Nitrates are generally very low in natural waters, in part by the high rate of dilution due to large quantities of water, but also because of the hydrologic-cycle.
A common practice used to lower aquarium nitrates is the water change. In reality however, water changes are more of a nitrate dilution then removal.
How to remove aquarium nitrate:
Assuming there is 40 ppm of nitrate before a 20% water change, 80% or 32 ppm will remain post water change. Since common tap and well water usually contains nitrate, and assuming that the average level is at about 10 ppm, then our water change had little effect on the overall nitrate level of the aquarium.
What can we do to aid in the removal of nitrates from the aquarium?
- Add live plants to a freshwater aquarium
Plants naturally utilize nitrate as a nutrient and food. This is why persistently high nitrate usually results in an algae outbreak and green aquarium water problems. An abundance of nitrate is fuel for explosive growth of existing algae cells.
- Reduce fish population or upgrade to bigger tank
Fish waste results in an increase of nitrate levels. Keeping the overall fish population relatively low therefore helps prevent nitrate accumulation. If you are considering a larger tank, try to resist the temptation of stocking more fish as this will inevitably increase nitrate producing waste within the fish tank.
- Cut back on feeding
Too much fish food will severely pollute the water and result in spiking nitrate levels. Don’t overfeed.
- Use a nitrate remover such as ALGONE
ALGONE gently removes nitrates from the aquarium and effectively prevents all the common problems associated with high nitrate levels. Through nitrate reduction ALGONE also clears cloudy and murky aquarium water, restoring a brilliant, crystal clear water column. Additionally, ALGONE removes pollutants and dissolved organics associated with rising nitrate and other common problems in the fish tank.