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Nitrate


jrod
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Hi guys. Just been wondering what people consider to be an acceptable nitrate level in their tank. Mine sits around 20ppm and I'm quite happy with that as I'm still running basic media (soon to be upgraded). After talking with an owner of a fish shop I realized many people don't consider it to big of a threat. He said he is happy if he's tanks are anywhere below 80ppm. Due to one sump running a mass of tanks his bio load is quite high but his wc are very offen (every 3-4 days). This also lead me to wonder what some of your tanks run at as some of you have setups as large as some fish shops but may nor have the time to maintain your tanks as offen as an actual shop. If you do have quite a low level of nitrate what are your methods of doing so?

Thanks jarred

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Good question. I too struggle to keep a zero ppm nitrate level. Since going to 25% weekly water changes I've dropped my nitrate from about 80 to about 20ppm. I was doing about 15% changes prior. The measurement isn't very accurate though. I have since added some marine pure as recommended by another forum member. Hasn't been in long enough to gauge it's effectiveness. I've been reading bio balls don't help with nitrates. Is that all you have?

Is there an alternative to bio balls in a trickle baffle?

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Hi Jarred,

My system runs at around 20-30ppm nitrate. It used to run at about 50-60ppm. I do weekly and sometimes fortnightly water changes.

I use a baffle sump with sponge, wool & pond matrix (though the matrix probaby isnt suited to the high flow that runs through it in the sump...). I have also made a DIY denitrate filter, which I put the lower nitrate levels down to.

In short, it is a length (about a metre) of 150mm PVC pipe capped at both ends with airline hose tapped into the top with a valve for adjustment of flow... It works via a syphon. Its packed with Seachem denitrate and pond matrix. Hasnt skipped a beat since I set it up about 7-8months ago. :thumb

You will be able to find a bit more info on it here --> DIY Denitrate Filter (there are also a few helpful links within worth reading aswell)

I would have shown you how I have it set up when you visited, had I known you were interested.

Im pretty impressed given the volume of the system and the amount of fish I keep on it.

I think it would have to be very high levels of nitrate to do any harm to the fish but the lower the better IMO.

Cheers

Joel

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Bugger. I should have asked while I was there. I was thinking of running a canister as purely bio with matrix and whatnot and keep the sump as a mechanical filtration system. But your system sounds more cost effective. Got any pics?

I ask these questions because I am considering a fish room. 20 breeding tanks run off one sump. I have designed this system to save on power but it's downfall is I need to keep the water in great condition. Otherwise breeding will be slow and or the loss of fish from disease. I would rather change my design now rather than a year after it's together...

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The more efficient your biological filtration is, the faster you will get nitrate since thats what you want.... fast efficient removal of ammonia and nitrite. Obviously the more fish biomass and food you put into your closed eco system, the more nitrate you will get as a result. So you can reduce fish load and fish food if you want to reduce nitrate without an increased amount of maintenance.

If you remove fish poo and dirt quickly you will also reduce end nitrate levels since the filters have less waste to convert.

If you water change more frequently you will reduce nitrate. Its easy to set up automated water changes.

If you use a plant tank filter (outside is best) you will reduce nitrate.

A denitrator as already mentioned will also reduce nitrate.

Most aquaculture journals cite nitrate levels of around 400ppm as being harmful for some delicate fish species so 80ppm is still quite low I suspect.

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I have never tested for nitrate in any of my tanks and have never seen a need really. As long as there is no ammonia or nitrites, i figure that a regular water change program will take care of the nitrates.

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The more efficient your biological filtration is, the faster you will get nitrate since thats what you want.... fast efficient removal of ammonia and nitrite. Obviously the more fish biomass and food you put into your closed eco system, the more nitrate you will get as a result. So you can reduce fish load and fish food if you want to reduce nitrate without an increased amount of maintenance.

If you remove fish poo and dirt quickly you will also reduce end nitrate levels since the filters have less waste to convert.

If you water change more frequently you will reduce nitrate. Its easy to set up automated water changes.

I understand the general system of removal of nitrates. I was more trying to ask the question of what nitrate their tank runs at and what they use to remove it. Ie purgin, de nitrate, plants, water changes or like gav just a out of mind out of sight attitude towards nitrate (which isn't a bad thing). I more or less use nitrate as an indication of what my aquariums bio load is. It tells me how many fish I can keep before I must upgrade bio media and whatnot.

I have kept a 6x2x2 fronnie (14 fish) tank and did only fortnightly wc and it never really left 0ppm.

I have then Also kept a 5x2x2 mbuna tank with roughly 50 fish and I wouldn't drop from 80ppm no matter what.

And with the new display 8x2.5x2.5 tanganyikan tank with 60+ fish the highest it's been is 40ppm after a long period between wc. I also am only running crushed coral as bio media at this point so I'm pretty happy so far. Matrix Is on it's way and possibly a uv canister.

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My tanks are between 30-80ppm and I do a 40% water change every Sunday. I have got some marine pure to hopefully reduce nitrates abit more

Where abouts in your filter did you place the marine pure? Pretty sure when i bought it the LFS said to place it in a high flow part of the sump.

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i just got the balls and i have put them in onion bags just sitting in the tank. i think i am better off getting the marine pure slab, rather than the balls as it provides better conditions to remove nitrates. ive also heard it can take 3-4 months for the bacteria to adequately colonise in the marine pure before any results are seen

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