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Nitrate Filters - Do they work?

CrazyCory42

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Joined
22 Oct 2020
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18
Location
Tamworth
Hiya,

I have high nitrates in my tap water, at least 40ppm. I’ve bulked my tank up on nitrate eating stuff to try and help combat this - loads of plants, pothos, fancy filter media, serums and potions from the LFS.

But nothing has really helped. I’ve considered buying RO water but was scared about remixing in minerals etc. The general consensus I got from asking around was that water with high nitrates is safer than a water with no nitrate but constantly fluctuating pH, minerals etc.

Then I stumbled across this gizmo, which apparently gets rid of just the nitrate in your tap water. Has anyone used them? They sound a bit too good to be true and at £40 with shipping I don’t want to waste my money on a gimmick.

What are peoples experiences with nitrate filters? Are they easy enough to use? Do they dramatically reduce the nitrate in your tap water?

 
Last edited:

Andy Pierce

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27 Nov 2020
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168
Location
Cambridge, UK
Nitrates won't hurt anything so you don't need to try to remove them. I add 15 ppm nitrate weekly as part of estimative index dosing, plus whatever comes through in the local water supply, in my case 32 ppm if the report from the neighboring village two years ago is to believed. Is there a plant/fish health problem you're trying to solve? If not I wouldn't get too worked up about a nitrate test result.
 

Zeus.

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1 Oct 2016
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Yorkshire,UK
Why remove Nitrates when your plants can use them and they are safe at quite high levels for livestock as well. Some water company blend the water they use when the NO3 goes above EU limits, my old water company had a fancy RO method to reduce it to EU limits
The limits to the nitrite levels are much- much lower as nitrites are not safe at low levels
@Andy Pierce beat me too post ;)
 

CrazyCory42

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22 Oct 2020
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Tamworth
Nitrates won't hurt anything so you don't need to try to remove them. I add 15 ppm nitrate weekly as part of estimative index dosing, plus whatever comes through in the local water supply, in my case 32 ppm if the report from the neighboring village two years ago is to believed. Is there a plant/fish health problem you're trying to solve? If not I wouldn't get too worked up about a nitrate test result.
no there’s no problems in the tank. It just most aquarium people shout at me when I say my nitrates are at 40ppm because they should be less than 20ppm and it’s causing stress and harm on the fish. Isn’t that true?
 

CrazyCory42

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Tamworth
Why remove Nitrates when your plants can use them and they are safe at quite high levels for livestock as well. Some water company blend the water they use when the NO3 goes above EU limits, my old water company had a fancy RO method to reduce it to EU limits
The limits to the nitrite levels are much- much lower as nitrites are not safe at low levels
@Andy Pierce beat me too post ;)
I’m happy for the plants to use them, I just worry that 40ppm is too high for the fish and that it’ll hurt them over time. Someone told me it’s like smokers lung. It doesn’t get you straight away but it damages the fish over time and makes them less able to fight off diseases.
 

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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850
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Minnesota, USA
no there’s no problems in the tank. It just most aquarium people shout at me when I say my nitrates are at 40ppm because they should be less than 20ppm and it’s causing stress and harm on the fish. Isn’t that true?
Hi @CrazyCory42 Nitrates (NO3) is plant food and wont harm fish even at pretty high levels (I've measured 80ppm at some point, unnecessary high but still no problem....) If the NO3 comes from fertilizer (NPK), or your water source assuming its otherwise OK, then its all good - I routinely measure 20-40ppm fairly consistent with my dosing. NO3 is notoriously hard to measure consistently... especially with the API test kit... if you get elevated levels of NO3 due to lack of maintenance / water changes / waste and decay, well that's another story - thats "bad NO3" because it usually means you have a lot of organic waste and toxins in your tank. More expert info here.

Cheers,
Michael
 
Last edited:

sparkyweasel

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30 Jun 2011
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2,139
It just most aquarium people shout at me when I say my nitrates are at 40ppm because they should be less than 20ppm and it’s causing stress and harm on the fish. Isn’t that true?
Not true. You could try asking them for modern, credible sources. But they will probably just shout at you again. :)
In the thread MichaelJ kinked to above you will find solid information with links to actual research. By scientists, not by people trying to sell you nitrate reducers or test kits of dubious value. :)
 

ceg4048

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It would be nice to get an explanation of what technique is being used in the filter. If it's just using a resin then it would be basically the same as Purigen. These resins do not really attack the inorganic nutrients ions in solution but they neutralize the organics that contain Nitrogen. Removal of nitrogenous organic products is a good idea because this reduces the breakdown of NH3->NO2-NO3. This is the cycle we want to short circuit. A lot of the vendors promote their resin products as NO3 remove or PO4 remover when all they are doing is removing organic products that happen to contain nitrogen or phosphorous.

If it's removing inorganic nitrates in a planted tank then this is a bad thing generally. NO3 is actually natures method of detoxifying the water from the nitrogen cycle, so the fear of NO3 is really unfounded. As Zeus mentions I've pushed the limits of inorganic NO3 dosing with very high levels, have had fish breeding in the tank and have not suffered any long term health issues. NO3 is really a misunderstood step child. Feed your plants lots of NO3 and in return the plants will take care of your fish.

Cheers,
 

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
I have high nitrates in my tap water, at least 40ppm. I’ve bulked my tank up on nitrate eating stuff to try and help combat this - loads of plants, pothos, fancy filter media, serums and potions from the LFS.
Could you use rainwater? I've used rainwater without any issue since the 1970's. I'd agree with the others, you won't get much <"sensible comment"> about any facet of nitrification from most <"LFS and forums">.
What are peoples experiences with nitrate filters? Are they easy enough to use? Do they dramatically reduce the nitrate in your tap water?
Have a look at <"How achievable is a NO3-.........">.

cheers Darrel
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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I don't know if this myth was started by a lfs because every lfs I've ever seen that had a livestock guarantee always states you need to have nitrate very low, then blame this on the fishes death if its above say 20ppm, even when they know it isn't the case. It's an easy cop out but I'd wager very few have nitrate levels that low on any of their stock tanks.
 

Matti

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12 Aug 2021
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Helsinki, Finland
I guess in theory we could have a full nitrogen cycle filter that would convert NO3- to N2O. There's a video on youtube where Mr Kevin Novak claims he has created a working anoxic filter, but no real data is provided.

Matti
 

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
I guess in theory we could have a full nitrogen cycle filter that would convert NO3- to N2O. There's a video on youtube where Mr Kevin Novak claims he has created a working anoxic filter, but no real data is provided.
We have some <"Dr Novak threads">.
I guess in theory we could have a full nitrogen cycle filter that would convert NO3- to N2O.
You can certainly get denitrification in the substrate. I've no problem <"with that">, I like a relatively undisturbed substrate.

It is just in a canister filter where attempting to achieve simultaneous aerobic nitrification and anaerobic denitrification is an <"incredibly poor idea">.

cheers Darrel
 

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