High nitrate?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by robert2191, 21 Feb 2016.

  1. robert2191

    robert2191 Member

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    Hi , does my nitrate look to high
    7ec24fae4b9f1c0403cfd7176f364d8b.jpg
    Thanks


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  2. darren636

    darren636 Member

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    It looks over 40 ppm
    But that could be due to macro ferts?
     
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  3. robert2191

    robert2191 Member

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    Thanks would my fish be ok


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  4. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Robert
    My Nitrate from the tap is approximately 50ppm!
    Test your tap - water!
    These test kits are not that accurate....they a frowned on by a lot of aquarists on here!
    Your fish will be okay....do a large water change to remove some nitrate!
    hoggie
     
  5. robert2191

    robert2191 Member

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    Thank you i did a water change yesterday , i will test my tap water as soon as i can
    Thank again


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  6. Miss Pennyapple

    Miss Pennyapple Member

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    Hi, I switched from using the API nitrate test to the Nutrafin Nitrate test. I was finding the API test was impossible to distinguish between 40 and 80 - the Nutrafin test is much easier to read colour-wise. Also, it's worth remembering that nitrate tests generally are not very reliable anyway! If the fish are happy, I rarely test my water these days. :)
     
  7. robert2191

    robert2191 Member

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    Thanks
    I don't test my water often but i have lost a few fish in the past couple of weeks so I decided to test it.


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  8. Swordplay

    Swordplay Member

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    Fish will generally cope with high nitrates for fairly long periods of time. A good indication that it is high if you are worried about test kits is that they can start to appear sluggish and lethargic,as has been suggested a large water change is probably the best solution.
     
  9. NathanG

    NathanG Member

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    I see no way to distinguish between 40-80 ppm on that card.

    Not sure what test kits are actually recommended tbh. The mainstream nutrafin or tetra kits are bashed to high heaven and api seems to be accepted somewhat. I must admit i've only tested my water once in 5 months via a LFS, i just don't know what to buy.
     
  10. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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  11. zozo

    zozo Member

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    @ian_m do you realy have 400 pound + of testing kits in your cabinet? :) :eek:
    I kinda wonder, if the cheaper ones are that inaccurate what would de percentage discrepancy be? How far are they if or can they be off.. Is it, or could it be, they are completely useless? I guess you have even bigger problems if a bit color blind without knowing it... :rolleyes:
     
  12. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't test the water as there is no reason to. Just watch drop checker and plants to see water quality.

    Correct.

    The issue is the test results are affected by other things in the water other then the salt you are trying to test for. Nitrate tests are influenced by presence of chloride & chlorine, ammonia tests influenced by chloride and dechlorinator. So much so unless you know what else is in the water the test results are meaningless. In some of the above LaMotte tests, you neutralise the chloride (and other ions) first then use the result to choose the colour chart &/or reagent for the colour test.
     
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  13. zozo

    zozo Member

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    Ok thanks, me neither i'm not a drop tester, at least not for plant growth other than kH and gH.. But bought the basic sets for fish health like ammonia and nitrite.. And lately installed a moving bed filter of which is said they can up the nitrate levels significantly, so i bought a set of that out of curiousity.. I thought i can live with a safe range of discepancy and these products are kinda based on that.. But if they are that useless i can even save the €10 i spend on it and buy fish food or something..

    I know for a fact our water company uses zerro chlorine nor dechlorinators.. But could be mistaken or informed falsly, always thought chlorine only excists in gass form and eventualy will degass from the water especialy rather faster if it's moving water.

    Is there a internet reference around with a list of elements which can corrupt a test other than chlorine? Actualy i would say, test for chlorine first before you test for ammonia. But ok then i wonder why the test description leaves this out.? Hmm already always kinda thought LFS stands for Local Fooling Shop, now i'm realy convinced.. :shifty::rolleyes:
     
  14. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Not necessarily. Chlorine gas will generally dissipate from the water, if left for 24hours. But chloramine is also used, around the world, as its doesn't dissipate so easily. Chloramine must be removed chemically either suitable well maintained carbon filter or dechlorinator. Some countries, notable Netherlands use hydrogen peroxide to sterilise their water supply.
     
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  15. zozo

    zozo Member

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  16. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Some areas of Netherlands do use chlorine/chloramine, you need to check with your water company.
     
  17. zozo

    zozo Member

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    I did :) thank you, i live rather close to the German/Belgium border, (that's why the rest of our country calls us Half Germans and Reserve Belgiums) we get our water from the German Eifel area.. Sweet, soft and clean, brewed after "Dem Deutsche Reinheidsgebot". The Germans are very Grundig when it comes to commandments. :pompus:

    my fish and I feel very lucky with that.. :) I know up north they have some issues with their water supply..
     
  18. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    My water comes from Twyford, through chalk and is very pure but rock hard....

    The draw point is a tiny concrete bunker next door to the old Victorian water softening works.
    http://www.twyfordwaterworks.co.uk/
     
  19. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    It is the difference between chlorine gas (Cl2) (and the <"hypochlorite ion"> (ClO−)) and the chloride ion (Cl-).

    Dissolved chlorine gas (Cl2) will equilibrate with the level of atmospheric chlorine, and because the level of chlorine in the atmosphere is really low (it is measured in parts per trillion) all the chlorine gas will disappear from the water.

    However the chloride ion (Cl-) will just remain in solution, you know it doesn't go anywhere because the sea is salt with NaCl (as Na+ Cl-) that has accumulated over millennia.

    It is the chloride ion (Cl-) that interferes with the testing of other monovalent anions (like NO3-). In sea water we have a known amount of chloride ions (19.5 part per thousand) and we can factor that in to our equation, in fresh water we don't the level of Cl- ions. Most chloride compounds are soluble, but silver chloride (AgCl) is insoluble, meaning that you can precipitate out any chlorides from your tank water sample before testing by adding an excess of a soluble silver compound, usually silver sulphate ((Ag2)SO4).

    Nearly all nitrate compounds are soluble as well, so to use a colorimetric method (like in the API test kit) you need to reduce the NO3- to nitrite (NO2-).
    You can get accurate NO3- levels for water, but none of the methods are very straight forward. In the lab we use <"ion selective electrodes">, but you still needs to make up standards etc. If you want accurate results (like a water company would want) you need to use high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

    There is a much easier way of estimating the nitrate content of your tank water, that is to observe the growth rate and colour of a non-CO2 limited plant in your aquarium.

    If your plant grows quickly, and is dark green, you have lots of nitrate.They use this approach for <"crop plants">

    six_panel_lcc.jpg

    Plants with access to the atmosphere (400ppm CO2) are non-CO2 limited so a floating plant is perfect, and this was how the <"Duckweed Index"> was born.

    cheers Darrel
     
    Last edited: 23 Mar 2016
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  20. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    This is right, the more effective a filter is at aerobic biological filtration the more NO3 is produced (final levels will be dependent upon the ammonia bioload).

    Moving bed, and wet and dry trickle, filters keep all the filter media oxygenated which means that they can oxidise large amounts of ammonia. If you have a filter that doesn't produce much NO3 it is because it is oxygen limited and either:
    1. levels of NH3/NH4+ and NO2- are rising,
    2. or NO3 is being anaerobically out-gassed as N2 gas.
    The second option is the present favoured one for marine aquarists with live rock and/or deep sand beds. If you try it in a canister filter you have every chance that option 2. will become option 1. and kill all your fish.

    Marine aquarists went away from moving bed/trickle filters because they were "nitrate factories" and algae (like Chaetomorpha) aren't fast growing enough to fully deplete the NO3 from the tank water,
    but

    things are different for fresh-water aquarists, where macrophytes (and particularly floaters like Pistia), have the ability to convert a huge amount of NO3 into plant tissue, and we can use low nitrate water (RO, rain or tap dependent upon circumstances) for water changes.

    cheers Darrel
     
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