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Old 12-30-2012, 03:46 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2012
How to lower nitrates?

My tank is at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 40-80 nitrate (hard to tell). When the tank was done cycling I did like a 80% water change, tested again and it hasn't changed. I added 2 live plants the other night and still no change. What other than a water change will lower the nitrate level?

I also added 4 fish the other night, 2 tiger barbs and 2 red wag platys, before then there was no fish and I used ammonia to cycle the tank so no waste should have been built up, so I'm confused?

Oh and it's a 55 gal, if that helps?..
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:53 PM   #2 
Join Date: May 2012
Nothing other than a water change will reduce nitrAtes with out many more plants. You may find you have to do at least a few 50% changes for a few days in a row if it is that high.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:01 PM   #3 
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
I agree do some water changes and also Prime water conditioner will detox the nitrate for 48 hours only then you can add more, its 2 drops per gallon.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:27 PM   #4 
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Water changes - no substitute.

You should be doing weekly 20-50% (11 gallons minimum in your case) water changes in a fully cycled tank, once everything is established and fish are in there.

However, if you're doing fishless cycling like you've done, when you're done with your cycle your nitrates may be sky high. This is normal and means you have a good supply established. An almost 100% change would be needed then - just siphon off down to the gravel but don't rinse it out or anything as it's got your bb, then fill the tank back up again with same temp treated water. If they're still high you may need to do it again or do several smaller 50% water changes before things are ready for your fish.

You do not want to add fish until these nitrates are under control.. Nitrates over 40 are toxic to fish and other more sensitive fish can have problems over 20

Last edited by callistra; 12-30-2012 at 04:30 PM.
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