How to Increase Nitrates in Fish Tank and Balance the Level

If you are familiar with the effect of nitrates on aquatic life then you will know that it is not safe to increase the level of nitrate in a fish tank. On the other hand, aquatic plants need access to nitrate as they cannot consume it from the air. Therefore it is necessary to know how to increase nitrates in fish tanks by balancing the level of nitrate.

There are several solutions available in the market. You can apply these liquid solutions directly into the water of the fish tank by the given guidelines with the product. During this process, it is very important to measure the level of nitrate frequently.

Do not add a higher concentration of nitrate at a time. The best way to introduce my trade in the aquarium is through potassium nitrate fertilizer. It is applied on the substrate of the aquarium from where the plant can observe its roots or stems. It doesn’t raise the level of nitrate in the water suddenly. 

Along with the procedure of adding nitrate to the fish tank, one should also have knowledge about how to decrease the level. Otherwise, the sudden rise in nitrate levels can be deadly for the aquatic animals in the fish tank. 

3 Steps In Adding Nitrates In Fish Tank and Planted tank

Using Nitrate (NO3) Test Kit

In general, nitrate is a byproduct of other elements introduced in the fish tank. But sometimes due to the necessity of the aquatic plants in the aquarium, you will need to balance the level of nitrate by introducing it manually. 

Here are the steps that you will need to take to level out the nitrate in your fish tank. 

Step 1: Check The Level of Nitrate

Like any other chemical substance, the level of nitrate plays a major role in balancing the life of Aquatic creatures in a fish tank or aquarium. In the case of nitrate, the level of nitrate is an important factor as a bit of imbalance can cause a toxic environment in the tank.

Therefore if you think that you need to add some nitrate to the fish tank then first check the level of nitrate present. If you have a night level of more than 50 ppm then it doesn’t need any external addition. On the other hand, if the level of nitrate is between 0 to 25 ppm then you will need to use nitrates immediately.

If the level of nitrate is less than 50 ppm then you can take some time and increase the level of nitrate slowly in a more convenient way.

Taking the level of nitrate is not that difficult. Nowadays there are different kits available that help you to determine the level of nitrate by yourself. They also come with a beginner’s chart that lets you know the safe level of nitrate.

Step 2: Introducing Nitrate

In general, you do not introduce nitrate into the Fish Tank as a primary solution. Rather if you want to introduce it you need to add Potassium nitrate fertilizer. Potassium nitrate fertilizers take the aquatic plant of the fish tank. Therefore there is less chance of the production of a toxic environment in the tank. 

There are many other nitrate solutions available in the market. which are specially designed for increasing the level of nitrate in the fish tank. Depending on why you need to increase the level of nitrate you can choose any of these products.

Our Pick:

All of these nitrate solutions come with them to do guidelines. Try to follow them properly to get the maximum benefit. The best way to introduce nitrate from our perspective is to provide it in the substrate of the tank. This way you can provide nitrate to the targeted equity plants without causing much interaction in the life of the aquatic animals.  

If the level of nitrate is between 0 to 25 ppm then you need to add 5 ppm of nitrate into the tank at a time. As the nitrate can be the by-product of several elements in the fish tank there for adding the next dose of 5 ppm checks the level.  

Step 3: Aftercare

Once you introduce nitrate into the fish tank your job is not over. At this time we have to be more cautious about the level of nitrate as it can be toxic to aquatic animals. 

Every other day checks the level of nitrate in the water. Should do a background check on the aquatic animals living in the aquarium. This way you will get to know how much the level of nitrate is tolerable for them.

If by any means the level of nitrate drops again we introduce nitrates with a similar procedure. You can check and balance the level of nitrate by feeding the aquatic animals food that can create nitrate as a bi-product. This way you do not have to introduce nitrate manually and it will reduce the maintenance cost.

This part of the balancing method from bi-products can be risky if not maintained properly. Whatever food you are buying, check how much level of nitrate we can produce once you introduce it into your fish tank. Also, use the kit to check the level of nitrate regularly. 

Why It Is Necessary To Add Nitrate To Fish Tank

nitrate adding process in fish tank

Beautiful we are talking about the level of nitrate required for aquatic fish or any other aquatic life there is nothing called too less nitrate. This means lower nitrate level in your aquarium is better for the aquatic animals.

But unfortunately, this story for aquatic plants is not the same. To perform photosynthesis and other biochemical reactions plants need to have the presence of nitrate. Nitrate is a key factor for the survival of plants in the aquarium. 

People who don’t know about the living condition of aquatic plants in their aquarium often reduce the nitrate level. Ultimately the plants in the aquarium die due to the deficiency of nitrate. 

Even if nitrate is not healthy for aquatic animals, you need to keep a check and balance between the required level of nitrate for aquatic plants and the tolerance level of the aquatic animals. 

Deficiency of nitrate arises especially when there are less amount of aquatic animals in the fish tank but there are extensive amounts of aquatic plants. In some cases, it is reported that the level of nitrate due to the excess plant in the aquarium can get to 0 ppm. 

In the deficiency of nitrate, the plants will first start to get yellow and it will gradually turn to Brown. Some of these plants will even rot in different parts of the stem and roots. Eventually, they will sleep in the bed of death. 

What Is The Safe Level Of Nitrate And 3 Ways To Balance It

No matter what the situation is and how many plants you have in your aquarium, the nitrate levels should not exceed 50 ppm. Any level higher than 50 PPM will cause nitrate poisoning or nitric shock among the fish in the tank. 

Nitrate poisoning can even lead to the death of aquatic animals. If there is 100 ppm of nitrate in the water then it will start to affect the life of the aquatic plants and animals. 

  • Keeping Track

There are several factors that can raise the level of nitrate if left unchecked. The increased level of nitrate is not only going to affect the sustainability of aquatic animals but also increase the growth of algae and other unwanted aquatic plants like algae. 

Remember that while you are adding nitrate in the fish tank the plant is not consuming the same amount you are adding. Therefore keeping track of the level from time to time is important so that you do not add in excess quantity.  

Therefore every now and then check the level of nitrate in water with the kits available in the market. In case the level of nitrate raises you will need to change about 25% of the water in your fish tank. 

  • Controlling Food Waste

To balance the nutrition level of fish and aquatic animals it is necessary to provide proper nutritious feeding. But adding excess food is not going to ensure that animals are getting proper nutrients. 

They will only eat what they need and the rest will start to decompose in the water. These decomposed foods are going to create nitrate in the aquarium. Ultimately the level will rise and you adding extra nitrate will cause toxicity in the water.

Therefore try to balance the nutrients that your aquatic animal needs and feed them accordingly. But in case you have already provided an excess amount of food in the fish tank you will need to vacuum it with a gravel vacuum. This will ensure that there is no extra production of nitrate unless you add it. 

  • Number of Aquatic Living Being

The number of aquatic animals in the aquarium or fish tank plays a vital role in balancing the level of nitrate in the water. Before adding any nitrate to the aquarium try to track how many aquatic plants and animals are there in the tank.

If there are fewer aquatic plants then compared to aquatic animals there is a significant chance that adding excess nitrate to the water can backfire. 

The best way to balance the number of Aquatic living being compared to the night level is, take some time and track the amount of nitrate produced in your tank weekly. Then determine how much your aquatic plants are going to need a background check on the aquatic plants.

After tracking the numbers add nitrate to the fish tank accordingly. This will determine how much nitrate is going to be harmful to your fish tank. 


Can Nitrates Be Too Low In Aquariums?

Although numerous aquarists run their tanks with outrageous nitrate levels, the ideal is a limit of 5 to 10 ppm. Levels of 20 to 50 ppm are excessively high. Freshwater tanks can be of better quality, with marine fish-just arrangements at the lower end and reef tanks as close to zero as could really be expected.

Do Aquarium Plants Increase Nitrates?

If factors like extreme taking care of, inadequate channel situation, and having a couple, rather sluggish developing plants become possibly the most important factor, expanded nitrate and phosphate fixations might emerge. In aquariums zeroed in on the rearing of creatures a too high nitrate focus isn’t by any stretch of the imagination attractive.

Do Moss Balls Help With Nitrates?

Like live plants, greenery balls ingest nitrates. However, — likewise, like plants — it’s typically not a huge sum. The ball would have an effect provided that it was kept in only a couple of gallons of water. All things considered, any nitrate permeable is an advantage to your tank’s biological system.

What Is The Difference Between Nitrate And Nitrite In A Fish Tank?

Nitrite and nitrate sound basically the same and are frequently confused, yet nitrite is extremely harmful to fish even at low levels, while nitrate is less poisonous and develops. A nitrite level of only 1 section for each million is sufficient to produce toxic substances and kill most aquarium fish, yet nitrate levels can be multiple times that at times.

How Long Does The Nitrogen Cycle Take In An Aquarium?

It ordinarily requires as long as 90 days before another aquarium has completely changed over its losses into nitrate. The technique for loading your new aquarium gradually over the long run with more youthful, more modest fish is intended to permit the nitrogen change over microbes time to develop, to stay up with the progressive increment of waste matter.

Final Words

Once you know how to increase the level of nitrate apply the procedure carefully remembering how the level of metric can affect your fish tank. Also before putting any new aquatic animal in the fish tank ensure that the animal is adaptable to the existing level of nitrate in your tank.

We always suggest that before putting any new aquatic life in the tank make sure their companion is in the same environment as they are. This way you can avoid nitrate shock for specific animals. It becomes super easy to balance the requirements of the aquatic animals. 

Howard Parker

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