Nitrate High...What to do?

asun1(Z8)May 21, 2008

I need some help. I did a water test, and my Nitrate is a bit high...the test water is purple! Isn't Nitrate supposed to be at 0??? I do regular water changes and my filter is working fine. Not too sure how to lower Nitrate...always though that was caused by fish waste and other gunk in the pond, and water changes would take care of it. But my water was crystal clear, and no gunk on bottom. What is causing the Nitrate problem?

Now I have to confess, I did something to try and fix it...not sure if it was the right thing to do. A local Koi breeder told me to put some Baking Soda in the water...1 pound. So I did, and now....3 days later, the water is cloudy, and the Nitrate is a bit lower, but still high. Should I just wait it out, or drain the water and start over?

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larryl(7 Southern Oregon)

I am assuming you really do mean nitrate and not nitrite. Many folks confuse these.

Nitrate levels up to 40 PPM really aren't a big deal. Floating plants love nitrate, and will quickly use it up is you have enough healthy plants. As long as your floating plants have enough potash and micro-nutrients they will consume the nitrate. Do you have floating plants like water hyacinth, duck weed, azolla, or maybe watercress. How do they look?

The baking soda has nothing to do with the nitrate levels.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 4:40PM
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I have hyacinth....they are small, not growing too much. On another post you told to try some iron for them. I am going to pick some up tonight and try it. I was thinking if I get the Hyacinths going it would help....Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 4:59PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

One way to reduce nitrate is through a water change, unless your source water is high in nitrate in the first place. Have you had an algae bloom at all?

NitrAte is part of the normal pond cycle. Fish excrete ammonia. Beneficial bacteria break down the ammonia into nitrItes. Other beneficial bacterial break down the nitrItes into nitrAtes. Algae and other plant life use the nitrAtes.

The purpose of adding baking soda is to increase the kH of the water. A very low kH can possibly (not probably, just possibly) lead to pH crashes, which can kill koi.

Ammonia and nitrIte are toxic and should be at zero or close to it at all times. NitrAte in moderate amounts, (less than 40ppm) is ok.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 12:17AM
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loma_ponder(Z10 SW CA)

I had a nitrAte problem a month back. Threw some WH in there and BAM; no more nitrAte problem....

But the next morning..... fish got jiggy and BAM! fish eggs and foam problem (ammonia).

Bless those fishies...


    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 1:30AM
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daisy_ny6(z6 NY)

What is "WH"?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:25AM
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The easy way to say Water Hyacinths. And you don't have to remember how to spell it. Glenda

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 12:00PM
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