With Forums - information tends to get "cycled". That is a new fishkeeper starts. Gets all the information from the Forums - then after (say) six to nine months - he is then churning out the same information (what worked for him. Nothing wrong with that)

I am just wondering - is this old information that isn't now used. Or new information.

Whatever - like you - I will be checking it closely.
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Postby ricky 2 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:39 pm

its very good point alan all the info i started out whith came from books (no interweb back then) the fishless Cycling is still new to me never tried it .but the internet and the forums it provides are excelent . now if your not shure about suming or you have a problem you get answers almost instantly . i do think tho that you cant beat a trusted keeper or shop owner that you know well and more importently wont sell you any old c*ap just to make a few bob
also as you poited out maybe it is a good old bit of info which has droped out of fashion or been taken over by a product or chemical. :)
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Postby krakin » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:19 pm

This explains a lot : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrate

I'm no chemist, but I think it says that nitrates are a kind of acid-based alcohol, so it stands to reason that, just like other common forms of alcohol, they will readily mix with water when in condensed form, but vaporize easily at relatively low temperatures when brought into contact with air.

You may want to look for the source of the nitrates you are finding. This could be a dead spot where water does not circulate properly and waste builds up, or some decaying plant or other organic matter.
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Postby AlanTh » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:19 pm

Thanks Krakin

A lot to think about in that link. I am no chemist also, but I know a man that is lol (an old friend that I haven't spoken to in years) maybe a good time to get back in touch with him.

My Nitrate isn't coming from "spots" - just the general accumulation I suppose, as my water supply is high in it anyway.

I am pleased that folks are replying, and already it is appearing, that this advise that I received could be good.
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Postby Dave... » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:18 pm

Interesting, why not aerate a container of tap water and test that periodically?

My tapwater contains nil nitrate so I can't try it myself, I would be interested in your results...
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Postby Bala Shark Mama » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:46 pm

My tap water reads 40-50ppm, consitently. In my 3 foot tank i used to have a large air stone run from a rather large air pump, and despite testing the water many times i never once noticed the nitrate level drop below that figure, even when it was only lightly stocked.
In my experience nitrate is only removed when doing water changes.. in my case when the nitrate levls got higher than +20ppm of the tap water.
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Postby AlanTh » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:36 pm

Nothing much seems to be happening (and I'm not surprised really).

I can only assume that my advice came from a marine keeper - perhaps some of the chemicals that they use, combined with an airstone reduces nitrate.
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Postby Bob Loblaw » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:45 pm

Nitrate is . . . complicated, to put it bluntly. I've spent 5 years at uni studying aquatic ecology and have worked in the field for a couple of years now, and I still find it difficult to get my head round.

When the lfs owner said it would "gas off" he was probably talking about the nitrate-nitrogen volatalising (reacting with oxygen etc) to make various gaseous forms of nitrogen before floating off into the atmosphere. This happens, but at quite a low rate in the natural world, and at an even lower rate in fish tanks. The method by which most nitrate, nitrite, ammonium and ammonia (think of these as liquid forms of nitrogen) is removed from water is by conversion via chemical processes within living organisms - the nitrogen cycle. The organisms responsible are mostly bacteria and plants (including algae).

As your tank is only a month old, the amount of bacteria and algae in it will be insufficient to play a major part in this process, so all nitrate removal will be via your plants and water changes. As your tank matures, you'll notice a reduction in nitrates until they're at least as low as the water coming out of your taps. As your tank gets older, and especially if you're not too fastidious about cleaning algae off your decor (My tank's covered in the stuff), it will probably drop below your tap water levels. Don't let off on the water changes though!

If I were you, I wouldn't be too concerned about nitrate levels - it's nowhere near as toxic as nitrite or ammonia, even at relatively high levels (50 mg/l and higher). Give it a few months and I'm fairly confident that the increasing algal and bacterial populations in your tank will go a long way to solving the problem.

Hope you managed to stay awake long enough to read that!
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Postby ziggy » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:07 pm

Air stones are a waste of time,and have no benefit to the water quality,or the fish. Point the to the waters surface,It will provide air that way.
Its illegal for the water nitrates from the tap to be more than 50.
Check your test kit,nitrate test kits expire earlier than the others.
I am using seachem matrix in my filter. It is a type of media.
My tank nitrate is now less than the tap water.It takes a while to kick in though,so not an instant fix.
I keep lake malawi cichlids
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Postby moocowmoneybox » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:40 pm

Air stones are a waste of time,and have no benefit to the water quality,or the fish


I would disagree as they help break the surface tension so the water can exchange gas easier.

Also as the bubbles are breaking the surface tension, that helps to break up any film thats resting on the surface.

So with better gas exchange at the surface there is more oxygen in the water for the fish to breathe.
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Re: Nitrate

Postby Tommy Saville » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:02 pm

I'm also in the Severn-Trent area and having problems with high nitrates. Planted 210-litre tank with 6 Discus. Nitrate level around 40. I run the water through a Pozzani nitrate-remover filter, giving nitrate-free water for water changes. I change 50% of the water twice a week but the nitrate in the tank won't drop below 30. I see your original thread was a few weeks ago...could you report the current situation? Did you find a solution?
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Re: Nitrate

Postby raffy » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:42 pm

i have heard of this before the air stone helping keeping nitrate levels down although they do not help alot but they do help, the nitrate sticks to the air bubbles and when the pop at the surface the nitrate disappears into the atmosphere,
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