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[APD] High NO3 reading

Hi y'all,

I am puzzled about NO3 levels that I am getting from my test kits lately. I tested my water a number of times with relatively new Aquarium Pharmaceutical's test kit and a brand new Salfert's test kit, and the results are consistently high around 30 to 40 ppm. I have been sticking to Tom Barr's recommendation on the tank maintenance and I never had a problem until this year (this tank was set up in 2000.) I stopped adding KNO3 for two weeks or so and the NO3 level dropped to 10 to 15 ppm range, but some of my plants look really nitrogen deficient now. I think my fish load is moderate (20 cardinal tetras, 5 harlequin rasboras, three or four coridoras, two SEA and a few more small tetras) for a heavily planted 75 gallon tank (equipped with four 55W PC's and a pressurized CO2 system.) I have not changed fertilizing or fish feeding regimens over the 5 years. Is it time to clean substrate (100% Fluorite) drastically or change out my 5 years old media in my Eheim 2026? I cannot really figure out where my extra nitrate is coming from. My tap water contains less than 5 ppm of nitrate (it usually read 0.)


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