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daveron

No3 rising very quickly

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daveron

Hi

I have an issue with my old tank, which is around 3 years right now and the issue is NO3.

Currently I am forced to do 25-30% water changes twice a week, and this is just enough to keep the NO3 below 10 (which is still way to high!). I have no idea what is causing the NO3 to raise so quickly as there is just around 50 shrimp and nothing more.

The tank is 30L (8 gal), inert substrate, heavily planted, I add no fertilizers.

Plants are duckweed, anubias, cryptocoryne, and eleocharis parvula carpet.

Two HOB filters - one is sponge, the other one is small sponge + peat + JBL nitratex + seachem matrix (I added two weeks ago, as this thing is supposed to bring down nitrates, but so far no results).

For water changes I use salty shrimp GH +, Azoo Triple Black Water, Azoo Mineral Plus(every second week) and Azoo Ph Down, to adjust the pH of the water that goes into the tank with what's already there.

As for bacteria I add seachem pristine, and seachem stability once a week around 2ml of each.

Feeding is once per 2-3 days, small amounts that gets eaten in a few hours.

So I had that issue already around 5 months back and what I did is bought the JBL bionitratex and added duckweed, and it did solved the problem but to get a good result I had to use two bags of the JBL product for a single tank (the product comes with 4 bags total). Now this thing is quiet expensive imo for the time it lasts, so I would like to ask for any other options to keep the NO3 in check, as the plants are clearly not able to handle that.

From my observations - there is a substantial amount of muck in the substrate, but since the tank is heavily planted I cannot vacuum it.

If needed I can provide some pictures of the tank.

Your help greatly appreciated !

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jayc

When was the last time you cleaned the filter media?

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daveron

I did so as soon as the problem came back. Did not help !

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jayc

Then, the muck in the substrate must be the problem.

Try vacuuming just the top if you can't go deep down due to the plants.

Alternatively, Seachem Purigen  will help. In Aus, we have a cheaper alternative called Macropore. But you might not get that where you are.

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daveron

The thing is that most of the acidity in the tank comes from humic acids, which purigen will absorb (as Seachem confirmed).

I will try to clean the substrate as much as possible.

Just a small update - I tried vacuuming as you suggested and it looks like it is effective, despite the plant carpet as I managed to suck out a lot debris without disturbing the plants and the substrate. I will continue with frequent water changes, but now vacuuming each time I do that, and hopefully the NO3 will stop rising so quickly after a few weeks.

Thanks for the help !

Edited by daveron
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jayc
9 hours ago, daveron said:

looks like it is effective

Good to hear.

 

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pastu

The bacteria you add weekly are not necessary and ríase nitrates

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jayc
29 minutes ago, pastu said:

The bacteria you add weekly are not necessary and ríase nitrates

Interesting theory Pastu.

Where have you read/seen this? Because most experiences I have read are that they reduce nitrates, at least temporarily.

Genuinely interested to know if these bacterial additive in a bottle actually raise nitrates instead of reducing it. Please let me know.

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pastu

Is not a theory. Stop adding them and continúe testing, you will likely see That nitrates stop raising

 

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Cesar
3 hours ago, pastu said:

Is not a theory. Stop adding them and continúe testing, you will likely see That nitrates stop raising

 

@pastu do you have a link, pdf, research paper? or is this more of your personal experience?

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pastu

I dont have links and i have  never used bottled bacteria , nor do i think i ever will. But do a search in Google about bottled bacteria and you will find Several reports  of them raising nitrogen compounds.  Either  their dead  bodies rise nitrogen or they have ammonia added to supply them with food. 

Once the beneficial bacteria population is established in a cycled acuarium, adding  bottled ones can do no good in my humble opiniom 

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jayc

@pastu, thank you. Certainly interesting.

I'll keep an eye out for these reports, but good to know. 

I don't use bottled bacteria either, as I have many established tanks that I can use to seed new tanks. 

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pastu

I really enjoy cycling a tank from zero. Find fascínating the invisible process seemingly Out of the blue , where ammonia  rises, leaching from the substrate ( always use Ada amazonia or help shrimp substratos) then ammonia turns into nitrite and those two dissapear and you are left with nitrate, al i had to do  was wait, i also use seachem matrix or pondguru,s ultimate and that ends Taking Care of nitrate too.

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