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Thread: nitrates at 160ppm

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    Default nitrates at 160ppm

    I did a water test last night and my nitrates were up to 160ppm. I think I know the root cause but I am wondering how quick I can get those down, or if it is too late. the fish are already showing signs of high nitrates such as heavy breathing. Would two water changes a day help?

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    Default Re: nitrates at 160ppm

    A 90% water change will reduce your level by 90% and so on...
    Adjust your wc schedule to keep the nitrates <10 max for optimum health
    Last edited by danotaylor; 03-11-2020 at 09:34 AM.

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    Default Re: nitrates at 160ppm

    Quote Originally Posted by danotaylor View Post
    A 90% water change will reduce your level by 90% and so on...
    Adjust your wc schedule to keep the nitrates <10 max for optimum health

    so im acting in time to save the fish?

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    Default Re: nitrates at 160ppm

    Changing most of the water will remove most of the nitrates. Start with that and see how the fish respond

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    Default Re: nitrates at 160ppm

    I sure hope so! What size are they? What was the root cause that the nitrates got so high?

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    Default Re: nitrates at 160ppm

    Quote Originally Posted by danotaylor View Post
    I sure hope so! What size are they? What was the root cause that the nitrates got so high?

    I am not sure. I think when I cleaned the cannister filter, a lot of the residual dirt inside came out into the tank when it started back up. They are all adults, sizes from 3 inches to 5

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    Default Re: nitrates at 160ppm

    It's not the canister filter. Remember, all that dirt was always in contact with your water column, so it's nothing new to the tank. However, difficulty in cleaning is one reason I've abandoned canister filtration.

    Instead, I recommend you double check the test results by taking a water sample to your local fish store. Discus will start to act badly at 20 ppm.

    Willie
    Why don't I read Harry Potter novels? Because I'm an adult.

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    Default Re: nitrates at 160ppm

    First verify the value. That the fish are alive if this is true is fairly good proof that this is a long term process that they were able to adjust to. To my understanding this level is lethal to a fish coming from water with a level under 20.

    Nitrates exert an osmotic pressure, meaning as the tissue accumulation goes up the water content both inside the cells and the circulatory system goes up. In addition as a negative ion, they exert an ionic pressure and displace other negative ions. In human medicine we have to deal with this with diabetics and correcting the glucose too fast has bad consequences. I have no idea what the best rate of correction should be but would be much safer to go in smaller increments. 90% at 160 immediately drops the nitrates to 16, as a guess I would do 50% to get to 80, then 25% 2-3 hours later to get to 60, then 33% to get to 40 then 50% to get to 20, then 50% to get to 10. Then monitor frequently and change enough to stay below 20. More water used but safer than a one time drop of If the fish show distress within a few minutes after the water change then I would reduce the % and slow the rate of change of nitrates. So what did you do?

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    Default Re: nitrates at 160ppm

    I recently helped someone with very high nitrates who later found a dead fish hidden her planted tank, but even then the nitrates were only up to 40. 160 is through the roof. I would buy another test kit or have the water tested by someone else.

    I also talked to another person whose nitrates were at 40 from tap. Turned out the water company was flushing lines or something and it was temporary and normal by the next day...

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