Sneaky Aquarium Nitrates

When we start aquariums, we tend to go crazy with water testing. However, with time as we progress, we tend to stop testing as much, but then we only test for nitrates because we try to keep track of how fast our nitrates are rising and how big of water changes to do to keep the tank clean.

As more time passes, we also start skipping nitrate tests. With the scheduled water changes and cleaning, we think we understand our tank entirely. 

How to Watch Out for Sneaky Nitrates?

But here's a hypothetical situation:

We start a brand new tank. We add our livestock; everything is nice, clean, and ready to go from day one. Let's say that tank has zero nitrates right now. 

When that first day starts, you are at zero nitrites. Let's say one week goes by, and during that time, the bioload in your tank in tank produced 40ppm nitrate. So, you are at the end of your week and are ready to do your 50% water changes. 

You are diluting the nitrates in the tank's water volume. So now you are starting the new week with 20ppm nitrate in the tank. Another whole week goes by, but at the end of the week, you'll have 60 ppm nitrate. 

With 50% of water change, you reduce the nitrate to 30ppm and start next week. This way, your nitrates keep increasing even when we stick to our holy grail schedule; you are starting at a higher nitrate level every week. 

Eventually, this water will reach hazardous levels because you always start the new week with more nitrates. And all this because e got complacent and stopped testing out nitrites. But this is what happens when you let it go for too long.

Therefore, it's best to add extra water changes once in a while and keep up with the nitrite testing before the high nitrite starts destroying our tank.

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