^_^ asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago


UH! i have just found out...after doing like a tone of water changes in my freshwater tropical tank to get the nitrates lower that MY TAP WATER MIGHT CONTAIN NITRATE. This is just annoying because i have in actual fact RAISED the amount of nitrate in the tank now. Oh happy days.


7 Answers

  • Ghapy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Before jumping the gun, test your tap water or bring it to the store and let them do it, but you really should resolve the 'might' part of your statement before doing anything drastic.

    Here's your main options if you do have them:

    1) Stay away from delicate fish, since most common types can handle nitrites up to 60 without any issues. For this it means you really should keep up the water changes so that the tank doesn't keep adding to what you are starting with.

    2) Use Distilled or Reverse Osmosis water, which means buying other products as well to re-introduce buffers and nutrients which have been filtered out or risk unstable water and possibly long term fish health issues.

    3) Use Distilled or RO water mixed with tap water, that way you have the nutrients and buffering, but are diluting the nitrates - a sort of half way solution.

    4) Use a nitrate neutralizing filter media in the filter. This is something you must remember to replace or recharge regularly or it becomes useless, and though it still doesn't beat getting the nitrates out altogether, it's certainly better than nothing.

    5) Use a nitrate neutralizing chemical. I advise against this method because I'm firmly against using any additives in the water that are not absolutely necessary, and firmly convinced (after 20 years fish experience) that most aquariums should only get regular conditioner.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I have no idea what size tank you have, but some info for you on nitrates, nitrate is not nearly as harmful as nitrite, and I don't know what your test reading is. Posting that info would be more helpful.. however based on the info you have provided to me I would suggest at least a 30% water change ( again.. I know that's not what you wanted to hear .. sorry ) and using distilled water or spring water instead of treated tap water. If your tank is still new and is still in the process of cycling that could be adding to the problem of rising nitrate levels and perhaps using a product such as Cycle by Nutrafin or Bio-Spira would help, OR if your tank is not new and is definitely fully cycled and established perhaps an addition of a nylon mesh bag with activated carbon and/or changing the filter pad would help. I hope this helps you and good luck!

    Source(s): 5+ years working in and managing pet stores , former vet assistent and technician
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First: Where Do Nitrites Come From?

    Nitrates are a by-product of nitrite conjugation during the latter stages of the nitrogen cycle, and will be present in some degree in all aquariums. Detritus, decaying plant material, dirty filters, over-feeding, and over-stocking the tank, all contribute to increased production of nitrates.

    Water used to fill the aquarium often has nitrates in it. In the United States, drinking water may have nitrates as high as 40 ppm. Before adding water to your tank test, it for nitrates so you know if the levels are unusually high in your water source. If nitrates are above 10 ppm, you should consider other water sources that are free of nitrates.

    Second: How to Reduce Nitrates

    Unlike ammonia and nitrites, the bacteria that remove nitrates do not like oxygen rich environments. Therefore, conventional filters do not harbor the bacteria that remove nitrates. Although special filters exist that will remove nitrates, such devices are usually expensive compared to other filtration units. Here is what you can do to keep nitrates low.

    Keep the tank clean – Waste ultimately produces nitrates. Cleaner tanks produce fewer nitrates in the first place.

    Don’t overfeed the fish – Overfeeding is a significant contributor to excess nitrates and other undesirable wastes, such as phosphates.

    Water changes – Performing regular water changes with water that has little or no nitrates will lower the overall nitrate level in the tank. RO/DI water is an excellent choice for keeping nitrate levels low.

    Keep live plants – Live plants utilize nitrates, and will help keep nitrates in check. (Java moss and java fern are super easy!)

    Use nitrogen removing filter media – Instead of an expensive denitrator or special filter, use special media in the filter you have. Although they will not lower nitrates dramatically, if used together with other methods the net result will be beneficial.

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  • Ianab
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Whats the actual reading of your tap water?

    That determines how big of a problem you have. If your tap water is 10, you should be able to keep your tank between 20 and 30, no worries.

    If your tap water is really dodgy, more that 30, then you have a problem. You probably need to find a different water source or get a reverse osmosis filter.


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  • John
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Hi, practically all piped water supplies contain varying degrees of nitrate-to quote 3 examples from people I now in the UK: East London is around 40ppm, the Midlands around 15 & Scotland almost zero. As long as you keep it around or below 40 you are fine so your water change regime may have to be increased.

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  • Mel
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    ian'd right, you might need to get an RO filter. or, if you have the money, you could always get a small water tank, but the cost.... well, it might be a little far just for fish tanks. but if you could use it for other things like your garden. it solves your problem, and you are saving water! lol sorry, here in australia everyones like 'omg save water no hoses no car washing' etc so it's kind of sunk in lol. but it true we are in a drought... lucky you, you probably aren't! lol. ok enough of that! thats really all i can think of. quite unfortunate circumstances, eh? well, my tapwater has a high ph, so i'm not exactly lucky either.

    best of luck! =]

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  • 1 decade ago

    Go to your LFS to ask some questions ASAP.!!

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