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Re: nitrate

> Because of the ph problems I prefer to minimize water
> changes, but the buildup of nitrates is problematic.

Well then do water changes. Add baking soda and Some MgSO4+ CaCl2.
All are very cheap and after you do it a couple of times it will be easy to
gauge the dose of Baking soda and CaCl2+ MgSO4. Eg 3/4 teaspoon of baking
soda, 1/8" of the MgSO4, 1/2 teaspoon CaCL2 for each 40 gallons of water you
change etc. Whatever you want the GH/KH to be.

The stuff is easy, after testing a couple of times you won't need to test

> I currently change about 50% water once a month. Smaller
> water changes still cause ph problems, and have to occur
> more frequently, so I prefer one big one.

Then pre mix the water with the baking soda and the GH stuff before you add
it in a trash can etc.
> I know I have a high fish load, but I'm coming from
> the fish angle... in fact I want to increase fish
> load to the generally recommended goldfish stocking level
> of 1 fish per 10 gallons (instead of my current level of
> 1 fish per 30 gallons (counting the wet/dry sump)).
> Needless to say I have algae problems. Because of the
> goldfish, my temperature is ~ 65-75 deg F.

Temp's fine. Goldfish are herbivores. It's like keeping grass with goats in
a small pasture and expecting the grass to do well.

and many
> of the rapid bunch plants that might take up the
> nitrates don't survive predation. I'd be interested
> in extremely fast growing rooted plants. Bunch plants
> get uprooted by the fish and are difficult to replant
> in the tall tank. Anacharis was growing well for a while
> but I had to trim and replant them and they all died.
> I grew crinums for a while but once algae grew on them
> they changed from unappetizing into goldfish treats...
> I'm considering two options:

Water sprite?

> 1. Making a DIY coil denitrator to reduce nitrates. It
> seems like this might be the best solution, but all the
> information I'm finding on the web is old (e.g. 1999)
> and I'd like to see what the current wisdom is before
> taking action.

It works.

> 2. Create a Nitrate sump, a separate tank that would grow
> java moss or some other plant to act as a nitrate sponge.

Try emergent plants like peace lilies etc.
They are better at removing NO3.

Here's a very old method that worked great:


> Don't know if this would work, or if it would remove enough
> nitrates. One study showed a six inch goldfish in 12.5 gallons
> of water fed twice a day built up 30 ppm of nitrate in
> seven days. I don't feed that often, but I'm sure you get
> the gist of my problem.

That's about the amount of NO3 I add per week. But that NO3 starts off as
NH4, wet/dry filters are very effective at conversion but at some point you
have some NH4 present, enough for the algae to get an easy meal(which ain't
much) and pester you.

I'll use the 10 family members living in a small bathroom for a week without
flushing the toilet as a comparison when you overstock the tank.

 Don't pack your tank. Your fish live longer, you will provide a suitable
long term home for them. You can also feed them more/better.

If you have to have a certain number of fish etc, then do them a favor and
get a bigger tank.

Tom Barr

> Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to provide all the
> background information. Anyone have any feedback or comments?
> Thanks for your help.
> Maggie