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Old 09-13-2011, 09:29 PM   #1 
BettaMiah
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EMERGENCY. Need to lower Nitrates?

Hi, so both my Goldfish tank and my Betta tank has high Nitrates. No ammonia, just Nitrates.

How do I lower it? I called PetSmart and the guy was really nie and actually seemed like he knew what he was talking about.

He said lots more live plants and a moss ball, as well as Bamboo for the Betta tank.

He also said 25% water change. But I am so afraid of doing anything more than 10%.


What would you guys do?

I need to get them down ASAP.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:35 PM   #2 
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Help! I have no clue what to do. I need answers!!
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:39 PM   #3 
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Firstly, how high is high? Fish can handle nitrate levels of around 80ppm, but most people keep them around 5-10ppm.

However, if you mean nitrite, this can be toxic in levels as low as 0.25ppm.

Both of these can be removed through water changes only if your source water has lower values than your aquarium water. It's no use, using tap water with a nitrate reading of 40ppm if you're trying to lower it.

Floating plants such as duckweed and hornwort are good nitrate sponges, but only if they're healthy. Unhealthy or dying plants are only going to foul your water further.

A 10% water change isn't going to change anything. A 50-70% is probably better, but I would split this into two over the course of a day to avoid shocking your fish (particularly if we are discussing nitrate and not nitrite). If it's nitrite, do as big a water change as possible until that value reads 0ppm.

Finally, how big is your goldfish tank? They need a lot of space as they will produce a lot of waste, which equals a lot of nitrate in a cycled tank.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:46 PM   #4 
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Actually, I am not sure. I am a noob when it comes to fish keeping, it is pink. Hot pink. It is on the very top of my test strips.

I know Goldfish need huge tanks, he is currently in too small of a tank for him, I must grow him out a bit before my mom will let me get a 40 gallon. And then in a few years a 75 gallon.

I run double filtration for him.

Will 25% do anything?
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:46 PM   #5 
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Waterchanges, as mentioned above, are the best thing for both, as well as live plants.

Edit: 25% will not do much. Do 50%, and when you put in the new water, do it slowly and gently so the fish can acclimate a bit before the next bucket of water gets tossed in. Doing large waterchanges is not harmful so long as it is not done too quickly, or done to a cycled tank.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:55 PM   #6 
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Test strips are pretty unreliable. I would recommend saving up or getting your parents to purchase you a couple of API liquid test kits. That way you can see what's going on a bit more accurately.

You can break up a 50% water change into two 25% water changes, if you are concerned about harming your fish. Just leave a couple of hours in between and then do the second one. This way it won't be so much of a shock to go from a high level of nitrates to a low level all of a sudden.

Your goldfish tank is probably going to need 2-3 40-50% water changes a week if it's not an appropriate size. Because they produce so much ammonia, this gets converted to nitrate by your biological filter, which in turn builds up to higher levels in a small tank with infrequent water changes.

Seachem Prime is a really good water conditioner. It detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and is much more concentrated than a lot of brands on the market. I would highly recommend this if you don't already use it, as it can give you some breathing space between water changes.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:56 PM   #7 
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Okay. It isn't cycled.


It looks hot pink.

The Petstore peeps told me to be careful for it.

Okay. Thank you. I will save this post so I can look for that.

Last edited by BettaMiah; 09-13-2011 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:10 PM   #8 
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If your tank isn't cycled (do you mean your betta or goldfish tank, or both?), you shouldn't be getting high readings of nitrate. This is the end product of the cycle and is only formed once the biological filter (or beneficial bacteria) has established itself.

The only way to get high nitrates (with an 'A') in an uncycled tank, is for your tap water to have a high nitrate reading, or for your test strips to be faulty.

However, an uncycled tank can give high readings of nitrites (with an 'I') and this is something that needs to be removed from your aquarium as soon as possible.

This is why it is important to have properly calibrated liquid test kits, particularly with uncycled tanks. It just lets you know what is actually going on, as opposed to strips which can give false readings.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:16 PM   #9 
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I called, it it Nitrates. Hot pink.

So... no worry.

Wow. Then that means I have good water! Yay.
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