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Thread: Nitrate in tap water...
04-27-2013, 10:46 AM #1
Nitrate in tap water...
It's been one thing after another so far.
Cycling an aquarium with one poor albino shark (Epalzeorhynchos munense)... did not want to be doing this but unfortunately the seller threw out all the media and replaced it with new.
Been going for a few days and ammonia is between 0.25 and 0. Nitrites aren't reading... but joy of joys I appear to be getting around 40~80ppm of Nitrate straight out the tap. I've tested the water in the tank, the water after it's been dechlorinated and just straight out the tap. All three read the same. Tank isn't cycled so I know it's not the end result of that.
Tested with an API Freshwater master test kit. Tested multiple times, shaking the second bottle for the full 30 seconds.
I've researched this and come back with the information that I need either an algae scrubber, RO filter, nitrate filter or several chemicals which most people are saying do nothing. They either detoxify the nitrate, turn it into something worse or make a negligible difference.
Living in a single bedroom flat I've not really got the room for an algae scrubber and can't exactly afford the filters which all require expensive monthly cartridge replacements. If there's no other alternative and if the chemicals really are as bad as people say, I can somehow make the room for a scrubber but it's really far from ideal (though admittedly pretty neat looking). Not even sure if I can afford the electric bill with all that hefty lighting...
Anyone got any idea where to go from here? Thanks in advance.
04-27-2013, 11:11 AM #2
Ah, one of those regions of the UK..
Hmm.. there's some options, resin based filters like this one: http://www.pozzani.co.uk/water-filte...duct_info.html which is relatively cheap
Another option, plant well with fast growing plants. I've noticed that amazon frogbit consumes amazing amounts of nitrate for such a small plant.
Third option, bite the bullet, get a small reverse osmosis system. Entry level systems costs about 50-60 quid.. If you treat that with care you won't need a new filter all that often. You could mix tap/ro in 70/30 probably.
Fourth option, make a few calls to aquatic shops in your area, see if anyone sells RO water.
In any case, you might want to bother your water company a bit, this level is at or even over what's healthy for human consumption
04-27-2013, 12:10 PM #3
Norfolk, unfortunately. Despite being in the middle of town the surrounding land is pretty much all farming... I'm guessing that's the cause. In hind sight I perhaps should have checked the tap water before committing to the fish...
I'll look into the resin based filter. My main concern with that initially was if it would be able to handle large amounts of water. I own a 55 gallon which isn't running, I've been setting it up for about six months now as a really low end brackish tank. Also own the 75 litre which contains the poor old shark, that will eventually become a quarantine tank and the shark will be going in a second 55g (in a few months time) so I can expand it to a community tank.
Not sure how cost effective it would be if the filter had to handle water changes for 110 (UK) gallons of tanks...
The Amazon frogbit looks super interesting. Everything I've looked at about it seems to state that it would do well in both tanks, even the brackish. I'll get some into the 75 litre and see how it works. Just need to replace the bulbs as the "day" one is blown and the night effect will be useless. Will swap them both out for two "day lights". Not sure how effective 30w of lighting will be... but it's worth a shot.
Unfortunately no shops sell RO water near here. I don't own transport as I usually walk everywhere so can't even drive out and get some.
Of course, my commitment is to the fish I already have as opposed to what I want to setup. If I need to downsize heavily to keep it all within budget, I'll do it. My interest has always been with brackish fish and it'd be a kick in the teeth to have to pack that down but if it's a choice between letting the fish suffer and having a brackish tank or a happy fish and no brackish. The choice is crystal clear, every time.
I will prod Anglian water and see what's going on there though.
Thanks a lot! I'll go away and chew on this, see what I can sort out.
04-27-2013, 01:22 PM #4
High nitrates in humans is also dangerous especially in babies. Many links on this but I just grabbed the first one I saw.
Have you been having a lot of rain lately? I would test that tap water without adding the dechlorinator to it. It's not needed to do a test anyway and to test it without just might give you a different result.
(Process of elimination.) update: Never mind. I just read your post again!
Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 04-27-2013 at 01:24 PM.
04-27-2013, 04:52 PM #5
It did rain yesterday but it's actually been the nicest week we've had so far this year. Unsure if it'd be enough to increase the field run off? I'll keep testing and look for any noticeable changes over the next few weeks.
In the meantime I've decided to go down the floating plant path... if that doesn't push it down into acceptable levels in the tank, I'll invest in the nitrate removal filter. Tank is really well oxygenated and I'm not seeing any signs of distress. He's just continuously looking for food as always.
Thanks for the help! Lot more confident I can get this sorted now.
04-27-2013, 05:30 PM #6
04-27-2013, 05:52 PM #7
Sometimes nitrates will raise like that if there's been a lot of melting snow or heavy rains and often it's short term. Hope so in your case. I lived in FL for several years and always had to have my well water go into a unit that filtered out all that stuff. Of course FL water is pretty darned gross and wells were swallow, too.
I'd suggest a nitrate reducing sponge like Purigen or De-Nitrate by Seachem's or whatever is available in your region. There are even nitrate reactors to put the product in if you don't want to use a bag.
04-27-2013, 06:34 PM #8
This is why I ask on the forums as well as research. I'd never of thought of that.
So if this nitrate is temporary, there are products out there I can just run to get through the spell. Good to know. My "Fishkeeping" list of bookmarks is becoming unmanageably large...
When I first read up about it and saw tons of stuff on algae scrubbers and £300 RO units I was just about ready to kick it in.
04-28-2013, 03:07 AM #9
Products like Chemi-Pure, Purigen, etc, are good. Some of it comes in bags already packed and others come loose in jars that you have to add to a mesh bag or even a pair of panty hose would work. Nitrates of 80 is pretty astonishing, tho. 40 is manageable and could be contained with a nitrate reducer and even some floating plants. Plants will help but certainly won't reduce nitrates to the extent you need it lowered. Those reactors work very well if it comes to that. Good luck and I hope your problem corrects itself.
04-28-2013, 03:10 AM #10
Is higher nitrate levels common around the UK
I have often wondered why algae scrubbers were so popular in the UK, but if it is farly common to have higher nitrates, that certainly could explain the popularity.If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]