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PostPosted: Dec 8th, '18, 10:47 
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Hi All

I had some time this morning so i tested the water quality in my AP.... well things are a little out and i need a little help to rectify please.

PH 6.0
NITRATE 160 ppm
AMONIA 0.25
NITRITES 0

What can i do to bring the Nitrates down??

keep in mind i had a snail problem and basically had to kill the system to destroy snails and eggs about 8 weeks ago.


Thanks
Joe


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PostPosted: Dec 8th, '18, 14:37 
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Add more plants, it's just food to them and they will use up the nitrates. If you're worried about the health of the fish, lots of people have had much higher nitrate levels. Nitrites and ammonia are more likely to kill the fish, nitrates aren't particularly toxic.


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PostPosted: Dec 8th, '18, 14:41 
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Plant more plants/plants that will use a lot of nitrate or feed less food to the fish?


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PostPosted: Dec 8th, '18, 20:50 
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Just put plants in to the grow bed and they will munch up all the Nitrate (any plant/s).

"keep in mind i had a snail problem and basically had to kill the system to destroy snails and eggs about 8 weeks ago" - does that mean you have no plants in there?.That would be the reason the Nitrates are up.

"feed less food to the fish?" - 160ppm is a bit high,you need to plant seeds now so they can germinate and grow & use up the Nitrates.But if the Nitrates still continues to go up,you can do a water exchange & feed the fish less (once a day or every other day).

Or buy some plants and put them in.

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PostPosted: Dec 9th, '18, 05:54 
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Sweet, thank you all.

Yes i have only a small amount of plants in system.....
Im going to aggressive with planting now, Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Dec 11th, '18, 16:09 
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Nitrates at 160ppm can make it difficult to start certain seedlings, as well as reduce the ability of fruiting plants to flower and/or set fruit. Studies have also shown that long term exposure at that level can cause health issues with fish.

Doing partial water changes would help reduce the Nitrate level, but would also reduce the levels of other nutrients in the system. An easy way around this is to plumb half a 205L barrel into the system somewhere, have it sitting in full sun, and have some of the system water constantly flowing through it. Algae will very quickly build up on the walls and your Nitrate levels will drop dramatically.

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PostPosted: Feb 9th, '19, 23:03 
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We have this same problem - almost exactly the same water test readings.

We know we need to get more plants growing in the system. We've been trying to plant lettuce seedlings in a DWC raft, but they live for about two weeks and then die. I'm assuming after reading the previous post that the high nitrate levels may be killing the seedlings, is that right? We thought we were putting out enough plants to eat up the nitrates, but that only works if the plants grow.

We have a relatively young system (been going for a year), and recently cleared out a lot of overgrown tomatoes and Swiss chard that had been decimated by aphids. So the house is fairly empty right now. I guess we'll try to set out the next batch of lettuce seedlings in the media beds rather than the rafts and try to bring the nitrates down there.

Assuming we do that, what should the readings be on future water tests to know we have enough nitrates to support the plants in the DWC rafts as well as the media beds?


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PostPosted: Feb 11th, '19, 10:55 
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Anywhere between 0.0ppm and 40ppm is fine for Nitrate.

A well balanced system can show zero Nitrates and still have good plant growth, it just means they are being consumed by the plants as fast as they are being created by the system.

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