What is Nitrate?
Ammonia is the most significant dissolved waste in an aquarium. Fish wastes, rotting leftover food, and decomposing plant matter will all produce waste.
The bacteria in your bio filter convert ammonia first into nitrite and then into nitrate. While ammonia and nitrite are highly toxic to fish, nitrate is much less so. However, as nitrate accumulates, fish will eventually be affected.
Ideally you should measure 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, and usually some amount of nitrates in your tank water. If the nitrates reach 40 ppm or more, then you need to remove some of the dirty tank water and replace it with fresh, clean water.
What causes nitrate?
There are a lot of reasons that can contribute to the cause of nitrate, like overfeeding, overstocking, dirty filters, decaying plants and more.
How to reduce nitrate?
1. Add live plants to a freshwater aquarium.
This is usually the first option that comes into our mind when it comes to reduce nitrate in aquariums. As we all know, plants will use nitrate as nutrient and thus reduce nitrate.
2. Keep fewer fish
Every time the fish went to a bathroom, they will produce certain amount of ammonia which will later on convert to nitrite and then nitrate. So to keep fewer fish could be an option.
3. Feed less
Do not feed a large amount of food to your fish at one time. Instead, feed less food to your fish 2 to 3 times per day. Please make sure that the feeding time will not exceed 5 minutes. If you find food residue in the fish tank 5 minutes later, then you know you have feed too much to your fish. Please remove the food residue immediately and feed less food to your fish next time.
4. Conduct regular water change
This is also a very effective way to make sure the nitrate level is safe for the well-being of your fish. Perform regular water change to your fish tank can certainly lower the nitrate level in your fish tank and prevent you from having algae crisis.
Related Article: How To Lower Ammonia In Fish Tank