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Nitrate swing in 1 day?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by scotw, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. scotw

    scotw New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Country:
    U.S.
    State:
    Georgia
    City:
    Commerce
    Sorry, long description.
    System almost 2 yrs old. Was feeding fish twice a day. Nitrates where in red to dark red range no matter how many plants I had. So went to once a day feeding and still no change in nitrates over next 7 months. Then 2 months go by and I forgot to check chemistry until one day when I found a dead fish. Wasn't dead from toxicity, was dead because fish tank drain cover was out of place and he was stuck in the by pass line to the sump. So I grab a water sample. Then clean all the contaminated water areas. Luckily very little rancid water got into fish tank.
    But upon test of the sample water, nitrates where zero! Ok so maybe that could have changed over last 2 months. But for the next day, I feed them twice. Then checked nitrates next day. It was in the brownish, Orange area. 40-60.
    There's no way 1 extra feeding for 1 day made that much difference in a system. With 1500+ gal of water. ?? Where as for 7 months prior, loosing 1 feeding a day made zero difference in lowering nitrates.

    So the question. Could the rotting fish have caused nitrates to disappear? All while still showing zero ammonia and zero nitrites?

    Only change made in that one day was removing dead fish and Changing about 250 gal of water.

    Will attach water test pics.
     
  2. scotw

    scotw New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Country:
    U.S.
    State:
    Georgia
    City:
    Commerce
    1. Stayed for 7 months. Nitrates always dark red, even after going to 1 feeding per day for 7 months.
    2. day of water change. On test 2 I did the nitrates twice, thought it had to be wrong. Both yellow tubes on right are nitrates.
    3. day after water change and 1 day of feeding twice a day.
    On test 2 I did the nitrates twice, thought it had to be wrong. Both yellow tubes on right are nitrates.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  3. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
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    Country:
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    W.A.
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    Hi Scot,

    Are you shaking both reagent bottles thoroughly before use and following the instructions exactly in regards to sample fill level, number of drops, recapping and shaking test tube between adding first and second reagents, shaking thoroughly after second reagent, then waiting the full 5 minutes?

    The Nitrate test kit in particular has to be done exactly as per the instructions, there have been many similar posts to yours and in most cases it was due to this.
     
  4. Danscraft

    Danscraft VIP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
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    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    South East Victoria
    City:
    Frankston
    Doesn't seem possible. Maybe its that the added water hadn't mixed/circulated properly with the entire volume of water? I either test before adding top up water or wait until the next day to test.
    eg: If I add lime to adjust pH you cant get a real reading on the day. It will read high. Take a reading the next afternoon to get a true reading after it has circulated and mixed evenly through entire water capacity and all components of the system etc.
     

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