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Ok guys been doing some research on nitrates wanted to start a topic of what’s everyone’s threshold on it ? My water comes out at 20ppm out of the tap  so I’ve heard different things some people say can’t go over 40 ppm others says keep it under a 100 ppm? So let’s start this debate? Let’s keep it civil 

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  • Leo2o915 changed the title to Nitrates threshold?

In a very heavily planted tank I'd not panic if I tested and it was at 80, I would just back off on feeding.  If the fish were acting wonky I'd change some water. If it was sparsely planted I'd be looking to keep it under 40'ish.  Bare bottom tank?  No need to keep any nitrates around.  And then it depends on the fish, some are more tolerant than others.  If the tanks is home to any fry I'd try and keep it under 20'ish (babies really thrive in clean water). 

So to answer the question.  It all depends

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I did a little bit of testing In my tanks and  my fish/snails/ghost shrimp seemed unaffected/healthy even into the 80-100ppm range. I ran 40 ppm average for a few months In another tank and found my plants and fish to be very happy but neo caridinia shrimp however slowly died off. I found that my blue velvet shrImp are more sensitive to nitrates, the rest of the inhabitants were happy and breeding. Like @KBOzzie59 said it depends. Every living thing in your tank will have its own preferences so the only way to know is to test, watch and take notes.

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My nitrates also come out 10-20ppm from tap and it's not uncommon for it to reach 80ppm in my larger more heavily stocked tanks. For my more sensitive fish, I cut with 50/50 RO water as I'd hate to risk higher nitrate levels with them, but I don't have any issues with any of them in my tap water tanks. Having high nitrates out of tap, I keep most everything heavily planted, and utilize Pothos and Hornwort for their nitrate sucking abilities, especially in shrimp tanks. 

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3 hours ago, Lynze said:

My nitrates also come out 10-20ppm from tap and it's not uncommon for it to reach 80ppm in my larger more heavily stocked tanks. For my more sensitive fish, I cut with 50/50 RO water as I'd hate to risk higher nitrate levels with them, but I don't have any issues with any of them in my tap water tanks. Having high nitrates out of tap, I keep most everything heavily planted, and utilize Pothos and Hornwort for their nitrate sucking abilities, especially in shrimp tanks. 

My water comes out like that out of my tap too so I normally keep it in the 40s   But I over fed a little and it got up to 80 I wish I could do RO water but I have african Cichlids and my ph comes out perfect around 7.6 and above for them good old Cali hard well water 

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I have a Mbuna tank, and my tap is ridiculously hard with a high ph as well. Good for my Africans and livebearers, not great for my Rams and Apistos. Those are the only 2 that I cut with RO though, everyone else is adapted my water. I've got a bunch of Dwarf Neon Rainbow fry that seem to be doing well in it too. 

 My nitrates out of tap fluctuate. In the fall and winter it's closer to 10ppm. I've always just assumed because it's seasonal it had to do with farming and fertilizing. 

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11 minutes ago, Lynze said:

I have a Mbuna tank, and my tap is ridiculously hard with a high ph as well. Good for my Africans and livebearers, not great for my Rams and Apistos. Those are the only 2 that I cut with RO though, everyone else is adapted my water. I've got a bunch of Dwarf Neon Rainbow fry that seem to be doing well in it too. 

 My nitrates out of tap fluctuate. In the fall and winter it's closer to 10ppm. I've always just assumed because it's seasonal it had to do with farming and fertilizing. 

I got a hap and peacock tank I just did a random test yesterday just to see where it’s at and it was around 80 ppm they seemed find but still did a emergency 25% water change and today went and bought some more pothos was thinking of trying Seachem denitrate you heard anything good about it 

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I was going to try it at one point, but never did. I tried nitrate pads in HOBs and they never made a difference, maybe I didn't wait long enough to notice a difference. If you try it out and it works for you, let me know. Heavy planting has helped in all of my other tanks, but that's not an option for my Africans unless I want to serve them a really expensive salad bar. 

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On 8/31/2020 at 9:14 AM, Leo2o915 said:

Ok guys been doing some research on nitrates wanted to start a topic of what’s everyone’s threshold on it ? My water comes out at 20ppm out of the tap  so I’ve heard different things some people say can’t go over 40 ppm others says keep it under a 100 ppm? So let’s start this debate? Let’s keep it civil 

I wanted to mention that if youre trying to lower nitrates i highly recommend you add some floating plants like some water lettuce/frogbit. Ive added both of those recently and once they were established my nitrates have stayed significantly lower. They seem to consume nitrates more voraciously than my other aquatic plants.

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21 minutes ago, Sliceofnature said:

I wanted to mention that if youre trying to lower nitrates i highly recommend you add some floating plants like some water lettuce/frogbit. Ive added both of those recently and once they were established my nitrates have stayed significantly lower. They seem to consume nitrates more voraciously than my other aquatic plants.

Do they do good in a high water movement 

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22 minutes ago, Leo2o915 said:

Do they do good in a high water movement 

No. If you have high water movement on the surface they will be unhappy. An alternative is to put the roots of a clipping of a terrestrial plant in the top of your tank--pothos, spider plant, peace lily and tradescantia all work well. You can wire a little clip over the rim to support them or stuff them in the top of a filter compartment if your tank has one. Or if your tank has a lid, in the back there you could just cut a notch in the plastic.

IMG_20200821_171501.jpg.3227f309c7274576787cd59883b19ff7.jpg

Edited by Brandy
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1 hour ago, Sliceofnature said:

I wanted to mention that if youre trying to lower nitrates i highly recommend you add some floating plants like some water lettuce/frogbit. Ive added both of those recently and once they were established my nitrates have stayed significantly lower. They seem to consume nitrates more voraciously than my other aquatic plants.

Do they do good in a high water movement 

 

45 minutes ago, Brandy said:

No. If you have high water movement on the surface they will be unhappy. An alternative is to put the roots of a clipping of a terrestrial plant in the top of your tank--pothos, spider plant, peace lily and tradescantia all work well. You can wire a little clip over the rim to support them or stuff them in the top of a filter compartment if your tank has one. Or if your tank has a lid, in the back there you could just cut a notch in the plastic.

IMG_20200821_171501.jpg.3227f309c7274576787cd59883b19ff7.jpg

I put some pothos in it yesterday how long til they start working they have to adjust right 

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24 minutes ago, Leo2o915 said:

I put some pothos in it yesterday how long til they start working they have to adjust right 

They will take up nitrates as they GROW. So depending on light, you will start to see effects in a week, I think. Roots are better at this than leaves I suspect, so that is why floaters and terrestrial plants work so well. Also, those plants have unlimited CO2 from the air. The limiting factor will be light. Most of the ones I listed handle low light really well though. 

The bigger the plant, the more nitrates it will consume.

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22 minutes ago, Brandy said:

They will take up nitrates as they GROW. So depending on light, you will start to see effects in a week, I think. Roots are better at this than leaves I suspect, so that is why floaters and terrestrial plants work so well. Also, those plants have unlimited CO2 from the air. The limiting factor will be light. Most of the ones I listed handle low light really well though. 

The bigger the plant, the more nitrates it will consume.

Just put a whole pot in my tank lol 

image.jpg

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On 9/1/2020 at 10:44 AM, Leo2o915 said:

Do they do good in a high water movement 

Ive found its more challenging but still possible to keep them with high flow. I have a ton of water movement in my fluval flex tank and water lettuce is still doing well. The smaller plants like frogbit just make a mess until they die off from tumbling in the water constantly but ive found that larger pieces of water lettuce are able to stay afloat and just swirl around in the tank. The roots do get damaged tho and it does cause a little bit of a mess but its worth the trade off for me so far.80E4A92F-9AE0-4C66-8BEE-150653743E93.jpeg.9668caba344c32d94966587b457efddf.jpeg

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30 minutes ago, Sliceofnature said:

Ive found its more challenging but still possible to keep them with high flow. I have a ton of water movement in my fluval flex tank and water lettuce is still doing well. The smaller plants like frogbit just make a mess until they die off from tumbling in the water constantly but ive found that larger pieces of water lettuce are able to stay afloat and just swirl around in the tank. The roots do get damaged tho and it does cause a little bit of a mess but its worth the trade off for me so far.80E4A92F-9AE0-4C66-8BEE-150653743E93.jpeg.9668caba344c32d94966587b457efddf.jpeg

I tied mine to my the cable for my heater 

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In my planted 40 gallon tank, I do water changes every 2 weeks, and at that point nitrates are about 40ppm. Haven't seen any problems with that routine! Got tetras, corys and angelfish.

In my 5 gallon betta tank, 5 gallon shrimp and snail and and 15 gallon fluval flex with 1 tetra and 6 harlequins and 20 long with mollies though, I can go months and months with just topping off, because they got a thick layer of duckweed above. I think it is responsible of having less than 5ppm on these aquariums! And they let just enough light pass for the anubias below, it's a really nice balance.

Edited by HenryC
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24 minutes ago, Robin said:

If you had a planted only tank and you fertilized it a little heavy to get it started, would the plants eventually bring the nitrates down without water changes?

Yes! Fast growing plants like stem ones (ambulia, hygrophila corymbosa) and floating ones (duckweed, frogbit) seem to take them down faster though, in my experience. My tank is a little overcrowded with mollies and molly fry, yet I have these plants there and it barely goes over 5-10ppm, even after 1 or 2 months of no water change. The only reason I have to water change is to siphon the substrate and to replenish minerals! 

At least in my experience. I do fertilize that tank too with easy green, but I do it just once a week.

You might have to be careful though, and plant heavily, or else you might get algae.

Edited by HenryC
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