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Re: Nitrates

Diana writes:

>     The nitrates in my tank continue to remain high or climb back up to
>  high levels after a water change.  I don't know what to do.  Bought some
>  nitrate stuff you put in the filter, but no results yet.  How long does it
>  take this gravelly looking stuff to work?  I read-up on the Krib about the
>  nitrogen cycle and mature tanks, but the subject stops at nitrates.  Aren't
>  the plants supposed to kick in and utilize it and break it down further?  
>  discus are not happy and neither am I. I am not a chemist or biologist. 
>  Should I just cut back on feeding?  What are my options and what happens
>  after I have reached the noble heights of ammonia>nitrite>nitrate?  Help!

Unless you add something to remove the nitrate, that is the end of the chain. 
 Yes, plants CAN reduce the nitrate levels, but in order to do so, the plant 
growth rate has to match or exceed the fish ammonia output.  If your tank is 
overstocked, then the fish will outrun the plants.  Livestock reduction 
combined with more frequent water changes is the simplest solution.  Also, 
how much nitrogen is listed in your plant food?  If there's enough there to 
meet the plants' needs, then the plants won't keep up with even one little 
neon.  There are de-nitrating filters out there.  They're spendy and I don't 
know how well they work.

I think the secret is balance between the fish load , the plant load , and 
the water changes.

Bob Dixon
Cichlid Trader List Administrator        o
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