Stars Up! asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

How do I reduce nitrate in my first tank?


lol... fish tank.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are two methods for reducing nitrates in your fish tank. Which one is best or most efficient depends on your particular setup.

    1) Nitrate passive control

    2) Nitrate active removal

    1) To address the first, keeping your fish tank from over-population is the first step (properly stocked). Fish feces is high in ammonia, which is converted to nitrite and then to nitrate in a properly aerated tank. You didn't mention your nitrite and ammonia levels, but if you are having a problem with nitrate, you'll want to make sure that highly toxic nitrite is not building up. So the more fish you

    Don't overfeed your fish. If food is persisting on the bottom of the tank for more than 5 minutes, you are over-feeding. Overfeeding accelerates how much nitrate builds up in your system. It is also good to have a mix of top, middle, and bottom feeders to make sure that all the food is consumed quickly.

    Another method for passive nitrate control is putting live plants in your tank. No only to they help consume CO2 and produce oxygen, they thrive on and consume nitrate for you.

    2) While the above steps are a beginning, the build up of nitrate is inevitable. You will need to employ one or more of the physical removal methods below.

    Water change outs are an obvious solution. Removing and replacing 10-25% of your water weekly reduces some suspended nitrates. But, if you are overfeeding your fish, this won't help as your rocks will contain a significant stock of nitrate from rotting food.

    Another solution is activated carbon filtration. Carbon can absorb a significant amount of nitrate and is fairly cheap if you buy it in bulk. I wrap half a cup in nylon mesh, and then place it in the filtration device between the pump and the aeration wheel. This should be changed once a month.

    Every six months I use an aquarium vacuum to clean and remove physical debris (fish waste, uneaten food) from the rocks. It is powered off the suction from a running faucet and gently pulls water from your tank. Just put the nozzle in the rocks and work it around. Of course, you'll want to make sure that your fish are out of the tank. I typically remove 50% of the water and keep my filter going to remove most of the junk that gets stirred up (no carbon). Add 25% of the water back into the tank after removing the chlorine. After everything settles and down and the water clarifies, add your fish back. 24-48 hours later, add back the remaining 25% to bring the tank to full-fill.

    The final method is not technically a "physical" removal, but the use of nitrate-reactive enzymes can also hedge down nitrate. When I can't get to a water change or am out of carbon, products like "Nitra-ban" granuals will chemically react with the nitrate and convert it to, I believe, nitrogen gas (70% of the atmosphere). You'll need to be careful with this product and it shouldn't be used without periodic water changes.

    Hopefully this helped.

    Source(s): 50-gallon aquarium owner, BS in biochemistry.
  • 1 decade ago

    As above mentioned, regular water changes & don't overstock your tank. This increses bio-load, waste, etc. driving up nitrates. Also, good filtration is important & of course keep substrate clean when doing water changes. Best of luck with your first fish tank, & remember, maintence is key to a healthy, happy aquarium & inhabitants within!

  • 1 decade ago

    By changing 25% of the tank water each week.

  • 1 decade ago

    a protien skimmer is a good way, aswell as good waer movement ( keep food off the bottom of the sand) keep cleaning ur filter and do regular water changes about 25% fortnightly or monthly however much ur tank tells you to.

    a test kit is a must! good luck

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  • Dan V
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Nitrates are removed by water changes.

  • 1 decade ago

    a 20-25% water change or live plants.

  • 1 decade ago

    Partial water changes weekly which you should be doing anyway and live plants will use some for food.


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