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hello - high nitrate question!!


revolutionhope
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hello shrimpers,

 

 

cool forum and good vibes here :-) ive been reading for a week or two and thought id post now i have something about which i desperately want clarification.

 

briefly to introduce myself - im in australia and keep some 2foot tanks with different coloured cherry shrimp since early this year after having a lot of fun and success with red cherry shrimp (by accident mostly tbh) in a very very heavily planted 4 foot tank.

 

i wanted to ask peoples opinions on the API nitrate test kit and also how cherries respond to high nitrates - basically i tested in the past with the API kit and always got zero because i stupidly didn't read the isntructions properly regarding shaking the bottle#2 and the test kit as well ...

 

recently i decided to test again and was careful to follow instructions and found that the nitrate raedings in my tank seem to vary from ~80ppm up to 160ppm + !!

 

around a month or two ago i realised i had some issues with stressed out shrimps in some tanks, slow breeding in one tank and even with some deaths :-( i started doing some water changing, reducing feeding frequency and varying diet as well as improving the quality of water i was using made some differences (not sure in which order of importance) and this stopped the deaths, i still havent been able to get my YCS to breed readily though...

 

i think the colours are not as bright as they were and so i thought i should research nitrates i think its hopefully the last parameter/water quality issues i was neglecting and this is when i realised i was testing incorrectly - so now that ive realised i have inadequate plantings (some moss and a very small smattering of duckweed) - i have discovered this high nitrates issue and i would like to resolve the problem asap but without shocking the cherries of course!!

 

id love to ask peoples opinions on two things specifically (and any other expertise that may be offered to me!!! - i just love learning about these creatures they are so much fun to keep and i hope to progress to other critters soon!)

 

1 - i have googled this API testkit insanely high reslts but found mixed results (of course - this IS the internet after all...) hoping some people here can shed some light (or increase my confusion LOL) about this for me!

 

2 - regardless of how overly high the nitrate result may be - can anyone give me advice about reducing the nitrate levels? currently my plan is to plant some new mosses, do my best to encourage my duckweed to grow and spread in the worst affected the tanks, and increase water changes.. Im debating whether to add seachem prime every couple of days while i get on top of the problem because their site suggests that it can neutralise the toxic effects of nitrate.. and im also considering the use of seachem purigen as i run eheim canisters on each of my tanks. my budget is limited though so i need to be convinced of the benefits of either of these options!

 

thanks in advance for any feedback/advice that you shrimpsters can offer and im looking forward to sharing my experiences here, offering what limited shrimpkeeping wisdom i do have so far to others, and certainly continuing to learn from the broad depth of knowledge there is here!!

 

love n peace

 

will

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Hi Revolutionhope,

 

I have had inconsistent results using the API nitrate test.  The problem I have with their test is if you don't shake the bottle sufficiently, not only will the current test results be affected, all future test will be as well since the ratio of components in the bottle are no longer correct.  I now use the Sera test.  It is more steps, but I like the fact that if I use too much or too little of a reagent and mess up a test, it won't affect future tests.

 

As for lowering nitrate in your tank, I think the best way is through water changes.  I do recommend you add Purigen.  My understanding is it won't reduce the nitrate already in your tank but rather it will prevent organics in the water from entering the nitrogen cycle.  In other words, these organics won't be creating future nitrates so once you get your nitrate level down it will stay that way.

 

This is just my opinion of course.  Good Luck.

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Hi Revolutionhope,

 

As for lowering nitrate in your tank, I think the best way is through water changes.  I do recommend you add Purigen.  My understanding is it won't reduce the nitrate already in your tank but rather it will prevent organics in the water from entering the nitrogen cycle.  In other words, these organics won't be creating future nitrates so once you get your nitrate level down it will stay that way.

 

This is just my opinion of course.  Good Luck.

Correct.

Also remember to put Purigen last or after your bio media.

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api is ok to know if your in a good zone.

light orange is good.

i would get a new test.

 

i don't know the affects of nitrates are to shrimp,but water changes is best to lower nitrates.

 

if you do a 10% WC you remove 10% nitrates.

i would do 10% every day until under 20ppm.

if you remove more nitrates then it produces between WC's it wont get out of hand.

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thanks all :-) you have been vrry reassuring and helpful.

I am using a new testkit zodiac as I couldnt believe the result from the previous kit!!

im wondering if 10% wc every day might be too frequent and stressful though?

im curious about purigen I dont understand how it works. stupid question im sure - but if it prevents organics from forming nitrates - then how do you have plant growth and continuing biofilm development?

love n peace

will

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Purigen will not instantly zap out all organics - it just decreases the amount. It also does become exhausted, so check periodically and change it out or recharge it when it turns brown. I agree that it should help in your situation but that it isn't a magic bullet (there is no such thing, although water changes come close).

 

As for the water changes, think of it like this. Your shrimp are (presumably) stressed from the high nitrate levels already, and will continue to be stressed from that factor the longer they remain in that water. By doing a 10% daily change, you are lowering the amount of stress they are under from that problem. I think the benefits will outweigh the concerns about changing too much of their water at once. And 10% is not that much. To be honest, if it were me, and the nitrates really were 160 ppm or above (definitely use a new kit to determine this), then I would even gradually step up the changes to get them down faster. I'd do 10% for 3 days, then go up to 20% for 3 days, all the way up to and beyond 50% if they do not appear stressed. Assuming you are matching temperature, GH, KH, pH, TDS (TDS likely to be less for incoming water since it will not be high in nitrates but obviously the less change at once the better), healthy shrimp should be able to handle it. One of my friends does a 50% water change on his planted shrimp tank once every 2 weeks.

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Changing water everyday would make your tank parameters very unstable.

 

Assuming this is how it works where % of water changed is nitrate/% water changed = amount nitrate removed.

 

It's going to take quite a long time to get to < 5ppm.

 

I suggest just putting purigen and let your plants do it's work.

 

You did say it's a very very heavily planted tank.

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hi poopians i am definitely looking into getting purigen - unfortunatelyit was my old tank that was very heavily planted - i hafe some duckweed that survived like a cockroach in a nuclear holocaust - im encouraging that to grow in my new tanks now, the new tanks only have a little moss and duckweed is just starting to take off :-) i changed out 10% already once and will do again in another day. ive been setting up bottles with tinyholes and airlines to drip water in slowly sohopefully it wont be too stressful if i do this once every few days.

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