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Old 4th January 2018   #1
Lily
(lilyrose08)
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Question Too high nitrate level in tank set up affecting plants

Hi there,

So about a week or two ago I set up my 54L tank with plants, sand, stones and some hides for my future axie after cycling my tank.

I had a semi-go at starting the nitrogen cycle with my ammonia source as a cube of frozen bloodworm, waited a couple days and measured my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels every couple days.

I found that the max my ammonia levels reached were 0.5ppm, nitrite reached 0.25ppm most, and my nitrates were fairly high, reaching about 40ppm throughout testing. I used the API Freshwater Master Test Kit.

After this admittedly feeble and inconsistent attempt at starting my tank cycle I went to research the nitrogen cycle and how to start up. I found that lots of other people found the food source ammonia method to be slow, laborious and messy, as I did. So I started looking into other methods, and ended up ordering another method (Dr Tims ammonia and nitrifying bacteria products) as I read good results and reviews.

So after all this, I've been waiting a good few days for my order to go through and leaving my tank alone in the meantime (holiday period and such).

The other day I noticed one of my plants, anubias barteri, had some dark brown patches appearing on a few of its leaves. I quickly looked up what could be wrong and the main answer I found was too high a nitrate level.

I tested for nitrates in my water and the level was somewhere between the 80ppm and the 160ppm mark! So I looked for causes as to why my nitrate level could be that high, and the answers I found said that the filter could be clogged, so I squeezed the sponge out in some aquarium water. (I'm using an Aquael Fan Filter Mini). The other answer was that I may not have enough plants in my aquarium, but I have 5 not including my 3 moss balls.

So I kept the water sample I took, did a 30% water change and there was little to no change in nitrate level. I did another 16% water change and got the same result!

I'm feeling a little demoralised right now and any help or advice anyone can offer a newbie concerning my issues would be appreciated millions!!




Last edited by lilyrose08; 4th January 2018 at 17:58.
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Old 4th January 2018   #2
Lily
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Default Re: Too high nitrate level in tank set up affecting plants

Here are some pictures (my tank needs rearranging for sure, I know) showing the brown leaves, some are hard to see

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Old 15th January 2018   #3
Lily
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Thumbs up Re: (UPDATE) Too high nitrate level in tank set up affecting plants

For anyone coming across this thread with the same problem, I decided to post what I've done to fix my tank water!

I spent a while hugely demoralised before I realised I should have tested the water straight from the tap! As it turns out, the problem was that the tap water I was getting is above 40ppm! That level by itself is dangerous to fish and aquatic animals! Because I live so close to London, in the suburbs, my water quality is nowhere near as good as it should be.

My advice to people with nitrate level issues: test your tap water!

To fix the problem I was looking at expensive RO-DI machines to purify water, but I couldnt find any below 400 that were portable or renter-friendly! (RO-DI machines need to be directly connected to your water pipes, drilling into them). I was about to give up hope, as Tetra's Nitrate-Minus and nitrate removing filter media wouldn't help me with this issue, but I found a nitrate water filter with hozelock connectors!

This filter is mainly used in the same way the RO-DI filters are installed, but it also works by connecting a hose to a tap with a connector section, and using a bucket to catch the water flow on the other side! (I conveniently had a 10L bucket the perfect height). It cost me 35 for the filter, not including shipping, and 9.49 on the Hozelock Connection Set (which includes a tap adapter).

Here's a link to the website I bought the filter: https://www.pozzani.co.uk/product_in...SABEgKoE_D_BwE

You can also find it on various websites, as well as eBay! I went from getting over 40ppm (nearer to 80ppm) to 5.0-10ppm with my filtered water!

This system saved me, and now I can get an axolotl and have it be safe and happy in much better quality water :) My tank is now cycling, not long until it's ready!

I really hope this helps anyone else with similar issues!



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