Nitrates

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anubis63

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OK, now it's my turn to ask a question. Everything in my 100 gal. tank is optimal accept for the nitrates which I couldn't seem to get below 40 way to high for Discus. I finally took everything out of my aquarium and really vacuumed the substrate when I took everything out I found how filthy it had gotten. I took out about 50% of the substrate then I found the ammonia had gone up to .25 but that went to zero after a couple of hours the Nitrates are still reading between 10 and 20 on top of my 4 filters I added air stones because I have heard that it will carry Nitrates to the top where they are then released into the atmosphere. I am still trying to get the Nitrates to 5 or registering 0. Does anyone have ideas? Oh, my tank is not over stoked and I don't over feed them.
 

myswtsins

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Sorry to hear you are having this problem, let the detective work begin! Have you tested your source water to make sure their are no nitrates in it? 4 filters gives a lot of placing for detritus to accumulate and release nutrients/toxins back into the water, could need a cleaning. A lot of people opt for a bare bottom tank for discus for the exact reason you saw, stuff collects in there and fouls the water. BTW, I believe the air stone theory works for ammonia not nitrates.
 

anubis63

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Sorry to hear you are having this problem, let the detective work begin! Have you tested your source water to make sure their are no nitrates in it? 4 filters gives a lot of placing for detritus to accumulate and release nutrients/toxins back into the water, could need a cleaning. A lot of people opt for a bare bottom tank for discus for the exact reason you saw, stuff collects in there and fouls the water. BTW, I believe the air stone theory works for ammonia not nitrates.
Hi, you know what I failed to mention that I tested the sink water Sacramento county just started adding ammonia to the tap water because of the drought which is why I think my ammonia reading was .25 but went back to 0 after a couple of hours but that ammonia caused the tap water to have nitrates in it which read 10 that's a huge problem right there. You are also correct about cleaning the filter hoses it's just allot of work but I will have to do it. Thanks for your reply I can use all the help I can get. :)
 

myswtsins

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Just need to use a dechlorinator like Prime to treat the source ammonia. Do you age your water? If you aged the water with a air stone it should drive off the ammonia as well.
 

discuspaul

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It's not good that you have 10 ppm of nitrates in your tap water, but nonetheless, if you do sufficiently large & frequent wcs, you should be able to stabilize the nitrates to not more than 10 in your tank.
Test your tap water again to ensure your tap water indeed has 10 ppm of nitrates.
Some discus-keepers who have nitrates in their tap water employ an RO water system to mitigate the nitrates in their water source.
 

Rbishop

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I'm not a believer in that an air stone gets rid of ammonia...
 

myswtsins

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I would agree aeration to remove ammonia doesn't work in all situations but I have had it work for me in very small amounts. It would not be my first choice tho, in general Prime would be and in the case of discus RO water is what I would use anyways. But he has kept discus for nearly 20 years and I have never so I'm not gonna tell him how to raise his fish. ;)
 

Rbishop

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Maybe I missed it...didn't see where Paul ever mentioned aeration to lower ammonia.

If...IF...aeration got rid of ammonia, we would never have to cycle tanks. All you would do is put in massive air stones. Ammonia would go away, no nitrites formed then no nitrates..... :p
 

fishorama

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Plants can also help lower nitrate especially fast growing ones & remove ammonia too. Are you using ferts for your plants? Nitrate is in the "macros" ferts; the N of N-P-K, KNO3 etc.so you might not want to add more. What plants do you have? Some are happy without adding ferts, some sturdy enough to vac lightly into the top 1/4" of the substrate (crypts & most carpet plants hate this). Try for a "swirl & vac" technique to help get up the "crud" trapped. Dead leaves also release N so remove them often.

Some people grow houseplants like pothos out the tank back top to lower N as well. Roots in tank water, leaves out. Depends on lighting for them & aesthetics for you. I haven't done this.
 

FreshyFresh

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Why would ammonia ever be added to treated city water, especially for drought/shortages?

I've seen people report measuring small amounts of ammonia, when chloramine is being used in their city water as opposed to chlorine.

To the OP, what was your normal water change frequency and volume?
 
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