View Full Version : High nitrate in tap and discus not eating. Help!!!

01-27-2014, 01:40 AM
Shot my discus in my planted 100 gallon, a week ago. 4 discus 4,5 -5.5 inches. Only two of them eat dry food, tetra sera granules, one all the time, the other more less, and the other two never eat anything. They all swim properly, not hiding, acting normal. They do not eat my BF mix yet, i even tried carols method of only BH, still didnt eat.

Amonia nitrite zero, Nitrate in tap and in tank 40ppm and up (api liquid test chart is hard to read on colors they are all close).
WC everyday about 50%. Temperature 30 degree celcius.

Can high nitrate levels be related to mydiscus not eating? And what shall i do?

Since high nitrates in tap, everytime i WC i add more nitrates into tank, the ones that were used up by plants, come back again.

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01-27-2014, 04:13 AM
Are you in the states? When you mentioned your tap's nitrate is 40ppm I was quite surprised. So a quick google showed that the EPA set the maximum contaminant level for nitrates in municipal water @10ppm. Have you contacted your local city gov to confirm this? Another possibility is your api kit is rendering inaccurate measurement.

01-27-2014, 04:15 AM
Here's a useful link if you live in the US: http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/nitrate.cfm#four

01-27-2014, 04:54 AM
No i dont live in us. Tap water is like that here.

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01-27-2014, 06:31 AM
1. Make sure your test kit is accurate - purified bottled water should give you a zero reading on the test. If it is accurate (or confirmed by your water supplier) then

2. You'll need to pretreat your water...There are many methods including RO or bacterial denitrification (requires growing a type of bacteria in low to no oxygen environment...in deep soil or commercially available beads that you put in a filter). Lots of resources online....just google it. I think there are resin columns that you can attach to the faucet to remove nitrates and chlorine/chloramine, but I don't have any experience with them (API?).

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01-27-2014, 08:48 AM
40 ppms with Discus can cause stress, or in this case...add to the stress of your new fish....but alone should not cause to much issue....as nitrates climb higher, the fish often show adverse behavior,skittishness, and darkening. Discus do not tolerate high nitrates as other fish species sometimes do, IME.

How planted is that tank...usually in well planted tanks, Nitrates are consumed rapidly...can you post a picture?

Possible solutions,
1)Filtration to remove the nitrates
2)Adding more plants such as terrestrial vines like pothos and Philodendron...These rooted into the tank can suck up alot of nitrates..
3) water treatments that binds nitrates.. such as seachem Prime, supposedly it is then consumed by your biofilter
4) There are many Nitrate targeting filters...sumps often work well to lower nitrates as well.

Setting up a storage barrel and prefiltering your water with something like this ...http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Blue-Professional-ADB41005-Nitrate/dp/B004HSUO20 may be a temporary solution.


01-27-2014, 01:23 PM
Here are pocs of my tank - http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showthread.php?t=111638

While i have RO unit in kitchen for drinking water, it wont be practical for this large tank, because the one i have will wait whole day to fill up 100 gallons. And in my apartment indint want any barrels or anything like that. I use three stage inline filter with carbon block and such, to filter tap water directly into tank, it also removes chlorine but i still add a bit of dechlorinator in tank just to be safe.

I am thinking of building sump/ refugium in the future, as i heard it helps take of nitrates, but again - how much plants can a refugium hold? My tank right now has far more many than that.. So i am not sure if sump is a good idea for me. I might just add another external canister, less mess than sump. I hear success stories with even less filtration on planted designs.,

I am also trying to buy purigen for nitrate absorbtion or something similar, they dont sell them her and they dont ship from USA here, so i am trying to find ways,,

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01-27-2014, 05:33 PM
RE purigen: I'm not quite sure purigen removes nitrates directly. You might want to check with the Seachem website directly. I believe it lowers production of nitrates and other nitrogenous wastes by binding the organic material that later get metabolized to nitrates. If you already have 40-80ppm out of the tap, purigen will not lower it, but may help prevent nitrates from going higher in your tank.

RE plants: Floating plants like water sprite, water lettuce and duckweed grow suck up nitrates.... Like weeds. If you have a refugium, you can also do some fast growing stem plants. But that sounds more complicated than what you are looking for.

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