Before I got the pozzanit filter I found that a bag of nitrate minus granules buried under substrate was more effective and cheaper than nitrazorb in filter, though nitrazorb in filter works quicker. The granules have been discontinued not and nitrate minus comes as a liquid with bits in which I don't like the idea of as the bits sit on the substrate and fish are inclined to pick at them, don't know how effective it is, EagleC has used in past, ask him. An eBay seller used to have the discontinued nitrate minus granules but has now run out, I have found a similar thing by JBL: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Genuine-JBL-Nit ... _Fish?hash=item5188faf169
DSB (Deep sand bed) all the way mate! I've tried nitrate removers in my filter and even tried an external cleartides nitrate reactor but neither of them worked. The nitrate media in the sump seemed to have no effect, and the reactor was too diffiuclt to control. If you do decide to go with a reactor you'll need a peristaltic dosing pump to regulate the flow properly, otherwise you won't be able to regulate the drip and you'll end up just adding ammonia to the tank (if it goes too slow). At least that's what I've found.
As soon as I added an extra layer of sand I saw the nitrates drop over about 3 weeks, from around 80ppm down to virtually zero. Depending on the strength of your problem plants might help, but if you're getting very high nitrates then they won't really make a dint in them.
Yes, it was in my Malawi tank, but sorry that is the other thing I should have mentioned - you need a good amount of sand sifters in your sand bed to move the gases up to the top of the substrate. I had a good number of MTS (thanks for those Cathie) which really help move the sand about. Mbuna will dig the substrate anyway, and plant roots in the substrate also help. With this sort of setup it becomes beneficial to overfeed slightly, as it encourages the MTS population to reproduce, making the DSB system work really well. Ideally you need a layer of largish grained sand at the bottom, with a very fine layer of sand on top. The dense area at the bottom will gradually end up devoid of O2 so the bacteria can set up home, and start working on the waste. The lighter sand at the top lets any gases gradually permeate out and will make sure there aren't any big pockets of gas near the surface which the fish might dig up.
I have had an awful time with my tap water, with nitrate being really high. I have tried all these products and more and couldn't find one that worked effectively. I stumbled upon a nitrate filter for the tap from Swallow aquatics (in their ebay shop) and it fits onto an ordinary tap with a hozelock fitting. I have only had it a few days, but already I have seen the difference. It reduced my high nitrates in my tap to almost 0. They have been marked down from ?50 to ?14.99, and I can't believe I didn't know about it before.
Thanks Frances and Cathie! I've just been on and ordered myself one.
I constantly struggle with nitrates, as my tap water is 40! I tried Nitazorb, unfortunately I forgot about it and whilst I was away on holiday for 2 weeks it ended up leeching the stuff it had absorbed back into the water, so I came home to two rather unwell fancies - never touched it since. Can't reduce it with plants - Wibble and Flick don't leave them alone long enough to make a difference! Don't like the nitrate reduction granules - can't help wondering what they're doing to my fishes insides!
I understand that tap water nitrate can be legally as high as 50ppm in some areas, although this is quite rare. Cathie definitely had issues hence the pozzani filter. Pain in the neck when fishkeeping. Your local water board website should have a page for fish keeping stats if in doubt. HTH
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